Fresh Air

Fresh Air Podcast

Fresh Air from WHYY, the Peabody Award-winning weekday magazine of contemporary arts and issues, is one of public radio's most popular programs. Hosted by Terry Gross, the show features intimate conversations with today's biggest luminaries.

How San Francisco's D.A. Is Decreasing The Jail Population Amid COVID-19
San Francisco's new District Attorney Chesa Boudin's own father is 75 and in prison in New York. In 1981, his parents, who were radical leftists, were imprisoned for being getaway drivers in a politically-motivated armed robbery. "My earliest memories are going through prison gates and metal detectors," he says. Boudin is part of a movement of progressive prosecutors working for criminal justice reform. We talk about the spread of COVID-19 in prisons and jails, and the measures he's taking to reduce the num...

Cooking In The Time Of Covid-19
Former 'New York Times' food editor (and founder of NYT Cooking) Sam Sifton says the resurgence of family meals is one of the "precious few good things" that's come from the pandemic. Sifton talks about how to make meals that stretch, improvising with less-than-ideal ingredients, and the best vegetable for quarantine cooking. His new cooksbook is 'See You on Sunday.'Also, jazz critic Kevin Whitehead reviews bassist Lisa Mezzacappa's album 'Cosmicomics.'...

Kerry Washington
In the Hulu series 'Little Fires Everywhere,' Kerry Washington co-stars opposite Reese Witherspoon as Mia Warren, a bohemian artist single mom with a mysterious past. Washington spoke with Terry Gross about how she drew on her own mother for the role, her 'Scandal' audition, and playing Anita Hill in 'Confirmation.'Also, critic John Powers recommends Netflix's 'Unorthodox,' the Hulu series 'Baghdad Central,' and the novel 'Abigail' by Magda Szabo....


Kerry Washington
In the Hulu series 'Little Fires Everywhere,' Kerry Washington co-stars opposite Reese Witherspoon as Mia Warren, a bohemian artist single mom with a mysterious past. Washington spoke with Terry Gross about how she drew on her own mother for the role, her 'Scandal' audition, and playing Anita Hill in 'Confirmation.'Also, critic John Powers recommends Netflix's 'Unorthodox,' the Hulu series 'Baghdad Central,' and the novel 'Abigail' by Magda Szabo....

Best Of: Author Max Brooks / Playwright Terrence McNally
Author Max Brooks became an expert on disaster preparedness — from pandemics to nuclear war — through researching for his books, 'World War Z,' 'Germ Warfare' and the forthcoming 'Devolution.' Classical music critic Lloyd Schwartz recommends some music to listen to that feels right for this moment: A compilation of all the songs Ella Fitzgerald and Louis Armstrong recorded together. It's called 'Cheek to Cheek.' We remember Broadway playwright Terrence McNally, who died March 24 due to complications related...

Remembering Bucky Pizzarelli, Adam Schlesinger, Ellis Marsalis
Today we remember three people from the music world who died this week of COVID-19. First, we'll listen back to two interviews with the great jazz guitarist Bucky Pizzarelli. He was 94. Then we'll hear an interview with Adam Schlesinger, who was 52. He co-founded the band Fountains of Wayne, wrote songs for the movies 'Thing You Do!' and 'Music and Lyrics,' and won three Emmys for his songs for the TV series 'Crazy Ex-Girlfriend.' Later, we'll hear what jazz musicians Wynton and Branford Marsalis said about...


A 'War Doctor' Shares Stories From The Front Line
Trauma surgeon Dr. David Nott has spent decades volunteering in war and disaster zones all over the world. Now he's advising doctors on how to treat COVID-19. He spoke with Terry Gross about how fighting the pandemic is similar to working in a war zone, and shares harrowing stories from his time in the field. His book is 'War Doctor.'...

Masks, Vaccines & How COVID-19 Might End
Two years ago, 'Atlantic' science writer Ed Yong predicted a new global pandemic and how we might be caught unprepared. Now that so much of what he warned about in his reporting has come true, he's been covering how and why we failed to stop the spread of COVID-19, why the virus has been so successful in spreading, how the pandemic might end, and what the aftermath might be....

Understanding The Origin Of 'Heaven And Hell'
Religion scholar Bart Ehrman says the notion of eternal rewards and punishments isn't found in the Old Testament or in the teachings of Jesus. Ehrman traces the origin of these ideas in his new book, 'Heaven and Hell: A History of the Afterlife.'...


Winston Churchill & Fearless Leadership In Times Of Crisis
In 'The Splendid And The Vile,' author Erik Larson details Winston Churchill's first year in office, during which England endured a Nazi bombing campaign that killed more than 44,000 civilians. Larson says Churchill told his citizens the truth and inspired them to resist. Also, book critic Maureen Corrigan reviews 'The Glass Hotel' by Emily St. John Mandel....

Best Of: Marc Maron / Hank Azaria
Comic and 'WTF' podcast host Marc Maron named his new Netflix stand-up special 'End Times Fun' before the COVID-19 pandemic started — but now the title feels eerily apt. He talked with Terry Gross about how he's handling the crisis as a "recovering hypochondriac." Hank Azaria plays a colorful baseball announcer in the IFC comedy series 'Brockmire,' which is now in its 4th and final season. Azaria spoke with Dave Davies about the series, and why he doesn't voice the Indian American convenience store owner Ap...

Stephen Sondheim - Part 2
Sondheim, who turned 90 on March 22, composed the music and wrote lyrics for 'Sweeney Todd,' 'Into the Woods,' 'Company' and other Broadway shows. He spoke with Terry Gross in 2010 about his career in musical theater. (Part 1 of this interview was released on March 20.)...


Trump's 'War' On The Presidency / Remembering Playwright Terrence McNally
Journalist Benjamin Wittes spoke with Terry Gross about how President Trump has changed the presidency fundamentally — and how we're seeing the impact during the COVID-19 pandemic. He is the author, with Susan Hennessey, of 'Unmaking the Presidency.'We remember Broadway playwright Terrence McNally, who died March 24 due to complications related to COVID-19. He won Tony awards for 'Kiss of the Spider Woman,' 'Ragtime' and 'Master Class.' He spoke with 'Fresh Air' in 1993....

Michael Pollan On The Drug We Use Every Day: Caffeine
'Omnivore's Dilemma' author Michael Pollan talks about his audiobook, 'Caffeine: How Coffee and Tea Created the Modern World.' He describes caffeine as the world's most widely-used psychoactive drug. (Originally broadcast Feb. 2020)Also, jazz critic Kevin Whitehead reviews a new album from guitarist Jeff Parker....

How The Government Can Mobilize In A Pandemic
Author Max Brooks became an expert on disaster preparedness — from pandemics to nuclear war — through researching for his books, 'World War Z,' 'Germ Warfare' and the forthcoming 'Devolution.' He spoke with Terry Gross about how the federal government is designed to respond to crises like COVID-19 — and what is preventing the tasks forces from being deployed. He'll also explain why "panic is not preparation," and how to have good "fact-hygiene."...


Comic Marc Maron On 'End Times Fun'
Maron named his new Netflix comedy special 'End Times Fun' before the COVID-19 pandemic started — but now the title feels eerily apt. He talked with Terry Gross about how he's handling the crisis as a "recovering hypochondriac," and what he's doing to pass the time in isolation. Maron co-stars in the Netflix series 'GLOW' and hosts the interview podcast 'WTF.'...

Best Of: Octavia Spencer / Conductor Yannick Nézet-Séguin
Octavia Spencer stars in the new Netflix limited series 'Self Made' as Madam C.J. Walker, America's first black, female, self-made millionaire. She sold hair and makeup products to black women in the early 1900s. John Powers reviews the Hulu series 'Little Fires Everywhere,' starring Kerry Washington and Reese Witherspoon.The Philadelphia Orchestra has shuttered its doors in the face of the COVID-19 pandemic. Conductor Yannick Nézet-Séguin reflects on their final performance in an empty concert hall, which ...

Happy Birthday, Stephen Sondheim
Broadway is dark because of the virus, but that doesn't need to stop us from celebrating the 90th birthday of Broadway's best living composer and lyricist—and one of the best in the history of Broadway, Stephen Sondheim. His 90th birthday is Sunday. We're listening back to our interview from 2010, which we recorded on the occasion of his 80th birthday. He wrote the songs for 'Sweeney Todd,' 'Follies,' 'Into the Woods,' 'Sunday in the Park with George' and 'Merrily We Roll Along.' Revivals of two of his sho...


How One Orchestra, Faced With A Pandemic, Played On
The Philadelphia Orchestra has shuttered its doors in the face of the COVID-19 pandemic. Conductor Yannick Nézet-Séguin reflects on their final performance in an empty concert hall, which was livestreamed for more half a million viewers at home. He spoke with Terry Gross about the unusual performance and how music comforts us in troubling times. Also, we'll hear an excerpt of our interview with the conductor from last year....

The Case For Abolishing The Electoral College
Jesse Wegman, author of 'Let the People Pick the President,' says the Electoral College's winner-take-all rule is not mandated by the Constitution: "There's nothing keeping us from changing it." Wegman talks about how winner-take-all came to be, attempts to change it, and how the Electoral College disproportionately affects people of color....

'Simpsons' Voice Actor Hank Azaria
Azaria plays a colorful baseball announcer in the IFC comedy series 'Brockmire,' which is now in its 4th and final season. Azaria spoke with 'Fresh Air' about sobriety, his flamboyant character in 'The Birdcage,' and why he doesn't voice the Indian American convenience store owner Apu on 'The Simpsons' anymore.Also, John Powers reviews the Hulu series 'Little Fires Everywhere,' starring Kerry Washington and Reese Witherspoon....


Octavia Spencer
Spencer stars in the new Netflix limited series 'Self Made' as Madam C.J. Walker, America's first female self-made millionaire. She sold hair and makeup products to black women in the early 1900s. Spencer talks about Walker's legacy, playing a maid in'The Help,' and learning to speak up for better pay in Hollywood. Also, rock critic Ken Tucker reviews the K-pop group BTS' new album 'Map of the Soul.'...

Octavia Spencer
Spencer stars in the new Netflix limited series 'Self Made' as Madam C.J. Walker, America's first female self-made millionaire. She sold hair and makeup products to black women in the early 1900s. Spencer talks about Walker's legacy, playing a maid in'The Help,' and learning to speak up for better pay in Hollywood. Also, rock critic Ken Tucker reviews the K-pop group BTS' new album 'Map of the Soul.'...

Best Of: Writer James McBride / RuPaul
James McBride's new novel, 'Deacon King Kong,' takes place in 1969, in a Brooklyn housing project similar to the one he grew up in. "In this book and in this community, people generally love each other," he says.RuPaul describes his drag persona as "one-part Cher, two-parts David Bowie, one-part Diana Ross and two heaping spoonfuls of Dolly Parton." The reality show he hosts and created, 'RuPaul's Drag Race,' is now in its 12th season on VH1....


Philip Roth On 'The Plot Against America'
Roth's 2004 novel, 'The Plot Against America,' is an alternative history which imagines Nazi sympathizer Charles Lindbergh beats FDR in the 1940 presidential election and the U.S. sides with the Germans in WWII. We'll listen back to Terry Gross' interview with Roth about the novel, and TV critic David Bianculli will review the new HBO miniseries that's based on the book. Film critic Justin Chang reviews 'Never Rarely Sometimes Always' about a teenage girl in small-town Pennsylvania who decides to have an ab...

The Untold Story Of Saudi Crown Prince MBS
'New York Times' Beirut Bureau Chief Ben Hubbard says Saudi Arabia's Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman is full of contradictions: He ended a ban on women driving, but his agents also carried out the murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi. Hubbard's book, 'MBS,' tells the story of the enigmatic leader. Hubbard says MBS could rule the country for the next 50 years.Also, Maureen Corrigan reviews 'Writers & Lovers' by Lily King....


RuPaul
RuPaul describes his drag persona as "one-part Cher, two-parts David Bowie, one-part Diana Ross and two heaping spoonfuls of Dolly Parton." The reality show he hosts and created, 'RuPaul's Drag Race,' is now in its 12th season on VH1. He talks with Terry Gross about his early punk style of drag, becoming a "glamizon," and the best advice his mother gave him. Also, jazz critic Kevin Whitehead shares a remembrance of legendary pianist McCoy Tyner. He died last Friday at 81....

Writer James McBride
James McBride's new novel, 'Deacon King Kong,' takes place in 1969, in a Brooklyn housing project similar to the one he grew up in. "In this book and in this community, people generally love each other," he says. McBride is best known for his '95 memoir 'The Color of Water: A Black Man's Tribute to His White Mother.' Also, Ken Tucker reviews Best Coast's new album, 'Almost Tomorrow.'...

Best Of: Author Louise Erdrich / 'Watergate Girl' Jill Wine-Banks
Louise Erdrich talks about her new novel, 'The Night Watchman.' It was inspired by her grandfather, a chairman of the Turtle Mountain Band of Chippewa who fought a Congressional initiative to move indigenous peoples off their land and into cities. Critic John Powers reviews the genre-bending film 'Bacurau,' about a small Brazilian town grappling with a series of mysterious events.In her memoir, 'The Watergate Girl,' Jill Wine-Banks talks about confronting Nixon White House insiders on the witness stand and ...


Best Of: Author Louise Erdrich / 'Watergate Girl' Jill Wine-Banks
Louise Erdrich talks about her new novel, 'The Night Watchman.' It was inspired by her grandfather, a chairman of the Turtle Mountain Band of Chippewa who fought a Congressional initiative to move indigenous peoples off their land and into cities. Critic John Powers reviews the genre-bending film 'Bacurau,' about a small Brazilian town grappling with a series of mysterious events.In her memoir, 'The Watergate Girl,' Jill Wine-Banks talks about confronting Nixon White House insiders on the witness stand and ...

Biographer Robert Caro
Two-time Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Robert Caro was never interested in only telling the stories of great men. Instead, he says, "I wanted to use their lives to show how political power worked." He talks about his two most famous works — biographies of Lyndon Johnson and New York City planner Robert Moses. Caro's memoir about his process, 'Working,' is now out in paperback. He spoke with Dave Davies last year.Also, TV critic David Bianculli reviews two new sci-fi/fantasy shows — 'Devs' on Hulu and 'A...

Uncovering The CIA's Operation To Steal State Secrets
For 50 years, countries all over the world bought encryption technology from a Swiss company, called Crypto AG, to protect their communications with diplomats, soldiers and spies. What they didn't know is that the firm was actually owned by the CIA and German intelligence, which rigged the encryption products so they could spy on the countries that bought them. 'Washington Post' reporter Greg Miller tells the story. Also, film critic Justin Chang reviews the Western 'First Cow.'...


Author Louise Erdrich On Native Peoples' 'Long, Brutal Fight For Survival'
Erdrich's new novel, 'The Night Watchman,' was inspired by her grandfather, a chairman of the Turtle Mountain Band of Chippewa who fought a Congressional initiative to move indigenous peoples off their land and into cities. Erdrich says the policy amounted to tribal termination. "Termination was a way to finally resolve what Congress thought of as 'the Indian problem,'" she says.Also, critic John Powers reviews the genre-bending film 'Bacurau,' about a small Brazilian town grappling with a series of mysteri...

A Father Searches For His Son And Answers In The Costa Rican Jungle
In 2014, the 27-year-old son of adventurer Roman Dial walked alone into the Costa Rican wilderness. "I'm planning on doing 4 days in the jungle," he wrote in an email before leaving. "It should be difficult to get lost forever." Then he vanished. Dial talks about his frantic search for his son — and for answers to what happened. His book is 'The Adventurer's Son.' Maureen Corrigan reviews 'Scratched,' Elizabeth Tallent's new memoir about perfectionism....

Former Parole Officer On 'Hardship & Hope After Prison'
As a parole officer in New Orleans, Jason Hardy was responsible for 220 individuals — four times the recommended caseload. He says the parole and probation system fails the most vulnerable.Also, Kevin Whitehead reviews a new album of ballads from trumpeter Jeremy Pelt....


Best Of: Actor Ben Mendelsohn / Trump's 'Hit List'
In the HBO series 'The Outsider,' which was adapted from a Stephen King novel, Australian actor Ben Mendelsohn plays a detective trying to solve a murder — and resisting the idea that the killer may be a supernatural entity. Also, Ken Tucker reviews a newly released live album from Bryan Ferry, best-known as the lead man of Roxy Music.Axios reporter Jonathan Swan says the president has "crossed a psychological line" since impeachment, developing a list of disloyal officials to oust — and suggesting loyalist...

Aidy Bryant On 'Shrill'
Bryant co-writes and stars in the comedy series 'Shrill,' based on Lindy West's book about identifying as fat and a feminist. Bryant is also a cast member on 'Saturday Night Live.' (Originally broadcast March 2019) Also, we listen back to excerpts of interviews with rhythm guitarist Marty Grosz. Now 90, he tells his story in the memoir, 'It's a Sin to Tell a Lie.' He spoke with Terry Gross in 1984 and 2004 and also played some of his music. Book critic Maureen Corrigan reviews the dystopian novel, 'The Resi...

Understanding Trump's 'Hit List'
Axios reporter Jonathan Swan says the president has "crossed a psychological line" since impeachment, developing a list of disloyal officials to oust — and suggesting loyalists to replace them. "Experience matters far, far less to Trump than loyalty," Swan says. "It's not even close."...


Actor Ben Mendelsohn On 'The Outsider'
In the HBO series, which was adapted from a Stephen King novel, the Australian actor plays a detective trying to solve a murder — and resisting the idea that the killer may be a supernatural entity. He talks about masking his accent, acting with his eyes and how his role on 'The Outsider' is a departure from the "baddies" he's played in the past. Film critic Justin Chang reviews 'Wendy,' a loose retelling of 'Peter Pan,' directed by Benh Zeitlin....

Facebook: The Inside Story
How can one company be so wildly successful — and so thoroughly distrusted? 'Wired' Editor-at-Large Steven Levy reflects on Facebook's enigmatic leader and its reckless drive for expansion in his new book, 'Facebook: The Inside Story.'Also, Ken Tucker reviews a newly released live album from Bryan Ferry, best-known as the lead man of Roxy Music....

The Supreme Court's Battle For A 'More Unjust' America
In his new book, 'Supreme Inequality,' lawyer/journalist Adam Cohen makes the case that the Supreme Court has been "a right-wing court for 50 years," siding with corporations and the wealthy — and against the poor.And jazz critic Kevin Whitehead reviews 'Life Goes On,' a record by Carla Bley's trio....


Best Of: Claire Danes / Rachael & Vilray Sing Swing Standards
Claire Danes has played CIA agent Carrie Mathison on 'Homeland' for 8 seasons. As the last season begins on Showtime, she looks back on the series. She also spoke with Terry Gross about her break-out role on 'My So-Called Life' when she was a teen.Critic John Powers reviews the French film 'Portrait of a Lady on Fire.' The music duo Rachael & Vilray perform songs from their self-titled debut album, which draws on the music of the '30s and '40s. Rachael Price is also the lead singer of Lake Street Dive. They...

Writer Recalls Her Mother's Secret Gambling Enterprise
Growing up, Bridgett M. Davis' mother booked and banked bets from their home in Detroit. She writes about her experience — and the role of "the numbers" in the black community — in her memoir, 'The World According to Fannie Davis.' (Originally broadcast Feb. 2019) TV critic David Bianculli reviews the latest season of 'Better Call Saul.'...

Claire Danes
Danes has played CIA agent Carrie Mathison on 'Homeland' for 8 seasons. As the last season begins on Showtime, she looks back on the series. She also spoke with Terry Gross about her break-out role on 'My So-Called Life' when she was a teen. "I remember just being amazed ... that somebody out there had been able to articulate what I was going through so, so perfectly," she says. Also, film critic Justin Chang reviews the new adaptation of Jane Austen's 'Emma.'...


Claire Danes
Danes has played CIA agent Carrie Mathison on 'Homeland' for 8 seasons. As the last season begins on Showtime, she looks back on the series. She also spoke with Terry Gross about her break-out role on 'My So-Called Life' when she was a teen. "I remember just being amazed ... that somebody out there had been able to articulate what I was going through so, so perfectly," she says. Also, film critic Justin Chang reviews the new adaptation of Jane Austen's 'Emma.'...

Chaos, Corruption & Trump's Secrets At Deutsche Bank
In his book 'Dark Towers,' David Enrich traces Deutsche Bank's shadowy practices, from laundering money for Russian oligarchs to the violation of international sanctions. Enrich, who is the finance editor at the 'New York Times,' also talks about the bank's long relationship with Donald Trump, and the suspicious activity that has gone unchecked. Also, critic John Powers reviews the Amazon series 'Hunters' starring Al Pacino....

Chaos, Corruption & Trump's Secrets At Deutsche Bank
In his book 'Dark Towers,' David Enrich traces Deutsche Bank's shadowy practices, from laundering money for Russian oligarchs to the violation of international sanctions. Enrich, who is the finance editor at the 'New York Times,' also talks about the bank's long relationship with Donald Trump, and the suspicious activity that has gone unchecked. Also, critic John Powers reviews the Amazon series 'Hunters' starring Al Pacino....


Rachael & Vilray Sing Swing Standards
The music duo perform songs from their self-titled debut album, which draws on the music of the '30s and '40s. "There is a timeless quality to these old standards," Vilray says. Rachael Price is also the lead singer of Lake Street Dive. They spoke with producer Sam Briger. Also, we remember Ernest Hemingway biographer A. E. Hotchner. He died Feb. 15. Hotchner spoke with Terry Gross in 1999....

Rachael & Vilray Sing Swing Standards
The music duo perform songs from their self-titled debut album, which draws on the music of the '30s and '40s. "There is a timeless quality to these old standards," Vilray says. Rachael Price is also the lead singer of Lake Street Dive. They spoke with producer Sam Briger. Also, we remember Ernest Hemingway biographer A. E. Hotchner. He died Feb. 15. Hotchner spoke with Terry Gross in 1999....

Donald Trump's Testing Of America
'Washington Post' reporters Carol Leonnig and Philip Rucker discuss presidential rages, erratic decision-making and other troubling tendencies of the Trump presidency. Their new book is 'A Very Stable Genius.' (Aired Jan. 22, updated Feb. 12, following Trump's impeachment acquittal.) Also, jazz critic Kevin Whitehead reviews a record by saxophonist Ellery Eskelin....


Best Of: The 2020 Disinformation War / Michael Pollan Explains Caffeine
The Trump campaign is planning to spend $1 billion and a lot will go towards disinformation and propaganda. 'Atlantic' journalist McKay Coppins talks about what he learned about the new techniques the campaign and its supporters are using to spread disinformation, discredit journalists, and dismantle the mainstream media.Justin Chang reviews 'And Then We Danced,' a gay romance about Georgian folk dance partners. 'Omnivore's Dilemma' author Michael Pollan talks about his new audiobook, 'Caffeine: How Coffee...

Best Of: The 2020 Disinformation War / Michael Pollan Explains Caffeine
The Trump campaign is planning to spend $1 billion and a lot will go towards disinformation and propaganda. 'Atlantic' journalist McKay Coppins talks about what he learned about the new techniques the campaign and its supporters are using to spread disinformation, discredit journalists, and dismantle the mainstream media.Justin Chang reviews 'And Then We Danced,' a gay romance about Georgian folk dance partners. 'Omnivore's Dilemma' author Michael Pollan talks about his new audiobook, 'Caffeine: How Coffee...

'High Fidelity' Author / Remembering Ladysmith Black Mambazo Founder
Nick Hornby's 1995 novel, 'High Fidelity,' about a heartsick record shop owner, was made into a film starring John Cusack in 2000. Now it's been adapted and updated into a new Hulu series, starring Zoë Kravitz. Hornby spoke with Terry Gross when the book came out about judging people based on their pop culture tastes — an idea central to the story. Also, we remember the frontman of the South African a capella group Ladysmith Black Mambazo, Joseph Shabalala. He died this week at 78. He spoke with Terry Gross...


Amazon & The 'Rise And Reign' Of Jeff Bezos
The new FRONTLINE PBS documentary 'Amazon Empire' investigates Amazon's business practices, as well as questions surrounding privacy, surveillance and regulation. We talk with James Jacoby, the film's director and correspondent, about how the company went from being an online bookseller to having its hands in space travel and facial recognition software.Also, Ken Tucker reviews singer-songwriter John Moreland's new album 'LP5.'...

An Inside Look At The Watergate Prosecution
In her memoir, 'The Watergate Girl,' Jill Wine-Banks talks about confronting Nixon White House insiders on the witness stand, enduring sexism in the courtroom and how the Watergate probe differs from Trump's impeachment. She's now a legal analyst for MSNBC. And book critic Maureen Corrigan reviews Deepa Anappara's novel 'Djinn Patrol on the Purple Line.'...

The 2020 Disinformation War
The Trump campaign is planning to spend $1 billion and a lot will go towards disinformation and propaganda. 'Atlantic' journalist McKay Coppins created a new Facebook account so he could "like" MAGA-related pages, join MAGA groups, and receive messaging being sent to Trump supporters. He'll tell us what he learned about the new techniques the campaign and its supporters are using to spread disinformation, discredit journalists, and dismantle the mainstream media....


Michael Pollan Explains Caffeine Addiction & Withdrawal
'Omnivore's Dilemma' author Michael Pollan talks about his new audiobook, 'Caffeine: How Coffee and Tea Created the Modern World.' He describes caffeine as the world's most widely-used psychoactive drug. "Here's a drug we use every day. ... We never think about it as a drug or an addiction, but that's exactly what it is," Pollan says. "I thought, why not explore that relationship?"Also, jazz critic Kevin Whitehead reviews a new album from guitarist Jeff Parker....

Best Of: 'American Factory' Filmmakers / Uncovering A Secret Addiction
Steven Bognar and Julia Reichert's Oscar-nominated documentary goes inside a Chinese-owned automotive glass factory in Ohio, where a unionized GM plant once stood. The filmmakers talk about the work culture clash in the factory.Justin Chang reviews the Russian movie 'Beanpole.' Writer Eilene Zimmerman didn't learn of her ex-husband's addiction to cocaine and opioids until after his drug-related death. Her memoir, 'Smacked,' explores how her former spouse, a wealthy, high-powered attorney, hid his addiction ...

'Joker' Dir. Todd Phillips / Remembering Kirk Douglas
'Joker' director Todd Phillips talks about how he disguised his "deep-dive character study" film as a comic book movie. It's nominated for 11 Oscars including Best Picture.Also, we remember 'Spartacus' actor Kirk Douglas, who died Thursday at 103. He spoke with Terry Gross in 1988.Film critic Justin Chang reviews the Russian movie 'Beanpole.'...


A New Frontier Of Assassination
'New Yorker' staff writer Adam Entous says the U.S. could face further retaliation from Iran for the death of General Soleimani: "If you look at their history, they take a long time before they strike back."TV critic David Bianculli reviews 'Tommy,' a new CBS cop drama starring Edie Falco....

Coronavirus, Animal Infections & The Next Pandemic
Science writer David Quammen talks about the new virus in China, what we learned from SARS, and how viruses travel from animal to animal to humans. "When there's an animal host, then it becomes much, much more difficult to eradicate or even control an infectious virus," Quammen says.Also, Ken Tucker reviews the new album, 'Have We Met,' by the Canadian band Destroyer....

Grief, Guilt & An Ex-Husband's Secret Addiction
Eilene Zimmerman didn't learn of her ex-husband's addiction to cocaine and opioids until after his drug-related death. Her memoir, 'Smacked,' explores how her former spouse, a wealthy, high-powered attorney, hid his addiction and depression from her and their two children. "This had happened in front of us, and we hadn't recognized it," she says. Also, Maureen Corrigan reviews Emma Copley Eisenberg's new book, 'The Third Rainbow Girl,' which centers on the 1980 murders of two young hitchhikers....


'American Factory' Doc. Filmmakers On Chinese/U.S. Work Culture Clash
Steven Bognar and Julia Reichert's Oscar-nominated documentary goes inside a Chinese-owned automotive glass factory in Ohio. The filmmakers talk about the culture clash in the factory, the workers' attempt to unionize, and how Reichert's cancer diagnosis has changed her work....

Best Of: America's Legacy Of Racial Terror / Musician Amy Rigby
Bryan Stevenson is the founder of the Equal Justice Initiative, which represents people who have been illegally convicted, unfairly sentenced or abused in state jails and prisons. EJI founded a museum and monument in Montgomery, Ala., to address the atrocities of slavery, lynching and segregation. His 2014 memoir 'Just Mercy' is now a movie starring Michael B. Jordan.Film critic Justin Chang reviews the indie movie 'The Assistant,' inspired by the allegations against Harvey Weinstein.Amy Rigby's memoir, 'Gi...

Antonio Banderas On 'Pain And Glory'
Banderas earned his first ever Oscar nomination for his role in Pedro Almodóvar's 'Pain and Glory.' He plays a screenwriter and director who stops making movies because of physical and spiritual pain. Banderas talks about how his experience having a heart attack informed his performance. Critic John Powers reviews the British TV show 'Giri/Haji' on Netflix, about a Tokyo policeman who goes to London to bring home a murderer....


Cultural & Religious Upheaval In The Middle East / Treasure In The Thames
Kim Ghattas grew up in Lebanon during the civil war and covered the Middle East for the BBC for 20 years. She says events in the Mideast in 1979 set off a wave of extremism and violence that continues today. Her new book is 'Black Wave.' Also, we talk with 'Mudlark' author Lara Maiklem. She scours the edge of London's tidal River Thames in search of items that were lost to history. Among her finds: Roman pottery, medieval jug handles and a 500-year-old child's shoe....

What Happens If There's An 'Election Meltdown' In 2020
Imagine the power grid goes out in a major city on Election Day. Or the losing candidate refuses to concede. How secure are new voting machines? These are among the things law professor Rick Hasen considers in his book, 'Election Meltdown.' "There's lots of ways that things could go south," he says. Also, Ken Tucker reviews the concept album, 'The Neon Skyline' by Andy Shauf....

Singer-Songwriter Amy Rigby
Rigby's memoir, 'Girl to City,' tracks how a Catholic girl from the Pittsburgh suburbs became part of New York City punk scene — and invented and reinvented herself as a performer, songwriter and a mother. She talks about going on tour with her baby, her manifesto, and meeting her husband, Wreckless Eric. And film critic Justin Chang reviews the indie movie 'The Assistant,' inspired by the allegations against Harvey Weinstein....


The Secret History Of Nuclear War
In his new book, 'The Bomb,' journalist Fred Kaplan pulls back the curtain on how U.S. presidents, their advisers and generals have thought about, planned for — and sometimes narrowly avoided — nuclear war.Also, we remember longtime PBS NewsHour anchor Jim Lehrer. He died last week at 85....

Inside Trump's Chaotic 'Den Of Destruction' / Actor Tim Roth
Pulitzer Prize-winning 'Washington Post' reporters Carol Leonnig and Philip Rucker did over 200 interviews with Trump administration insiders. Their new book, 'A Very Stable Genius,' details presidential rages, erratic decision-making and other troubling tendencies of the Trump presidency.Ken Tucker reviews Marcus King's solo album, 'El Dorado.'British actor Tim Roth can be seen in the Tarantino films 'Reservoir Dogs,' 'The Hateful Eight' and 'Pulp Fiction. His new movie is 'The Song of Names.'...

Inside Trump's Chaotic 'Den Of Dysfunction' / Actor Tim Roth
Pulitzer Prize-winning 'Washington Post' reporters Carol Leonnig and Philip Rucker did over 200 interviews with Trump administration insiders. Their new book, 'A Very Stable Genius,' details presidential rages, erratic decision-making and other troubling tendencies of the Trump presidency.Ken Tucker reviews Marcus King's solo album, 'El Dorado.'British actor Tim Roth can be seen in the Tarantino films 'Reservoir Dogs,' 'The Hateful Eight' and 'Pulp Fiction. His new movie is 'The Song of Names.'...


The Horrors Of Auschwitz
To mark the 75th anniversary of the liberation of the Nazi death camp, we're revisiting archival interviews with Auschwitz survivor and Nobel Peace Prize laureate Elie Wiesel, and Holocaust historian Laurence Rees....

Attorney General William Barr's Unwavering Support Of Trump, Explained
'New Yorker' editor David Rohde says Barr acts as Trump's political "sword and shield," which has made him the most feared, criticized and effective member of the president's cabinet. He talks about the attorney general with contributor Dave Davies. Also, TV critic David Bianculli reviews 'Star Trek: Picard,' dropping today on CBS All Access....

Inside Trump's Chaotic 'Den Of Destruction'
Pulitzer Prize-winning 'Washington Post' reporters Carol Leonnig and Philip Rucker did over 200 interviews with Trump administration insiders. Their new book, 'A Very Stable Genius,' details presidential rages, erratic decision-making and other troubling tendencies of the Trump presidency.Also, we remember Monty Python co-founder Terry Jones. He died yesterday at 77. He spoke with Terry Gross in 1987....


Inside Trump's Chaotic 'Den Of Dysfunction'
Pulitzer Prize-winning 'Washington Post' reporters Carol Leonnig and Philip Rucker did over 200 interviews with Trump administration insiders. Their new book, 'A Very Stable Genius,' details presidential rages, erratic decision-making and other troubling tendencies of the Trump presidency.Also, we remember Monty Python co-founder Terry Jones. He died yesterday at 77. He spoke with Terry Gross in 1987....

Actor Tim Roth
The British actor can be seen in the Tarantino films 'Reservoir Dogs,' 'The Hateful Eight' and 'Pulp Fiction,' and the new movie 'The Song of Names.' His first onscreen role was a white supremacist skinhead in the 1982 TV movie 'Made in Britain.' "There were questions asked about it in Parliament," Roth says. "It took me by surprise. I got chased by skinheads down the road in London."Also, Ken Tucker reviews Marcus King's solo album, 'El Dorado.'...

'Just Mercy' Lawyer Asks America To Reckon With Its Racist Past & Present
Public interest attorney Bryan Stevenson is the founder of the Equal Justice Initiative, which represents people who have been illegally convicted, unfairly sentenced or abused in state jails and prisons. In 2018, EJI founded a museum and monument in Montgomery, Ala., to address the atrocities of slavery, lynching and segregation. "We need to create institutions in this country that motivate more people to say 'Never again,'" he says. Stevenson's 2014 memoir 'Just Mercy' is now a movie starring Michael B. J...


Best Of: Martin Scorsese / 'Boys & Sex'
Martin Scorsese's latest film, 'The Irishman,' is up for 10 Academy Awards, including Best Picture and Best Director. He spoke with Terry Gross about childhood, redemption and getting kicked out of seminary school.Jazz critic Kevin Whitehead reviews, 'Ow!,' a newly resurfaced live recording of saxophonists Eddie "Lockjaw" Davis and Johnny Griffin.Peggy Orenstein's new book, 'Boys & Sex,' is based on extensive interviews with more than 100 college and college-bound boys between the ages of 16 and 22. "When I...

'Why Religion?' Asks How Hearts Heal After Tragedy
Religion scholar Elaine Pagels lost her young son to terminal illness and her husband a year later in an accident. Her book, 'Why Religion?,' combines memoir and biblical scholarship to reflect on loss and faith. It's now out in paperback. Also, we remember late spiritual leader Ram Dass. In the '60s and '70s, Dass, along with Timothy Leary, became interested in the religious potential of LSD. He was a practitioner of Eastern-inspired philosophy, and was careful to distance himself from corruption and cult-...

Iran's Secret Influence On Iraq
'Intercept' Senior National Security Correspondent James Risen says new documents show how Iran has embedded itself in the politics of its neighbor, Iraq — and that the late Gen. Soleimani oversaw Iran's proxy wars in Iraq and Syria.Also, TV critic David Bianculli reviews 'Seven Worlds, One Planet,' a BBC nature docuseries....


Martin Scorsese
Scorsese's latest film, 'The Irishman,' is up for 10 Academy Awards, including best picture and best director. He spoke with Terry Gross about death, redemption and his biggest flop. Also, film critic Justin Chang reviews the WWI epic '1917.'...

The 'Fixers' That Created President Trump
Reporters Joe Palazzolo and Michael Rothfeld won a Pulitzer for their investigation of Trump's 2016 hush money payments to Karen McDougal and porn star Stormy Daniels. Their new book is 'The Fixers: The Bottom-feeders, Crooked Lawyers, Gossipmongers, and Porn Stars Who Created the 45th President.'Also, book critic Maureen Corrigan reviews 'American Dirt,' Jeanine Cummins' literary thriller about the treacherous journey a migrant mother takes with her son....

The Murderous Coup of 1898 & The Rise of White Supremacy
In the 1890s, Wilmington, N.C. was a mixed-race community with a thriving black middle class, black aldermen and police officers, and a black newspaper. White supremacists saw this as an abomination, and plotted a bloody purge around the 1898 election. They rampaged through the streets, killing 60 black men, and banished prominent black people and their white allies from the city. Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist David Zucchino tells the story in his new book, 'Wilmington's Lie.' Also, jazz critic Kevin Wh...


Best Of: 'Joker' Dir. Todd Phillips / Andrea Bernstein on 'American Oligarchs'
'Joker' is an origin story for the villain in the Batman series, but director Todd Phillips says it's not a comic book movie. "It really started as an experiment, so to speak. ... Maybe you could get one of those deep-dive character study movies done nowadays in the studio system if you disguise it as a comic book film." Author Andrea Bernstein, co-host of the podcast 'Trump, Inc.' and the author of the new book 'American Oligarchs,' talks with Terry Gross about the family histories of both the Trumps and t...

Remembering 'Graduate' Screenwriter Buck Henry
Buck Henry, who died Jan. 8, co-wrote the film 'Get Smart' with Mel Brooks and made regular appearances as a guest host on 'Saturday Night Live' in the show's early years. He spoke with Terry Gross in 1997 at the New York Film Forum about his masterpiece, 'The Graduate.' Also, we remember jazz trumpeter Jack Sheldon. He sang with Benny Goodman and was bandleader and sidekick for Merv Griffin's talk show for many years. He spoke with 'Fresh Air' in 1993. John Powers reviews HBO's adaptation of Stephen King's...

The Future Of America's Contest With China
'New Yorker' staff writer Evan Osnos says that China is building up its military, and Pentagon analysts now believe it could defeat U.S. forces in a confrontation along its borders. "China is the big story we don't talk about every day," Osnos says. "It's the fact of American political and diplomatic life we'll be contending with for most of the rest of this century."...


The Trumps & Kushners, 'American Oligarchs'
Author Andrea Bernstein, co-host of the podcast 'Trump, Inc.' and the author of the new book 'American Oligarchs' talks with Terry Gross about the family histories of both the Trumps and the Kushners, and their "marriage of money and power."Also, Maureen Corrigan reviews a new anthology of Jean Stafford novels....

'Boys & Sex'
Peggy Orenstein's new book, 'Boys & Sex,' is based on extensive interviews with more than 100 college and college-bound boys between the ages of 16 and 22. "When I was doing ['Girls & Sex'] the kind of core issue with girls was that they were being cut off from their bodies and not understanding their bodies' response and their needs and their limits and their desires," she says. "With boys, it felt like they were being cut off from their hearts." Orenstein talks about hookup culture, homophobia, and the ef...

'Joker' Director Todd Phillips
'Joker' is an origin story for the villain in the Batman series, but director Todd Phillips says it's not a comic book movie. "It really started as an experiment, so to speak. ... Maybe you could get one of those deep-dive character study movies done nowadays in the studio system if you disguise it as a comic book film." Phillips talks about the score, working with Joaquin Phoenix, and the divisive reaction to the movie....


Jordan Peele / Francis Ford Coppola
We close out our 'Best of the Decade' series with two of our favorite film directors. Jordan Peele made his directorial debut in 2017 with the "social thriller" 'Get Out.' Francis Ford Coppola, also spoke with Terry Gross in 2017 about the studio battle that went on behind-the-scenes of his 1972 movie 'The Godfather.'...

Patti Smith / Bruce Springsteen
Our Best of the Decade series continues with two music icons. First, Patti Smith spoke with Terry Gross in 2010 about 'Just Kids,' her memoir about her relationship with photographer Robert Mapplethorpe. And then we listen back to part of Bruce Springsteen's 2016 conversation about his memoir, 'Born to Run.'...

Ta-Nehisi Coates / Toni Morrison
Our Best of the Decade series continues with two of the most influential writers of our time. In 2015, Coates discussed his book 'Between the World and Me.' Formatted as a letter to his son, Coates writes about the different forms of violence young African Americans face on the street, in school and from the police. Morrison, who died in 2019, spoke with Terry Gross in 2015 about aging and regret....


In Concert: Carolina Chocolate Drops / Catherine Russell / Jon Batiste
Our Best of the Decade series continues with three music interviews. Carolina Chocolate Drops are a old-time string band from Durham, N.C. Jazz singer Catherine Russell sang back-up for Paul Simon, David Bowie and Jackson Browne. Jon Batiste is the bandleader for 'The Late Show with Stephen Colbert.'...

Howard Stern / Joan Rivers
Our Best of the Decade series continues with two irreverent New Yorkers. Stern, the "King of All Media," spoke with Terry Gross this year about how he evolved from his early shock-jock days. Also, we listen back to a 2010 interview with the late comic Joan Rivers about being a pioneer for women in comedy....

Anthony Bourdain / Columnist David Carr
Our Best of the Decade series continues with two giants of the media world we lost too soon. Chef-turned-travel-host Anthony Bourdain took us around the world with CNN's 'Parts Unknown.' He died in 2018. David Carr was the media columnist for 'The New York Times.' He died in 2015. And linguist Geoff Nunberg reveals his word of the year....


Best Of: Adam Sandler & Safdie Bros. On 'Uncut Gems' / Best TV Of 2019
Adam Sandler plays a jewelry store owner who's deep in debt in a new thriller, 'Uncut Gems,' by writer/directors Josh and Benny Safdie. The movie was inspired by the brothers' father, who worked in the NYC diamond district. John Powers shares his "Ghost List" of things he wished he reviewed during the year. Also, TV critic David Bianculli talks with Terry Gross about his favorite TV of 2019....

Lin-Manuel Miranda On 'Hamilton' / 'Book Of Mormon' Creators Trey Parker & Matt Stone
As part of our Best of the Decade series, we listen back to interviews about two Broadway phenomena. First we hear from 'Hamilton' creator Lin-Manuel Miranda about how his "mixed tape" musical came together. And we revisit to our interview with 'South Park' creators Trey Parker and Matt Stone about their outrageous show about Mormon missionaries in Uganda....

Meryl Streep / Carrie Fisher
This week, we are listening back to some of our favorite interviews from the past decade. We listen back to our 2012 and 2016 interviews with Meryl Streep. Also, Carrie Fisher spoke with Terry Gross about 'The Princess Diarist,' her memoir based on the journal she kept while filming the 'Star Wars' movies....


Rosemary Clooney In Concert
To celebrate Christmas, we listen back to a concert given by the late singer and actress in 1997. Clooney spoke with Terry Gross about her childhood, being on the road as a young performer with her sister, and working with Bing Crosby....

A Roots & Rockabilly Holiday Concert
Singer-songwriter JD McPherson never thought he'd make a Christmas album. Then, he says, "I got a bug in my ear." He and his band perform live in studio from 'Socks,' and McPherson talks about growing up on a cattle farm in Oklahoma. And critic Ken Tucker reviews Tyler Childers' album, 'Country Squire.'...

2019 In TV & Film
TV critic David Bianculli and film critic Justin Chang sit down with Terry Gross to share their top 10 lists and talk about larger themes. And John Powers shares his "Ghost List," the books, TV, music and movies he didn't get to review in 2019....


Best Of: Charlize Theron / Best Albums Of 2019 / Julie Andrews
Charlize Theron's new film, 'Bombshell,' follows the women of Fox News who accused then-CEO Roger Ailes of sexual harassment. She talks about playing former Fox anchor Megyn Kelly and growing up in apartheid-era South Africa. Rock critic Ken Tucker shares his favorite albums of 2019 — which all happen to be made by women. Julie Andrews talks about her career and family life with Terry Gross. "It was what it was: Chaotic, loving, crazy, wonderful, terrible," she says. She's joined by her daughter, Emma Walto...

Author Investigates His Family Ties To Jimmy Hoffa's Disappearance
Jack Goldsmith's memoir 'In Hoffa's Shadow' centers on his investigation into his stepfather's involvement in the 1975 disappearance of mob-connected labor leader Jimmy Hoffa. Hoffa is portrayed by Al Pacino in Martin Scorsese's new Netflix film 'The Irishman.' (Originally broadcast Oct. 2019) Also, film critic Justin Chang reviews Greta Gerwig's new adaptation of 'Little Women.'...

Adam Sandler & The Safdie Bros. On 'Uncut Gems'
Sandler plays a jewelry store owner who's deep in debt in a new thriller by writer/directors Josh and Benny Safdie. The movie was inspired by the brothers' father, who worked in the NYC diamond district....


Living At The 'Interface Of Life And Death'
When BJ Miller was a college sophomore he was out late with some friends and climbed onto a parked commuter train. In a freak accident, he was electrocuted and eventually lost both legs below the knee and half of one arm. The experience led him to pursue a career in end-of-life care and palliative medicine, which he describes as "the treatment of suffering." He talks about how he draws inspiration from his disability, and how he helps patients in their final moments. His book is 'A Beginners Guide to the En...

Living At The 'Interface Of Life And Death'
When BJ Miller was a college sophomore he was out late with some friends and climbed onto a parked commuter train. In a freak accident, he was electrocuted and eventually lost both legs below the knee and half of one arm. The experience led him to pursue a career in end-of-life care and palliative medicine, which he describes as "the treatment of suffering." He talks about how he draws inspiration from his disability, and how he helps patients in their final moments. His book is 'A Beginners Guide to the En...

'Stranger Things' Actor David Harbour
Harbour talks about working alongside teen actors in 'Stranger Things,' and his bipolar disorder. "Acting allowed me to channel this neurosis into a character," he tells 'Fresh Air' producer Sam Briger. Harbour plays the skeptical police chief of a sleepy town besieged by supernatural events in the Netflix series.Also, we remember late 'New Yorker' cartoonist Gahan Wilson. When Terry Gross spoke with Wilson in 1986, he told her he was fascinated by monsters and thought they were great metaphors for human fe...


Best Of: Novelist Kevin Wilson / Actor Willem Dafoe
For novelist Kevin Wilson, Tourette's syndrome means living with intrusive thoughts that flash disturbing images without warning. His novel, 'Nothing to See Here,' was inspired by visions of people bursting into flames. Wilson talks about his experience of Tourette's and how writing gives him a reprieve from his tics.Also, Kevin Whitehead reviews some reissues of music performed by the late jazz pianist Erroll Garner.Willem Dafoe has played villains, soldiers, van Gogh and Jesus. He's earned four Oscar nomi...

Best Of: Novelist Kevin Wilson / Actor Willem Dafoe
For novelist Kevin Wilson, Tourette's syndrome means living with intrusive thoughts that flash disturbing images without warning. His novel, 'Nothing to See Here,' was inspired by visions of people bursting into flames. Wilson talks about his experience of Tourette's and how writing gives him a reprieve from his tics.Also, Kevin Whitehead reviews some reissues of music performed by the late jazz pianist Erroll Garner.Willem Dafoe has played villains, soldiers, van Gogh and Jesus. He's earned four Oscar nomi...

Actor Edward Norton
Norton wrote, directed and stars in the film noir 'Motherless Brooklyn,' about a private investigator with Tourette's syndrome who discovers corruption in the world of New York City planning. Urban planning is a subject Norton is passionate about. His grandfather was the idealistic developer and planner James Rouse, who designed Faneuil Hall in Boston, and the Baltimore Inner Harbor. Norton talks about his film and his grandfather's legacy with Terry Gross....


Inside the Steele Dossier & The Fusion GPS Investigation Of Trump
During the 2016 campaign, Glenn Simpson and Peter Fritsch hired former British intelligence agent Christopher Steele to investigate Donald Trump's involvement with Russia. Their new book is 'Crime in Progress.'Also, film critic Justin Chang reviews the thriller 'Knives Out.'...

Prisoners Find Rehabilitation & Hope In 'College Behind Bars'
A new PBS documentary series follows prisoners who earn college degrees from the Bard Prison Initiative while serving time in maximum security. Director Lynn Novick and graduates Sebastian Yoon and Dyjuan Tatro talk about how the program changes lives....

Best Of: Marielle Heller On 'Mister Rogers' / Robert Pattinson
"[Fred Rogers] wasn't afraid of any of the hardest parts of childhood," Marielle Heller says. Her film, 'A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood,' centers on Fred Rogers' unlikely friendship with a cynical journalist. Heller talks about casting Tom Hanks as Rogers and a profound experience she had with her young son because of the show.Robert Pattinson is best known for his role in the 'Twilight' saga, where he played the vampire Edward Cullen – a bloodsucking teen heartthrob. "I think Edward basically is Nosfe...


Leonard Cohen The Poet, Writer, And Father
Leonard Cohen died in 2016, leaving behind many unpublished poems and lyrics. His son Adam Cohen discusses 'The Flame,' a collection of some of Leonard's final works. Adam remembers when his father was composing his best known song, Hallelujah. "It took him 12 years. It started when I was very, very young. I'd hear verses, I think there are 84 verses to that song," Adam says. 'Thanks for the Dance,' a new posthumous album of Leonard Cohen songs produced by Adam, is now available. Also, film critic Justin Ch...

Foreign Influence On U.S. Politics / Inside 'The Dark Crystal'
The Trump administration's pressure on Ukraine is the center of the impeachment inquiry, but foreign influence expert Ben Freeman says the influence also worked in the opposite direction. "I think in 2020 we are going to see a level of foreign influence on the election that's even higher than what we saw in 2016," he says. Executive producer Lisa Henson (daughter of legendary puppeteer Jim Henson) and design supervisor Toby Froud talk about their Netflix fantasy series 'The Dark Crystal: Age of Resistance,'...

Foreign Influence On U.S. Politics / Inside 'The Dark Crystal'
The Trump administration's pressure on Ukraine is the center of the impeachment inquiry, but foreign influence expert Ben Freeman says the influence also worked in the opposite direction. "I think in 2020 we are going to see a level of foreign influence on the election that's even higher than what we saw in 2016," he says. Executive producer Lisa Henson (daughter of legendary puppeteer Jim Henson) and design supervisor Toby Froud talk about their Netflix fantasy series 'The Dark Crystal: Age of Resistance,'...


Director Marielle Heller On Mister Rogers & Telling Kids The Truth
"He wasn't afraid of any of the hardest parts of childhood," Marielle Heller says. Her film, 'A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood,' centers on Fred Rogers' unlikely friendship with a cynical journalist. Heller talks about casting Tom Hanks as Rogers, capturing his slow style of speaking, and a profound experience she had with her young son because of the show....

14 Mysterious Deaths & The Russian Assassination Program
BuzzFeed News Editor Heidi Blake and her team uncovered evidence connecting Russian hitmen to 14 deaths on British soil — killings that attracted little interest from British authorities anxious to maintain ties with the Russian government. "In one case, an individual directly in the crosshairs of the Kremlin ... had apparently stabbed himself to death repeatedly with two knives. And there had been no investigation. It had immediately been treated as a suicide." Knowing that journalists in Russia have been ...

Actor Robert Pattinson
Pattinson is best known for his role in the 'Twilight' saga, where he played the vampire Edward Cullen – a bloodsucking teen heartthrob. "I think Edward basically is Nosferatu, but, at the same time, he still cares about doing his hair and stuff." After becoming a success in big box office films, he pivoted to indie art house films, like his new one, 'The Lighthouse.' He co-stars with Willem Defoe as increasingly unhinged lighthouse keepers in 19th century New England....


Best Of: Reese Witherspoon / Judd Apatow
Frustrated by the lack of leading roles for women in Hollywood, Reese Witherspoon decided to start her own production company. Her new project, 'The Morning Show,' takes on sexual harassment in the news industry. Ken Tucker reviews the album 'Kirk' from hip-hop artist DaBaby. Filmmaker and producer Judd Apatow talks about his late mentor, stand-up legend Garry Shandling, and the personal trauma that informed his comedy. Apatow explores Shandling's life and legacy in the HBO documentary 'The Zen Diaries of G...

'The Crown' Creator Peter Morgan
Season 3 of the the historical drama about Queen Elizabeth II and the royal family begins Sunday. We listen back to our interview with series creator Peter Morgan. He says he tries to get as close as possible to the truth about life inside the Royal family, based on extensive research and using his own imagination. "We pretty much know for every day of their lives where they were and what they were allegedly doing," Morgan says. "What we don't know is what they were feeling, what they were thinking. And so ...

Reese Witherspoon
Frustrated by the lack of good leading roles for women, Witherspoon decided to start her own production company. Her new project, 'The Morning Show,' takes on sexual harassment in the broadcast news industry. She spoke with Terry Gross about the #MeToo movement, studying with a vocal coach to play June Carter Cash in 'Walk the Line,' and why 'Wild' was a turning point for her....


Reese Witherspoon
Frustrated by the lack of good leading roles for women, Witherspoon decided to start her own production company. Her new project, 'The Morning Show,' takes on sexual harassment in the broadcast news industry. She spoke with Terry Gross about the #MeToo movement, studying with a vocal coach to play June Carter Cash in 'Walk the Line,' and why 'Wild' was a turning point for her....

Actor Willem Dafoe
Dafoe has played villains, soldiers, van Gogh and Jesus. He's earned four Oscar nominations and appeared in more than 100 films — including, most recently, 'Motherless Brooklyn' and 'The Lighthouse.' He talks about being a 'good bad guy.' Also, Ken Tucker reviews DaBaby's new album 'Kirk,' and book critic Maureen Corrigan reviews 'The Great Pretender,' by Susannah Cahalan, author of the best-selling memoir 'Brain on Fire.'...

How Online Extremists Are 'Hijacking' The American Conversation
'New Yorker' staff writer Andrew Marantz spent years with far-right online extremists, embedding with them and watching them spread false news by exploiting social media. His new book is 'Antisocial.' Also, TV critic David Bianculli reviews the new streaming service Disney+....


Judd Apatow On His Mentor, Comic Garry Shandling
Filmmaker and producer Judd Apatow (Superbad, Girls, The 40-Year-Old Virgin) talks about his late mentor, stand-up legend Garry Shandling, and the personal trauma that formed him. "Garry was a wounded person. He was a neurotic man," Apatow says. "He was a guy constantly attempting to evolve and heal. I felt like there's so many lessons that people can get from learning about how he lived his life." Apatow explores Shandling's life and legacy in the HBO documentary 'The Zen Diaries of Garry Shandling' and th...

Best Of: Musician Allison Moorer / Writer Saeed Jones
When Allison Moorer was 14, her father shot and killed her mother and then took his own life. Moorer, a country singer-songwriter, has a new memoir and accompanying album (both entitled 'Blood') about the incident and her road to healing. Jazz critic Kevin Whitehead reviews a reissue of early recordings by Nat King Cole."It was perilous to be a black gay boy in America," Saeed Jones says of the fear and isolation he experienced growing up in Texas in the 1990s. Jones, a former culture editor and LGBTQ edito...

Best Of: Musician Allison Moorer / Writer Saeed Jones
When Allison Moorer was 14, her father shot and killed her mother and then took his own life. Moorer, a country singer-songwriter, has a new memoir and accompanying album (both entitled 'Blood') about the incident and her road to healing. Jazz critic Kevin Whitehead reviews a reissue of early recordings by Nat King Cole."It was perilous to be a black gay boy in America," Saeed Jones says of the fear and isolation he experienced growing up in Texas in the 1990s. Jones, a former culture editor and LGBTQ edito...


The Fugitive Slave Act & The 'Struggle For America's Soul'
Historian Andrew Delbanco says the 1850 law paved the way for the Civil War by endangering the lives of both escaped slaves and free black men and women in the North. His book, 'The War Before The War,' is now out in paperback. Also, film critic Justin Chang reviews 'Marriage Story,' Noah Baumbach's new drama starring Adam Driver and Scarlett Johansson as a couple going through a divorce....

'What Happens When A President And Congress Go To War?'
The leaders of the impeachment inquiry in the House have issued subpoenas to several members of the Trump administration—and the White House lawyer has told them not to comply. In our system of checks and balances, what power does Congress have to force them to comply? 'New York Times Magazine' staff writer Emily Bazelon says, "The question is, what it really means to be held in contempt of Congress these days." In the past, "Congress would hold you in contempt; they'd send the Sergeant at Arms to come arre...

'What Happens When A President And Congress Go To War?'
The leaders of the impeachment inquiry in the House have issued subpoenas to several members of the Trump administration—and the White House lawyer has told them not to comply. In our system of checks and balances, what power does Congress have to force them to comply? 'New York Times Magazine' staff writer Emily Bazelon says, "The question is, what it really means to be held in contempt of Congress these days." In the past, "Congress would hold you in contempt; they'd send the Sergeant at Arms to come arre...


Writer Saeed Jones On 'How We Fight For Our Lives'
"It was perilous to be a black gay boy in America," Jones says of the fear and isolation he experienced growing up in Texas in the 1990s. Jones, a former culture editor and LGBTQ editor at BuzzFeed, talks about his search for identity and being "mad as hell and gay as hell." His new memoir is 'How We Fight for Our Lives.' Also, classical music critic Lloyd Schwartz reviews two contemporary operas....

Hearing In A Deafening World
From lawn mowers to rock concerts, our deafening world is hurting our ears. Writer David Owen talks about why it's hard to follow conversation in a loud restaurant, the cause of tinnitus, and breakthroughs in hearing aid technology. His book is 'Volume Control.' Also, jazz critic Kevin Whitehead reviews a reissue of early recordings by Nat King Cole....

Musician Allison Moorer Finds Healing In 'Blood'
When Moorer was 14, her father shot and killed her mother and then took his own life. Moorer, a country singer-songwriter, has a new memoir and accompanying album (both entitled 'Blood') about the incident and her road to healing. Moorer brought her guitar to the interview....


Best Of: Prince Memoir Co-Writer Dan Piepenbring / 'Mr. Robot' Creator Sam Esmail
Prince died in 2016, leaving behind an unfinished memoir. Dan Piepenbring, his co-writer, recalls what it was like collaborating with the pop music icon. The book is 'The Beautiful Ones.' In college, Sam Esmail shied away from parties and instead took refuge in the the computer lab, where he experimented with hacking. He later drew on those experiences to create his USA Network show, 'Mr. Robot,' starring Rami Malek....

Remembering Film Producer Robert Evans / Punk Pioneer Viv Albertine
Robert Evans ran Paramount Studios from the late '60s to early '70s and brought 'Chinatown,' 'Rosemary's Baby,' and 'The Godfather' to the big screen. He talked about making some of those iconic films with Terry Gross in 1994. Evans died Saturday at 89. TV critic David Bianculli reviews Apple's new streaming service. Viv Albertine was the guitarist and lyricist for The Slits, one of the first all-women British punk bands. She spoke with Terry Gross last year about her early years in the punk scene, fightin...

The Ukrainian Side Of The Impeachment Drama
'New York Times' reporter Andrew Kramer says impeachment puts Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky in a tough spot: "He may be dealing with a President Biden next year, or he may be dealing with President Trump." Also, Ken Tucker reviews country musician Jon Pardi's new album 'Heartache Medication,' and film critic Justin Chang reviews Martin Scorsese's new film 'The Irishman,' starring Al Pacino, Joe Pesci and Robert De Niro....


'Mr. Robot' Creator Sam Esmail
In college, Sam Esmail shied away from parties and instead took refuge in the the computer lab, where he experimented with hacking. He later drew on those experiences to create his USA Network show, 'Mr. Robot,' starring Rami Malek. We'll also talk about growing up Egyptian American, his first job in film (editing amateur porn), and his love of movies....

How Living With Tourette's Inspired 'Nothing To See Here'
For novelist Kevin Wilson, Tourette's syndrome means living with intrusive thoughts that flash disturbing images without warning. His novel, 'Nothing to See Here,' was inspired by visions of people bursting into flames. Wilson talks about his experience of Tourette's and how writing gives him a reprieve from his tics. Also, critic John Powers reviews the second season of 'Tom Clancy's Jack Ryan' on Amazon....

Prince's Co-Writer Reflects On Posthumous Memoir
Prince died in 2016, leaving behind an unfinished memoir. Dan Piepenbring, his co-writer, recalls the moment he knew he could make 'The Beautiful Ones' happen — even in Prince's absence....


Best Of: The Life & Music of Janis Joplin / Kathryn Hahn
Onstage, Janis Joplin oozed confidence, sexuality and exuberance, but biographer Holly George-Warren describes the singer as a bookworm who worked hard to create her "blues feelin' mama" persona. Her new biography of the '60s counterculture icon is 'Janis.'Also, film critic Justin Chang reviews the psychological thriller 'The Lighthouse,' starring Willem Dafoe and Robert Pattinson.Kathryn Hahn stars in the new HBO series 'Mrs. Fletcher' as a divorced mom grappling with her son going away to college. Hahn is...

Writer Tom Perrotta On 'Mrs. Fletcher'
Mrs. Fletcher tells the story of Eve, a single mother whose only child, Brendan, has left for college. Perrotta says the book was inspired by the upheaval he experienced when his own kids moved out. The novel has been adapted into an HBO series starring Kathryn Hahn It begins this weekend. Perrotta spoke with Terry Gross last year. Also, we listen back to our 2007 interview with musician Booker T. Jones. He's the frontman of the soul band Booker T. & the MG's and has a new memoir about his career, 'Time is ...

Actor Kathryn Hahn
Hahn stars in the new HBO series 'Mrs. Fletcher' as a divorced mom grappling with her son going away to college. Hahn is known for her roles in 'Transparent,' 'Parks and Recreation,' 'I Love Dick,' and 'Private Life.' She says her best roles have been in her 40s. "The most complicated and messy roles I've been able to get have been offered through women," she says. "I'm just so buoyed and galvanized that the juiciest part of [my career] has been post-kids." Also, jazz critic Kevin Whitehead reviews the alb...


Mosul & The Fall of ISIS
Journalist James Verini offers a first-hand account of the 2017 battle to drive ISIS from Mosul, the second-largest city in Iraq. The fighting left thousands dead, and the oldest part of the city in ruin: "The west side looked as though some vengeful deity had wiped his hand across the city. It was miles and miles of rubble." His new book is 'They Will Have to Die Now.' Also, film critic Justin Chang reviews the psychological thriller 'The Lighthouse,' starring Willem Dafoe and Robert Pattinson....

Covering The Syrian Civil War
'Washington Post' Beirut Bureau Chief Liz Sly has covered the Syrian civil war since it began in 2011. She discusses Trump's decision to withdraw U.S. forces and her experience reporting in war zones. "The idea that nothing will happen to you is something that goes away the more experience you have, because you see the narrow escapes and you see all the things that do happen to people you knew." Sly is receiving an award for courage in journalism from the International Women's Media Foundation. Also, book c...

The Life And Music Of Janis Joplin
Onstage, Joplin oozed confidence, sexuality and exuberance, but biographer Holly George-Warren describes the singer as a bookworm who worked hard to create her "blues feelin' mama" persona. Her new biography of the '60s counterculture icon is 'Janis.' Also, TV critic David Bianculli reviews HBO's miniseries 'Catherine the Great,' starring Helen Mirren....


Best Of: Elton John / Novelist Attica Locke
Elton John says his father's early misgivings about his chosen career became a source of motivation: "He gave me the determination to make something of myself." He talks about his volatile childhood, addiction, and fame. His new memoir is 'Me.'Also, Justin Chang reviews the satirical Nazi film 'Jojo Rabbit.' Attica Locke says her new novel, 'Heaven, My Home,' "was about place before it was about a character." The story centers on a black Texas ranger who patrols Highway 59 searching for the missing son of a...

Best Of: Elton John / Novelist Attica Locke
Elton John says his father's early misgivings about his chosen career became a source of motivation: "He gave me the determination to make something of myself." He talks about his volatile childhood, addiction, and fame. His new memoir is 'Me.'Also, Justin Chang reviews the satirical Nazi film 'Jojo Rabbit.' Attica Locke says her new novel, 'Heaven, My Home,' "was about place before it was about a character." The story centers on a black Texas ranger who patrols Highway 59 searching for the missing son of a...

Jazz Singer Anita O'Day / Remembering Robert Forster
Jazz critic Kevin Whitehead offers an appreciation of singer Anita O'Day, who was born 100 years ago today. O'Day, who died in 2006, inspired the so-called cool jazz singers of the '50s. In her autobiography 'High Times, Hard Times,' O'Day explained that her last name was Colton, but she changed it to "O'Day," because in pig Latin that meant dough, and she hoped to make plenty of it. She spoke with Terry Gross in 1987. Also, we remember actor Robert Forster who died last Friday at 78. He appeared in close ...


Climate Change & The Cost Of Coastal Real Estate
Journalist Gilbert Gaul says federal subsidies encourage developers to keep building on the coasts — despite accelerating and increasing risks from climate change. His book is 'The Geography of Risk.' Also, John Powers reviews 'Watchmen,' an adaptation of the comic for HBO, starring Regina King....

Novelist Attica Locke / Filmmaker Taika Waititi
Attica Locke says her new novel, 'Heaven, My Home,' "was about place before it was about a character." The story centers on a black Texas ranger who patrols Highway 59 searching for the missing son of an Aryan Brotherhood leader. Locke spoke with 'Fresh Air' producer Sam Briger. The new satirical film 'Jojo Rabbit' centers on a 10-year-old boy who joins the Hitler Youth. Writer and director Waititi, who is from New Zealand, is half-Jewish and half-Maori. He plays the boy's imaginary friend, Hitler....

Ronan Farrow
Farrow's 2017 report on Harvey Weinstein helped spark the #MeToo movement and earned him a Pulitzer Prize. He says in the course of his reporting Weinstein had him followed and his house bugged. Farrow talks about the systemic ways in which top institutions aid and abet powerful people accused of crimes, silence witnesses, and stifle the First Amendment. His new book is 'Catch and Kill.'...


Ronan Farrow
Farrow's 2017 report on Harvey Weinstein helped spark the #MeToo movement and earned him a Pulitzer Prize. He says in the course of his reporting Weinstein had him followed and his house bugged. Farrow talks about the systemic ways in which top institutions aid and abet powerful people accused of crimes, silence witnesses, and stifle the First Amendment. His new book is 'Catch and Kill.'...

Elton John
Elton John says his father's early misgivings about his chosen career became a source of motivation: "He gave me the determination to make something of myself." He talks about his volatile childhood, addiction, and fame. Elton John's new memoir is called 'Me.' Also, classical music critic Lloyd Schwartz reviews a documentary about the iconic opera singer Maria Callas....

Best Of: Singer Anthony Roth Costanzo / Leaving The Westboro Baptist Church
Anthony Roth Costanzo is a countertenor, meaning he sings in a high range that's associated with women's voices. He knows all about the history of countertenors and their predecessors, castrati. He's about to star in the Metropolitan Opera's production of 'Akhnaten,' by Philip Glass. Costanzo plays the titular Pharaoh, who many people now think was gender fluid.Film critic Justin Chang reviews the thriller 'Parasite.'Growing up in the notorious Westboro Baptist Church, Megan Phelps-Roper was told that God k...


'Breaking Bad' Creator Vince Gilligan & Actor Aaron Paul
Netflix just dropped the 'Breaking Bad' movie 'El Camino,' which picks up where the AMC series left off. TV critic David Bianculli reviews it, and we'll listen back to our interviews with series creator and writer Vince Gilligan and actor Aaron Paul....

'Loving And Leaving' The Westboro Baptist Church
Growing up in the notorious Westboro Baptist Church, Megan Phelps-Roper was told that God killed soldiers as punishment for America's sins and its tolerance of homosexuality. She started to question her beliefs after she began running the church's Twitter account. Her memoir about her decision to leave the church is 'Unfollow.' Also, film critic Justin Chang reviews 'Parasite,' which he calls "the most deviously entertaining con-artist thriller" he's seen in years....

Understanding Trump's Impeachment Peril
'Bloomberg Businessweek' columnist Joshua Green explains how President Trump fell for a media campaign that was designed to help him: "The irony is that the target was supposed to be the Bidens, not the president," he says.Also, Maureen Corrigan reviews the new memoir 'How We Fight For Our Lives' by Saeed Jones, about growing up gay and black in Texas.And Kevin Whitehead reviews the new album 'The Ambiguity Manifesto' by cornet player and composer Taylor Ho Bynum....


Cambridge Analytica Whistleblower Christopher Wylie
Wylie exposed Cambridge Analytica's role in Brexit and the Trump presidential campaign. Cambridge Analytica collected personal data from millions of Facebook users, and used it to target people susceptible to conspiracy theories and disinformation. Wylie was the research director at Cambridge Analytica, before leaving in protest over the direction it had taken. His new book is 'Mindf*ck: Cambridge Analytica and the Plot to Break America.'Also, Ken Tucker reviews 'Jaime,' the new album by Alabama Shakes lead...

Countertenor Anthony Roth Costanzo
Costanzo is a countertenor, meaning he sings in a high range that's associated with women's voices. He knows all about the history of countertenors and their predecessors, castrati. He's about to star in the Metropolitan Opera's production of 'Akhnaten,' by Philip Glass. Costanzo plays the titular Pharaoh, who many people now think was gender fluid....

Best Of: Antonio Banderas / Conan O'Brien
Antonio Banderas stars in Pedro Almodóvar's new film 'Pain and Glory' as a screenwriter and director suffering with physical pain, and pain of the soul. Banderas had a heart attack a few years ago, and talks about how the experience informed his performance. Conan O'Brien recently switched up the format of his late-night show, and is about to launch the second season of his podcast, 'Conan O'Brien Needs a Friend.' He talks about how his comedy has been driven in part by anxiety. Also, he sings a song!...


Reporters Reveal Trump's Extreme Border Proposals
President Trump made building a border wall between the U.S. and Mexico a cornerstone of his 2016 presidential campaign. But when, after the election, efforts to build the wall stalled, he turned to other possible options — including constructing a trench filled with snakes and alligators — according to 'New York Times' journalists Julie Hirschfeld Davis and Michael Shear. Their new book chronicling the president's attempts to upend the nation's immigration system is 'Border Wars: Inside Trump's Assault on ...

Conan O'Brien
Conan O'Brien recently switched up the format of his late-night show, and is about to launch the second season of his podcast, 'Conan O'Brien Needs a Friend.' He says the name of his podcast is a joke — sort of. "Sometimes when you're in the public eye, it can get murky as to who's really my friend. Who's going to come visit me in the hospital? Who's going to come over to my house when my dog dies and drink cocoa with me? Who are those people?" He also talks about his unusual career trajectory, and how his ...

An Author Investigates His Family Ties To Jimmy Hoffa's Disappearance
Jack Goldsmith's new memoir 'In Hoffa's Shadow' centers on his investigation into his stepfather's involvement in the 1975 disappearance of mob-connected labor leader Jimmy Hoffa. Hoffa is portrayed by Al Pacino in Martin Scorsese's new film 'The Irishman.' Goldsmith is a Harvard Law professor, and best known for having headed the Office of Legal Counsel in the George W. Bush administration, where he challenged warrantless wiretapping and retracted memos legally justifying torture....


An Author Investigates His Family Ties To Jimmy Hoffa's Disappearance
Jack Goldsmith's new memoir 'In Hoffa's Shadow' centers on his investigation into his stepfather's involvement in the 1975 disappearance of mob-connected labor leader Jimmy Hoffa. Hoffa is portrayed by Al Pacino in Martin Scorsese's new film 'The Irishman.' Goldsmith is a Harvard Law professor, and best known for having headed the Office of Legal Counsel in the George W. Bush administration, where he challenged warrantless wiretapping and retracted memos legally justifying torture....

Actor Antonio Banderas
Banderas stars in Pedro Almodóvar's new film 'Pain and Glory' as a screenwriter and director suffering with physical pain, and pain of the soul. Banderas had a heart attack a few years ago, and talks about how the experience informed his performance. He also talks about his early career working with Almodóvar in Spain, getting his start in Hollywood when he spoke very little English, and catching his hair on fire while filming 'Desperado.'...

Best Of: Ta-Nehisi Coates / Tegan And Sara
Coates won a National Book Award in 2015 for 'Between the World and Me.' His debut novel, 'The Water Dancer,' is set in slave times and re-imagines the Underground Railroad's leaders as having a magical power to teleport people out of slavery.Also, Justin Chang reviews 'Judy,' the new Judy Garland biopic starring Renée Zellweger.And music duo Tegan and Sara revisit their teen years and early music in a new memoir, 'High School,' and companion album, 'Hey, I'm Just Like You.' They talk about figuring out the...


A 'Photo Ark' For Captive Animal Species
'National Geographic' photographer Joel Sartore is on a mission to document every captive animal species in the world. His new book of photographs is 'Vanishing: The World's Most Vulnerable Animals.' (Originally broadcast in February 2017)Also, Lloyd Schwartz reviews a reissue of the movie version of the 1955 musical 'Damn Yankees' — the only time Bob Fosse and Gwen Verdon danced together on the big screen.And TV critic David Bianculli reviews Ryan Murphy's first Netflix series, 'The Politician.'...

'Piety & Power' And Mike Pence
Political reporter Tom LoBianco has covered Vice President Mike Pence in both Indiana and Washington, D.C. He describes Pence as a man of faith who is willing to put political ambition ahead of his beliefs. His book is 'Piety and Power.' Justin Chang reviews 'Judy,' a Judy Garland biopic starring Renée Zellweger....

'Piety & Power' And Mike Pence
Political reporter Tom LoBianco has covered Vice President Mike Pence in both Indiana and Washington, D.C. He describes Pence as a man of faith who is willing to put political ambition ahead of his beliefs. His book is 'Piety and Power.' Justin Chang reviews 'Judy,' a Judy Garland biopic starring Renée Zellweger....


Singing Cowboys / Remembering Grateful Dead Lyricist Robert Hunter
Musician Doug Green talks about a largely forgotten chapter of music history, the singing cowboy. Green wrote a book on singing cowboys, and is featured in Ken Burns' new PBS series on the history of country music. He co-founded Riders in the Sky, a popular Western band named after a famous cowboy song.After Jerry Garcia formed Grateful Dead in the mid '60s, Robert Hunter wrote most of the lyrics for Garcia's songs, lyrics most Deadheads know by heart. Hunter died on Monday at 78. He spoke with Terry Gross...

Ta-Nehisi Coates On 'The Water Dancer'
Ta-Nehisi Coates launched a national conversation with his 2014 Atlantic cover story, 'The Case For Reparations. In 2015, he won a National Book Award for for 'Between the World and Me,' written in the form of a letter to his son about the violence young black men are vulnerable to. Now, he's written his first novel ... 'The Water Dancer' is set in slave times and re-imagines the Underground Railroad's leaders as having a magical power to teleport people out of slavery. The magic is activated by the power o...

Ta-Nehisi Coates On 'The Water Dancer'
Ta-Nehisi Coates launched a national conversation with his 2014 Atlantic cover story, 'The Case For Reparations. In 2015, he won a National Book Award for for 'Between the World and Me,' written in the form of a letter to his son about the violence young black men are vulnerable to. Now, he's written his first novel ... 'The Water Dancer' is set in slave times and re-imagines the Underground Railroad's leaders as having a magical power to teleport people out of slavery. The magic is activated by the power o...


Tegan And Sara
Music duo Tegan and Sara revisit their teen years and their early music in a new memoir, 'High School,' and companion album, 'Hey, I'm Just Like You.' Listening back to the songs they wrote, Sara says: "I was struck by the joy in our voices." They talk about figuring out their sexuality, the difficultly of being twins, and the misogyny and homophobia they faced in the media at the beginning of their careers. TV critic David Bianculli reviews the new CBS procedural 'Evil,' by the creators of 'The Good Wife.'...

Best Of: Edward Snowden / Journalist Andrea Mitchell
In 2013, Edward Snowden showed journalists thousands of top secret documents about U.S. intelligence agencies' surveillance efforts. He's been living in exile in Russia ever since. His new book is 'Permanent Record.'Film critic Justin Chang reviews 'Ad Astra,' starring Brad Pitt. Andrea Mitchell, the chief foreign affairs correspondent for NBC News and anchor of her own MSNBC show, looks back on her career in journalism. She's receiving a lifetime achievement Emmy on Sept. 24....

Best Of: Edward Snowden / Journalist Andrea Mitchell
In 2013, Edward Snowden showed journalists thousands of top secret documents about U.S. intelligence agencies' surveillance efforts. He's been living in exile in Russia ever since. His new book is 'Permanent Record.'Film critic Justin Chang reviews 'Ad Astra,' starring Brad Pitt. Andrea Mitchell, the chief foreign affairs correspondent for NBC News and anchor of her own MSNBC show, looks back on her career in journalism. She's receiving a lifetime achievement Emmy on Sept. 24....


'Downton Abbey' Creator Julian Fellowes & Maggie Smith
As the 'Downton Abbey' movie opens in theaters, we listen back to our interviews with the series creator Julian Fellowes and star Maggie Smith, who plays the Dowager Countess of Grantham.Film critic Justin Chang reviews 'Ad Astra,' starring Brad Pitt....

Edward Snowden
In 2013, Snowden showed journalists thousands of top secret documents about U.S. intelligence agencies' surveillance efforts. He's been living in exile in Russia ever since. "People look at me now and they think I'm this crazy guy, I'm this extremist or whatever. Some people have a misconception that [I] set out to burn down the NSA," he says. "But that's not what this was about. In many ways, 2013 wasn't about surveillance at all. What it was about was a violation of the Constitution." Snowden talks about ...

NBC News Journalist Andrea Mitchell
Mitchell, the chief foreign affairs correspondent for NBC News and anchor of her own MSNBC show, looks back on her career in journalism. She's receiving a lifetime achievement Emmy later on Sept. 24. "It's very empowering to feel that you can ask questions and try to take on someone who is doing something wrong and betraying the public's trust," Mitchell says. Also, critic John Powers reviews the book 'Heaven, My Home,' by Attica Locke....


How Reconstruction Remade The Constitution
Pulitzer Prize-winning historian Eric Foner talks about how current issues of racial inequality, voter suppression and mass incarceration relate to the 13th, 14th and 15th amendments. They were added to the constitution after the Civil War and gave black men the right to vote, gave people equal protection under the laws, and granted citizenship to all people born in the U.S. His new book is 'The Second Founding.' Also, we remember pioneering NPR journalist Cokie Roberts, who died today at 75....

Investigating Justice Brett Kavanaugh
In their new book, 'The Education of Brett Kavanaugh,' 'New York Times' reporters Kate Kelly and Robin Pogrebin investigate the allegations against the Supreme Court justice and what was omitted from the confirmation hearings. They discuss Kavanaugh's behavior at Yale, their interviews with Christine Blasey Ford and Deborah Ramirez, and why the FBI didn't talk to witnesses Ramirez provided....

Best Of: The CIA's Search For Mind Control / Tan France Of 'Queer Eye'
Stephen Kinzer's book, 'Poisoner in Chief,' exposes how CIA scientist Sidney Gottlieb worked in the 1950s and early '60s to develop mind control drugs and deadly toxins that could be used against enemies of the U.S. government. Gottlieb believed the key to mind control was LSD, and is credited with bringing the drug to the U.S. He also experimented on unwitting people in prisons and detention centers in Japan, Germany, and the Philippines.Critic Ken Tucker reviews Ken Burns' new 8-part documentary series, '...


Singer Linda Ronstadt
The Mexican-American singer spoke with Terry Gross in 2013 about her career and her Parkinson's diagnosis. The new documentary, 'The Sound of My Voice,' traces Ronstadt's career from the late '60s onward.Also, critic John Powers reviews the movie 'Hustlers,' starring Jennifer Lopez, Constance Wu and Cardi B as high-end exotic dancers who get involved in crime....

Where Does Our Recycling Go?
Now that China isn't taking our recycling anymore, where will it go? Environmental scientist Kate O'Neill discusses recycling and the global politics of waste. "Once you throw something away, you've got to think about where's it going to go next," she says. Her book is 'Waste.' Also, critic Ken Tucker reviews Ken Burns' new 8-part documentary series, 'Country Music.'...

Where Does Our Recycling Go?
Now that China isn't taking our recycling anymore, where will it go? Environmental scientist Kate O'Neill discusses recycling and the global politics of waste. "Once you throw something away, you've got to think about where's it going to go next," she says. Her book is 'Waste.' Also, critic Ken Tucker reviews Ken Burns' new 8-part documentary series, 'Country Music.'...


Tan France Of 'Queer Eye'
France, the son of Pakistani Muslim immigrants, says he almost turned down the job of fashion expert in the Netflix series 'Queer Eye.' "The thought of being one of the very first openly gay South Asian men on a major show. ...That pressure was so hard to handle," he says. But then he thought it was an opportunity to change the narrative about his community. "I've got to continue to show that Pakistanis are wonderful people, that we are caring people." His new memoir about his childhood in the U.K., marryin...

Behind-The-Scenes Of The Weinstein Investigation
'New York Times' reporters Jodi Kantor and Megan Twohey, who broke the story of Harvey Weinstein's alleged sexual misconduct, talk about the obstacles Weinstein created to prevent their investigation, getting actors to speak on the record, and the final showdown at the 'NYT' before publishing. Their book is 'She Said: Breaking the Sexual Harassment Story That Helped Ignite a Movement.'Also, Kevin Whitehead reviews the album, 'Love & Liberation,' from jazz singer and composer Jazzmeia Horn....

Behind-The-Scenes Of The Weinstein Investigation
'New York Times' reporters Jodi Kantor and Megan Twohey, who broke the story of Harvey Weinstein's alleged sexual misconduct, talk about the obstacles Weinstein created to prevent their investigation, getting actors to speak on the record, and the final showdown at the 'NYT' before publishing. Their book is 'She Said: Breaking the Sexual Harassment Story That Helped Ignite a Movement.'Also, Kevin Whitehead reviews the album, 'Love & Liberation,' from jazz singer and composer Jazzmeia Horn....


The CIA's Secret Search For Mind Control
Stephen Kinzer's book, 'Poisoner in Chief,' exposes how CIA scientist Sidney Gottlieb worked in the 1950s and early '60s to develop mind control drugs and deadly toxins that could be used against enemies of the U.S. government. Gottlieb believed the key to mind control was LSD, and is credited with bringing the drug to the U.S. He also experimented on unwitting people in prisons and detention centers in Japan, Germany, and the Philippines. Also, book critic Maureen Corrigan reviews Margaret Atwood's highly ...

Best Of: Janet Mock On 'Pose' / Elvis' Guitarist James Burton
Janet Mock made history as the first trans woman of color to write and direct an episode of TV for her work on Ryan Murphy's FX series 'Pose.' The show centers on the trans and queer ball culture in New York City in the '80s and '90s. Mock talks with Terry Gross about drawing from her own life to write for 'Pose' and growing up in Hawaii. Also, book critic Maureen Corrigan reviews 'The Yellow House,' Sarah M. Broom's extraordinary memoir about the New Orleans home in which she grew up.Guitarist James Burton...

Maggie Gyllenhaal On 'The Deuce'
Gyllenhaal produces and stars in the HBO series, 'The Deuce.' The show centers on sex work, porn, organized crime, politics and feminism in 1970s New York. The new season, which begins Sept. 9, jumps to the 1980s. (Originally broadcast Sept. 2018)Also, Ken Tucker reviews Lana Del Rey's new album, 'Norman F****** Rockwell!' And TV critic David Bianculli reviews two recently released DVDs about entertainment and entertainers from long ago: one featuring a singing satirist from the '60s, the other profiling a ...


Trump's Businesses & Conflicts Of Interest
Pulitzer Prize-winning 'Washington Post' reporter David Fahrenthold says in the past, an honor system helped keep presidents from using the office to benefit themselves. Not Trump: "He exploits honor systems." Fahrenthold's beat is following the Trump businesses and the possible conflicts of interest that arise. Also, critic Kevin Whitehead reviews an album by Ben Goldberg that unites jazz and poetry....

Fentanyl & The Dark Web
'Fentanyl, Inc.' author Ben Westhoff says the synthetic opioid, while useful in hospitals, is killing more Americans as a street drug than any other in U.S. history. More than 70,000 Americans died from drug overdoses last year. Westhoff talks about how it moves from China to your corner. Also, book critic Maureen Corrigan reviews 'The Yellow House,' Sarah M. Broom's extraordinary memoir about the New Orleans home in which she grew up....

Elvis' Guitarist James Burton
Burton, who went professional at age 14, played in Ricky Nelson's band, and has been on hundreds of recordings, including those by Frank Sinatra and Johnny Cash. You can hear him on the new box set, 'Elvis: Live 1969.'Also, Ken Tucker reviews Chuck Cleaver's new solo album, 'Send Aid.' And Justin Chang reviews 'Give Me Liberty,' a screwball comedy by director Kirill Mikhanovsky. It follows the driver of a medical transport van and his passengers over the course of a busy 24 hours in Milwaukee....


Emmys Week: 'BoJack Horseman' Creator / 'Pen15' Creators
Raphael Bob-Waksberg's Emmy-nominated animated Netflix series satirizes Hollywood using a mix of human and animal characters. "Part of the original pitch was like, 'What's Mr. Ed like behind the scenes?'" BoJack (a horse) is a depressed, alcoholic, sexist former sitcom star in the #MeToo era.From braces to bullies, middle school is a period of adolescence that might best be described as cringe-worthy.​ In the Emmy-nominated Hulu series 'PEN15,' actors Maya Erskine and Anna Konkle, who are in their early 30s...

Best Of: Sister Helen Prejean / Breakthroughs In Heart Health
Sister Helen Prejean is best known for her 1993 memoir, 'Dead Man Walking,' about her role as a spiritual adviser to a convicted killer on death row. The story was adapted into an Oscar-winning film starring Susan Sarandon and Sean Penn. Prejean has accompanied six prisoners to their executions and has been at the forefront of activism against the death penalty. Her new memoir, 'River of Fire,' details her spiritual journey up to that point.John Powers reviews the Netflix documentary 'American Factory,' abo...

Emmys Week: Billy Eichner & Randy Rainbow
Billy Eichner's Emmy-nominated series, 'Billy on the Street,' turns open ended questions about pop culture and celebrities into a game show. He talked with Terry Gross in 2016 about coming up with the concept of his man-on-the-street series. Randy Rainbow writes and performs satirical songs about President Trump set to the melodies of show tunes. "I always considered song parody kind of cheap," the Emmy-nominated performer says. "But ... I've gotten [such a] response from others ... that I'm appreciating it...


Emmys Week: Natasha Lyonne & Christina Applegate
Natasha Lyonne's character on the Netflix series 'Russian Doll' keeps dying and coming back to life. It's a premise that strikes a chord with the actor; Lyonne had a near-death experience in 2005. She talks with Terry Gross about how that experience informs her work and wanting to be a "tough guy." She's nominated for two Emmys — one for writing and one for starring in the series. Christina Applegate is nominated for her role in the Netflix series 'Dead to Me,' opposite Linda Cardellini, as a woman grieving...

Emmys Week: Ava DuVernay & Michael K. Williams
Ava DuVernay is the producer, writer and director of the Netflix series 'When They See Us,' which has 16 Emmy nominations. Told from the perspective of the "Central Park Five" — five black and brown teenagers who were wrongfully convicted of assault and rape in 1989 — the series examines how how officials manipulated the boys into giving false confessions.We'll also hear from actor Michael K. Williams, who's nominated for his performance in 'When They See Us' as the father of Antron McCray, one of the five...

Emmys Week: Phoebe Waller-Bridge / Ben Stiller & Patricia Arquette
Phoebe Waller-Bridge is nominated for 5 Emmys for creating and starring in the Amazon series 'Fleabag.' She plays a 30-something single Londoner who is navigating tense relationships with her family, grieving the loss of her best friend — and falling in love with a Catholic priest. Also, Ben Stiller talks about directing the Showtime series 'Escape at Dannemora,' based on a real-life prison break story. The series has a total of 12 nominations, including one for Patricia Arquette, who plays a prison employe...


Emmys Week: Bill Hader & John Mulaney
Actor Bill Hader is nominated for acting in and writing the HBO dark comedy series, 'Barry,' in which he plays a hitman who enrolls in acting classes. He talks about coming up with the concept of the series and struggling with anxiety during his years on 'Saturday Night Live.' Comic John Mulaney spent five years as a writer and producer on 'SNL,' but was "absolutely terrified" when he came back to host. Now he's up for an Emmy for his episode. Mulaney talks about writing monologues for famous guests and his...

Best Of: Exploring Underwater Caves / Character Actor Stephen Root
Diver and photographer Jill Heinerth talks about some of her most dangerous and exhilarating experiences underwater — like getting trapped inside an iceberg in Antarctica. Heinerth also shares how she stays calm when things go wrong: "I take a really deep breath and try and slow my heart, slow my breathing, and then just focus on pragmatic small steps," she says. Her new book is 'Into the Planet.'Also, film critic Justin Chang reviews 'Brittany Runs a Marathon,' starring Jillian Bell. And after appearing in...

Remembering Peter Fonda
The Oscar-nominated actor and screenwriter, who died Aug. 16, spoke to Terry Gross in 1998 about 'Ulee's Gold,' 'Easy Rider' and his acting philosophy of "doing less — and making more of it."Also, Ken Tucker reviews three songs that he says offer different takes on — and moods for — the summer.And John Powers reviews the Netflix documentary 'American Factory,' about what happens when a Chinese company opens a factory in Ohio....


Tracing The Course Of The Opioid Epidemic
'Washington Post' investigative journalist Scott Higham says recently released evidence shows the drug industry purposely shipped large quantities of pills to certain communities in pursuit of greater profits. "Small cities and counties in places like Ohio and Pennsylvania have just been devastated," he says. "The death rates just soared in those places where the pills were being dumped." Also, Maureen Corrigan reviews 'Late Migrations' by Margaret Renkl, which she calls "a perfect book to read in the summe...

Character Actor Stephen Root
After appearing in nearly 800 TV episodes and 100 films, Root received his first Emmy nomination for his role as a handler to a hitman in the HBO series 'Barry.' He also talks about his iconic roles in 'O Brother, Where Art Thou?' and 'Office Space.' Also, jazz critic Kevin Whitehead reviews the album 'Begin Again' from pianist Fred Hersch, and film critic Justin Chang reviews 'Brittany Runs a Marathon,' starring Jillian Bell....


Exploring Underwater Caves
Diver and photographer Jill Heinerth talks about some of her most dangerous and exhilarating experiences underwater — like getting trapped inside an iceberg in Antarctica. Heinerth also shares how she stays calm when things go wrong: "I take a really deep breath and try and slow my heart, slow my breathing, and then just focus on pragmatic small steps," she says. Her new book is 'Into the Planet.' Also, book critic Maureen Corrigan reviews two mystery novels — Laura Lippman's 'Lady in the Lake' and Ruth War...

Best Of: Colson Whitehead / A Bioethicist's Personal Struggle With Opioids
Pulitzer Prize-winning novelist Colson Whitehead's new book, 'The Nickel Boys,' is based on the true story of a notorious Florida reform school where many boys were beaten and sexually abused. Dozens of unmarked graves were discovered on the school grounds, which the state shut down in 2011. Maureen Corrigan reviews the novel, and then the author speaks with contributor Dave Davies. Travis Rieder became dependent on opioids after a motorcycle accident in 2015 that crushed his left foot, and forced him to en...

Actor Jonathan Groff
Groff stars in the crime-thriller series 'Mindhunter,' now in its second season on Netflix. He also talks about his roles on HBO's 'Looking,' and as King George III in 'Hamilton' on Broadway. (Originally broadcast October 2017) Also, film critic Justin Chang reviews 'Where'd You Go, Bernadette?' starring Cate Blanchett, directed by Richard Linklater....


Kitten Lady
Hannah Shaw's job title is "professional kitten rescuer." Known on YouTube and Instagram as Kitten Lady, she has rescued hundreds of neonatal kittens, often orphaned and unweaned, who require a level of care that most shelters cannot provide. That's where Shaw steps in. Her new book about fostering kittens is 'Tiny but Mighty.'Also, we remember late jazz saxophonist and clarinetist Bob Wilber. He spoke with Terry Gross in 1988. And TV critic David Bianculli reviews 'Why Women Kill,' a mystery anthology seri...

Janet Mock On 'Pose'
Mock made history as the first trans woman of color to write and direct an episode of TV for her work on Ryan Murphy's FX series 'Pose.' The show centers on the trans and queer ball culture in New York City in the '80s and '90s. Mock talks with Terry Gross about drawing from her own life to write for 'Pose,' growing up in Hawaii, and doing sex work as a young person to save money for reassignment surgery....

The 'Secret History' Of Koch Industries
In his new book, 'Kochland,' journalist Christopher Leonard chronicles how Koch Industries and Charles and David Koch acquired huge businesses, limited their liability and created a political influence network to remake the Republican Party. Leonard says President Trump is a threat to that vision....


Sister Helen Prejean
Prejean is best known for her 1993 memoir, 'Dead Man Walking,' about her role as a spiritual adviser to a convicted killer on death row. The story was adapted into an Oscar-winning film starring Susan Sarandon and Sean Penn. Prejean has accompanied six prisoners to their executions and has been at the forefront of activism against the death penalty. "I read scripture to them. ... All I knew was: I couldn't let them die alone." Her new memoir, 'River of Fire,' details her spiritual journey up to that point.A...

Best Of: Filmmaker Rodney Evans / Writer Jia Tolentino
Rodney Evans is still making movies, despite having lost much of his vision. His new documentary, 'Vision Portraits,' is about how he and three other blind or visually impaired artists (a photographer, a dancer, and a writer) continue to do their work.Linguist Geoff Nunberg considers the use of the word "they" as a gender-neutral pronoun.'New Yorker' staff writer Jia Tolentino writes about how social media shapes identity, public discourse and political engagement, particularly for millennials like herself....

Remembering Toni Morrison
The Nobel laureate and Pulitzer Prize-winning author of 'Beloved,' 'The Bluest Eye,' 'Sula,' 'Song of Solomon,' and other novels, essays and children's books died Monday at 88. She was known for her precise, poetic prose. Her books drew from the black oral tradition — African American folktales, and the ghost stories she was told as a child. Morrison spoke with Terry Gross in 1987, 1992, and 2015....


Disinformation & The Murder Of Seth Rich
In July of 2016, Democratic National Committee staffer Seth Rich was murdered in his D.C. neighborhood. Police think he was the victim of a robbery gone wrong. But Russian intelligence operatives planted a fake report claiming that Rich was the person who gave DNC emails to Wikileaks, and was then murdered by assassins working for Hillary Clinton. In the podcast 'Conspiracyland,' journalist Michael Isikoff explores how the murder of Rich was turned into a conspiracy theory — and how Russian trolls and Fox N...

Discrimination Against Women In Hollywood (With Geena Davis & Maria Giese)
The new documentary 'This Changes Everything' explores how women in Hollywood are pushing for more representation in front of and behind the camera. Actor Geena Davis and director Maria Giese talk with Terry Gross about the dramatic disparities on screen. Davis also discusses her career in films, including 'Tootsie' and 'Thelma & Louise.'Bruce Talamon has photographed Aretha Franklin, Marvin Gaye, Al Green, Diana Ross, Bob Marley, Patti LaBelle ... the list goes on. A new book shows his work from 1972-1982...

Jia Tolentino On Feminism, Ecstasy & The Internet
'New Yorker' staff writer Jia Tolentino writes about how social media shapes identity, public discourse and political engagement, particularly for millennials like herself. She talks about growing up in a Houston megachurch, her devastating year in the Peace Corps, and how religion led her to MDMA. Her new book of essays is 'Trick Mirror.' Linguist Geoff Nunberg considers the use of the word "they" as a gender-neutral pronoun, and jazz critic Kevin Whitehead reviews the new album, 'The Balance,' from South ...


'Vision Portraits' Focuses On Visually Impaired Artists
Filmmaker Rodney Evans is still making movies, despite having lost much of his vision. His new documentary, 'Vision Portraits,' is about how he and three other blind or visually impaired artists (a photographer, a dancer, and a writer) continue to do their work.Also, we remember Oscar-winning documentary filmmaker D.A. Pennebaker, who died Aug. 1. He pioneered a cinéma vérité style of filmmaking with 'Bob Dylan: Don't Look Back' and 'The War Room.' Pennebaker spoke with Terry Gross in 1989....

Best Of: Comic Wanda Sykes / Crime Novelist Laura Lippman
Wanda Sykes' latest Netflix stand-up special, 'Not Normal,' is nominated for two Emmys. She talks with Terry Gross about doing comedy in the Trump era, getting booed for criticizing the president, and coming out publicly at an LGBTQ rally. Laura Lippman's new novel, 'Lady in the Lake,' set in the 1960s, centers on Maddie Schwartz, who leaves her marriage, gets a job at Baltimore's newspaper, and begins investigating the mysterious death of a young black woman. Lippman talks about her own experience in news...

Polar Photographer Paul Nicklen
Paul Nicklen has spent decades documenting the Arctic, Antarctic and the effects of climate change. He talks about some of the dangerous situations he's been in while on the job. "I'm not really scared of death, I just want my death to be cool, and I guess being speared by a narwhal would be a pretty cool way to go." (Originally broadcast in June 2017) Also, film critic Justin Chang reviews 'Luce.'...


Comic Wanda Sykes
Sykes talks about coming out publicly at an LGBTQ rally, her double mastectomy, and her career before comedy — working for the National Security Agency. Sykes' latest Netflix stand-up special, 'Not Normal,' is nominated for two Emmys....

How Tech Companies Track Your Every Move & Sell Your Data
'Washington Post' tech columnist Geoffrey Fowler talks about how web browsers, phone apps, and smart speakers are tracking users, even when they're asleep. Fowler listened to four years' worth of audio that Amazon had captured and stored from his Alexa smart speaker — and was surprised by what he found.Soraya Nadia McDonald reviews the final season of Netflix's 'Orange is the New Black,' set in a immigration detention center....

Crime Novelist Laura Lippman
Lippman's new novel, 'Lady in the Lake,' set in the 1960s, centers on Maddie Schwartz, who leaves her marriage, gets a job at Baltimore's newspaper, and begins investigating the mysterious death of a young black woman. Lippman talks about her own experience in newsrooms as a reporter, deciding to become a mother in her 50s, and losing her friend Rob Hiaasen in the 'Capital Gazette' shooting last year....


Why We Need Insects / Illustrator Lisa Hanawalt
Conservation biologist Anne Sverdrup-Thygeson warns that the world's insect population is on the decline — which may have serious consequences for human beings and many other species. Sverdrup-Thygeson talks about eating insects for protein, the ripple effect of insect species dying off, and how cockroaches might save your life. Her book is 'Buzz, Sting, Bite.' Illustrator Lisa Hanawalt spoke with 'Fresh Air' producer Sam Briger about channeling anxiety into art. "Drawing is way of exorcising fears, and, fo...

Best Of: 'The Farewell' Director Lulu Wang / The Nocturnal Brain
When Lulu Wang's grandmother was diagnosed with terminal cancer and given three months to live, the family flew to China to see her, but decided not to tell her the prognosis. "I turned out to be a surprisingly good liar," Wang says. Her new film 'The Farewell,' starring Awkwafina, is based on her family's lie. Justin Chang reviews Quentin Tarantino's new film, 'Once Upon A Time... In Hollywood.' Neurologist Dr. Guy Leschziner, author of 'The Nocturnal Brain,' says sleep is not a binary state, and the brai...

Ranky Tanky
In 2017, three members of Ranky Tanky, a band that takes inspiration from the Gullah people, performed songs from their self-titled debut album. It builds on the music and culture of slave descendants. Their new album is 'Good Time.'Also, film critic Justin Chang reviews Quentin Tarantino's new film, 'Once Upon A Time... In Hollywood.'...


Jane Mayer On The Case Of Al Franken
The 'New Yorker' investigative reporter recently did a deep dive into the accusations of sexual misconduct that forced Sen. Franken to resign in 2017. Mayer says the chief accuser's story is full of holes. "I certainly knew that we were sort of kicking a hornet's nest by even doing this story," Mayer says, "I think that we ought to be able to report on everything."...

Filmmaker Lulu Wang On 'The Farewell' & Her Family's Real Life Lie
When Lulu Wang's grandmother was diagnosed with terminal cancer and given three months to live, the family flew to China to see her, but decided not to tell her the prognosis. "I turned out to be a surprisingly good liar," Wang says. Her new film 'The Farewell,' starring Awkwafina, is based on her family's lie. Also, Ken Tucker reviews a new album from husband and wife duo Buddy and Julie Miller, 'Breakdown on 20th Ave. South.'...

Sleep Disorders & The Nocturnal Brain
Neurologist Dr. Guy Leschziner, author of 'The Nocturnal Brain,' says sleep is not a binary state, and the brain can be in multiple stages of sleep at once. That can explain why people sometimes walk, eat, and even have sex while sleeping. He talks about insomnia, medication, and some of the more unusual disorders he has treated. Also, we remember Paul Krassner, who died July 21. He published and edited the magazine 'The Realist' from 1958 until 1974 and became known as "the father of the underground press....


Breakthroughs In Heart Health
Dr. Haider Warraich talks about advancements in treating and preventing heart failure, and explains how the understanding of healthy blood pressure and good cholesterol continues to evolve. His book is 'State of the Heart.' Also, TV critic David Bianculli reviews the new Hulu revival of 'Veronica Mars,' starring Kristen Bell....

Best Of: TV Critic Emily Nussbaum / Satirist Randy Rainbow
Emily Nussbaum, Pulitzer Prize-winning TV critic for 'The New Yorker,' talks about the art of "terrible men" in the #MeToo era and TV's revolution (from low brow to high art). Her new book of essays and reviews is 'I Like to Watch.'Also, Maureen Corrigan reviews the novel 'Copperhead' by Alexi Zentner. Randy Rainbow writes and performs satirical songs about President Trump set to melodies of show tunes. "I always considered song parody kind of cheap," the Emmy-nominated performer says. "But ... I've gotten...

50th Anniversary Of The Moon Landing
For the 50th anniversary of the Apollo 11 moon landing, we're listening back to archival interviews with Michael Collins, who circled the moon in the command capsule while Buzz Aldrin and Neil Armstrong were on the moon's surface; Alan Shepard, the first American in space; Canadian astronaut Chris Hadfield; and test pilot Chuck Yeager, the first to break the sound barrier....


Corruption & Dysfunction In The Border Protection Agency
When Customs and Border Protection was formed after 9/11 (as a part of the Department of Homeland Security), many agents signed up for the job thinking it would be a quasi-military position, focused on catching terrorists and stopping drug smugglers. Journalist Garrett Graff says in recent years, the border patrol agents mostly have been doing humanitarian and administrative work for asylum-seekers. "It went out and built its ranks by recruiting Rambo, when it actually turns out that what the border patrol...

Satirist Randy Rainbow
Rainbow writes and performs satirical songs about President Trump set to melodies of show tunes. "I always considered song parody kind of cheap," the Emmy-nominated performer says. "But ... I've gotten [such a] response from others ... that I'm appreciating it as an art form." Also, we remember retired Supreme Court Justice John Paul Stevens, who died yesterday at 99. He spoke with Terry Gross in 2011....

Novelist Colson Whitehead On 'The Nickel Boys'
The Pulitzer Prize-winning novelist's new book, 'The Nickel Boys,' is based on the true story of a notorious Florida reform school where many boys were beaten and sexually abused. Dozens of unmarked graves were discovered on the school grounds, which the state shut down in 2011. Maureen Corrigan reviews the novel, and then the author speaks with contributor Dave Davies. Also, jazz critic Kevin Whitehead reviews the book 'Jazz from Detroit.'...


TV Critic Emily Nussbaum
The Pulitzer Prize-winning TV critic for 'The New Yorker' talks about the art of "terrible men" in the #MeToo era, TV's revolution (from low to high brow), and what she calls "the bad fan." Her new book of essays and reviews is 'I Like to Watch.'...

Best Of: Yiddish 'Fiddler On The Roof' / How 'Maiden' Sailed Into History
A new Yiddish language production of 'Fiddler on the Roof' is currently running off-Broadway. Steven Skybell, who plays Tevye, and Joel Grey, who directs the show, explain why the play still resonates.Film critic Justin Chang reviews the thriller 'Midsommar.'In 1989, 26-year-old skipper Tracy Edwards set out on what was considered an unthinkable journey for a woman — to sail the 33,000 mile Whitbread Round The World Race. She assembled an all-female crew, restored a shabby racing yacht, and took to sea. Th...

MLB's Keith Hernandez / Remembering Pitcher Jim Bouton & Actor Rip Torn
The former first baseman played on championship teams with the Cardinals and Mets, and made a memorable appearance on 'Seinfeld.' His memoir, now out in paperback, is 'I'm Keith Hernandez.'MLB pitcher Jim Bouton, who died Wednesday, spoke to 'Fresh Air' in 1986 about his 1970 tell-all memoir, 'Ball Four,' in which he drew on his seven years with the Yankees to offer an insider's guide to baseball.Actor Rip Torn, who died Tuesday, won an Emmy Award for playing the gruff producer Artie on 'The Larry Sanders S...


The Ongoing Crisis At The U.S.-Mexico Border
NY Times reporter Caitlin Dickerson has been documenting the impact of the Trump administration's policies on migrants — and on the workers who deal with the large number of people held in detention. Dickerson talks about the squalid conditions at the Clint, Texas, border patrol center, where toddlers were living for weeks without diapers, and kids were living in cold, crowded holding areas without showers, clean clothes, toothbrushes, or enough food. Also, film critic Justin Chang reviews 'The Farewell,' s...

Yiddish 'Fiddler On The Roof'
A new, Yiddish language production of the musical is currently running off-Broadway. Steven Skybell, who plays Tevye, and Joel Grey, who directs the show, explain why the play still resonates....

Gerrymandering, The 2020 Census & Voter Suppression
'Mother Jones' journalist Ari Berman says recent Supreme Court decisions on redistricting and the 2020 census will determine which party is in power in the next decade. Berman says while Americans are justifiably worried that Russia might try again to interfere in our 2020 election, we also need to also be focusing on homegrown threats to our democracy. "The Russians didn't invent voter suppression. The Russians didn't gut the Voting Rights Act. The Russians didn't draw heavily gerrymandered maps in the la...


A Bioethicist's Personal Struggle With Opioids
Travis Rieder became dependent on opioids after a motorcycle accident in 2015 that crushed his left foot, and forced him to endure six surgeries. His book 'In Pain' draws on his insights as a patient, and his subsequent research into pain medicine, to examine the larger problems and dilemmas surrounding prescription opioids and the larger opioid crisis....

Best Of: Sarah Jessica Parker / 'Leaving The Witness'
Parker is best-known for her role as the iconic single New Yorker Carrie Bradshaw on 'Sex and the City.' Now, on the HBO series 'Divorce,' she plays Frances, a woman navigating the dissolution of her marriage. Also, Ken Tucker reviews two country hits that are challenging traditional notions of the genre, by Lil Nas X and Blanco Brown.Amber Scorah was a third-generation Jehovah's Witness raised to believe that the Armageddon was imminent. Scorah talks about her decision to leave her marriage and her religi...

Willie Nelson
At the age of 86, Nelson is still going strong. He's touring and has a new record, 'Ride Me Back Home.' We'll listen back to two interviews with Nelson and hear a review of the new album. When Terry Gross spoke to him in 1996 he told her why he had trouble fitting in to country music. "My songs had a few chords in them, and the country songs weren't supposed to have over three chords. My phrasing was sort of funny. I didn't sing on the beat. I just didn't fit the slots, you know? And I wouldn't take orders...


Lizzo
The flute-playing pop star celebrates self-love on her latest album, 'Cuz I Love You.' About 10 years ago, "I made the decision that I just wanted to be happy with my body," she says. Lizzo talks to Terry Gross about collaborating with Prince, feminism, and using music to help people find a positive place within themselves. [Originally broadcast In May 2019]...

Sarah Jessica Parker
Parker is best-known for her role as the iconic single New Yorker Carrie Bradshaw on 'Sex and the City.' Now, on the HBO series 'Divorce,' she plays Frances, a woman navigating the dissolution of her marriage. Parker spoke with Terry Gross about growing up poor but engaged in the arts, the #MeToo movement, and how she doesn't relate to Carrie (or the other 'SATC' characters) at all. Also, film critic Justin Chang reviews the thriller 'Midsommar.'...

Uncovering The Story Of Chernobyl
HBO's recent series 'Chernobyl' has renewed public interest in the 1986 explosion at the Chernobyl nuclear plant. Journalist Adam Higginbotham has spent years investigating the causes of the accident and the dramatic efforts to contain the damage. He says design flaws, human hubris and Soviet secrecy all contributed to the disaster. His book is 'Midnight in Chernobyl.'Also, jazz critic Kevin Whitehead reviews 'I'm All Smiles' by pianist George Cables....


From Nightmares To PTSD, The Toll On Facebook Moderators
'Verge' journalist Casey Newton investigated working conditions for the moderators who determine what material can be posted to Facebook. Many are traumatized by the images of hate and violence they see. "I've talked to folks who will wake up in the middle of the night in a cold sweat. They will have nightmares about the content that they saw, and eventually, many of them get diagnosed with PTSD." Newton also talks about how Facebook is starting what's been called a "supreme court" for contested content dec...

Best Of: Founders OF The 1st AIDS Ward / Comic Ramy Youssef
The new documentary '5B' tells the story of America's first hospital unit dedicated to the care of people with AIDS. Nurse Cliff Morrison helped create 5B in 1983, and worked on it with Dr. Paul Volberding. They talked with Terry Gross about the early years of the AIDS epidemic, and how they sought to give patients compassionate care through human touch when most medical workers wore full body suits because they were afraid they'd get infected.Film critic Justin Chang reviews 'Yesterday' by 'Slumdog Millio...

How An All-Female Crew Sailed Round The World & Into The History Books
In 1989, 26-year-old skipper Tracy Edwards set out on what was thought of as an unthinkable journey for a woman — to sail the 33,000 mile Whitbread Round The World Race. She assembled an all-female crew, restored a shabby racing yacht, and took to sea. The new documentary 'Maiden' tracks their 9-month-long race and the sexism they faced at every turn. Edwards spoke with 'Fresh Air' contributor Dave Davies. Also, film critic Justin Chang reviews 'Yesterday,' by 'Slumdog Millionaire' director Danny Boyle....


Founders Of The First AIDS Ward
The new documentary '5B' tells the story of America's first hospital unit dedicated to the care of people with AIDS. Nurse Cliff Morrison helped create 5B in 1983, and worked on it with Dr. Paul Volberding. They talked with Terry Gross about the early years of the AIDS epidemic, how they sought to give patients compassionate care, and the rampant homophobia at the time....

Founders Of The 1st AIDS Ward
The new documentary '5B' tells the story of America's first hospital unit dedicated to the care of people with AIDS. Nurse Cliff Morrison helped create 5B in 1983, and worked on it with Dr. Paul Volberding. They talked with Terry Gross about the early years of the AIDS epidemic, how they sought to give patients compassionate care, and the rampant homophobia at the time....

Comic Ramy Youssef
In the semi-autobiographical Hulu series 'Ramy,' Youssef plays a first generation Muslim American who follows some — but not all — of the rules of his religion. Youssef, whose parents immigrated from Egypt, also co-created the series. He says he can relate to his character's "picking and choosing" approach to his faith. "Sometimes we would call it 'Allah carte,'" he says. Youssef talks with Terry Gross about the series, feeling torn between wanting to fit in and his faith, and his stand-up comedy. Also, Mau...


A Former Jehovah's Witness Reflects On Leaving Her Faith
Amber Scorah was a third generation Jehovah's Witness raised to believe that the Armageddon was imminent. As a teenager she was shunned from her religious community for having sex with her boyfriend. Scorah went on to marry an elder in the church, and she and her husband traveled to China as missionaries. But gradually doubt began to set in. Scorah speaks with Terry Gross about her decision to leave her marriage and her religion and start over. Her memoir is 'Leaving the Witness.' Also, John Powers reviews ...

Best Of: Ava DuVernay / Bill Hader
Filmmaker Ava DuVernay's Netflix series 'When They See Us' tells the story of how five black and brown boys, known as the Central Park Five, were manipulated into confessing to a brutal rape they did not commit. DuVernay focuses on the boys' perspective — and the criminal justice system that failed them. Ken Tucker reviews Willie Nelson's new album 'Ride Me Back Home.'Bill Hader, who became famous as a writer and performer on 'Saturday Night Live,' now stars in the HBO series 'Barry.' Hader speaks with Terr...

John Prine
The singer, songwriter and guitarist was recently inducted into the Songwriters Hall of Fame. Prine spoke with Terry Gross in 2018 when his album 'The Tree of Forgiveness' was released. He described how his voice changed after neck cancer: "It dropped down lower and feels friendlier." Also, TV critic David Bianculli reviews the final seasons of FX's 'Legion' and Netflix's 'Jessica Jones.'...


Bill Hader On 'Barry'
Hader, who became famous as a writer and performer on 'Saturday Night Live,' now stars in the HBO series 'Barry.' Hader plays a Marine who suffers from depression and PTSD ever since returning from Afghanistan. While working as a hit man in Los Angeles, he discovers that he wants to pursue acting instead. Hader speaks with Terry Gross about writing the series with Alec Berg, struggling with severe anxiety while on 'SNL,' and his love of old movies....

Ava DuVernay On 'When They See Us'
DuVernay's Netflix series tells the story of how five black and brown boys, known as the Central Park Five, were manipulated into confessing to a brutal rape they did not commit. 'When They See Us' focuses on the boys' perspective — and the criminal justice system that failed them. Also, film critic Justin Chang reviews 'Toy Story 4.'...

Uncovering The Story Of Major Taylor, America's First Black Sports Hero
At the height of the Jim Crow era, Taylor broke barriers by becoming the country's fastest and most famous cyclist. Author and 'Washington Post' journalist Michael Kranish tells his story in the new book, 'The World's Fastest Man.' "He really belongs in the pantheon of civil rights leaders as a sports athlete," Kranish says. "He was able to use his athleticism and his championships for a greater purpose to show that the racist theories of eugenics and other things were wrong." Also, book critic Maureen Corr...


Uncovering The Story Of Major Taylor, America's 1st Black Sports Hero
At the height of the Jim Crow era, Taylor broke barriers by becoming the country's fastest and most famous cyclist. Author and 'Washington Post' journalist Michael Kranish tells his story in the new book, 'The World's Fastest Man.' "He really belongs in the pantheon of civil rights leaders as a sports athlete," Kranish says. "He was able to use his athleticism and his championships for a greater purpose to show that the racist theories of eugenics and other things were wrong." Also, book critic Maureen Corr...

Rethinking 'Elderhood'
Geriatrician Dr. Louise Aronson treats patients who are in their 60s — as well as those who are older than 100. "I need to be a different sort of doctor for people at different ages and phases of old age," she says. Aronson writes about changing approaches to elder health care in the book, 'Elderhood.'Also, jazz critic Kevin Whitehead reviews a live recording from saxophonist Stan Getz....

Best Of: How Ordinary People Got Us To The Moon / Actor Damian Lewis
This summer marks 50 years since the first Apollo moon landing. Journalist Charles Fishman's new book 'One Giant Leap' focuses on the untold stories of the ordinary men and women who worked behind-the-scenes on the Apollo missions. "Apollo was the biggest non-military effort in the history of human civilization," Fishman says. He talks about the team at Playtex who designed the spacesuits, the computer programmers, and the state of the U.S. space program today. Ken Tucker reviews Bruce Springsteen's new sol...


'I Wrote This Book Because I Love You'
Writer and cartoonist Tim Kreider admits unabashedly that the longest relationship of his adult life was with the stray cat that became his companion for 19 years. His collection of personal essays details his many unconventional relationships, which include the girlfriend he traveled with on a circus train, a married woman he fell in love with and his whirlwind romance with a sexual performance artist. "One of the few conclusions I may have reached from writing this book is that when we say 'relationship' ...

How Hackers Pose A Threat To Cities & Elections
'New York Times' cybersecurity correspondent Nicole Perlroth says hacking tools developed by the NSA were stolen, posted online and are now being used in cyberattacks, including one on the city of Baltimore.Also, film critic Justin Chang reviews 'The Last Black Man in San Francisco.'...

How Ordinary People Got Us To The Moon
This summer marks 50 years since the first Apollo moon landing. Journalist Charles Fishman's new book 'One Giant Leap' focuses on the untold stories of the ordinary men and women who worked behind-the-scenes on the Apollo missions. "Apollo was the biggest non-military effort in the history of human civilization," Fishman says. He talks about the team at Playtex who designed the spacesuits, the computer programmers, and how NASA nearly forgot to send an American flag into space....


Inside Kim Jong Un's North Korea
'Washington Post' journalist Anna Fifield visited North Korea and interviewed many of its citizens — including members of Kim Jong Un's family — for her new book about the country and its leader. Her book is 'The Great Successor.' Also, Maureen Corrigan reviews the novel 'The Body in Question' by Jill Ciment, about jurors on a murder trial....

Actor Damian Lewis
The classically-trained British actor plays a ruthless hedge-fund manager on Showtime's 'Billions,' which recently ended its fourth season. Lewis describes his character as "the embodiment of the American dream." He also starred in the series 'Homeland' as Nicholas Brody, a Marine sergeant who converts to Islam in captivity. Also, Soraya Nadia McDonald reviews 'When They See Us,' Ava DuVernay's devastating new miniseries about the Central Park Five....

Best Of: Christina Applegate / The Future Of Food
Christina Applegate stars in the Netflix series 'Dead to Me,' opposite Linda Cardellini, as a woman grieving the sudden death of her husband. She speaks with Terry Gross about her own experience with grief and loss, her double mastectomy, and working as a teen actress in 'Married with Children.' Also, TV critic David Bianculli reviews the new installments of the Netflix anthology series 'Black Mirror.'Environmental journalist Amanda Little talks about efforts to create a global food supply for a world that ...


Remembering Musician Dr. John
New Orleans musician Mac Rebennack, A.K.A. Dr. John, died yesterday at 77. He was known for his raspy voice and hits such as "Right Place, Wrong Time" and "Such A Night." Rebennack spoke with Terry Gross in 1986. Contributor Zahra Noorbakhsh, who is Muslim and Iranian-American, shares a story about how the Christchurch shooting coincided with a personal health crisis. Film critic Justin Chang reviews 'Late Night,' starring Emma Thompson as a seasoned late night talk show host whose recent drop in ratings ha...

Trump, M.B.Z. & The United Arab Emirates
We talk with 'NYT' international correspondent David Kirkpatrick about how Prince Mohammed bin Zayed (M.B.Z.), the ruler of the United Arab Emirates, became one of the most influential foreign voices in Washington. He's urged the U.S. to adopt his increasingly aggressive position against his enemies, including Iran and the Muslim Brotherhood.Also, John Powers reviews the new season of HBO's hit series 'Big Little Lies.'...

Actor Christina Applegate
Applegate stars in the Netflix series 'Dead to Me,' opposite Linda Cardellini, as a woman grieving the sudden death of her husband. She speaks with Terry Gross about her own experience with grief and loss, her double mastectomy, 'Married with Children,' and doing 'Sweet Charity' on Broadway.Also, TV critic David Bianculli reviews the new installments of the Netflix anthology series 'Black Mirror.'...


The Case Against R. Kelly
Nearly 20 years ago, reporter and pop music critic Jim DeRogatis broke the story that R&B superstar R. Kelly was allegedly sexually abusing underage girls. It all started with an anonymous fax to his office at the 'Chicago Sun-Times.' Fourteen months after the first story was published, he received the now-infamous videotape in his home mailbox. DeRogatis spoke with Terry Gross about his two decades following this story, the current charges against Kelly', and his new book 'Soulless.'Also, book critic Maure...

The Future Of Food
Environmental journalist Amanda Little talks about efforts to create a global food supply for a world that will be hotter, drier and more crowded. Little writes about meat cultured in a lab, 3D printed food, and indoor vertical farming in 'The Fate of Food.' Classical music critic Lloyd Schwartz reviews a new recording from the Boston Symphony Orchestra of Busoni's Piano Concerto....

Best Of: Why College Students Are So Stressed / How Eugenics Shaped U.S. Immigration
As colleges and universities across the country report an explosion of mental health problems, a new book argues that college life may actually be more stressful than ever. Dr. Anthony Rostain and family therapist B. Janet Hibbs are the authors of 'The Stressed Years of Their Lives.' They say today's college students are experiencing an "inordinate amount of anxiety" — much of it centered on "surviving college and doing well." Justin Chang reviews the new Elton John biopic 'Rocketman.' Journalist Daniel Ok...


A Return To 'Deadwood'
The HBO series about a lawless mining town in 19th century South Dakota is now the basis of a new film. TV critic David Bianculli shares his review and then we'll listen back to interviews with actor Timothy Olyphant, who played the sheriff Seth Bullock, and we'll also hear from David Milch who created and wrote the show. And film critic Justin Chang reviews the new Elton John biopic 'Rocketman.'...

SCOTUS And Abortion
'New York Times' correspondent Adam Liptak talks about how President Trump's two appointees might change the Supreme Court — including its direction on abortion: "It's not hard to write a decision striking down Roe," he says. "It's built on quicksand." Also, Kevin Whitehead reviews drummer Jeff Williams' new album 'Bloom.'...

Inside 'Sara Berman's Closet'
The art installation 'Sara Berman's Closet' chronicles the life of a woman who grew up in a shtetl in Belarus, fled with family to Palestine, and then eventually moved to New York City to start a new life. Berman's daughter, children's book author and illustrator Maira Kalman and Berman's grandson, designer Alex Kalman, tell her story in a new book accompaniment to the museum exhibit. Also, we remember Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist and bestselling author Tony Horwitz. He spoke with Terry Gross in 1998 w...


The Mental Health 'Epidemic' On College Campuses
As colleges and universities across the country report an explosion of mental health problems, a new book argues that college life may actually be more stressful than ever. Dr. Anthony Rostain, co-author of 'The Stressed Years of Their Lives,' notes that today's college students are experiencing an "inordinate amount of anxiety" — much of it centered on "surviving college and doing well." Co-author and family therapist B. Janet Hibbs joins Rostain to talk about the root causes of the stress and how families...

Sir Elton John
The new biographical musical film 'Rocketman' is based on Elton John's life story. He spoke with Terry Gross in 2013 about what he calls "Elton John excess," his fear of sex as a young man, and how Liberace's example encouraged him to make the piano a star instrument and embrace wild costumes....

Best Of: John Waters / Lizzo
John Waters has made a career out of rebelling against the norm. The 'Pink Flamingos' and 'Hairspray' director returns to 'Fresh Air' to talk about what he was like as a kid, and how he still finds ways to break the rules as a self-described "filth elder." His new book about his career in Hollywood is 'Mr. Know-It-All.' Rapper, singer and flutist Lizzo talks to Terry Gross about collaborating with Prince, feminism, and using music to help people find a positive place within themselves. Her new album is 'Cuz...


Michael Pollan On the 'New Science' Of Psychedelics
Pollan discusses the history of psychedelic drugs, including LSD and magic mushrooms, and explains how they're currently being used experimentally in therapeutic settings to treat depression, addiction, and fear of death. The author experimented with psychedelics for research. "I had an experience that was by turns frightening and ecstatic and weird," he says. 'How To Change Your Mind' is now out in paperback. Also, critic John Powers reviews 'Booksmart,' a film about two brainy girls who are desperate to p...

The 'Power Struggle' Within The NRA
'New York Times' reporter Danny Hakim discusses conflicts within the NRA's leadership, its lawsuit against its advertising and PR company, and what leaked documents reveal about the organization.Also, jazz critic Kevin Whitehead reviews 'The Secret Between The Shadow and the Soul' from saxophonist Branford Marsalis, and TV critic David Bianculli looks ahead to the ABC special 'Live in Front of a Studio Audience,' which recreates individual episodes of two vintage shows....

A New Approach To Dementia
While caring for her mother, who had dementia, bioethicist Tia Powell began imagining a different way to approach the disease. Her new book, 'Dementia Reimagined,' looks at long-term care options and end-of-life decisions. Also, movie critic Justin Chang reviews 'The Souvenir,' about a film student who falls into an intense and fraught relationship with an older man....


John Waters On Being A 'Filth Elder'
The cult filmmaker, 73, has plenty of ideas about what older people should and shouldn't do. "You can't be trying too hard to rebel [when] you're older," Waters says. He talks about what he was like as a kid, why he's done making movies, and what he wants on his tombstone. His new book about his life in Hollywood is 'Mr. Know-It-All: The Tarnished Wisdom of a Filth Elder.' Also, book critic Maureen Corrigan reviews 'Spying On The South.'...

Best Of: Howard Stern / Phoebe Waller-Bridge
Howard Stern talks about how therapy changed his radio show, what makes him cringe about his early shock jock style, and how being a misfit as a kid pushed him to find an audience. His new book is 'Howard Stern Comes Again.' Phoebe Waller-Bridge writes female characters who are flawed, reckless, unpredictable and real — women not typically seen onscreen. She's the creator and star of the Amazon Prime series 'Fleabag' and creator/producer of the BBC America series 'Killing Eve.' She talks about her character...

Novelist Explores Sexuality & Relationships In 'My Ex-Life'
Stephen McCauley's novel, 'My Ex-Life,' is a comedy about a couple whose marriage ended years ago when the husband came out as gay. "All relationships evolve — even for people who stay together," he says. McCauley's book is now out in paperback. Also, rock critic Ken Tucker reviews the new album from Vampire Weekend, 'Father of the Bride,' and TV critic David Bianculli reviews the new adaptation of Joseph Heller's 'Catch-22' on Hulu, created and directed by George Clooney....


The Dark Side Of Generic Prescription Drugs
Journalist Katherine Eban says most of the generic medicine being sold in the U.S. is manufactured overseas — sometimes under questionable quality control standards. She talks about instances of fabricated data, sabotaged inspections, and drugs released onto the market before they're ready. Eban's new book is 'Bottle of Lies.' Also, John Powers reviews season 2 of 'Fleabag,' the Amazon series created by and starring Phoebe Waller-Bridge....

Howard Stern: Part 2 / Remembering Doris Day
In the second half of our two-part interview, Stern talks about his 2017 cancer scare, his thoughts on retirement, and his mother's depression. His new book is 'Howard Stern Comes Again.'Also, we remember late Hollywood actress and singer Doris Day. She spoke with Terry Gross in 2012. She died Monday at 97....

Howard Stern: Part 1
The self-proclaimed "King of All Media" speaks with Terry Gross for the first time. Stern talks about how therapy changed his radio show, what makes him cringe about his early shock jock style, and how being a misfit as a kid pushed him to find an audience. His new book is 'Howard Stern Comes Again.' Part 2 will be available May 15....


Phoebe Waller-Bridge, Creator Of 'Killing Eve' & 'Fleabag'
Waller-Bridge writes female characters who are flawed, reckless, unpredictable and real — women not typically seen onscreen. She's the creator and star of the Amazon Prime series 'Fleabag' and creator/producer of the BBC America series 'Killing Eve.' She talks about the interplay of guilt and grief, her character's obsession with sex in 'Fleabag,' and why she wanted to be a boy when she was young. Also, film critic Justin Chang reviews 'Non-Fiction,' a comedy that takes place in Paris' literary scene....

Best Of: How Kleptocrats Stash Fortunes / 'PEN15' Creators
Journalist Oliver Bullough runs kleptocracy tours in London, in which he points out mansions bought by corrupt foreign leaders and oligarchs. His book 'Moneyland' describes their secretive transnational world.Ken Tucker reviews Lizzo's first major label album, 'Cuz I Love You.'From braces to bullies, crushes and drama, middle school is a period of adolescence that might best be described as cringe-worthy.​ In the Hulu series 'PEN15,' actors Maya Erskine and Anna Konkle play 13-year-old versions of themselve...

Celebrating HBO's 'Veep'
After seven seasons, 'Veep' is ending this weekend. We listen back to archival interviews with showrunner David Mandel, star Julia Louis-Dreyfus and co-star Tony Hale. Also, Kevin Whitehead reviews the movie 'Bolden' about jazz's original hero, Charles "Buddy" Bolden, and Lloyd Schwartz reads his poem 'Little Kisses.'...


Why Deutsche Bank Loaned Donald Trump Billions When No One Else Would
The German bank was Trump's partner on countless investments at a time when most of Wall Street shied away. As a result, 'New York Times' finance editor David Enrich says, it has a trove of information about Trump. "Deutsche Bank has become the Rosetta Stone for congressional and state investigators who are trying to better understand and get information about Donald Trump's network of business and his own personal finances," Enrich says....

The Law That Kept 2 Generations Of Immigrants Out Of The U.S.
Journalist Daniel Okrent says that the eugenics movement — a junk science that stemmed from the belief that certain races and ethnicities were morally and genetically superior to others — informed the Immigration Act of 1924, which restricted entrance to the U.S. Jews, Italians, Greeks and other Eastern Europeans were targeted. Okrent talks about the parallel between the xenophobia of the early 20th century and President Trump's hard-line stance today. His book is 'The Guarded Gate.' Also, critic John Power...

Shedding Light On Domestic Violence
An average of four women are killed by their partners every day in America. Crisis center CEO Suzanne Dubus and journalist Rachel Louise Snyder talk about identifying risk factors in abusive relationships, prevention, and how to set victims up with resources to rebuild their lives. Snyder's book is 'No Visible Bruises.' Also, critic Ken Tucker reviews the debut album from Nat Turner Rebellion, a '70s R&B group whose record 'Laugh To Keep From Crying' was kept under wraps for half a century....


'PEN15' Revisits The Awkwardness Of Middle School
From braces to bullies, crushes and drama, middle school is a period of adolescence that might best be described as cringe-worthy.​ In the Hulu series 'PEN15,' actors Maya Erskine and Anna Konkle play 13-year-old versions of themselves in the year 2000 — even though they're in their early 30s.​ They spoke with Sam Briger about their physical transformation and reliving those difficult years.Molly and John Chester took a massive leap when they decided to leave behind their urban lifestyle in Los Angeles to s...

Best Of: Patricia Arquette / Erin Lee Carr
Patricia Arquette has won awards for her performances in 'Escape at Dannemora,' 'Boyhood' and 'Medium.' She currently stars in 'The Act' on Hulu, based on the real-life story of Dee Dee Blanchard, a woman who lied to her daughter, Gypsy Rose, and everyone they knew — including doctors — that Gypsy Rose was seriously ill. Dee Dee Blanchard was posthumously diagnosed with Munchausen syndrome by proxy after she was murdered in 2015. Arquette talks about playing a series of complex roles in the past few years, ...

Remembering 'Boyz N The Hood' Dir. John Singleton
We remember film director John Singleton who died Monday at the age of 51. He made his debut in 1991 with the semi-autobiographical movie 'Boyz n the Hood,' about a group of kids growing up surrounded by drug addiction and gang violence in South Central L.A. Critic Soraya Nadia McDonald reviews the new memoir 'What Doesn't Kill You Makes You Blacker' by Damon Young. Then we remember singer Jo Sullivan Loesser who starred in Frank Loesser's Broadway show 'The Most Happy Fella' and then married him. Frank Loe...


John Bolton's Push For 'Aggressive Use' Of U.S. Power
'New Yorker' staff writer Dexter Filkins says President Trump's current National Security Adviser John Bolton has been hawkish his whole life. His aggressive world view often contrasts with Trump's isolationist tendencies. After President Obama won the Nobel Peace Prize, Bolton said "Homo sapiens are hardwired for violent conflict." Filkins' new article is 'John Bolton On The War Path.' Also, TV critic David Bianculli reviews 'Dead To Me,' a new black comedy series on Netflix starring Linda Cardellini and C...

How Oligarchs, Kleptocrats & Crooks Stash Fortunes
Journalist Oliver Bullough runs kleptocracy tours in London, in which he points out mansions bought by corrupt foreign leaders and oligarchs. His book 'Moneyland' describes their secretive transnational world.Also, Ken Tucker reviews Lizzo's first major label album, 'Cuz I Love You.'...

Erin Lee Carr, Daughter Of David Carr
Writer and documentary filmmaker Erin Lee Carr, daughter of the late 'New York Times' columnist David Carr, talks about her parents' drug addiction and what it was like to have her father as a mentor. Her new memoir is 'All That You Leave Behind,' and she directed the HBO documentary 'At the Heart of Gold,' about the gymnasts sexually assaulted by Dr. Larry Nassar....


Actor Patricia Arquette
Arquette has won awards for her performances in 'Escape at Dannemora,' 'Boyhood' and 'Medium.' She currently stars in 'The Act' on Hulu, based on the real-life story of Dee Dee Blanchard, a woman who falsely convinced her daughter, Gypsy Rose, and everyone they knew — including doctors — that Gypsy Rose was seriously ill and needed to use a wheelchair. Dee Dee Blanchard was murdered in 2015, and posthumously diagnosed with Munchausen syndrome by proxy. Arquette talks about playing a series of complex roles ...

Best Of: 'Lear' Actor Glenda Jackson / Baseball History In 10 Pitches
The 82-year-old British actor is currently playing Shakespeare's famed tragic figure on Broadway — a role traditionally played by a man. "As we get older, those absolute barriers that define gender begin to crack," she says. Jackson took a 23-year break from acting when she was elected to Parliament in 1992. Also, linguist Geoffrey Nunberg talks about the true meaning of the s-word: "socialism." And 'New York Times' baseball writer Tyler Kepner spoke to 22 hall-of-fame pitchers about what they throw, and ho...

The Zombies & Roxy Music Head To The Rock & Roll Hall Of Fame
The 2019 Rock & Roll Hall of Fame inductees include the Zombies and Roxy Music. We listen back to archival interviews with Colin Blunstone of the Zombies, and Bryan Ferry and Brian Eno of Roxy Music. Also, John Powers reviews the Netflix nature series 'Our Planet.'...


The Revelations And Redactions Of The Mueller Report
'Washington Post' investigative reporter Rosalind Helderman broke some of the big stories on the Trump's team's ties to Russia. She co-wrote commentary and analysis for the Post's publication of the Mueller report. Helderman notes what's new in the report, the questions left unanswered, and how encrypted texts and witnesses stymied the investigation. Also, critic Justin Chang reviews 'Avengers: End Game.'...

How Psychiatry Turned To Drugs To Treat Mental Illness
The new book 'Mind Fixers' examines psychiatry's search for a biological understanding of mental illnesses, like depression and bipolar disorder. Science historian Anne Harrington talks about the revolution in medications — from Prozac to Xanax — and why pharmaceutical companies are leaving the psychiatric field. Maureen Corrigan reviews Janny Scott's memoir 'The Beneficiary,' about growing up in a wealthy Main Line family in Philadelphia. Scott's grandmother was said to be the inspiration for the Katharin...

Actor Glenda Jackson Is King Lear
The 82-year-old British actor is currently playing Shakespeare's famed tragic figure on Broadway — a role traditionally played by a man. "As we get older, those absolute barriers that define gender begin to crack," she says. Jackson took a 23-year break from acting when she was elected to Parliament in 1992. She talks about playing kings and queens and what it was like having her own constituency....


How The Navy Failed Its Sailors
ProPublica journalist T. Christian Miller says outdated equipment and a shortage of sailors contributed to two separate collisions involving Navy destroyers in 2017, in which 17 sailors were killed.Jazz critic Kevin Whitehead reviews Herlin Riley's album 'Perpetual Optimism.'...

Best Of: Robert Caro / Christopher Meloni
Two-time Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Robert Caro was never interested in only telling the stories of great men. Instead, he says, "I wanted to use their lives to show how political power worked." He talks about his two most famous works — biographies of Lyndon Johnson and New York City planner Robert Moses. His new memoir about his process is called 'Working.' Also, Ken Tucker reviews The Mekons' new album 'Deserted,' their first in 8 years.After 12 seasons on 'Law & Order: SVU,' Christopher Meloni pl...

The Remarkable Life Of Frederick Douglass
David Blight's Pulitzer Prize-winning biography describes Frederick Douglass' escape from slavery, his passionate leadership in the abolitionist movement and his gift as a writer and orator. Blight spoke with 'Fresh Air' in December of 2018.Aretha Franklin has been awarded a posthumous "Special Citation" Pulitzer Prize. We'll hear an excerpt of her 1999 interview with Terry Gross. Also, film critic Justin Chang reviews 'Long Day's Journey Into Night,' the second feature from the Chinese writer-director Bi G...


From Fastballs To Greaseballs, A History Of Baseball In 10 Pitches
'New York Times' baseball writer Tyler Kepner spoke to 22 hall-of-fame pitchers about what they throw, and how they get a mental edge over hitters. His new book is 'K: A History of Baseball in Ten Pitches.'Also, Maureen Corrigan reviews the novel 'Lost and Wanted' by Nell Freudenberger, about an MIT physicist who finds her rational understanding of the universe challenged by the death of a friend....

Actor Christopher Meloni / Tiger Woods' Historic Comeback
After 12 seasons on Law & Order: SVU, Christopher Meloni plays a disgraced policeman-turned-hit man in the second season of the Syfi Channel series Happy!. Meloni talks about being a bouncer before he broke into acting, playing tough guys, and life after 'Law & Order.' Tiger Woods' recent Masters title follows a 10-year drought of major tournament victories. Jeff Benedict, co-author of the biography 'Tiger Woods,' says the golfer's comeback "transcends sports."...

How Climate Change Threatens Humanity
Bill McKibben, who first warned of climate change 30 years ago, says its effects are now upon us. He talks about heat waves, fires, flooding, drought, and, soon, millions of climate refugees. "The idea that anybody's going to be immune from this anywhere is untrue," he says. His new book is 'Falter.'Also, Ken Tucker reviews The Mekons' new album 'Deserted,' their first in 8 years....


Robert Caro
The two-time Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist was never interested in only telling the stories of great men. Instead, he says, "I wanted to use their lives to show how political power worked." He talks about his two most famous works — biographies of Lyndon Johnson and Robert Moses. His new memoir about his process is called 'Working.' Also, jazz critic Kevin Whitehead reviews a new album from trumpeter Tom Harrell....

Best Of: Henry Winkler / Rob Delaney
After wrapping up his role as 'Happy Days' iconic cool guy, The Fonz, in 1985, Winkler struggled with typecasting. Eventually he was able to move on. He plays a self-involved acting teacher on HBO's 'Barry.' He talks with Terry Gross about his early career, his own experience in acting classes, and struggling with dyslexia. Rock critic Ken Tucker reviews Billie Eilish's debut album, 'When We All Fall Asleep, Where Do We Go?'Rob Delaney, the co-creator, co-writer and co-star of the Amazon comedy series 'Cata...

Ray Romano / Remembering Seymour Cassel
Ray Romano spoke to Terry Gross in 2016 about life after 'Everybody Loves Raymond,' and how fame has affected him. "Here's what I say: Before I thought my cab driver hated me; now I think my limo driver hates me." His new Netflix special is 'Right Here, Around the Corner.' Actor Seymour Cassel, who died April 7, performed as a child during matinees of his mom's burlesque shows. He went on to appear in movies directed by John Cassavetes and Wes Anderson. He spoke with Terry Gross in 2006....


Henry Winkler
After wrapping up his role as 'Happy Days' iconic cool guy, The Fonz, in 1985, Winkler struggled with typecasting. Eventually he was able to move on. He plays a self-involved acting teacher on HBO's 'Barry.' He talks with Terry Gross about his early career, his own experience in acting classes, and struggling with dyslexia. Also, John Powers reflects on 'Game of Thrones' as it enters its final season....

American Prosecution & Mass Incarceration
The U.S. prison population is booming; an estimated 2.1 million people were incarcerated in America in 2016, and as many people in the U.S. have criminal records as have graduated from four-year colleges. Journalist and Yale Law lecturer Emily Bazelon attributes America's high incarceration rates to prosecutors more than judges. Bazelon spent 2.5 years reporting on the Brooklyn district attorney's office. Her new book, 'Charged,' examines the power of prosecutors and looks at alternatives to bail, plea barg...

Congress In The Trump Era
Jake Sherman and Anna Palmer, who cover Congress for 'Politico,' discuss the power dynamics of Capitol Hill during the Trump Presidency. Their new book is 'The Hill To Die On.'Also, book critic Maureen Corrigan reviews the novel 'Normal People' by Sally Rooney....


How Climate Change Became A Partisan Issue
Journalist Nathaniel Rich talks about the missed opportunities in our recent history that could've halted or slowed climate change. Rich says that from 1979 until 1989, climate change was viewed as a bipartisan problem — then the the oil industry "descended and bared its fangs" and everything changed. His new book is 'Losing Earth.'Also, rock critic Ken Tucker reviews Billie Eilish's debut album, 'When We All Fall Asleep, Where Do We Go?'...

Best Of: Conductor Yannick Nézet-Séguin / A Therapist Goes To Therapy
Yannick Nézet-Séguin, who conducts New York's Metropolitan Opera and the Philadelphia Orchestra, spoke with Terry Gross in front of a live audience for a WHYY event about his style of leadership and using his whole body when he conducts. John Powers reviews a new restoration of the 1970 film 'Wanda,' a classic of women's cinema. It was written and directed by its star, Barbara Loden.Lori Gottlieb is a psychotherapist who started seeing a therapist herself after the man she thought she would marry unexpected...

Dancer Gwen Verdon Of 'Fosse/Verdon'
The new FX series 'Fosse/Verdon' celebrates the professional and romantic relationship between legendary choreographer Bob Fosse and dancer Gwen Verdon. He created the musicals 'Chicago,' 'Damn Yankees,' and 'Sweet Charity' for her. After David Bianculli reviews the new TV series, we'll listen back to Terry Gross' 1993 interview with Verdon, as well as our 1985 interview with choreographer and dancer Merce Cunningham. Also, film critic Justin Chang reviews the new sci-fi thriller 'High Life,' starring Rober...


Conductor Yannick Nézet-Séguin
Nézet-Séguin, who directs the New York's Metropolitan Opera and the Philadelphia Orchestra, spoke with Terry Gross in front of a live audience for a WHYY event about his style of leadership, using his whole body when he conducts, and being a high-profile gay man....

Historian Henry Louis Gates Jr. / Rob Delaney Of 'Catastrophe'
Henry Louis Gates Jr. points to post-Civil War Reconstruction as the genesis of white supremacy, as white Southerners looked for ways to roll back the newly acquired rights of African-Americans. His new book is 'Stony the Road.'Rob Delaney, the co-creator, co-writer and co-star of the Amazon comedy series 'Catastrophe,' talks about his experience writing the fourth season with Sharon Horgan while grieving the death of his young son. Though working on 'Catastrophe' didn't lessen or distract Delaney from his ...

The Ongoing Crisis In Venezuela
'New York Times' reporter Nicholas Casey was in Maracaibo, Venezuela, in March 2019 during a six-day power outage that left 30 million people in the dark. "By the fourth day," he says, "you started to hear shots getting fired in the street." Shortages of food, water and medicine have become so extreme that 3 million people, a 10th of the population, have left to escape the chaos. President Nicolás Maduro is holding firm against the opposition leader, Juan Guaidó, with no resolution in sight. Casey talks abo...


The Motivations & Impact Of SCOTUS Justice John Roberts
CNN legal affairs correspondent Joan Biskupic discusses the roots of Roberts' conservatism and his work for the Reagan and George H.W. Bush administrations. She says he's had a conservative impact on the law, but is also deeply concerned about the court's reputation — something President Trump would be wise to remember. "The more Donald Trump talks about how the court is on his side, the more he's going to drive John Roberts to the left, because the last thing John Roberts wants to do is to appear Donald Tr...

Best Of: John Mulaney / Natasha Lyonne
John Mulaney was a writer at 'Saturday Night Live' for five years and recently returned to host for the first time. He talks about his 'SNL' audition, writing monologues for famous hosts, and drawing on his Catholic upbringing for stand-up material.Also, critic David Bianculli reviews 'What We Do In The Shadows' on FX. The series was created by Jemaine Clement ('Flight of the Conchords') and filmmaker Taika Waititi.Natasha Lyonne's character on the Netflix series 'Russian Doll' keeps dying and coming back t...

Mexican-American Writer Finds Inspiration In Family, Tragedy & Trump
Luis Alberto Urrea's book 'The House of Broken Angels' borrows from the story of his older brother, who died of cancer. He says the book went through a dramatic rewrite after Trump became president. [Originally broadcast March 2018.] Also, TV critic David Bianculli reviews Jordan Peele's new 'Twilight Zone' reboot....


A Therapist Goes To Therapy (And Gets A Taste Of Her Own Medicine)
Lori Gottlieb is a psychotherapist who started seeing a therapist herself after the man she thought she would marry unexpectedly broke up with her. "I think that therapy at any age, it helps people to relate better to themselves and to the people around them," she says. "It helps them to examine the way that they live their lives and take responsibility for what's not working, and also for what they can change." Her new book is 'Maybe You Should Talk to Someone.' Also, critic John Powers reviews the new PBS...

Natasha Lyonne On 'Russian Doll'
Lyonne's character on the Netflix series 'Russian Doll' keeps dying and coming back to life. It's a premise that strikes a chord with the actor; Lyonne had a near-death experience in 2005. She talks with Terry Gross about how that experience informs her work, her signature raspy voice, and wanting to be a "tough guy." Also, critic David Bianculli reviews 'What We Do In The Shadows' on FX. The series was created by Jemaine Clement ('Flight of the Conchords') and filmmaker Taika Waititi....

Comic John Mulaney
Mulaney was a writer at 'Saturday Night Live' for five years and recently returned to host for the first time. "I was absolutely terrified," he says. "To be performing something you've written and trying to listen to the jokes while making sure you're on your mark and looking into the right camera and then being pulled around to do costume fittings — it was scary." He talks about his 'SNL' audition, writing monologues for famous hosts, and drawing on his Catholic upbringing for stand-up material....


The New Zealand Massacre And The Global Resurgence Of Extremism
J.M. Berger studies the online activity of extremists. He warns that white nationalism is a growing phenomenon worldwide — with many in the movement drawing inspiration from President Trump. "When we do the social media analysis, it comes shouting out at you," he says. "We can count the links that they put out on Twitter and other social media platforms, and what we find is the most common is '#MAGA.' The most common description of somebody that they use in the profile, they use on Twitter, is 'Trump suppor...

Best Of: The Emotional Lives Of Primates / Playwright & Actor Heidi Schreck
Primatologist Frans de Waal has spent 40 years studying the behavior and emotions of primates. He talks about how primates experience jealousy, reconciliation, and empathy — just like humans. "That's a spectrum of behavior that we have, and the same thing is true for many other species." His new book is 'Mama's Last Hug.' Film critic Justin Chang reviews Jordan Peele's new horror movie, 'Us.' As a teen, Heidi Schreck debated the Constitution in competitions. Later she realized it had failed to protect four ...

Remembering Poet W.S. Merwin / 'King Of The Surf Guitar' Dick Dale
W.S. Merwin, the former U.S. poet laureate, died March 15. He was a prolific writer as well as a conservationist and a conscientious objector during World War II. He spoke to 'Fresh Air' in 2008. Dick Dale, who was known as the "King of the Surf Guitar," died March 16 at 81. He spoke with Terry Gross in 1993 about his distinctive style of guitar playing, inspired by waves. Also, TV critic David Bianculli reviews the new season of the Showtime series 'Billions,' and film critic Justin Chang reviews Jordan Pe...


Did Russia Influence The Brexit Movement?
'New Yorker' journalist Ed Caesar discusses Arron Banks, the British businessman who funded the most extreme end of the pro-Brexit "Leave" campaign — possibly with help from Russia.Rock critic Ken Tucker reviews Carsie Blanton's new album 'Buck Up.'...

How Women Have Been 'Profoundly' Left Out Of The Constitution
As a teen, Heidi Schreck debated the Constitution in competitions. Later she realized it had failed to protect four generations of women in her family. "I believed it was perfect. I believed it was a tool of justice. I did not realize as a 15-year-old girl how profoundly I had been left out of it. I didn't realize that it didn't protect me," Schreck says. Her play, 'What the Constitution Means to Me,' is headed to Broadway. Pianists Lennie Tristano and Herbie Nichols were active on the New York scene in the...

The Emotional Lives Of Primates
Primatologist Frans de Waal has spent 40 years studying the behavior and emotions of primates. He talks about how primates experience jealousy, reconciliation, and empathy — just like humans. "That's a spectrum of behavior that we have, and the same thing is true for many other species." His new book is 'Mama's Last Hug.' Also, book critic Maureen Corrigan reviews 'Zora and Langston: A Story of Friendship and Betrayal' by Yuval Taylor....


Exposing The Health Risks Of Incarceration
Dr. Homer Venters spent nine years overseeing the care of thousands of inmates on New York City's Rikers Island. He details horrific cases of inmate deaths from beatings and neglect, and how a new medical record system could be used as a human rights tool. "Jail settings [are] incredibly dehumanizing, and they dehumanize the individuals who pass through them," Dr. Venters says. Security staff and health staff can stop seeing inmates as people. "They look at them as problems. They look at them as liars, as m...

Best Of: Aidy Bryant / Finding God In The Faith Of Others
'Saturday Night Live' cast member Aidy Bryant mourns the time she lost in her teens and early 20s feeling self-conscious about her weight and living in fear of judgment about her body. "The second I stopped being afraid of someone calling me fat, I was able to start to focus on my goals and my dreams," Bryant says. Now she stars in the Hulu series 'Shrill,' based on Lindy West's memoir about being fat and feminist. The series follows Annie, a journalist struggling with body acceptance. Bryant talks about he...

Remembering Drummer Hal Blaine / Chef Lidia Bastianich
Hal Blaine, one of the most prolific drummers in rock 'n' roll history, played on recordings with the Beach Boys, Elvis, Sinatra and many others. He died Monday at age 90. Blaine was part of the group of sought-after studio musicians known as "The Wrecking Crew." He spoke with Terry Gross in 2001. Chef Lidia Bastianich grew up eating farm-to-table meals with her Italian family. After they fled Europe as refugees, she drew on those meals in opening her first restaurant. Her 2018 book, 'My American Dream,' i...


Aidy Bryant On 'SNL' & 'Shrill'
'Saturday Night Live' cast member Aidy Bryant mourns the time she lost in her teens and early 20s feeling self-conscious about her weight and living in fear of judgment about her body. She recalls counting calories, trying diets and hating everything about her body. "The second I stopped being afraid of someone calling me fat, I was able to start to focus on my goals and my dreams," Bryant says. Now she stars in the Hulu series 'Shrill,' based on Lindy West's memoir about being fat and feminist. The series ...

Why Emergency Room Visits Cost So Much
How could an ER visit in which a patient receives nothing more than a Band-Aid cost $629? Sarah Kliff, a health policy reporter for 'Vox,' spent over a year reading ER bills and investigating the reasons behind the high costs. Emergency rooms have a facility fee, which can range from the low hundreds to the high thousands, where the patient pays essentially for just walking through the door. Kliff will also talk about the GOP's latest attempts to cut back Obamacare, and what a Medicare-for-all plan would en...

Inside The Fight For Free Press
David McCraw, deputy general counsel for 'The New York Times,' talks about legal issues he's faced on the job — from the president's lawyer threatening to sue for libel to the decision to publish WikiLeaks documents and #MeToo allegations. His book is 'Truth in Our Times.'Jazz critic Kevin Whitehead reviews the album 'Take the Neon Lights' from Steph Richards' quartet....


Finding God In the Faith Of Others
Barbara Brown Taylor, an ordained Episcopal priest, left her job as rector of a church to become a professor of religion. Her new book, 'Holy Envy,' is about how teaching the religions of the world changed her understanding of her own faith, and how her students, who were mostly Christian, responded when she took them to mosques, synagogues, and Buddhist and Hindu temples. "I hoped it would be a way to convince them that they could find things they liked about other traditions, and it would not make them di...

Best Of: 'Never Look Away' Asks, Why Make Art? / Inside The Fox News White House
Florian Henckel von Donnersmarck's new film, 'Never Look Away,' tells the story of an artist who grows up in Nazi Germany, comes of age in East Germany and travels to the West to find freedom for himself and his art. Jane Mayer's explosive new 'New Yorker' article reveals that Fox News killed the Stormy Daniels story in 2016 before the election to protect Donald Trump, and that President Trump tried to order the Justice Department to file a lawsuit to stop AT&T from acquiring Time Warner — a deal that would...

50 Years Of 'The Godfather'
We mark the 50th anniversary of the publication of Mario Puzo's novel 'The Godfather' by listening back to our '96 interview with Puzo and our '16 interview with director Francis Ford Coppola, who adapted the novel into the iconic film. Film critic Justin Chang reviews the new 'Captain Marvel,' starring Brie Larson....


Jane Mayer On The Fox News White House
Past administrations have had favored members of the press, says 'New Yorker' investigative reporter Jane Mayer, "but nothing where someone is so close in that they are coordinating on a daily basis with the president." Mayer's explosive new report reveals that Fox News killed the Stormy Daniels story in 2016 before the election to protect Donald Trump, and that President Trump tried to order the Justice Department to file a lawsuit to stop AT&T from acquiring Time Warner — a deal that would hurt Fox News. ...

'Never Look Away' Asks: Why Make Art? Who Is It For?
The film 'Never Look Away' is about a painter who is first exposed to modern art as child growing up in Nazi Germany. His aunt takes him to an exhibit of modern art curated by Nazis, meant to show what degenerate art looks like — the kind of art the Nazis banned. By the time the boy becomes an art student, Russian communists have taken over East Germany where he lives, and all art is expected to be propaganda, showing images of happy working people. Later, he flees to West Germany and attends an art schoo...

Living With Gun Violence And Trauma In Chicago
Journalist Alex Kotlowitz spent a summer in Chicago chronicling people whose lives were changed or lost due to gun violence. He likens the trauma of living with gun violence to the PTSD some veterans experience. "Once you've had one act of violence around you it's hard to escape it, and so I just wanted to get at how the violence gets in people's bones," he says. His book is 'An American Summer.' Also, Ken Tucker reviews Maren Morris' new album 'Girl.'...


The 'Orchid' Vs. 'The Dandelion': The Science Of Sensitive Kids
Pediatrician Thomas Boyce has treated children who seem to be completely unflappable and unfazed by their surroundings — as well as those who are extremely sensitive to their environments. Over the years, he began to liken these two types of children to two very different flowers: dandelions and orchids. He talks about his research and gives advice on how to parent "orchid children." Boyce's book is 'The Orchid and the Dandelion: Why Some Children Struggle and How All Can Thrive.' Also, book critic Maureen ...

Best Of: Pamela Adlon / Inside The Real 'Green Book'
Pamela Adlon directs, co-writes and stars in the FX comedy series 'Better Things,' which begins its third season on Thursday. The show centers on a single working mother of three daughters who is also trying to help her elderly mother and keep her acting career alive. Adlon tells Terry Gross about her decision to continue making 'Better Things' after cutting ties with series co-creator Louis C.K.TV critic David Bianculli reviews the HBO documentary 'Leaving Neverland,' which explores whether Michael Jackson...

Remembering 'Singin' In The Rain' Co-Director Stanley Donen
"Dance numbers are anything but spontaneous," Donen told Fresh Air in 1996. Donen, who died Feb. 21, also directed 'On the Town,' 'Funny Face' and 'Damn Yankees,' among other films.Also, we remember 'Philadelphia Daily News' obituary writer Jim Nicholson, who died on Feb. 22, by listening back to a 1987 interview. Plus, 'Philadelphia Inquirer' journalist David Gambacorta reflects on the legendary obit writer with Dave Davies.TV critic David Bianculli reviews the HBO documentary 'Leaving Neverland,' which ex...


How Secretary of State Mike Pompeo Translates Trump
According to journalist Mattathias Schwartz, a major part of Pompeo's job is traveling the world and cleaning up the president's messes. Schwartz writes about Pompeo in the 'New York Times Magazine.' He says Pompeo was the primary architect of Trump's negotiations with North Korea about its nuclear arsenal—talks which just collapsed.And jazz critic Kevin Whitehead reviews a new album from Allison Miller's band Boom Tic Boom. Critic Justin Chang reviews the German film 'Transit,' about a man who flees Nazi-o...

Why Older Women Are Often The 'Happiest Demographic' In America
Mary Pipher's new book, 'Women Rowing North,' chronicles the positive aspects of transitioning from middle age to old age: "At this life stage, women start granting themselves the power of no," she says. Jennifer Stockburger runs the "Test Track" for Consumer Reports, where the magazine tests out hundreds of cars, trucks and SUVs. She says there are more than 50 tests that drive each vehicle's rating. She spoke with 'Fresh Air' contributor Sonari Glinton. Also, book critic Maureen Corrigan reviews Valeria L...

Pamela Adlon On 'Better Things'
Adlon directs, co-writes and stars in the FX comedy series 'Better Things,' which begins its third season on Thursday. The show centers on a single working mother of three daughters who is also trying to help her elderly mother and keep her acting career alive. "It's an exaggerated version of my life," Adlon says. Adlon also tells Terry Gross about her decision to continue making 'Better Things' after cutting ties with series co-creator Louis C.K....


Documentary Chronicles The Real Life 'Green Book'
Filmmaker Yoruba Richen's documentary, 'The Green Book: Guide to Freedom,' tells the story of the manual, first published in 1936, that helped African-Americans find safe places to stay, eat, shop and do business on the road. Also, rock critic Ken Tucker reviews two Ray Charles albums of country music that have just been re-issued. And John Powers reviews a debut novel titled 'American Spy.'...

Best Of: 'Surviving R. Kelly' Filmmaker dream hampton / Adam Savage Of 'MythBusters'
R. Kelly was charged on Friday with 10 counts of aggravated criminal sexual abuse involving four victims. In an interview recorded Wednesday, Feb. 13, activist, filmmaker and writer dream hampton tells Terry Gross about her six-part docuseries 'Surviving R. Kelly,' which chronicles sexual abuse allegations against R. Kelly. Also, jazz critic Kevin Whitehead reviews 1960s live recordings featuring singer Jeanne Lee and pianist Ran Blake. Finally, former 'MythBusters' co-host Adam Savage spoke with 'Fresh Ai...

Rami Malek / Adam McKay
"No one can sing like Freddie Mercury," Malek told Terry Gross in November 2018. The actor has been nominated for an Academy Award for playing Queen's lead singer in the biopic 'Bohemian Rhapsody.' Also, filmmaker Adam McKay spoke to Terry Gross in January 2019 about his efforts to bring former vice president Dick Cheney "to the foreground" in 'Vice.' The film is up for eight Academy Awards....


How 2 Conspiracy Theorists Shaped Trump's Worldview
Two of the people under investigation by Robert Mueller — Roger Stone and Jerome Corsi — are conspiracy theorists who believe the deep state is trying to take over America. 'New Yorker' staff writer Jeffrey Toobin tells Terry Gross how Stone and Corsi came together to support Donald Trump during the 2016 presidential campaign, and why they matter to the Mueller investigation. "If there was contact between the Trump campaign, or even Trump himself, and WikiLeaks, it went through Corsi and Stone," Toobin says...

'Surviving R. Kelly' Filmmaker dream hampton
Last week, reports surfaced of a new videotape showing singer R. Kelly engaging in sex acts with an underage girl. This is not the first time the R&B star has been accused of sexual abuse. Allegations have circled Kelly for decades; in 2002, a videotape surfaced that purportedly showed him engaging in sexual acts with a teenage girl. Until recently, the accusations did not seem to impact his career. But activist, filmmaker and writer dream hampton isn't about to let Kelly off the hook. hampton executive pro...

Former Deputy FBI Director Andrew McCabe
McCabe served as acting director of the FBI after President Trump fired James Comey in the spring of 2017. McCabe felt that there was enough circumstantial evidence to open criminal and counterintelligence investigations into the president's ties to Russia and possible obstruction of justice. "These were extraordinary steps. They were ones that we took only after great consideration and review," he says. In March of 2018, McCabe was fired 26 hours before he was set to retire. He talks with Terry Gross abou...


The Story Of American Imperialism
American presidents like to describe the United States as a force for freedom and independence in the world. Historian Daniel Immerwahr says there are also plenty of times in our history when we've subjugated and ruled foreign lands, sometimes with bloody conquests. Today, roughly 4 million people live in the American territories of Puerto Rico, Guam, American Samoa, and the Northern Mariana Islands. Immerwahr's new book, 'How to Hide an Empire,' looks at the history of and forces behind US territorial expa...

Best Of: Wildlife 'Dynasties' / The Neuroscience Of Addiction
The new BBC documentary series 'Dynasties' follows five groups of animals for up to two years, revealing their social relationships: kinship, affection, and sometimes deadly power struggles. The show's executive producer Michael Gunton talks about filming lions, tigers, painted wolves, emperor penguins, and chimpanzees. Rock critic Ken Tucker reviews new albums by guitarists Steve Gunn and Michael Chapman.Growing up, Judith Grisel struggled with alcohol, marijuana and cocaine. Now, as a neuroscientist, she...

Spike Lee / Paul Schrader On 'First Reformed'
Filmmaker Spike Lee is nominated for best director for 'BlackKkKlansman.' He spoke with Terry Gross about growing up in Brooklyn, gentrification, and how he got started in film. TV critic David Bianculli reviews the Amazon documentary series 'Lorena,' about Lorena Bobbitt, who made headlines in 1993 when she cut off her husband's penis. 'First Reformed,' which Paul Schrader wrote and directed, is up for an Oscar for best screenplay. Ethan Hawke stars as a divorced minister experiencing a crisis of faith. Sc...


Inside The Social Structures Of Lions, Tigers, Wolves, Penguins & Chimps
'Dynasties,' a new BBC documentary series narrated by David Attenborough, is about the complex social structures of five different groups of animals. The show's executive producer Michael Gunton talks about the power struggles among animals that played out over years of filming. "One of the essential elements of the series is that you feel close to the animals," Gunton says....

How Russian-Style Kleptocracy Is Infiltrating America
'Atlantic' journalist Franklin Foer says American real estate (including Trump Organization properties) has become a "giant magnet" for Russia's kleptocratic fortunes. Foer also talks about the Mueller investigation and Paul Manafort, Trump's former campaign manager, who will be sentenced next month on charges of witness tampering and conspiracy relating to money laundering scheme. His article about Manafort, 'American Hustler,' is nominated for a National Magazine Award....

The Neuroscience Of Addiction
Growing up, Judith Grisel struggled with alcohol, marijuana and cocaine. Now, as a neuroscientist, she's working to understand the biological basis of addiction. Her new book is 'Never Enough.' Grisel talks about how various drugs affect the brain, and her own experience with addiction. Grisel has been clean and sober for 30 years. Also, rock critic Ken Tucker reviews two new albums by guitarists Steve Gunn and Michael Chapman....


The Science Of Exercise Recovery / Adam Savage Of 'MythBusters'
From sports drinks to protein powders, compression therapy to cupping, there's a whole industry of products and services designed to help us adapt to and recover from exercise. But does any of it work? That's the question health journalist Christie Aschwanden set out to answer in her new book, 'Good to Go.' Also, former 'MythBusters' co-host Adam Savage spoke with 'Fresh Air' about working with kids in 'MythBusters Jr.' and a near-death experience he had in a car underwater....

Best Of: Daughter Of A Numbers Runner / Random House Copy Chief
Before states ran legal lotteries there was the underground street version — the numbers. When writer Bridgett M. Davis was growing up in Detroit in the '60s, her mother was a successful bookie in the African-American community. She says the numbers helped fund both an underground economy and legitimate businesses at a time when opportunities for African-Americans were limited. Davis' memoir is 'The World According to Fannie Davis.'Critic John Powers reviews the films 'Everybody Knows' and 'Cold War.' Benja...

The Coen Brothers / Remembering Baseball Hall of Famer Frank Robinson
Filmmakers Joel and Ethan Coen spoke to 'Fresh Air' in November 2018 about 'The Ballad of Buster Scruggs,' a Western that often subverts the expectations of the genre. The film is up for three Academy Awards.Frank Robinson, who died Thursday, was the first player to win both the American and National League MVP award. He later became the first black manager of a major league team. He spoke with Terry Gross in 1988. Critic John Powers reviews the films 'Cold War' and 'Everybody Knows.'...


NYT's Michael Schmidt On Mueller, Trump And Russia
Schmidt was one of the 'Times' reporters who reported in January that the FBI had opened a counterintelligence investigation in 2017 into whether Trump was secretly working on behalf of Russia against American interests. "I knew that it was significant," he says, yet, "It's hard to be surprised." Schmidt talks about working with anonymous sources, Trump's use of confusion as a possible tactic, and what to expect from Mueller's final report. Also, critic Ken Tucker shares hip-hop singles by 21 Savage, Lizzo ...

Environmental Photographer Captures Climate Change
The new documentary 'The Human Element' follows photographer James Balog as he captures images of rising sea levels, melting glaciers and roaring wildfires associated with climate change. Also, book critic Maureen Corrigan reviews the essay collection 'Black is the Body' by Emily Bernard....