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.

Best Of: Lin-Manuel Miranda / Actor Christine Baranski
A film of the original Broadway production of 'Hamilton,' taped in 2016, is now streaming on Disney+. Creator Lin-Manuel Miranda, who stars in the title role, says the production is as timely as ever. "When you write a musical that brushes against the origins of this country, it's always going to be relevant," he says. "The fights we had at the [country's] origin are the fights we're still having." Christine Baranski started her career in theater and now stars as a progressive lawyer in 'The Good Fight.' "I...

Best Of: Lin-Manuel Miranda / Actor Christine Baranski
A film of the original Broadway production of 'Hamilton,' taped in 2016, is now streaming on Disney+. Creator Lin-Manuel Miranda, who stars in the title role, says the production is as timely as ever. "When you write a musical that brushes against the origins of this country, it's always going to be relevant," he says. "The fights we had at the [country's] origin are the fights we're still having." Christine Baranski started her career in theater and now stars as a progressive lawyer in 'The Good Fight.' "I...

Remembering Carl Reiner
Performer, writer, director Carl Reiner died Monday at 98. Reiner began his career in showbiz as an actor and became second banana on Sid Caesar's 'Show of Shows' where he soon joined the writing team that included Mel Brooks, Woody Allen, and Larry Gelbart. He created 'The Dick Van Dyke Show,' one of television's most celebrated comedies. We'll listen back to our interview with Reiner, and we hear excerpts of interviews with Mary Tyler Moore who worked with Reiner on 'The Dick Van Dyke Show,' and from Mel ...


Remembering Carl Reiner
Performer, writer, director Carl Reiner died Monday at 98. Reiner began his career in showbiz as an actor and became second banana on Sid Caesar's 'Show of Shows' where he soon joined the writing team that included Mel Brooks, Woody Allen, and Larry Gelbart. He created 'The Dick Van Dyke Show,' one of television's most celebrated comedies. We'll listen back to our interview with Reiner, and we hear excerpts of interviews with Mary Tyler Moore who worked with Reiner on 'The Dick Van Dyke Show,' and from Mel ...

Sir Patrick Stewart On 'Star Trek: Picard'
Patrick Stewart is back as Captain Jean-Luc Picard in the CBS All Access series 'Star Trek: Picard.' He says he's changed as an actor over the years: "I am not averse to risk-taking and I don't judge myself." Stewart spoke with 'Fresh Air' producer Sam Briger about 'Picard,' his love of Shakespeare, and his brief time as a reporter....

Sir Patrick Stewart On 'Star Trek: Picard'
Patrick Stewart is back as Captain Jean-Luc Picard in the CBS All Access series 'Star Trek: Picard.' He says he's changed as an actor over the years: "I am not averse to risk-taking and I don't judge myself." Stewart spoke with 'Fresh Air' producer Sam Briger about 'Picard,' his love of Shakespeare, and his brief time as a reporter....


The Militarization Of Police
Journalist Radley Balko, author of 'Rise Of The Warrior Cop,' says police departments across America are increasingly using equipment designed for use on a battlefield, including tanks, bayonets and grenades. We talk about the use of these weapons against peaceful protestors....

The Militarization Of Police
Journalist Radley Balko, author of 'Rise Of The Warrior Cop,' says police departments across America are increasingly using equipment designed for use on a battlefield, including tanks, bayonets and grenades. We talk about the use of these weapons against peaceful protestors....

A Doctor Confronts Medical Error
When Dr. Danielle Ofri was in medical school she missed a patient's critical brain bleed. Luckily, someone else caught the error and the patient survived, but Ofri lived with the guilt and shame for 20 years. Medical errors are very common, yet many in the medical community don't speak up. In her book, 'When We Do Harm,' Ofri looks into the flaws in the health care system that can lead to risky mistakes. Also, Ken Tucker reviews Bob Dylan's new album, 'Rough and Rowdy Ways.'...


A Doctor Confronts Medical Error
When Dr. Danielle Ofri was in medical school she missed a patient's critical brain bleed. Luckily, someone else caught the error and the patient survived, but Ofri lived with the guilt and shame for 20 years. Medical errors are very common, yet many in the medical community don't speak up. In her book, 'When We Do Harm,' Ofri looks into the flaws in the health care system that can lead to risky mistakes. Also, Ken Tucker reviews Bob Dylan's new album, 'Rough and Rowdy Ways.'...

'Hamilton' Creator Lin-Manuel Miranda
A film of the original Broadway production of 'Hamilton,' taped in 2016, begins streaming on Disney+ on July 3. Miranda, who stars in the title role, says the production is as timely as ever. "When you write a musical that brushes against the origins of this country, it's always going to be relevant," he says. "The fights we had at the [country's] origin are the fights we're still having." We also talk about 'In the Heights' and being productive (or not) during the pandemic....

'Hamilton' Creator Lin-Manuel Miranda
A film of the original Broadway production of 'Hamilton,' taped in 2016, begins streaming on Disney+ on July 3. Miranda, who stars in the title role, says the production is as timely as ever. "When you write a musical that brushes against the origins of this country, it's always going to be relevant," he says. "The fights we had at the [country's] origin are the fights we're still having." We also talk about 'In the Heights' and being productive (or not) during the pandemic....


Best Of: A Call For Reparations / Treating PTSD With Psychedelics
Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Nikole Hannah-Jones says 250 yeas of slavery and 100 years of legalized segregation robbed Black Americans of the ability to accumulate wealth. Cash payments would help repair the damage. Her latest piece in the 'New York Times Magazine' is 'What Is Owed.'Ken Tucker reviews new albums by Lady Gaga and Carly Rae Jepsen.Psychiatrist Dr. Julie Holland has used psychedelic-assisted therapy to treat patients with post-traumatic stress disorder. In some cases, she says, MDMA or m...

LGBTQ Activist Cleve Jones / Novelist Marijane Meaker
After the AIDS epidemic hit San Francisco, gay activist Cleve Jones co-founded the San Francisco AIDS Foundation and started the AIDS Memorial Quilt. "I have these memories of great struggle and great pain and great loss, but I also in my lifetime have seen extraordinary progress and amazing change," he says. His memoir, 'When We Rise,' was published in 2016.Marijane Meaker wrote the lesbian pulp novel 'Spring Fire' in 1952, and was surprised when it sold 1.5 million copies. She went on to write other lesbi...

LGBTQ Activist Cleve Jones / Novelist Marijane Meaker
After the AIDS epidemic hit San Francisco, gay activist Cleve Jones co-founded the San Francisco AIDS Foundation and started the AIDS Memorial Quilt. "I have these memories of great struggle and great pain and great loss, but I also in my lifetime have seen extraordinary progress and amazing change," he says. His memoir, 'When We Rise,' was published in 2016.Marijane Meaker wrote the lesbian pulp novel 'Spring Fire' in 1952, and was surprised when it sold 1.5 million copies. She went on to write other lesbi...


Actor Christine Baranski
Baranski started her career in theater and now stars as a progressive lawyer in 'The Good Fight.' "I was a passionate acting student and nothing was going to stop me," the Emmy Award-winning actor says. She talks about singing Sondheim, 'Mamma Mia,' and her grandmother who performed in the Polish theater....

A Call For Reparations: Nikole Hannah-Jones On The Wealth Gap
Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Nikole Hannah-Jones says 250 yeas of slavery and 100 years of legalized segregation robbed Black Americans of the ability to accumulate wealth. Cash payments would help repair the damage. Her latest piece in the 'New York Times Magazine' is 'What Is Owed.'...

From 'Empty' To Satisfied: A Lifelong Struggle With Eating Disorders
For nearly 30 years, 'This American Life' producer Susan Burton kept her binge eating disorder a secret. "As long as I was bingeing, I didn't have to think. I didn't have to think about any loss or pain or wanting or yearning." Burton also had anorexia, though that was harder to hide. She talks about her difficult relationship with food and work toward recovery. Burton's memoir is 'Empty.' Ken Tucker reviews Lady Gaga's 'Chromatica' and Carly Rae Jepsen's 'Dedicated Side B.' And book critic Maureen Corriga...


Treating PTSD With Psychedelics
Psychiatrist Dr. Julie Holland has used psychedelic-assisted therapy to treat patients with post-traumatic stress disorder. In some cases, she says, MDMA or marijuana can help make treatment more efficient and effective. She discusses this "revolutionary way" to treat trauma. Holland's book is 'Good Chemistry.' Also, John Powers shares his favorite espionage thriller series, a French show called 'The Bureau.'...

Treating PTSD With Psychedelics
Psychiatrist Dr. Julie Holland has used psychedelic-assisted therapy to treat patients with post-traumatic stress disorder. In some cases, she says, MDMA or marijuana can help make treatment more efficient and effective. She discusses this "revolutionary way" to treat trauma. Holland's book is 'Good Chemistry.' Also, John Powers shares his favorite espionage thriller series, a French show called 'The Bureau.'...

Best Of: The 1919 Chicago Race Riots / Parenting 'Without Perfection'
Eve Ewing's poetry collection '1919' looks back on a century-old riot in Chicago, set off after Eugene Williams, a black teen, drowned because he was stoned by white people on the beach. Police refused to make an arrest. Ewing connects the systemic racism that plagued the U.S. then to what we see happening now.Kevin Whitehead talks about a film genre that many jazz fans gripe about — the jazz biopic. Blogger and licensed family therapist Kristen Howerton talks about how raising two white biological daughter...


Rhiannon Giddens Sings Slave Narratives / Freedom Singer Bernice Johnson Reagon
Singer and banjo player Rhiannon Giddens' 2017 album 'Freedom Highway' includes songs based on slave narratives. She notes that the modern banjo draws from the African instrument known as the akonting, which is made from a gourd. "In the first 100 years of its existence, the [American] banjo was known as a plantation instrument, as a black instrument," she says.During the civil rights movement, Bernice Johnson Reagon sang freedom songs from jail, in marches and churches. She was a founding member of the Stu...

Kristen Howerton On 'Parenting Without Perfection'
Blogger and licensed family therapist Kristen Howerton talks about how raising two white biological daughters and two black adopted sons helped her understand white privilege. She reflects on motherhood, miscarriage, divorce and faith. Her new memoir is 'Rage Against the Minivan.'David Bianculli reviews HBO's new take on the courtroom drama 'Perry Mason,' starring Matthew Rhys....

Assessing COVID-19 Risk As The U.S. Reopens
With certain states loosening restrictions — and others partially in lockdown — there's a lot of widespread confusion about COVID-19 risks. We talk with University of Minnesota epidemiologist Michael Osterholm about the safety concerns in terms of protests, indoor gatherings, touching surfaces, and why the antibody test is so flawed....


The Lasting Effects Of Having — Or Being Denied — An Abortion
Dr. Diana Greene Foster interviewed 1,000 women over 10 years who either had or were denied abortions. Her study looked at the women's mental, physical and economic health. Foster says the data reveal, "95 percent of women who receive an abortion later report that it was the right decision for them." Her book is 'The Turnaway Study.' Kevin Whitehead says, while jazz fans like to hate on jazz biopics, there are plenty of interesting details embedded in the messy stories....

Poet Eve Ewing Connects 1919 Chicago Riots To Today
Ewing's poetry collection '1919' looks back on a century-old riot in Chicago, set off after a black teen drowned while being stoned by white people. Police refused to make an arrest. Ewing connects the systemic racism that plagued the U.S. then to what we see happening now. Ewing teaches at the University of Chicago's Center for the Study of Race, Politics, and Culture.Also, John Powers reviews a reissue of the novel 'The End of Me' by Alfred Hayes....

Best Of: Jamiles Lartey On Racism In Policing / Pete Davidson & Judd Apatow
Journalist Jamiles Lartey ​writes about criminal justice, race and policing for the non-profit news organization 'The Marshall Project.' ​Terry Gross spoke with Lartey about systemic racism in American policing and how we might begin to rethink these systems. "Policing wasn't always this way. It wasn't always this big. It wasn't always this bureaucratic," he says. "Sometimes as a society, you need to rethink institutions."Film critic Justin Chang reviews Spike Lee's new movie, 'Da 5 Bloods,' a twist on a Vi...


James Baldwin / Filmmaker Raoul Peck / Black Athletes & Social Justice
'I Am Not Your Negro' is the documentary about James Baldwin, one of the most influential black writers to emerge during the civil rights Era and address racial issues head on. We listen back to Terry Gross' 1986 interview with Baldwin, and we'll hear an excerpt of an interview with the director of the documentary, Raoul Peck. He was born in Haiti and was influenced by Baldwin as a young man. In 2016, 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick took a knee during the National Anthem in protest against police shoot...

Pete Davidson & Judd Apatow On 'The King Of Staten Island'
'SNL' castmember Pete Davidson plays a fictionalized version of himself in the new movie 'The King of Staten Island.' The film draws on Davidson's real life experience of losing his own father, a 9/11 First Responder. Filmmaker Judd Apatow and Davidson talk about being comedy nerds, grappling with their parents' divorces, and the importance of talking about feelings. Also, film critic Justin Chang reviews Spike Lee's new movie, 'Da 5 Bloods,' a twist on a Vietnam War saga....

Rethinking American Policing
We talk with ​journalist ​Jamiles Lartey about systemic racism in American policing​. ​He writes about criminal justice, race and policing for the non-profit news organization 'The Marshall Project.' ​"Policing wasn't always this way. It wasn't always this big. It wasn't always this bureaucratic," he says. "Sometimes as a society, you need to rethink institutions."...


Rethinking American Policing
We talk with ​journalist ​Jamiles Lartey about systemic racism in American policing​. ​He writes about criminal justice, race and policing for the non-profit news organization 'The Marshall Project.' ​"Policing wasn't always this way. It wasn't always this big. It wasn't always this bureaucratic," he says. "Sometimes as a society, you need to rethink institutions."...

The Trump Administration's Response To DC Protests
'Washington Post' reporter Matt Zapotosky talks about Attorney General William Barr's role in the Trump administration's forceful response to the largely peaceful George Floyd protests in Washington, DC....

The Brutal History Of The Texas Rangers
Their exploits are portrayed in countless movies and TV shows, but author Doug Swanson says the law enforcement agency has a dark history of abuse and officially-sanctioned racial oppression — including burning villages, hunting runaway slaves and murdering Mexicans and Mexican-Americans. Swanson's book is 'Cult of Glory.' Jazz critic Kevin Whitehead looks at what he calls the "stock jazz-movie ending," a basic plot element subject to many variations....


The Brutal History Of The Texas Rangers
Their exploits are portrayed in countless movies and TV shows, but author Doug Swanson says the law enforcement agency has a dark history of abuse and officially-sanctioned racial oppression — including burning villages, hunting runaway slaves and murdering Mexicans and Mexican-Americans. Swanson's book is 'Cult of Glory.' Jazz critic Kevin Whitehead looks at what he calls the "stock jazz-movie ending," a basic plot element subject to many variations....

Best Of: The 'New Science' Of Breathing / The Migration Of All Living Things
Humans typically take about 25,000 breaths per day — often without a second thought. We talk with journalist James Nestor about how breath work can affect your overall health. His book is 'Breath: The New Science of a Lost Art.'Jazz critic Kevin Whitehead looks at what he calls the "stock jazz-movie ending," a basic plot element subject to many variations.When living things cross into new territory, they are often viewed as threats. But science writer Sonia Shah, who has written a new book — 'The Next Great...

Best Of: The 'New Science' Of Breathing / The Migration Of All Living Things
Humans typically take about 25,000 breaths per day — often without a second thought. We talk with journalist James Nestor about how breath work can affect your overall health. His book is 'Breath: The New Science of a Lost Art.'Jazz critic Kevin Whitehead looks at what he calls the "stock jazz-movie ending," a basic plot element subject to many variations.When living things cross into new territory, they are often viewed as threats. But science writer Sonia Shah, who has written a new book — 'The Next Great...


The 'Unresolved Legacy' Of Reconstruction
In the period after the Civil War, former slaves were made promises of equality and citizenship by the federal government. Historian Eric Foner analyzes the fate of those promises and how the 13th, 14th and 15th Amendments relate to current issues around voting rights, mass incarceration and reparations for slavery. His new book is 'Forever Free.' (Originally broadcast 2006) Also, we remember award-winning author Robb Forman Dew, who died May 22. She wrote about intimate family life. Dew spoke with Terry Gr...

Why GOP Leaders Back Trump's 'Proto-Authoritarian Cult'
Journalist Anne Applebaum says President Trump's threat to deploy the military on peaceful protestors is straight out of an authoritarian playbook. The 'Atlantic' staff writer says Trump has built a proto-authoritarian cult in the White House, with little to no dissent from the GOP. "There is nothing about our democracy that is magic. A person who is determined to destroy it can destroy it — unless people can fight back." Her new article is 'History Will Judge the Complicit.' Film critic Justin Chang review...

Wes Moore On Freddie Gray & George Floyd: It's Time To 'Change The Systems'
In his book 'Five Days,' author Wes Moore chronicles the uprising that occurred in 2015 in Baltimore following Freddie Gray's death. "We're basically reliving history right now," he says of George Floyd's death at the hands of police. Moore talks about the systemic injustices that have converged to create the crisis we're in right now....


Wes Moore On Freddie Gray & George Floyd: It's Time To 'Change The Systems'
In his book 'Five Days,' author Wes Moore chronicles the uprising that occurred in 2015 in Baltimore following Freddie Gray's death. "We're basically reliving history right now," he says of George Floyd's death at the hands of police. Moore talks about the systemic injustices that have converged to create the crisis we're in right now....

Rethinking The Migration Of All Living Things
When living things cross into new territory, they are often viewed as threats. But science writer Sonia Shah, who has written a new book — 'The Next Great Migration' — says the "invaders" are just following biology. Shah talks about the migration of people, animals and plants (especially due to climate change), and our misconceptions about "belonging."...

Rethinking The Migration Of All Living Things
When living things cross into new territory, they are often viewed as threats. But science writer Sonia Shah, who has written a new book — 'The Next Great Migration' — says the "invaders" are just following biology. Shah talks about the migration of people, animals and plants (especially due to climate change), and our misconceptions about "belonging."...


Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams On George Floyd Protests & Police Reform
At 15, Eric Adams was beaten by police. The traumatizing incident inspired him to become a police officer to help reform NYC policing from the inside. He co-founded 100 Blacks In Law Enforcement Who Care, and after 22 years on the force, he retired as a captain. Now the Brooklyn Borough President, Adams talks about police reform and the protests against brutality and systemic racism happening across America. "Hitting the streets and showing your outrage and [that you're] not comfortable is something that's ...

Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams On George Floyd Protests & Police Reform
At 15, Eric Adams was beaten by police. The traumatizing incident inspired him to become a police officer to help reform NYC policing from the inside. He co-founded 100 Blacks In Law Enforcement Who Care, and after 22 years on the force, he retired as a captain. Now the Brooklyn Borough President, Adams talks about police reform and the protests against brutality and systemic racism happening across America. "Hitting the streets and showing your outrage and [that you're] not comfortable is something that's ...

Best Of: Comic Hannah Gadsby / Inside The Snowden Story
Since her explosive 2018 Netflix special, 'Nanette,' comic Hannah Gadsby has been trying to adjust to her newfound success. We talk about being diagnosed with autism and growing up in Tasmania. Her new special is 'Douglas.'Also, book critic Maureen Corrigan reviews the road-trip novel 'St. Christopher On Pluto.'Journalist Barton Gellman shares a Pulitzer for his reporting about former NSA contractor Edward Snowden and the U.S. government's secret surveillance program. Gellman talks about his tense relations...


Best Of: Comic Hannah Gadsby / Inside The Snowden Story
Since her explosive 2018 Netflix special, 'Nanette,' comic Hannah Gadsby has been trying to adjust to her newfound success. We talk about being diagnosed with autism and growing up in Tasmania. Her new special is 'Douglas.'Also, book critic Maureen Corrigan reviews the road-trip novel 'St. Christopher On Pluto.'Journalist Barton Gellman shares a Pulitzer for his reporting about former NSA contractor Edward Snowden and the U.S. government's secret surveillance program. Gellman talks about his tense relations...

Margo Price / Remembering AIDS Activist Larry Kramer
Nashville singer-songwriter Margo Price spoke with 'Fresh Air' in 2017 when her album 'All American Made' was released. She plays songs off her two records, and talks about the heartache and beauty of growing up on a farm in a small town in Illinois.AIDS activist Larry Kramer, who died May 27, was an early advocate for aggressive research into the HIV virus. He co-founded both the Gay Men's Health Crisis and the protest group ACT UP. He spoke with Terry Gross in 1992....

Margo Price / Remembering AIDS Activist Larry Kramer
Nashville singer-songwriter Margo Price spoke with 'Fresh Air' in 2017 when her album 'All American Made' was released. She plays songs off her two records, and talks about the heartache and beauty of growing up on a farm in a small town in Illinois.AIDS activist Larry Kramer, who died May 27, was an early advocate for aggressive research into the HIV virus. He co-founded both the Gay Men's Health Crisis and the protest group ACT UP. He spoke with Terry Gross in 1992....


Inside New York's Citywide Effort To Bury Its Dead
In just a two month period, New York City had 20,000 COVID deaths. What happens to the bodies? 'TIME' reporter W.J. Hennigan visited the disaster morgues set up around the city, and spoke with the death care workers on the front lines. "The scale of it is incomparable to anything that we've seen," he says. Also, John Powers reviews the new AMC limited series 'Quiz,' about a British couple suspected of cheating at a game show....

Inside New York's Citywide Effort To Bury Its Dead
In just a two month period, New York City had 20,000 COVID deaths. What happens to the bodies? 'TIME' reporter W.J. Hennigan visited the disaster morgues set up around the city, and spoke with the death care workers on the front lines. "The scale of it is incomparable to anything that we've seen," he says. Also, John Powers reviews the new AMC limited series 'Quiz,' about a British couple suspected of cheating at a game show....

Deep Breaths: How Breathing Affects Sleep, Anxiety & Resilience
Humans typically take about 25,000 breaths per day — often without a second thought. But the COVID-19 pandemic has put a new spotlight on respiratory illnesses and the breaths we so often take for granted. We talk with journalist James Nestor about why breathing through your nose is better than breathing through your mouth, snoring, and how breath work can affect your overall health. His book is 'Breath: The New Science of a Lost Art.' Kevin Whitehead reviews a new album of Transylvanian folk songs by the t...


Deep Breaths: How Breathing Affects Sleep, Anxiety & Resilience
Humans typically take about 25,000 breaths per day — often without a second thought. But the COVID-19 pandemic has put a new spotlight on respiratory illnesses and the breaths we so often take for granted. We talk with journalist James Nestor about why breathing through your nose is better than breathing through your mouth, snoring, and how breath work can affect your overall health. His book is 'Breath: The New Science of a Lost Art.' Kevin Whitehead reviews a new album of Transylvanian folk songs by the t...

Comic Hannah Gadsby
Since her explosive 2018 Netflix special, 'Nanette,' Gadsby has been trying to adjust to her newfound success. We talk about her autism diagnosis, growing up in Tasmania, and her new special, 'Douglas.' Also, book critic Maureen Corrigan reviews Nancy McKinley's road trip novel 'St. Christopher on Pluto.'...

Comic Hannah Gadsby
Since her explosive 2018 Netflix special, 'Nanette,' Gadsby has been trying to adjust to her newfound success. We talk about her autism diagnosis, growing up in Tasmania, and her new special, 'Douglas.' Also, book critic Maureen Corrigan reviews Nancy McKinley's road trip novel 'St. Christopher on Pluto.'...


Winston Churchill & Fearless Leadership In Crisis
In 'The Splendid And The Vile,' author Erik Larson details 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. (Originally Broadcast March, 2020)Lloyd Schwartz shares a collection of songs by Ella Fitzgerald and Louis Armstrong that's particularly soothing right now....

Best Of: Janelle Monáe / Meditation For Pandemic Anxiety
Musician and actor Janelle Monáe talks about the concept behind her 2018 album 'Dirty Computer,' and her identity as a queer woman in the entertainment industry. She now stars in the second season of the thriller series 'Homecoming,' as a veteran who wakes up in a rowboat and is unable to remember who she is or how she got there.John Powers reviews a recent restoration of 'Tokyo Godfathers,' a 2003 anime film by Satoshi Kon, about three social outcasts who find an abandoned baby. ABC News correspondent Dan ...

Best Of: Janelle Monáe / Meditation For Pandemic Anxiety
Musician and actor Janelle Monáe talks about the concept behind her 2018 album 'Dirty Computer,' and her identity as a queer woman in the entertainment industry. She now stars in the second season of the thriller series 'Homecoming,' as a veteran who wakes up in a rowboat and is unable to remember who she is or how she got there.John Powers reviews a recent restoration of 'Tokyo Godfathers,' a 2003 anime film by Satoshi Kon, about three social outcasts who find an abandoned baby. ABC News correspondent Dan ...


Remembering Beatles Photographer Astrid Kirchherr / Comedy Actor Fred Willard
German photographer Astrid Kirchherr, who died May 12, took the very first publicity photos of the then little-known Liverpool band, "The Beatles." She also gave the group their signature "mop-top" haircuts. Kirchherr spoke with Terry Gross in 2008 when a book of her Beatles photographs was published. John Powers reviews a new restoration of 'Tokyo Godfathers,' a 2003 anime film by Satoshi Kon about three social outcasts who find an abandoned baby. Comedy actor and improviser Fred Willard died May 15 at age...

How The Pandemic Reveals Gender Inequality In The Household
For many couples, the pandemic has exposed inequality in the home: Many women take on twice as much housework and childcare as their male partners, even when both partners are home full time. We talk with Brigid Schulte about women's visible (and invisible) labor, and how to create a more equitable household. Schulte is a journalist and author and the founder of the Better Life Lab. Also, we remember filmmaker Lynn Shelton. She died suddenly last Saturday at age 54. She wrote and directed the award-winning ...

Breaking The Edward Snowden Story
Journalist Barton Gellman shares a Pulitzer for his reporting about former NSA contractor Edward Snowden and the U.S. government's secret surveillance program. Gellman talks about his tense relationship with Snowden, getting hacked, and Snowden's lasting impact on privacy and security. His new book is 'Dark Mirror.'...


How Meditation Can Ease Pandemic Anxiety
ABC News correspondent Dan Harris was broadcasting live in 2004 when he experienced a panic attack. He credits meditation with helping him work through his anxiety — both then and now. He's the co-founder of the meditation podcast and app '10 Percent Happier.' "Meditation doesn't make the uncertainty go away. It's not like I meditate and I'm walking through this pandemic like a unicorn barfing rainbows all the time." Rather, Harris says, meditation allows people to "relax into the uncertainty."...

Janelle Monáe
The musician and actor spoke with us about the concept behind her 2018 album 'Dirty Computer,' her identity as a queer woman in the entertainment industry, and making her acting debut in the Oscar-winning film 'Moonlight.' She now stars in the second season of the thriller series 'Homecoming' as a veteran who wakes up in a rowboat and is unable to remember who she is or how she got there....

Best Of: John Moe On Depression / Alia Volz On Growing Up 'Home Baked'
In his podcast, 'The Hilarious World of Depression,' John Moe talks with his guests (mostly comics) about their experiences with mental illness. We talk about his own depression (especially during the pandemic) and how humor gives him relief.Also, Ken Tucker reviews the new album, 'Alphabetland,' from the band X.Growing up in San Francisco in the '70s, Alia Volz's family ran a booming weed brownie business, back when growing a single cannabis plant was a felony. "I had this understanding of my family as an ...


Remembering Actor Jerry Stiller / Cellist Lynn Harrell
Actor and comedian Jerry Stiller, who died May 11, was part of a comic duo with his wife Anne Meara and later played George Costanza's hot-headed father on 'Seinfeld.' He spoke to 'Fresh Air' in 1993. Also, we remember award-winning cellist Lynn Harrell. He joined the the Cleveland Orchestra when he was 18 and went on to perform as a soloist with orchestras around the world. He spoke with Terry Gross in 1987.TV critic David Bianculli reviews the genre-bending series 'The Great' on Hulu....

Remembering Actor Jerry Stiller / Cellist Lynn Harrell
Actor and comedian Jerry Stiller, who died May 11, was part of a comic duo with his wife Anne Meara and later played George Costanza's hot-headed father on 'Seinfeld.' He spoke to 'Fresh Air' in 1993. Also, we remember award-winning cellist Lynn Harrell. He joined the the Cleveland Orchestra when he was 18 and went on to perform as a soloist with orchestras around the world. He spoke with Terry Gross in 1987.TV critic David Bianculli reviews the genre-bending series 'The Great' on Hulu....

What We Might Learn From The 1918 Flu Pandemic
John Barry's 2004 book about the 1918 influenza pandemic is a current bestseller. Barry talks about the parallels that are relevant to today's COVID-19 crisis. In both cases, he says, "the outbreak was trivialized for a long time." Also, we remember eccentric pop music figure Ian Whitcomb. Many people knew him for his 1965 novelty song 'You Turn Me On,' which was a top 10 hit. He died last month at 78.And classical music critic Lloyd Schwartz shares what he's been listening to during these difficult times....


Doctor With Rare Disease Decides To Find His Own Cure
David Fajgenbaum was diagnosed with Castleman disease as a medical student and nearly died several times. In 'Chasing My Cure,' he recounts crowd-sourcing his own treatment with a global network of doctors, scientists and patients.Also, Maureen Corrigan reviews Benjamin Taylor's book about his friendship with Philip Roth, 'Here We Are.'...

Writer Michael Arceneaux Worries, 'I Don't Want To Die Poor'
Michael Arceneaux graduated from Howard University in 2007 with more than $100,000 of private student loan debt. His new essay collection, 'I Don't Want to Die Poor,' recounts how that debt has shaped his life. "I became a 'New York Times' bestselling author the same week I lost my health insurance," he says. "I do have a foot in both worlds, because I just really know how difficult it is to attain social mobility." Also, Ken Tucker reviews the new album, 'Alphabetland,' from the band X....

How Will The Pandemic Affect Voting?
Assuming the pandemic has not ended by Election Day, will you be able to vote by mail? And if not, are you willing to risk your health? We talk with journalist Emily Bazelon about her new 'NYT Magazine' article titled, "Will Americans Lose the Right to Vote in the Pandemic?" She focuses on the financial and political obstacles that are likely to prevent many Americans from voting by mail. Bazelon writes, "The U.S. prides itself on its democracy in theory, but this year, not necessarily in practice."...


Best Of: Tim Gunn / Chef Tom Colicchio
Longtime fashion expert and mentor Tim Gunn returns to 'Fresh Air' to talk about how the pandemic has changed his mind about comfy clothes and his new competition series, 'Making the Cut.' David Bianculli recommends the 90th birthday salute to Broadway icon Stephen Sondheim, available online.'Top Chef' judge Tom Colicchio spoke with Terry Gross about broken food supply chains, food waste, and what the future of the restaurant industry might look like due to COVID-19. Colicchio helped form the Independent Re...

Steve Martin
We're revisiting one of our favorite interviews from our archive, with comic Steve Martin from when his memoir 'Born Standing Up' was released in 2008. When he started doing comedy in the 1970s, his audiences often didn't know what to make of him. His material was somewhere between vaudeville and performance art. As a kid, he sold guide books in Disneyland, and hung out in magic shops while spending hours working up a magic act. Martin tells us about his years as a stand up comic—and why he ended that par...

Chef Tom Colicchio On How To Save The Restaurant Industry
The 'Top Chef' judge spoke with Terry Gross about broken food supply chains, food waste, and what the future of the restaurant industry might look like due to COVID-19. Colicchio helped form the Independent Restaurant Coalition to lobby Congress for relief for the industry. "We're really looking at saving every restaurant, because we think that every restaurant needs to be there," he says.Justin Chang reviews 'Driveways,' starring late actor Brian Dennehy....


Understanding Speaker Nancy Pelosi
'Time' correspondent Molly Ball says the key to the speaker's success is her mastery of the inside game in politics — building relationships, counting votes, plotting strategy and working around the clock. Ball's book is 'Pelosi.' Also, jazz critic Kevin Whitehead reviews the album 'Liberty' from the Dayna Stephens Trio....

Understanding Speaker Nancy Pelosi
'Time' correspondent Molly Ball says the key to the speaker's success is her mastery of the inside game in politics — building relationships, counting votes, plotting strategy and working around the clock. Ball's book is 'Pelosi.' Also, jazz critic Kevin Whitehead reviews the album 'Liberty' from the Dayna Stephens Trio....

Exploring 'The Hilarious World Of Depression' With John Moe
In his podcast, 'The Hilarious World of Depression,' John Moe talks with his guests (mostly comics) about their experiences with mental illness. We talk about his own depression (especially during the pandemic), losing his brother to suicide, and how humor gives him relief....


Exploring 'The Hilarious World Of Depression' With John Moe
In his podcast, 'The Hilarious World of Depression,' John Moe talks with his guests (mostly comics) about their experiences with mental illness. We talk about his own depression (especially during the pandemic), losing his brother to suicide, and how humor gives him relief....

Fashion Guru Tim Gunn
The longtime fashion expert and mentor returns to 'Fresh Air' to talk about his new competition series, 'Making the Cut,' how to give constructive feedback, and why he's moved to tears by beautiful things....

Best Of: Mindy Kaling / 'Notes From An Apocalypse'
Mindy Kaling's new Netflix comedy series, 'Never Have I Ever,' is based on her own experiences as a nerdy, confident teen who pined for a boyfriend. We talk about why she was hesitant to relive her high school years through the show, and why she wanted to put a different kind of nerd onscreen. John Powers reviews Hulu's TV adaptation of the Sally Rooney novel, 'Normal People.' Mark O'Connell went on what he calls "a series of perverse pilgrimages" while researching people who are preparing for doomsday. He ...


Remembering Bollywood Icon Irrfan Khan / Michael Cogswell
Irrfan Khan, one of India's most beloved film stars, died this week at 53 from cancer. He became internationally known for his work in films like 'Slumdog Millionaire,' 'Life of Pi,' and 'The Darjeeling Limited.' He spoke with Terry Gross in 2012. Also, we remember Michael Cogswell, whose life work was preserving the legacy of Louis Armstrong. Cogswell was executive director of the Louis Armstrong House Museum which archives thousands of artifacts including journals, trumpets, tapes and photographs.TV criti...

Remembering Bollywood Icon Irrfan Khan / Michael Cogswell
Irrfan Khan, one of India's most beloved film stars, died this week at 53 from cancer. He became internationally known for his work in films like 'Slumdog Millionaire,' 'Life of Pi,' and 'The Darjeeling Limited.' He spoke with Terry Gross in 2012. Also, we remember Michael Cogswell, whose life work was preserving the legacy of Louis Armstrong. Cogswell was executive director of the Louis Armstrong House Museum which archives thousands of artifacts including journals, trumpets, tapes and photographs.TV criti...

Who's Benefiting From The Coronavirus Economic Relief Package?
As small businesses and individuals struggle to obtain federal aid, the wealthiest are poised to reap tens of billions of dollars in tax savings. That's what 'New York Times' investigative business reporter Jesse Drucker says. Drucker explains how the economic rescue package is benefiting the rich.French guitarist Stephane Wrembel talks about jazz great Django Reinhardt and plays songs from his new album, 'Django L'Impressionniste.' He spoke with producer Sam Briger....


Who's Benefiting From The Coronavirus Economic Relief Package?
As small businesses and individuals struggle to obtain federal aid, the wealthiest are poised to reap tens of billions of dollars in tax savings. That's what 'New York Times' investigative business reporter Jesse Drucker says. Drucker explains how the economic rescue package is benefiting the rich.French guitarist Stephane Wrembel talks about jazz great Django Reinhardt and plays songs from his new album, 'Django L'Impressionniste.' He spoke with producer Sam Briger....

What The U.S. Might Learn From China's Approach To COVID-19
'New York Times' health and science reporter Donald G. McNeil Jr. points to China as a model of how to stop a fast moving pandemic in its tracks. "We're reluctant to follow China, but they did it," he says. McNeil talks about the challenges facing the U.S. as states move to reopen. "We're nowhere near getting on top of this virus," he says. Also, John Powers reviews Hulu's TV adaptation of Sally Rooney's novel 'Normal People.'...

Inside One Family's Marijuana Brownie Business
Growing up in San Francisco in the '70s, Alia Volz's family ran a booming weed brownie business, back when growing a single cannabis plant was a felony. "I had this understanding of my family as an outlaw family from the very beginning," she says. Her memoir is 'Home Baked.' Also, Maureen Corrigan reviews 'Sigh, Gone: A Misfit's Memoir of Great Books, Punk Rock, and the Fight to Fit In' by Phuc Tran....


Mindy Kaling
Kaling's new Netflix show, 'Never Have I Ever,' is based on her own experiences as a nerdy, confident teen who pined for a boyfriend. We talk about the new series, how being a diversity hire at 'The Office' inspired her movie 'Late Night,' and how the grief of losing a parent has impacted her as a mother....

Best Of: Zoe Kazan / Trans Activist Jennifer Finney Boylan
Zoe Kazan co-stars in HBO's limited series 'The Plot Against America,' an adaptation of Philip Roth's 2004 novel. We talk about encountering sexism in Hollywood, how the new series made her think about her family history differently, and her experience with depression and an eating disorder. Maureen Corrigan shares some book recommendations for these challenging times. Transgender activist Jennifer Finney Boylan spoke with Terry Gross about finding her identity as a woman, the evolution of her marriage, and...

Remembering Actor Brian Dennehy / Catherine Russell In Concert
The notable character actor Brian Dennehy died April 15 at age 81. He was a recognizable face in numerous movies and TV shows, but he was best known for his work in the theater, earning Tony Awards for his leading roles in 'Death of a Salesman' and 'Long Day's Journey Into Night.' He spoke with 'Fresh Air' in 1999. Jazz critic Kevin Whitehead shares a remembrance of trailblazing saxophonist Lee Konitz. He died April 15. We revisit a concert from blues and jazz singer Catherine Russell, who sang songs from h...


Jane Mayer On How Mitch McConnell Became Trump's 'Enabler-In-Chief'
'New Yorker' staff writer Jane Mayer talks about how the Senate majority leader has thrown his support behind the President, and allowed the president to diminish congressional power — in spite of the fact that Trump and McConnell are opposites in several ways. Mayer says McConnell's refusal to rein in Trump is looking riskier than ever.Also, TV critic David Bianculli bids farewell to 'Homeland' and welcomes back 'Penny Dreadful' on Showtime....

Author Shares His 'Notes From An Apocalypse'
Mark O'Connell went on what he calls "a series of perverse pilgrimages" while researching people who are preparing for doomsday. He talks about prairie bunkers in South Dakota, Mars as a "backup planet," and catastrophe tourism. O'Connell's book is 'Notes from an Apocalypse.' Also, critic John Powers tells us why he's been bingeing 'The Good Fight' and 'Bosch' while sheltering at home....

Transgender Activist & Author Jennifer Finney Boylan
Jennifer Finney Boylan came out as transgender in her 40s. She describes her new book, 'Good Boy,' as a "memoir of masculinity, kind of told the way an expatriate might speak of the country of their birth." Boylan talks about finding her identity as a woman, the evolution of her marriage, and the dogs she loved along the way. Also, rock critic Ken Tucker reviews Dua Lipa's second album, 'Future Nostalgia,' a disco throwback that's perfectly timely and bursting with joyfulness....


Actor Zoe Kazan
Kazan co-stars in HBO's limited series 'The Plot Against America,' an adaptation of Philip Roth's 2004 novel. It imagines a world in which aviator Charles Lindbergh defeated Franklin D. Roosevelt in the race for the presidency, moving the country toward fascism. We talk about encountering sexism in Hollywood, and how the HBO series made her think about her family history differently. Kazan also starred in 'The Big Sick,' 'Ruby Sparks,' and she co-wrote 'Wildlife' with her partner Paul Dano....

Best Of: Sam Sifton On Quarantine Cooking / Jason Bateman
Sam Sifton, founder of NYT Cooking, talks about how to make meals that stretch, improvising with less-than-ideal ingredients, and the best vegetable for quarantine cooking. His new cookbook is 'See You on Sunday.'Film critic Justin Chang recommends some movies to watch at home while sheltering in place. Jason Bateman stars in the Netflix series 'Ozark' as a financial manager who has become the money launderer for Mexico's second biggest drug cartel. We'll talk about embracing his darker side on 'Ozark,' and...

Best Of: Sam Sifton On Quarantine Cooking / Jason Bateman
Sam Sifton, founder of NYT Cooking, talks about how to make meals that stretch, improvising with less-than-ideal ingredients, and the best vegetable for quarantine cooking. His new cookbook is 'See You on Sunday.'Film critic Justin Chang recommends some movies to watch at home while sheltering in place. Jason Bateman stars in the Netflix series 'Ozark' as a financial manager who has become the money launderer for Mexico's second biggest drug cartel. We'll talk about embracing his darker side on 'Ozark,' and...


Singer-Songwriter Iris DeMent
DeMent describes herself as extremely shy, but says that "when the songs started coming to me, I felt I didn't have the option to hide and avoid" the stage. She spoke with Terry Gross (and played songs in-studio) in 2015....

How Dr. Fauci 'Changed Medicine In America Forever'
The COVID-19 pandemic has introduced millions of Americans to Dr. Anthony Fauci, the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases. 'New Yorker' staff writer Michael Specter has known Fauci and covered his work for decades. Specter talks about Fauci's trail-blazing work during the AIDS epidemic, why Trump can't fire Fauci, and the structural changes and research that Specter says would make us more prepared for the next pandemic....

The FBI, CIA & The Truth About America's 'Deep State'
'New Yorker' online executive editor David Rohde refutes Trump's claims about a "deep state" — and argues that the president is the one creating a parallel shadow government filled with like-minded loyalists. His new book is 'In Deep.' Also, TV critic David Bianculli shares what's on his current watch list....


Jason Bateman / Remembering LGBTQ Pioneer Phyllis Lyon
Jason Bateman stars in the Netflix series 'Ozark' as a financial manager who has become the money launderer for Mexico's second biggest drug cartel. We'll talk about embracing his darker side on 'Ozark,' and his experience directing 'The Outsider,' HBO's adaptation of Stephen King's novel. Also, we remember one of the mothers of the gay rights movement, Phyllis Lyon. She died April 9 at 95. Lyon and Del Martin co-founded the first national lesbian group in the U.S., Daughters of Bilitis. In 2008 they beca...

Jason Bateman / Remembering LGBTQ Pioneer Phyllis Lyon
Jason Bateman stars in the Netflix series 'Ozark' as a financial manager who has become the money launderer for Mexico's second biggest drug cartel. We'll talk about embracing his darker side on 'Ozark,' and his experience directing 'The Outsider,' HBO's adaptation of Stephen King's novel. Also, we remember one of the mothers of the gay rights movement, Phyllis Lyon. She died April 9 at 95. Lyon and Del Martin co-founded the first national lesbian group in the U.S., Daughters of Bilitis. In 2008 they beca...

The 'Big Business' Of Inequality
Nelson Schwartz, author of 'The Velvet Rope Economy,' says special privileges for the super-rich are dividing America: "The result is less sympathy, less empathy and a sort of a harder-edge society." Schwartz talks about private helicopter rides to the airport, concierge doctors, and elite college counseling — and their impact on our society. Schwartz writes about economics for the 'New York Times.' Also, book critic Maureen Corrigan recommends a few titles for troubled times: 'The Women in Black,' 'The Col...


The 'Big Business' Of Inequality
Nelson Schwartz, author of 'The Velvet Rope Economy,' says special privileges for the super-rich are dividing America: "The result is less sympathy, less empathy and a sort of a harder-edge society." Schwartz talks about private helicopter rides to the airport, concierge doctors, and elite college counseling — and their impact on our society. Schwartz writes about economics for the 'New York Times.' Also, book critic Maureen Corrigan recommends a few titles for troubled times: 'The Women in Black,' 'The Col...

Best Of: Kerry Washington / Stephen King
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. Even Stephen King is feeling like he's living in a Stephen King novel these days. The author of the 1978 pandemic novel 'The Stand' tells Terry Gross he understands why fans have said the COVID-19 pandemic feels like something out of his books....

Remembering John Prine
Legendary songwriter, singer and guitarist John Prine died Tuesday from complications of the coronavirus. He was 73. Prine's best-known songs include "Angel from Montgomery," "Paradise," "Sam Stone," and "Hello in There." Among the many people who recorded his songs are Johnny Cash, Bonnie Raitt, and Bette Midler. Last year he was inducted into the Songwriting Hall of Fame. Terry Gross spoke to him in 2018 after the release of his album 'The Tree of Forgiveness,' his first album of new songs in 13 years. ...


Remembering John Prine
Legendary songwriter, singer and guitarist John Prine died Tuesday from complications of the coronavirus. He was 73. Prine's best-known songs include "Angel from Montgomery," "Paradise," "Sam Stone," and "Hello in There." Among the many people who recorded his songs are Johnny Cash, Bonnie Raitt, and Bette Midler. Last year he was inducted into the Songwriting Hall of Fame. Terry Gross spoke to him in 2018 after the release of his album 'The Tree of Forgiveness,' his first album of new songs in 13 years. ...

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...

Stephen King
Even Stephen King is feeling like he's living in a Stephen King novel these days. The author of the 1978 pandemic novel 'The Stand' says he understands why fans have said the COVID-19 pandemic feels like something out of his books. King says he doesn't feel panic or terror, but rather, a "gnawing anxiety." He talks about his new book, 'If It Bleeds.' and how the current crisis is changing his writing....


Stephen King
Even Stephen King is feeling like he's living in a Stephen King novel these days. The author of the 1978 pandemic novel 'The Stand' says he understands why fans have said the COVID-19 pandemic feels like something out of his books. King says he doesn't feel panic or terror, but rather, a "gnawing anxiety." He talks about his new book, 'If It Bleeds.' and how the current crisis is changing his writing....

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.'...

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.'...

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.'...


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...

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....


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....

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...


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...

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.'...

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....


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.'...

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....


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.'...

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+....


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...

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...

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....

'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....

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....


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...

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....


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....


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 ...

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....

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.'...


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!...

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!...


Biographer Claire Tomalin On 'A Life Of My Own'
After writing biographies of Charles Dickens, Jane Austen, and Mary Wollstonecraft, Tomalin turned to memoir. Her new work tells of her conflicting desires to have children and to lead a meaningful working life, her first husband's infidelity, and how long it took to find herself professionally.Also, we remember opera star Jessye Norman, who died Monday. She was first exposed to opera as a child listening to live broadcasts of the Metropolitan Opera. "I was intrigued by it and I loved it," she told Terry Gr...

Biographer Claire Tomalin On 'A Life Of My Own'
After writing biographies of Charles Dickens, Jane Austen, and Mary Wollstonecraft, Tomalin turned to memoir. Her new work tells of her conflicting desires to have children and to lead a meaningful working life, her first husband's infidelity, and how long it took to find herself professionally.Also, we remember opera star Jessye Norman, who died Monday. She was first exposed to opera as a child listening to live broadcasts of the Metropolitan Opera. "I was intrigued by it and I loved it," she told Terry Gr...

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 ...


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 ...

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...

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...

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.'...

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....


'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 way