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.

Behind-The-Scenes Of The Capitol Insurrection Video
George Polk Award-winning journalist Luke Mogelson followed a mob of MAGA supporters into the Capitol on Jan. 6 and filmed what he saw. His video footage from inside the Senate Chamber was used as evidence in the second impeachment trial of Donald Trump. "I think that the majority of people who were there were generally geared up and prepared for some kind of violence," he says. "So once all these folks were gathered on the Mall and listening to Trump, I think that they could have been sent in any number of...

Writer Tim O'Brien On Fatherhood & The Burden Of Vietnam
Known for his novel 'The Things They Carried,' O'Brien is now the subject of a new documentary, 'The War and Peace of Tim O'Brien.' When he became a father in his late 50s, he initially feared parenthood would curtail his writing." Much as Vietnam did, [parenthood] gave me a body of material, that kind of context to write about," he says. "Maybe it's biology just keeping the species going, but I feel that I'm part of something age-old that's going to continue long after I'm gone."Also, Maureen Corrigan revi...

Inside The 'Ten Year War' Over Obamacare
In his new book, 'The Ten Year War,' Jonathan Cohn looks at the intense debate surrounding the Affordable Care Act, the compromises of the law itself, and how it has been functioning during the pandemic. Also, John Powers reviews 'Minari,' about a South Korean family struggling to start a farm in Arkansas....


Sacha Baron Cohen
The British actor is known for taking his absurd characters like Borat, Brüno and Ali G into the world and interacting with unwitting real people. Baron Cohen has been chased, sued and nearly arrested while in character. A scary experience at a gun rights rally while filming 'Borat Subsequent Moviefilm' has finally solidified his decision to stop doing his undercover style of comedy. "At some point, your luck runs out," he says. We talk about why he revived Borat after a 13-year hiatus, the ethics of his co...

Best Of: Rashida Jones / The Cyber Weapons Arms Race
Rashida Jones filmed 'On the Rocks' shortly after her son's birth and her mother's death. She nearly turned down the role, and is glad she didn't. "This movie was kind of a salvation for me," she says. We talk about biracial representation in Hollywood and the toxicity of fame.Justin Chang reviews 'Judas and the Black Messiah.' The world is on the precipice of cyber catastrophe, and everything is vulnerable, including our government, nuclear weapons, elections, power grid, hospitals, and cell phones. 'New Y...

The Story Of "Black Radical" William Monroe Trotter
Historian Kerri Greenidge tells the story of William Monroe Trotter, a Black newspaper editor who was a forceful crusader for civil rights in the early 20th century. He built a national following in his time as a fierce advocate for the full citizenship rights that had been promised to former enslaved people after the Civil War. Trotter organized mass protests, confronted presidents, and openly challenged leaders such as Booker T. Washington who took a more cautious approach to Black empowerment. Greenidge'...


How The Pandemic Hurts Working Moms
Women are bearing the brunt of kids' virtual schooling and the increased household work associated with the pandemic. 'NYT' reporter Claire Cain Miller says many working mothers have scaled back on their hours or left the workforce entirely due to the pandemic — which could have lasting effects on gender and economic equity. "It took a very, very slow moving process from the 1970s until today to get women where they are professionally," Miller says. "I do worry that this has erased so much of it so quickly...

What Racism Costs Everyone
In her book, 'The Sum of Us,' Heather McGhee examines the cost of racial discrimination in the U.S., and draws on a wealth of economic data to make the case that discriminatory laws and practices that target Black people also negatively impact society at large. McGhee says when racial barriers to voting, employment, and housing are broken down, white working people are among the beneficiaries.Also, John Powers reviews the miniseries 'It's a Sin' about a group of friends in London during the AIDS epidemic....

Tackling Police Reform From The Inside
For four years, Georgetown Law professor and human rights activist Rosa Brooks carried a badge and a gun and worked a minimum of 24 hours a month for the DC police department — all on a voluntary basis. "If you want to change something, you have to understand it," she says. Brooks writes about her experiences as with the police in 'Tangled Up in Blue.'...


Spike Lee / Remembering Cloris Leachman
Guest host Sam Sanders talks with Spike Lee about 'Da 5 Bloods,' about four Black Vietnam War vets who return together to Vietnam. Lee also talks about working with late actor Chadwick Boseman. Also, we remember Cloris Leachman and listen back to an excerpt of her 2009 interview. She co-starred in the Mel Brooks films 'Young Frankenstein' and 'High Anxiety,' won an Oscar for her role in 'The Last Picture Show.'...

Best Of: Dr. Fauci / How Women Police Differently
Only a few weeks into the new Biden administration, infectious disease expert Dr. Anthony Fauci is encouraged by the president's approach to the pandemic. We'll talk about an early chapter of his career, during the AIDS crisis, when he was criticized for not making experimental drugs available to people with AIDS. Fauci listened to his critics and worked with them, leading to medical reforms that are benefiting us today, during the pandemic.The new documentary 'Women in Blue' follows four women who worked f...

Remembering Supremes Singer Mary Wilson / Actor Christopher Plummer
We remember Mary Wilson, one of the founding members of The Supremes. She died Monday at the age of 76. We'll listen back to our 1986 interview with her about the early days of the Supremes, when they were just starting out. Also, we remember actor Christopher Plummer who died last Friday. Though he had a long stage and film career, he's best-known for his role as Captain von Trapp in 'The Sound of Music.'Film critic Justin Chang reviews 'Judas and the Black Messiah' about the 1969 death of Fred Hampton, on...


Rashida Jones
Jones filmed 'On the Rocks' shortly after her son's birth and her mother's death. She nearly turned down the role, and is glad she didn't. "This movie was kind of a salvation for me," she says. We talk about 'Parks & Rec,' the toxicity of fame, and growing up surrounded by musicians in her father, Quincy Jones', studio....

Inside The Cyber Weapons Arms Race
The world is on the precipice of cyber catastrophe, and everything is vulnerable, including our government, nuclear weapons, elections, power grid, hospitals, and cell phones. 'New York Times' cybersecurity reporter Nicole Perlroth explains how the U.S. went from having the world's strongest cyber arsenal to becoming so vulnerable to cyber attack. "We have to stop leaving gaping holes in software that could be used by adversaries to pull off some of these attacks," she says. Perlroth's new book is "This Is ...

How Humans Try (And Fail) To Master Nature
'New Yorker' writer Elizabeth Kolbert talks about efforts to reverse some of the harm humans have done to the natural world. Her new book, 'Under a White Sky,' details visionary ideas, like scattering tiny particles into the stratosphere to block some sunlight and cool the planet. She also reports on current efforts, like the millions spent trying to control Asian carp imported to American rivers. "We're now intervening to counter the effects of our own intervention," Kolbert says. "I call it the control of...


'Women In Blue' Doc. Explores How Women Police Differently
The new documentary 'Women in Blue' follows four women who worked for the Minneapolis Police Department. We talk with the director, Deirdre Fishel, as well as Sergeant Alice White, one of the women profiled in the film. Fishel set out to examine how women police differently. "They rely less on physical force, that they possess more effective communication skills, and that they're better at defusing potentially violent confrontations before they turned deadly," she says. 'Women in Blue' is on the PBS Indepen...

Best Of: Ben & Ellen Harper / The Mob On Main Street
Ellen Harper, and her Grammy award-winning son, musician Ben Harper, both grew up in the Folk Music Center in Claremont, Calif. Ellen's parents founded the center in 1958, and Ellen runs it today. Her new memoir, 'Always a Song,' is her story of the folk music revival of the '50s and '60s, and about raising her three biracial sons, mostly as a single mother. Also, John Powers reviews 'The Copenhagen Trilogy' by Tove Ditlevsen. Finally, writer Russell Shorto's grandfather was a mob boss in the industrial to...

Dusty Springfield's Manager & Biographer Vicki Wickham
The late British singer Dusty Springfield was best-known for her seemingly effortless singing and distinctive voice. She had many hits in the 1960s in England and the U.S. We listen back to a 2002 interview with her longtime friend and manager Vicki Wickham, who co-wrote a biography of her. There's a new anthology that collects Springfield's singles for Atlantic Records. Also, we remember the venerable actor Hal Holbrook. He devoted his life and career to playing Mark Twain on stage and in film. He also pla...


Dr. Anthony Fauci
Less than three weeks into the new Biden administration, the infectious disease expert is encouraged by the president's approach to the pandemic. "Science [is] going to rule," Fauci says. He talks about what he learned from the AIDS epidemic that he's applying to the current pandemic, the problem with achieving herd immunity through infection, and the new mutations of COVID-19. Also, podcast critic Nick Quah reflects on the era of Trump podcasts....

Biden's Economic Plan & The Decline Of The Middle Class
'New York Times' reporter Jim Tankersley talks about Biden's $1.9 trillion rescue plan for the economy amid the pandemic. For much of his reporting career, Tankersley has focused on the declining middle class — and what the country can do about it. His 2020 book on the subject is 'The Riches of This Land.' Also, John Powers reviews 'The Copenhagen Trilogy' by Tove Ditlevsen....


Ben Harper & Ellen Harper On The Folk Music Revival
Ellen Harper runs the Folk Music Center in Claremont, Calif., and her son Ben Harper is a Grammy award-winning singer and songwriter. Ellen Harper's new memoir 'Always a Song' tells her story of the '50s and '60s folk music revival and her experience raising three biracial children, mostly as a single mom. They talk about growing up surrounded by folk music luminaries....

Best Of: China's Surveillance State / Understanding The Human Voice
German journalist Kai Strittmatter says the Chinese state has amassed an astonishing amount of data about its citizens, which it uses to punish people for even minor offenses. We talk about facial recognition, a citizen point system, and the widespread use of barcodes. Strittmatter's new book is 'We Have Been Harmonized.' Justin Chang reviews the serial killer thriller film 'The Little Things,' starring Denzel Washington, Rami Malek and Jared Leto.We talk with 'New Yorker' writer John Colapinto about how vo...

Hank Azaria On 'The Simpsons' & 'Brockmire'
Azaria plays a colorful baseball announcer in the IFC comedy series 'Brockmire.' All 4 seasons are now available for streaming. 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, Justin Chang reviews the serial killer thriller film 'The Little Things,' starring Denzel Washington, Rami Malek and Jared Leto....


With Trump Gone, What's Next For QAnon?
'Washington Post' reporter Craig Timberg suggests some in the QAnon movement will become even more extreme now that Trump, their "messiah," has left office. "There is a real danger that what we'll see is a somewhat smaller but maybe more fervent and maybe more hateful and maybe more stealthy remnant that remains a force in our political life for years to come," Timberg says. We talk about the impact of Trump's ban from social media, the inception of the conspiracy theory/extremist group, and how the movemen...

Surveillance & Local Police: How Technology Is Evolving Faster Than Regulation
Journalist Jon Fasman says local police departments are able to use very powerful surveillance tools, often with little oversight. Fasman talks about license plate readers, predictive policing, facial recognition software and more. "The question is: Is it worth the cost to our privacy and liberty to implement this technology? And if so, what limits are we willing to set? What penalties do we want for failing to observe these limits?" Fasman's book is 'We See It All.'Also, TV critic David Bianculli reviews '...

'The Human Factor' & Middle East Peace Negotiations
We get an inside look at the negotiations between Palestinian and Israeli leaders during the Clinton administration that held real promise for a peace agreement — before an assassin's bullet changed everything. We talk with filmmaker Dror Moreh about his documentary, 'The Human Factor, and with Dennis Ross, President Clinton's point man in the effort....


Exploring The Human Voice
We talk with 'New Yorker' writer John Colapinto, author of 'This Is the Voice,' about how voices work, how they evolved in our prehistoric ancestors, how babies learn to vocalize words of their parents' languages so quickly, and what makes voices sexy or authoritative. Colapinto's own vocal injury led him to explore this subject.Also, we remember legendary broadcaster Larry King. He spoke with Terry Gross in 1982....

Best Of: 'News Of The World' Director / Busting Myths About Exercise
News of the World' is a Western set five years after the end of the Civil War. It stars Tom Hanks as a former Confederate captain who travels from one small poor Texas town to another, reading aloud from newspapers to townspeople who gather, paying ten cents apiece to be informed and entertained by these stories. We talk with director Paul Greengrass, who also directed Hanks in 'Captain Phillips.'Maureen Corrigan reviews 'Aftershocks,' by Nadia Owusu.Paleoanthropologist Daniel Lieberman says the concept of ...

How Tragedy & Resilience Made Joe Biden
Journalist Evan Osnos talks about President Biden's long career in the Senate, how personal tragedy changed him, and some of the political missteps he made along the way. Osnos' biography is 'Joe Biden: The Life, the Run, and What Matters Now.' (Interview was recorded before the election in Oct. 2020) Also, we remember late musician Howard Johnson, who made a place for tuba in jazz, working with Charles Mingus, McCoy Tyner, Gil Evans and others. He later expanded into rock and roll playing with Taj Mahal an...


Busting Myths About Exercise
Paleoanthropologist Daniel Lieberman says the concept of "exercise" is a relatively new thing. His new book, 'Exercised,' examines why we run, lift and walk for a workout, when our ancestors didn't. We'll also talk about how sitting and slouching affect our health.Also, Kevin Whitehead reviews the digital album 'Some Kind of Tomorrow,' recorded over Zoom....

Biden's Plan To Enact A Climate Agenda
Trump called climate change a hoax. Biden calls it an existential threat. 'Washington Post' journalist Juliet Eilperin talks about how Biden might reverse his predecessor's environmental policies.John Powers reviews the Polish thriller film 'Spoor.'...

The Story Of The Blackwell Sisters, Pioneers Of Women In Medicine
Elizabeth Blackwell was the first woman to earn her medical degree​ in the United States​. Her sister Emily​ soon after​ followed in her footsteps. Janice Nimura tells the story of the "complicated, prickly" ​19th century ​trailblazers​ in her book 'The Doctors Blackwell.' ​"To me, [the Blackwells] taught me that it's really important in this moment to kind of relearn how to admire women​," Nimura says. ​Also Ken Tucker reviews 'Peter Stampfel's 20th Century' a new collection from the folk musician....


The FBI's Effort To Take Down MLK
Filmmaker Sam Pollard talks about his new documentary 'MLK/FBI,' based on newly declassified documents, which exposes the ways that the FBI attempted to discredit Martin Luther King Jr. Pollard talks about how the agency bugged his phones, surveilled hotel rooms, and even sent King a letter suggesting he kill himself. Maureen Corrigan reviews 'Aftershocks' by Nadia Owusu....

Best Of: Fran Lebowitz / The Legacy Of William Monroe Trotter
The Netflix docuseries 'Pretend It's a City' features iconoclastic humorist Fran Lebowitz's conversations with Martin Scorsese. Lebowitz talks about why she loves living alone, driving a cab in the '70s, and her friendship with Toni Morrison. Jazz critic Kevin Whitehead reviews the album 'Cloud Script' from Joshua Abrams' quartet.Historian Kerri Greenidge tells the story of William Monroe Trotter, a Black newspaper editor who was a forceful crusader for civil rights in the early 20th century. He built a nat...

Remembering Michael Apted, William Link And Neil Sheehan
We look back on the lives and careers of three people who have recently died. First, filmmaker Michael Apted, best-known for his documentary series, 'Up,' which followed the lives of a group of British citizens. He updated their stories with a new episode every seven years, from childhood through their 60s. Apted died last week. We also listen back to our interview with screenwriter William Link, who co-created many long-running TV series, including 'Columbo' and 'Murder She Wrote.' Also we remember Vietnam...


Dir. Paul Greengrass On 'News Of The World'
News of the World' is a Western set five years after the end of the Civil War. It stars Tom Hanks as a former Confederate captain who travels from one small poor Texas town to another, reading aloud from newspapers to townspeople who gather, paying ten cents apiece to be informed and entertained by these stories. We talk with director Paul Greengrass, who also directed Hanks in 'Captain Phillips.' Also, Ken Tucker reviews the new HBO documentary about the Bee Gees, and a new album by the only one of the thr...

The Story Of 'Black Radical' William Monroe Trotter
Historian Kerri Greenidge tells the story of William Monroe Trotter, a Black newspaper editor who was a forceful crusader for civil rights in the early 20th century. He built a national following in his time as a fierce advocate for the full citizenship rights that had been promised to former enslaved people after the Civil War. Trotter organized mass protests, confronted presidents, and openly challenged leaders such as Booker T. Washington who took a more cautious approach to Black empowerment. Greenidge'...

The Racist History Of The Senate Filibuster
Adam Jentleson traces the history of the filibuster, which started as a tool of Southern senators upholding slavery and then later became a mechanism to block civil rights legislation. His book is 'Kill Switch: The Rise of the Modern Senate and The Crippling of American Democracy.'...


Humorist Fran Lebowitz
The Netflix docuseries 'Pretend It's a City' features Lebowitz's conversations with Martin Scorsese on many topics, Manhattan in particular. "If I dropped the Hope Diamond on the floor of a subway car, I'd leave it there," she says. Lebowitz also talks about getting expelled from school, working for Andy Warhol, and why she loves living alone. Also, John Powers reviews the book 'The Liar's Dictionary' by Eley Williams....

Best Of: Dr. Sanjay Gupta / Philippine Journalist Maria Ressa
CNN chief medical correspondent Dr. Sanjay Gupta talks about how learning new skills can optimize brain health. His new book is 'Keep Sharp.' Book critic Maureen Corrigan reviews 'Outlawed,' a novel by Anna North, which she describes as 'Handmaid's Tale' meets 'Butch Cassidy.'Journalist Maria Ressa has faced criminal charges and death threats because of her coverage of the populist, authoritarian Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte. We talk about her work in the Philippines and the threats she's faced. Res...

Remembering Nature Writer Barry Lopez
We remember the award-winning writer Barry Lopez, who wrote evocatively about nature, and in turn shed light on truths about the human experience. He died Christmas day at the age of 75. Lopez lived among the Arctic's Inuit people for five years, and raised a wolf pup for his book about the relationship between wolves and men. Also, Kevin Whitehead reviews the new album by Chicago bassist Joshua Abrams. Then David Bianculli remarks on the live TV coverage of the insurrection led by Trump rioters on Wednesd...


America's Pandemic Failures
The U.S. has only 4% of the world's population — and yet it accounts for 20% of all COVID deaths. 'New Yorker' writer Lawrence Wright discusses America's "plague year." We'll talk about the mishandling of the outbreak and his novel 'The End of October,' about a deadly pandemic....

Journalist Maria Ressa On Standing Up To Philippine President
Journalist Maria Ressa has faced criminal charges and death threats because of her coverage of the populist, authoritarian Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte. She's covered Duterte's bloody "war on drugs," his expanding grip on all parts of the government and his crackdown on the press. In 2018, she was Time Magazine's Person of the Year. Ressa is the subject of a new PBS FRONTLINE documentary, 'A Thousand Cuts,' directed by Ramona Diaz.Also book critic Maureen Corrigan reviews 'Outlawed,' a novel by Anna...

Life In China's Surveillance State
German journalist Kai Strittmatter says the Chinese state has amassed an astonishing amount of data about its citizens, which it uses to punish people for even minor offenses. We talk about facial recognition, a citizen point system, and the widespread use of barcodes. Strittmatter's new book is 'We Have Been Harmonized.'Also, David Bianculli reviews 'Mr. Mayor,' a new sitcom on NBC starring Ted Danson....


Neurosurgeon Dr. Sanjay Gupta On How To 'Keep Sharp'
CNN's chief medical correspondent says it's never too late to develop new brain pathways. Even small changes, like switching up the hand you hold your fork with, can help optimize brain health. We talk about the importance of learning new skills, good sleep, and how stress affects the brain. Dr. Gupta's new book is 'Keep Sharp.'...

Best Of: NPR's Nina Totenberg / 'Watchmen' Writer Cord Jefferson
Nina Totenberg is widely regarded as the dean of legal journalists. She started covering the Supreme Court in 1971 and became NPR's legal correspondent in 1975. We talk about breaking the Anita Hill story, her friendship with the late Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, and being a pioneer for women in journalism.The HBO series 'Watchmen' uses sci-fi and action heroes to examine American racism. We talk with show writer Cord Jefferson, who wrote the episode of the series in which the main character narrowly surviv...

Francis Ford Coppola On Making 'The Godfather'
Coppola was 29 years old when he signed on to direct a film. "I was young and had no power," he said. "So [the studio] figured they could just boss me around." But Coppola fought back. He recalled the making of his masterpiece in a 2016 interview with Terry Gross....


Loudon Wainwright III & Vince Giordano In Concert
We close out the year with music from singer-songwriter Loudon Wainwright III and Nighthawks bandleader Vince Giordano. They collaborated on the 1920s and '30s style music for the series 'Boardwalk Empire' and the film 'The Aviator.' Now they've gotten together again on the new album, 'I'd Rather Lead a Band,' a collection of songs from the Great American Songbook. They talk with Terry Gross about their new record and the music of the era....

Remembering Broadway Star Rebecca Luker
Luker died last Wednesday of ALS, Lou Gehrig's disease. She was 59. She had a beautiful singing voice, and received Tony nominations for her performances in 'Showboat,' 'The Music Man,' and 'Mary Poppins.' She also starred in a revival of 'The Sound of Music.' We listen back to excerpts of several Fresh Air interviews.Also, Kevin Whitehead remembers some jazz greats we lost his year....

Stephen King / Sir. Patrick Stewart
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." 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 myse...


'Queen's Gambit' Co-Creator Scott Frank
One of the most popular shows of the year is the Netflix limited series 'The Queen's Gambit,' which has been streamed by more than 62 million households. It's about an orphaned girl who becomes a chess prodigy, then a chess pro in a male-dominated world. We hear from Scott Frank, the co-creator, executive producer and director of the series. He spoke with guest contributor Arun Venugopal.John Powers reviews the new psychological thriller 'Elizabeth Is Missing' starring Glenda Jackson, which airs on PBS Mast...

Best Of: 2020 In Film, TV & Music
COVID upended the movie, TV and music industries. Concerts were canceled and movie theaters were mostly closed. Still, our critics say there was some really good stuff to watch and listen to this year, and many people had more time than usual to do it. We'll hear from our TV critic David Bianculli, our rock critic Ken Tucker and our film critic Justin Chang. Also, we lost a lot of great musicians this year, our jazz critic Kevin Whitehead will pay tribute to some of them....

Christmas Concert: Rosemary Clooney & Rebecca Kilgore
On a Christmas that has many of us wishing for the familiar comforts and pleasures of a holiday with family and friends, we turn to two singers whose performances have been a pleasure to return to over the years. We'll hear a 2005 interview with Rebecca Kilgore in which she sang some classic Christmas songs, and we have an excerpt of our onstage concert and 1997 interview with Rosemary Clooney....


2020 In TV, Film & Podcasts
Our TV critic David Bianculli and film critic Justin Chang sit down with Terry Gross to share their favorites of the year. Also, Vulture writer Nick Quah shares some of his favorite podcasts of 2020....

How The Pandemic Made The Ultra-Rich Even Richer
"You have a group of 650 people whose wealth has gone up a trillion dollars since mid-March," says Chuck Collins of the Institute for Policy Studies. Collins talks about how the richest Americans have profited from the pandemic, and his own relationship to generational wealth. Wilco frontman Jeff Tweedy spoke with contributor Ann Marie Baldonado about 'The Tweedy Show,' which he does from his home, and his songwriting process....

Angela Bassett
Bassett is one of the stars of the new Pixar animated film 'Soul.' She was in the Marvel blockbuster 'Black Panther' and has portrayed iconic people like Tina Turner in 'What's Love Got to Do With It,' and Betty Shabazz, Malcolm X's wife, in Spike Lee's movie 'Malcolm X. ' Early in Bassett's career, she appeared in the 1991 film 'Boyz n the Hood.' She spoke with contributor Sam Sanders about her career, and what it has been like as a Black woman in the movie industry.Also, rock critic Ken Tucker reviews s...


Michael J. Fox
The 'Family Ties' star was diagnosed with early onset Parkinson's disease in 1991. He says that if he doesn't know if he can do something, he fakes it — a strategy that works 80 percent of the time. His memoir is 'No Time like the Future.' Also, Maureen Corrigan reviews 'Tomorrow Will Be Better' a newly reprinted novel by Betty Smith, and Kevin Whitehead reviews a newly released album by tenor sax player George Coleman....

Best Of: Riz Ahmed / Rock Photographer Bob Gruen
Riz Ahmed plays a drummer who loses his hearing in 'Sound of Metal. ' To prepare for the role, he immersed himself in deaf culture — an experience that changed the way he thought about communication and listening.Maureen Corrigan shares her favorite books of 2020. Bob Gruen has photographed countless rock stars, including John Lennon, the Rolling Stones, Chuck Berry and Tina Turner. His new memoir is 'Right Place, Right Time.'...

Elton John On Music, Addiction & Family
Sir Elton John spoke with Terry Gross in 2019 after the publication of his memoir, 'Me.' The book was pretty forthcoming about family, addiction and sexuality, and so was the conversation. A new CD box set collects rarities, demos, B-sides and fan favorites from his long career.Also, Justin Chang reviews 'Ma Rainey's Black Bottom' starring Chadwick Boseman in his last film before he died this year at age 43....


COVID Vaccine Rollout & Where Research Fell Short
'Atlantic' science writer Ed Yong says the COVID vaccination program will be the most complicated the U.S. has ever attempted: "It's going to be a slow process, and there are a lot of possible roadblocks." We talk with Yong about what the rollout process will be like, where COVID research fell short, and what to expect for 2021....

American Folk Music Curators / Comedian Amber Ruffin
Music producers Lance and April Ledbetter talk about curating their new anthology, which collects the flip sides of the 78s Harry Smith chose for his 1952 Anthology of American Folk Music. They spoke with producer Sam Briger. Also, we talk with 'Late Night with Seth Meyers' writer and performer Amber Ruffin. She's now got her own show on Peacock. "I've earned (hopefully) enough grace to do whatever I want," she tells contributor Ann Marie Baldonado....

MC & Actor Riz Ahmed
Ahmed plays a drummer who loses his hearing in 'Sound of Metal. ' To prepare for the role, he immersed himself in deaf culture — an experience that changed the way he thought about communication and listening. We talk about that film, the formative experience of being racially profiled in an airport, and his breakthrough song "Post 9/11 Blues." Also, Ken Tucker shares his favorite albums of the year....


Remembering Novelist (And Former Spy) John Le Carré
Best-selling novelist John Le Carré, who died Dec. 12, worked for MI5 and MI6 early in his career and later drew on that experience in thrillers like 'The Spy Who Came in from the Cold' and 'Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy.' He spoke with Terry Gross in 1989 and 2017 about how his work for British intelligence informed his writing. Also, Kevin Whitehead reviews a newly issued 1971 live recording by tenor saxophonist George Coleman....

Best Of: Kate Winslet / Loudon Wainwright III & Vince Giordano
Kate Winslet co-stars in the new film 'Ammonite' as Mary Anning, a 19th-century paleontologist who has an intense love affair with the wife of a geologist. We talk about her new film and how things have changed for women in Hollywood.Singer-songwriter Loudon Wainwright III and Nighthawks bandleader Vince Giordano collaborated on the 1920s and '30s style music for the series 'Boardwalk Empire' and the film 'The Aviator.' Now they've gotten together again on the new album, 'I'd Rather Lead a Band,' a collecti...

Rachel Maddow On Spiro Agnew's Bribery Scandal
Richard Nixon's first vice president, Spiro Agnew, resigned in 1973 amidst charges of bribery and tax evasion. MSNBC host Rachel Maddow and producer Mike Yarvitz investigated the Agnew scandal in the podcast 'Bag Man.' Now their work on the podcast has been adapted into a book, 'Bag Man: The Wild Crimes, Audacious Cover-Up, and Spectacular Downfall of a Brazen Crook in the White House.' Film critic Justin Chang reviews 'Farewell Amor.'...


NYT Reporter Maggie Haberman Unpacks The Trump Years
White House correspondent Maggie Haberman sheds light on Trump's refusal to concede."[He] can't handle the concept of the label 'loser,' " she says. "He has never before encountered a problem that he couldn't sue away through the court system or spin away." We'll also talk about what's next for the president and the frustrations of covering this particular administration....

A Lawyer Combats The Mass Incarceration Crisis
Lawyer Brittany Barnett works on behalf of people sentenced to harsh sentences as a result of the war on drugs. Nine of her clients have been granted clemency. Barnett's new memoir is 'A Knock at Midnight: A Story of Hope, Justice And Freedom.' Critic John Powers shares his list of the year's best TV, books and movies....

Rock & Roll Photographer Bob Gruen
Gruen has photographed countless rock stars, including John Lennon, the Rolling Stones, Chuck Berry and Tina Turner. We talk about his friendship with John Lennon, why Bob Dylan doesn't like him, and surviving the party lifestyle of the '70s. His new memoir is 'Right Place, Right Time.' Also, we remember test pilot Chuck Yeager who broke the sound barrier. He died yesterday at 97....


Kate Winslet
Winslet co-stars in the new film 'Ammonite' as Mary Anning, a 19th-century paleontologist who has an intense love affair with the wife of a geologist, played by Saorise Ronan. We talk about why the role scared her, how playing an epidemiologist in the 2011 film 'Contagion' prepared her for COVID, and how 'Titanic' changed her life. Also, Justin Chang reviews 'Mank,' directed by David Fincher, now on Netflix....

Best Of: Hugh Grant / The Sanitation Crisis In Rural Alabama
Hugh Grant co-stars in the HBO miniseries 'The Undoing' as a charming doctor suspected of brutally murdering his lover. We talk with Grant about the "blessed relief" of taking on darker roles.Film critic Justin Chang reviews 'Ammonite,' starring Kate Winslet and Saoirse Ronan. MacArthur fellow Catherine Coleman Flowers grew up in rural Alabama and has spent 20 years calling attention to the problem of people living with inadequate sanitation systems, resulting in human waste collecting in their yards and so...

Celebrating Jazz Great Dave Brubeck / Best Books Of 2020
We celebrate the life and music of influential jazz pianist and composer Dave Brubeck, who was born 100 years ago. Brubeck's album 'Time Out,' released in 1959, was the first jazz album to sell a million copies. He spoke with Terry Gross in 1999. Also, book critic Maureen Corrigan shares her top 10 books of the year, and David Bianculli reviews Showtime's series 'Your Honor' starring Bryan Cranston....


National Security & The Final Weeks Of The Trump Administration
President Trump has ousted his secretary of defense and the head of the Pentagon's Defeat Isis Task Force. Trump has also considered striking Iran, and is expected to pull troops from Afghanistan. We talk with 'New York Times' reporter Eric Schmitt about what this may mean for American national security....

Loudon Wainwright III & Vince Giordano Play From The Great American Songbook
Singer-songwriter Loudon Wainwright III and Nighthawks bandleader Vince Giordano collaborated on the 1920s and '30s style music for the series 'Boardwalk Empire' and the film 'The Aviator.' Now they've gotten together again on the new album, 'I'd Rather Lead a Band,' a collection of songs from the Great American Songbook. They talk with Terry Gross about their new record and the music of the era....

Hugh Grant
Grant co-stars in the HBO miniseries 'The Undoing' as a charming doctor suspected of brutally murdering his lover. We talk with Grant about the "blessed relief" of taking a break from playing nice guys, his activism about tabloid privacy, and how 'Four Weddings and a Funeral' changed his life. ​...


Sen. Ted Kennedy & American Liberalism
A liberal voice in the U.S. Senate for decades, Senator Ted Kennedy led a life marked by tragedy and scandal. Historian Neal Gabler says Kennedy's career shaped the course of American liberalism. His book is 'Catching the Wind.'Film critic Justin Chang reviews 'Happiest Season.' It stars Kristen Stewart and Mackenzie Davis as a lesbian couple trying to keep their relationship a secret during a Christmas family gathering....

Best Of: Chef David Chang / Actor Gillian Anderson
Momofuku chef David Chang talks about his new memoir, 'Eat a Peach,' which details his struggle with bipolar disorder and how cooking saved his life. He also hosts the series 'Ugly Delicious' on Netflix. John Powers reviews the gripping Romanian documentary 'Collective,' about journalists uncovering a corruption scandal. 'X-Files' and 'Sex Education' actor Gillian Anderson talks about playing Margaret Thatcher in the new season of 'The Crown,' and then coaches Terry Gross on how to imitate the former prime ...

Carol Burnett
The celebrated variety and sketch comedy series, 'The Carol Burnett Show' aired from 1967-1978 and won more than 20 Emmy Awards. The series is going to streaming services for the first time. Burnett talked to Terry Gross in 2003 and our TV critic David Bianculli interviewed her this year about her signature ear pull, why she didn't do topical humor, and why the show stands the test of time....


Conan O'Brien
After 28 years of hosting late-night shows, O'Brien will be starting something new at HBO. He spoke to Terry Gross in 2019 about his early days as a comic and how late-night TV has changed over the years. Also, jazz critic Kevin Whitehead reviews a newly discovered live recording by Sonny Rollins....

Chef David Chang
Momofuku chef and 'Ugly Delicious' host David Chang talks about fatherhood, mixing culinary traditions, and how depression led him to take his biggest career risks. "Momofuku was an exercise in combating depression," he says. "Otherwise, a 26 year-old with very little experience should never open a restaurant — and that's what happened." His new memoir is 'Eat a Peach.'Also, we remember travel writer and memoirist Jan Morris. She died last week at 94....

Vaccine Expert On COVID & The Year Ahead
Dr. Peter Hotez is part of a team working to develop a low-cost COVID vaccine that could be distributed globally. "Vaccines are coming," he says. "We have to get everybody through to the other side." Hotez talks about vaccine development, the anti-vax movement, and what the year ahead might look like....


The Sanitation Crisis In Rural America
In a 2017 study of a rural area of Alabama, more than one in three people tested showed traces of hookworm, an intestinal parasite spread by contact with human feces, previously thought to be eradicated in the U.S. Catherine Coleman Flowers grew up in Alabama, and has spent 20 years calling attention to the problem of people living with no sanitary means of human waste disposal, so it collects in their yards, and sometimes seeps into their homes. Earlier this year, she was awarded a MacArthur fellowship to ...

Best Of: President Obama / The Chicago 7
President Barack Obama talks about birtherism and fake news, and reflects on what he misses most about being president — and why he still has faith in democracy. The first volume of his memoir about his presidency is 'A Promised Land.'Also, Justin Chang reviews 'Small Axe,' a series of five films by Steve McQueen. The Chicago 7 were anti-war activists who were charged with conspiracy to incite a riot at the 1968 Democratic National Convention. The trial is the subject of a new movie written and directed by ...

The CIA's Secret Mind Control Experiments
Stephen Kinzer's book, 'Poisoner in Chief,' exposes how CIA scientist Sidney Gottlieb worked in the 1950s and early '60s to develop mind control drugs and deadly toxins that could be used against enemies of the U.S. government. Gottlieb believed the key to mind control was LSD, and is credited with bringing the drug to the U.S. He also experimented on unwitting people in prisons and detention centers in Japan, Germany, and the Philippines. (Originally broadcast Sept. 2019) Also, Justin Chang reviews, 'Small...


President Barack Obama
In his first interview with Terry Gross, President Barack Obama talks about birtherism and fake news, and reflects on what he misses most about being president — and why he still has faith in democracy. The first volume of his memoir about his presidency is 'A Promised Land.'...

The Extraordinary 'Chicago 7' Trial / 'Alex Rider' Author Anthony Horowitz
The Chicago 7 were anti-war activists who were charged with conspiracy to incite a riot at the 1968 Democratic National Convention. The trial is the subject of a new movie written and directed by Aaron Sorkin. We talk with author Jon Wiener about his book, 'Conspiracy in the Streets.'Anthony Horowitz's novels about Alex Rider, a reluctant teen spy, have been adapted into a TV series for Amazon. Horowitz is also the author of 'Moonflower Murders,' a mystery for adults. He spoke with producer Sam Briger....

The GOP Identity Crisis Post-Trump
Donald Trump was scorned by party leaders when he ran in the 2016 primaries. But after nearly four years in office, he's so popular among Republican voters that few Republican officials dare to cross him. We talk with 'New Yorker' staff writer Nicholas Lemann about what influence Trump might have on the party going forward once he leaves the White House, and how the GOP will deal with the changes Trump has made to the party's identity and ideology. Also, Maureen Corrigan reviews 'The Book Collectors: A Band...


Gillian Anderson On 'The Crown' & 'The X-Files'
Anderson talks about playing Margaret Thatcher in the new season of 'The Crown,' and then coaches Terry Gross on how to do the former prime minster's voice. We'll also talk about Anderson's role as a sex therapist in 'Sex Education,' and her ongoing fight for equal pay for her co-starring role in 'The X-Files.' Also, Ken Tucker reviews the album 'The Otherside' from country singer-songwriter Cam....

Best Of: Megan Rapinoe / The Science Of Smell
USWNT soccer star Megan Rapinoe speaks with Terry Gross about her World Cup wins, the ongoing fight for pay equality in women's sports, and being an LGBTQ activist. Her new memoir about her life on and off the field is 'One Life.'Book critic Maureen Corrigan reviews 'We Keep the Dead Close,' by Becky Cooper, a true crime story about the murder of a Harvard student in 1969 that went unsolved until two years ago.Harold McGee is best-known for his books about food science. In his new book, 'Nose Dive,' he writ...

Jazz Pianist Keith Jarrett
Jarrett is one of the most celebrated pianists in jazz — a musician acclaimed for his emotionally intense and physically energetic improvised performances. He was a prodigy who started playing piano at the age of 3. Now he has a new album, 'Budapest,' which was recorded during his last European concert tour. Jarrett recently revealed he had two strokes in 2018 and now he's partially paralyzed and unable to perform. Critic Kevin Whitehead reviews the album and we listen back to our 2000 interview with Jarret...


What Trump Might Do With His Remaining Weeks In Office
'Politico' journalist Garrett Graff says presidents typically reserve their most controversial decisions for their last weeks in office. In a new article, Graff lays out some of the norm-busting actions President Trump may take in the days remaining in his presidency. Trump is already blocking president-elect Biden's access to classified information — and some worry he might destroy White House records and begin issuing pardons....

A 'Nose Dive' Into The Science Of Smell
Harold McGee is best-known for his books about food science. In his new book, 'Nose Dive,' he writes about why things smell the way they do — and the ways different chemicals combine to create surprising (and sometimes distasteful) odors. We talk about stinky cheese, cat pee, mask breath and why cooking releases smells. Also, John Powers reviews season 4 of 'The Crown,' in which Princess Diana is introduced....

Embracing Life With A Heart Condition
Writer Katherine Standefer tells us about long QT syndrome — and the implanted cardiac defibrillator that helps regulate her heart. In her new memoir, 'Lightning Flowers,' she writes about how the device changed her life, and about trying to get medical care with little income 11 years ago — just as Congress was trying to establish the Affordable Care Act. "One of the greatest gifts is to feel alive while you are alive," Standefer says.Jazz critic Kevin Whitehead reviews the new album from Susan Alcorn, a p...


Megan Rapinoe / Remembering Alex Trebek
The USWNT soccer star and activist spoke with Terry Gross about her World Cup wins, the ongoing fight for pay equality in women's sports, and taking a knee in solidarity with Black Lives Matter. Her new memoir about her life on and off the field is 'One Life.' Also, we remember longtime 'Jeopardy!' host Alex Trebek. He died Nov. 8....

Best Of: Writer Jerald Walker / The Enduring Impact Of COVID-19
Author Jerald Walker talks about growing up on Chicago's South Side, raising his two sons in a predominantly white suburb and preventing his essays from turning into clichés about the Black experience. His new collection of essays is 'How to Make a Slave.' The title is a reference to Frederick Douglass' line, "You've seen how a man was made a slave; you shall see how a slave was made a man."Also, jazz critic Kevin Whitehead reviews a new album by cornet player Ron Miles.Nicholas Christakis is a doctor and a...

Jazz Singer Cécile McLorin Salvant
McLorin Salvant's repertoire includes jazz standards and forgotten early songs, show tunes, and originals. ​She'​s one of this year's MacArthur fellows​. We'll also listen back to our 2001 interview with dancer and choreographer Marge Champion, who died Oct. 21....


Reconstructing The Presidency 'After Trump'
Jack Goldsmith, former legal counsel to George W. Bush's White House, says no matter when Trump leaves office, his successor will face tough questions about how to reconstruct the battered presidency. In his book, 'After Trump,' Goldsmith and his co-author Bob Bauer write that Trump has exposed the presidency's vulnerability to excesses of authority and weaknesses in accountability. The book details the norms Trump has violated, and recommends reforms that would hold future presidents more accountable. (Not...

How The 2020 Election Is A 'Stress Test' Of American Democracy
'Atlantic' writer Barton Gellman returns to discuss what this election has revealed about our system's strengths and weaknesses, and what he's learned about the legal strategies the Trump and Biden campaigns are considering if the election is contested. Trump claimed victory on Election Night, and said he'd petition the Supreme Court to halt the vote counting. Gellman's latest articles are titled "The Election That Could Break America," and "How Trump Could Attempt a Coup." (Note: This interview was recorde...

Writer Jerald Walker On 'How To Make A Slave'
Walker talks about growing up on Chicago's South Side, raising his two sons in a predominantly white suburb and preventing his essays from turning into clichés about the Black experience. His new collection of essays is 'How to Make a Slave.' The title is a reference to Frederick Douglass' line, "You've seen how a man was made a slave; you shall see how a slave was made a man."...


Aaron Sorkin On 'The Trial Of The Chicago 7'
In 1968, several prominent anti-war activists were accused of conspiring to start a riot at the Democratic National Convention in Chicago. Aaron Sorkin, writer of 'The West Wing,' and 'The Social Network,' has a new film that follows the trial of the so-called Chicago Seven. He spoke with new 'Fresh Air' contributor Sam Sanders about parallels between the summer of '68 and 2020, and if the past year has changed his idealistic style of writing. Also, Ken Tucker reviews three new songs by Stevie Wonder, The P...

Best Of: Inside A Pro-Trump Militia / Chef Marcus Samuelsson
'Atlantic' writer Mike Giglio profiles the Oath Keepers, a pro-Trump militia group, in a new article. They have recruited thousands of police, soldiers and veterans. We talk about what they might do on Election Day and after. Ken Tucker reviews three songs by The Pretenders, Bruce Springsteen, and Stevie Wonder.Harlem chef Marcus Samuelsson talks about his new book, 'The Rise.' It's a celebration of Black excellence in the culinary world — and the many Black cooks who have influenced American food, often wi...

Remembering Country Songwriter Billy Joe Shaver
We remember the songwriter that Johnny Cash described as his favorite writer: Billy Joe Shaver. His songs have been performed by Cash, Kris Kristofferson, Waylon Jennings, Willie Nelson, Bob Dylan and Elvis Presley. Shaver first became known as the songwriter for the country music outlaws of the '70s. He died this week at the age of 81. We'll listen back to two of his interviews with Terry Gross.Justin Chang reviews 'City Hall,' a riveting documentary about local government by filmmaker Frederick Wiseman....


The Enduring Impact Of COVID-19
Nicholas Christakis is a doctor and a sociologist who has studied the science of infectious diseases and how plagues of the past have altered societies. "Everywhere you see the spread of germs, for the last few thousand years, you see right behind it the spread of lies," he says. "Denial and lies ... [are] almost an intrinsic part of an epidemic." Christakis's book is 'Apollo's Arrow: The Profound and Enduring Impact of Coronavirus on the Way We Live.'Also, Maureen Corrigan reviews Jess Walter's new novel '...

Pro-Trump Militias: Election Day & Beyond
'Atlantic' writer Mike Giglio profiles the Oath Keepers, a pro-Trump militia group, in a new article. They have recruited thousands of police, soldiers and veterans. We talk about what they might do on Election Day and after. "We, as Americans, are so comfortable with the idea of sending people out into foreign wars. And now [these militia groups are] starting to look at America itself as a part of that battle space." Giglio also shares insights from covering civil wars overseas....

The Personal Scars & Political Mistakes That Shaped Joe Biden
We talk with journalist Evan Osnos about the former vice president's long career in the Senate, how personal tragedy changed him, and some of the political missteps he made along the way. Osnos' new biography is 'Joe Biden: The Life, the Run, and What Matters Now.'...


Chef Marcus Samuelsson Writes Black People Into U.S. Food History
Samuelsson's new book, 'The Rise,' is a celebration of Black excellence in the culinary world — and the many Black cooks who have influenced American food, often without credit. He also talks about converting his Harlem restaurant Red Rooster into a community kitchen during the pandemic, and his roots in both Ethiopia and Sweden. Also, film critic Justin Chang reviews 'The Witches,' an adaptation of Roald Dahl's classic children's book....

Father Of The Psychedelic Movement, Timothy Leary
Psychologist Timothy Leary, who died in 1996, was the father of the psychedelic movement of the 1960s and its experiments with mind-altering drugs. In 1960, Leary joined the faculty of Harvard at the Center for Personality Research, where he analyzed the effects of psychedelics and personality. As part of his research, he introduced L.S.D. and other psychedelic drugs to many, and also used them himself. Leary was eventually asked to leave the university, and later served time in jail on drug charges. We lis...

Best Of: Novelist Rumaan Alam / 'My Octopus Teacher' Filmmaker
Rumaan Alam's novel, 'Leave the World Behind,' centers on two families — one Black and one white — who are sharing a vacation home during a mysterious disaster. It explores issues of race and class, fear, and how we respond to crisis.Ken Tucker reviews a new deluxe edition of Prince's masterpiece 'Sign O' The Times.' Craig Foster spent a year diving — without oxygen or a wetsuit — into the frigid sea near Cape Town, South Africa. One octopus began coming out of her den to hunt or explore while Foster watche...


SCOTUS Correspondent Nina Totenberg
Nina Totenberg is widely regarded as the dean of legal journalists. She started covering the Supreme court in 1971 and became NPR's legal correspondent in 1975. We talk about breaking the Anita Hill story, her friendship with the late Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, and her early career as a pioneer for women in journalism. This conversation was recorded from a live Zoom event for WHYY....

Novelist Sigrid Nunez
Nunez's new novel, 'What Are You Going Through,' is about facing mortality and the relationship between a writer dying of cancer and the friend she asks to stay with her. Lloyd Schwartz reviews a collection of performances by Leontyne Price, the first Black soprano to have a major career at the Metropolitan Opera. And John Powers reviews the Netflix miniseries 'The Queen's Gambit.'...

Free Speech In The Age Of Disinformation
'New York Times Magazine' writer Emily Bazelon talks about how the lies and conspiracy theories sweeping through American media are leading some scholars to question our faith in free speech and in minimal government regulation of speech. Bazelon says false content moves through the Internet unchecked — undermining the political process along the way.Also, jazz critic Kevin Whitehead reviews 'El Duelo.'...


John Brown, Abraham Lincoln & The Fight To End Slavery
Historian H.W. Brands' new book, 'The Zealot and the Emancipator' looks at two very different 19th century leaders, John Brown and Abraham Lincoln. Brown was a militant abolitionist who embraced violence and was hanged after he tried to spark an insurrection at Harpers Ferry, Virginia. President Lincoln resisted conflict as long as possible, hoping laws and reason would keep Southern states in the Union, and eventually bring an end to human bondage. Also, film critic Justin Chang reviews 'Martin Eden,' an a...

Best Of: Broadway Stars Danny Burstein & Rebecca Luker / 'Nice White Parents' Creator
Married Broadway stars Danny Burstein and Rebecca Luker both contracted COVID in the spring, just as theaters went dark. Burstein was starring in 'Moulin Rouge' at the time. Burstein's case was severe and he nearly died. Luker's case was mild, but it came soon after she had been diagnosed with ALS. They talk with Terry Gross about how their illnesses have changed their lives and careers, and their hopes for the future.Also, John Powers reviews 'David Byrne's American Utopia' on HBO, directed by Spike Lee.'T...

How Women Have Been Left Out Of The Constitution / Remembering MLB's Joe Morgan
As a teen, Heidi Schreck debated the Constitution in competitions. Later she realized it had failed to protect four generations of women in her family. "I believed it was perfect. I believed it was a tool of justice. I did not realize as a 15-year-old girl how profoundly I had been left out of it. I didn't realize that it didn't protect me," Schreck says. Her award-winning Broadway play, 'What the Constitution Means to Me,' is now streaming on Amazon. Also, we remember Joe Morgan, one of the few second-base...


'My Octopus Teacher' Filmmaker
Craig Foster spent a year diving — without oxygen or a wetsuit — into the frigid sea near Cape Town, South Africa. One octopus began coming out of her den to hunt or explore while Foster watched. He documents their unlikely friendship in 'My Octopus Teacher,' now on Netflix. Also, TV critic David Bianculli reviews the Netflix film, 'The Trial of the Chicago 7,' written by Aaron Sorkin....

2 Broadway Stars Grapple With Illness And Uncertainty
Married Broadway stars Danny Burstein and Rebecca Luker both contracted COVID in the spring, just as theaters went dark. Burstein was starring in 'Moulin Rouge' at the time. Burstein's case was severe and he nearly died. Luker's case was mild, but it came soon after she had been diagnosed with ALS. They talk with Terry Gross about how their illnesses have changed their lives and careers, and their hopes for the future....

Lessons For A Post-Pandemic World
CNN host and 'Washington Post' columnist Fareed Zakaria says COVID-19 presents a chance to make positive changes: "We could well look back on these times 10 or 20 years from now and say, 'This was the turning point.'" His new book, 'Ten Lessons for a Post-Pandemic World' examines the way COVID-19 will change everything from our trust in government to our relationship with technology. Also, John Powers reviews 'David Byrne's American Utopia' on HBO, directed by Spike Lee....


How 'Nice White Parents' Can Undermine School Integration
'This American Life' producer Chana Joffe-Walt says progressive white parents may say they want their kids to go to diverse schools — but the reality tells a different story. "I think white parents are pretty savvy at evading the explicit conversation around race, although it's clearly shaping our thoughts about schools." She examines the complicated history of gentrification in a Brooklyn school in her new podcast, 'Nice White Parents.' It's a production of 'Serial' and 'The New York Times.' Also, Ken Tuc...

Best Of: Ethan Hawke / Lenny Kravitz
Ethan Hawke plays 19th-century abolitionist John Brown in the seven-part Showtime series, 'The Good Lord Bird.' He says Brown's story feels particularly relevant today, as America confronts systemic racism and the legacy of slavery. Also, Justin Chang reviews the film 'The Forty-Year-Old Version.' Lenny Kravitz talks about growing up the son of a Jewish father and Black mother. His new memoir about his life up until his breakout album is 'Let Love Rule.'...

Remembering MLB Pitcher Bob Gibson
We remember Bob Gibson, one of baseball's most intimidating pitchers. He dominated hitters from the mound for the St. Louis Cardinals in the 1960s and '70s and he holds the record for most strikeouts — 17 — in a World Series game. Gibson died last week at the age of 84. First we'll listen back to Terry's 1994 interview with Gibson when he had just published his memoir. Then, in our 2009 interview with Gibson and Hall of Fame slugger Reggie Jackson, we hear him talk about the classic confrontation between t...


The State Of The Affordable Care Act
As President Trump recovers from COVID-19 and candidates debate the issue of insurance for people with pre-existing conditions, we take stock of the nation's health care system. We talk with the 'New York Times' health policy reporter Sarah Kliff about the state of the Affordable Care Act, after 10 years of legal assaults and attempts in Congress to repeal the law. "Republicans have been trying to drive a stake into the heart of Obamacare pretty much since it was passed," Kliff says.Jazz critic Kevin Whiteh...

Novelist Rumaan Alam
Alam's novel, 'Leave the World Behind,' centers on two families — one Black and one white — who are sharing a vacation home during a mysterious disaster. It explores issues of race and class, fear, and how we respond to crisis. We'll also talk about Alam's upbringing as the son of Bengali immigrants and why he has hope about his children's generation....

Lenny Kravitz
Kravitz talks about growing up the son of a Jewish father and Black mother, finding his musical style, and how Lisa Bonet changed him as a songwriter. His new memoir about his life up until his breakout album is 'Let Love Rule.'Also, Maureen Corrigan reviews 'The Searcher,' a suspenseful crime novel by Tana French....


Ethan Hawke
Hawke plays 19th-century abolitionist John Brown in the seven-part Showtime series, 'The Good Lord Bird.' He says Brown's story feels particularly relevant today, as America confronts systemic racism and the legacy of slavery. We also talk about 'Training Day,' collaborating with filmmaker Richard Linklater, and how stage fright made him a better actor....

Best Of: What If Trump Contests The Election? / Filmmaker Kirsten Johnson
'Atlantic' staff writer Barton Gellman says if President Trump claims mail-in votes are fraudulent and contests the results, Republican legislatures might then try to ignore their states' popular votes and send Trump representatives to the Electoral College. His latest article is 'The Election That Could Break America.'Kevin Whitehead reviews the first album from an all-star band of jazz women, called Artemis.After filmmaker Kirsten Johnson's father started showing signs of dementia, she had a hard time acc...

A Cave Diver On The Thrill & Terror Of Going 'Into The Planet'
Diver and photographer Jill Heinerth shares some of her most dangerous and exhilarating experiences underwater — like getting trapped inside an iceberg in Antarctica. Heinerth also explains how she stays calm when things go wrong: "I take a really deep breath and try and slow my heart, slow my breathing, and then just focus on pragmatic small steps," she says. Her book is 'Into the Planet.'David Bianculli reviews the Showtime documentary series 'The Comedy Store,' about the iconic comedy club....


What Happens If Trump Contests the Election?
'Atlantic' writer Barton Gellman says the 2020 election could trigger a constitutional crisis, and if the election is close, it could take weeks to determine the results in key battleground states as mail-in ballots are scrutinized for technical flaws and counted. If President Trump cries fraud and his supporters take to the streets, state legislatures could resolve to set aside the popular vote in their states and choose their own partisan delegations to the Electoral College. "This is not going to be a no...

Filmmaker Faces Her Dad's Mortality In 'Dick Johnson Is Dead'
After Kirsten Johnson's dad started showing signs of dementia, she had a hard time accepting that his death was getting closer. Her new Netflix documentary, 'Dick Johnson is Dead,' enacts his death from a series of imagined accidents. Johnson has been the cinematographer for over 50 documentaries, including 'Citizenfour.' We'll also talk about her 2016 film 'Cameraperson,' which she's described as a memoir. She spoke with 'Fresh Air' producer Sam Briger.Also, Justin Chang reviews 'The Forty Year-Old Version...

Inside The Mueller Investigation
Andrew Weissmann, a lead prosecutor in the Mueller investigation, shares his experience with the probe and its report on Russian interference in the 2016 election. Weissmann says the constant threat that President Trump might fire Mueller and shut down the probe and the prospect of Trump granting pardons to key witnesses had an effect on Mueller and his team. Weissman believes Mueller was timid when he should have been aggressive in getting information and testimony, and he says the final report should have...


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, Kevin Whitehead reviews the first album from an all-star band of jazz women, called Artemis....

Best Of: Met Music Director Yannick Nézet-Séguin / Inside Trump's Businesses
Yannick Nézet-Séguin, conductor of the Metropolitan Opera and Philadelphia Orchestra, talks about Verdi's "Requiem." He'll talk about how Verdi communicates suffering and hope through music, and how music has helped him find a sense of connection during the pandemic. Ken Tucker reviews a new EP from singer-songwriter Mickey Guyton, one of the few Black women recording country music hits.Also, we'll talk about Donald Trump's finances with 'Forbes' senior editor Dan Alexander. His new book is 'White House Inc...

Feminist Activist Gloria Steinem
The new drama 'The Glorias' is based on the feminist activist's memoir 'My Life on the Road,' and follows Steinem from ages 20 to 40. Steinem spoke with Terry Gross in 2015 about her unique childhood, the illegal abortion she had when she was 22, and how aging has been liberating. We'll also hear an excerpt of her 1987 interview, about the 15th anniversary of 'Ms.' magazine, the feminist publication which she co-founded. Also, TV critic David Bianculli reviews the fourth season of 'Fargo,' starring Chris Ro...


Met Music Director Yannick Nézet-Séguin On Hope & Suffering
Yannick Nézet-Séguin, the young, charismatic conductor of the Metropolitan Opera and Philadelphia Orchestra, talks about Verdi's "Requiem." He chose the piece for his inaugural performance as music director of the orchestra in Philadelphia. We'll talk about how Verdi communicates suffering and hope through music, the piece's meaning in Yannick's own life, and how music has helped him find a sense of connection during the pandemic.And John Powers reviews the new Apple TV+ series 'Tehran,' about a female Isra...

Political Meddling In The Fight Against COVID-19
'Politico' reporter Dan Diamond describes efforts by Trump loyalist and HHS spokesperson (currently on leave) Michael Caputo to alter weekly CDC reports and have scientists change their findings on the course of the coronavirus pandemic. "Caputo walked in the door of the health department in the middle of this once-in-a-century pandemic, having been personally recruited by the president, and the goal was very much to execute the president's agenda and to knock down any messaging, any communications that wer...

How Donald Trump Turned The Presidency Into A Business
'Forbes' senior editor Dan Alexander examines President Trump's sprawling business interests in his new book, 'White House, Inc.' Alexander says the president has broken a number of pledges he made about how he would conduct business while in office. We talk about Trump's holdings and potential conflicts of interest, and what Alexander found when he looked closely at the numbers.Also, Ken Tucker reviews Mickey Guyton's EP 'Bridges' and her single "Black Like Me."...


Remembering RBG / Neurologist Oliver Sacks
Legal analyst and 'New Yorker' staff writer Jeffrey Toobin spoke with Terry Gross in 2013 about his profile of Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, written as she marked her 20th anniversary on the Supreme Court. We'll talk about how her work led to breakthroughs in the equal treatment of women. And Toobin will tell a touching personal story she shared with him. Ginsburg died Sept. 18 at the age of 87.A new documentary, 'Oliver Sacks: His Own Life,' chronicles the late neurologist's efforts to understand perception...

Best Of: The Origin Of Data Science & Elections / Novelist Ayad Akhtar
Harvard historian and 'New Yorker' writer Jill Lepore tells the story of the Simulmatics Corporation. Founded in 1959, it used a so-called "people machine," a computer program it claimed could predict the impact of political messages or advertising pitches. Her book is 'If Then.'TV critic David Bianculli reviews Ryan Murphy's new Netflix series 'Ratched,' an origin story of the notorious nurse from 'One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest.'Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright and novelist Ayad Akhtar talks about his n...

'Watchmen' Writer Cord Jefferson
The HBO series 'Watchmen' uses sci-fi and action heroes to examine American racism. We talk with show writer Cord Jefferson, who wrote the episode of the series in which the main character narrowly survives the 1921 Tulsa Massacre, when white supremacists destroyed a prosperous Black community. The series has scored 26 Emmy nominations — more than any other series.Also, film critic Justin Chang reviews the grim thriller 'The Devil All the Time,' now streaming on Netflix....


Country Musician & Historian Marty Stuart
The Grammy winning singer-songwriter started out in Lester Flatt's backup band. Now he's being inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame. Stuart played some of his own music in this 2014 interview, and talked about his archive of cowboy couture....

COVID On College Campuses
College campuses have become the pandemic's newest hotspots, with more than 88,000 COVID cases at the nation's colleges and universities. We talk with reporter Scott Carlson about the tough decisions colleges are facing as they decide how to continue classes, test students, and quarantine the sick. We'll also talk about the financial strain these institutions were already facing before the pandemic. TV critic David Bianculli reviews Ryan Murphy's new Netflix series 'Ratched,' an origin story of the notoriou...

The Strange Origin Story Of Data Science & Elections
Harvard historian and 'New Yorker' writer Jill Lepore tells the story of the Simulmatics Corporation. Founded in 1959, it used a so-called "people machine," a computer program it claimed could predict the impact of political messages or advertising pitches. At the time, Simulmatics drew condemnation from scholars and political leaders who saw it as a threat to democracy. But now, 60 years later, the company's data collection practices and predictive models have become commonplace among political campaigns. ...


Writer Ayad Akhtar On Blending Fact & Fiction
Actor, playwright and novelist Ayad Akhtar won a Pulitzer Prize for 'Disgraced,' his play about an American-born Muslim who hosts a dinner party that sparks a heated discussion of religion and politics. Akhtar's new novel, 'Homeland Elegies,' explores the experiences of a Muslim man who, like Akhtar, grows up in Wisconsin, the son of Pakistani immigrants.Also, Ken Tucker reviews the album 'What Could Be Better' by the band The Happy Fits....

Best Of: Yaa Gyasi / How Torture Derailed The War On Terror
Ghanaian-American author Yaa Gyasi drew on her own ​experiences growing up in a largely white community in Alabama for her new book, 'Transcendent Kingdom.' In the novel, she explores themes of depression, addiction, religion and race. Book critic Maureen Corrigan reviews pastry chef Lisa Donovan's memoir, 'Our Lady of Perpetual Hunger.'Former FBI agent Ali Soufan interrogated dozens of Al-Qaida members and other extremists in the wake of the Sept. 11 attacks. He says he got valuable information by preparin...

'Devil All The Time' Novelist / 'PEN15' Creators Return To Middle School
Donald Ray Pollock worked in a paper mill and meatpacking plant for 32 years before becoming a writer. He spoke with Terry Gross in 2011 about his acclaimed gothic crime novel, 'The Devil All the Time.' The film adaptation, starring Robert Pattinson and Tom Holland, will begin streaming on Netflix on Sept. 16.Also, we listen back to an interview with Anna Konkle and Maya Erskine, creators and stars of the Hulu comedy series 'PEN15.' They play 13-year-old versions of themselves, navigating the traumas of mid...


Novelist Yaa Gyasi
Ghanaian-American author Yaa Gyasi drew on her own ​experiences growing up in a largely white community in Alabama for her new book, 'Transcendent Kingdom.' In the novel, she explores themes of depression, addiction, religion and race. Her award-winning debut novel, 'Homegoing,' opens in Ghana in the 1700s and ​chronicles the legacy of slavery from the perspective of several generations of the same family. Also, book critic Maureen Corrigan reviews 'Our Lady of Perpetual Hunger,' a memoir by pastry chef Lis...

How Torture Derailed The War On Terror After 9/11
Former FBI agent Ali Soufan interrogated dozens of Al-Qaida members and other extremists in the wake of the Sept. 11 attacks. He says he got valuable information by preparing carefully for interviews and building rapport with his subjects. When CIA contractors used coercive techniques — like waterboarding — Soufan says subjects ceased cooperating, or gave bad information to make the torment stop. Soufan's 2011 memoir about his experiences appeared with large portions redacted by the CIA. After a legal batt...


Celebrating Sonny Rollins / Octavia Spencer
Today is the 90th birthday of the great tenor saxophonist and improviser Sonny Rollins. We celebrate by hearing some of his music spanning five decades, with commentary from our jazz critic Kevin Whitehead. And we'll listen back to Terry Gross' 1994 interview with Rollins.Also, we revisit Terry's interview with Octavia Spencer. She's nominated for a best actress Emmy for her performance in the Netflix limited series 'Self Made,' inspired by the story of Madam C.J. Walker, who was born in 1867 to parents wh...

Best Of: Cherry Jones / The Early Years Of The CIA
Cherry Jones is nominated for an Emmy for her role in the HBO series 'Succession' as Nan Pierce, the head of a family-owned media empire. She's also known for her roles on 'Transparent,' '24,' and her career in the theater. We'll talk about these roles and growing up gay in Tennessee. Also, TV critic David Bianculli reviews the TCM series, 'Women Make Film.'In his new book, 'The Quiet Americans,' author Scott Anderson profiles four daring and resourceful soldiers who became intelligence agents after World W...

RuPaul / Padma Lakshmi
Both RuPaul and Padma Lakshmi are nominated for Emmys in the best reality/competition category. 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,' has had 12 seasons. Padma Lakshmi is nominated for her role as host and executive producer on 'Top Chef.' She spoke with Terry Gross about splitting her childhood between the U.S. and India and her early modeling ca...


Kerry Washington / Comic Ramy Youssef
We're revisiting some of our favorite recent entertainment interviews, as we approach the 2020 Emmy Awards. Both guests today are nominated for their lead roles. 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. In the semi-autobiographical Hulu series 'Ramy,' Ramy Youssef plays a first generation Muslim Amer...

The Struggle To Protect Trump From Himself
Pulitzer Prize-winning 'New York Times' reporter Michael Schmidt says it's unusual for White House officials to be so focused on preventing a president from hurting the country or breaking the law. His new book, 'Donald Trump v. The United States,' focuses on two staffers who stood up to Trump: Former FBI Director James Comey and former White House Counsel Don McGahn....

Tragic Miscalculations In The Early Years Of The CIA
In his new book, 'The Quiet Americans,' author Scott Anderson profiles four daring and resourceful soldiers who became intelligence agents after World War II, when America was strong and respected after defeating Nazi Germany. The CIA then embarked on hundreds of ill-considered covert operations in Eastern Europe, and its obsession with fighting Communism propelled it into the subversion of several democratically-elected governments around the world. Anderson says the result was the loss of America's moral ...


Actor Cherry Jones
Jones is nominated for an Emmy for her role in the HBO series 'Succession' as Nan Pierce, the head of a family-owned media empire. She's also known for her roles on 'Transparent,' '24,' and her career in the theater. We'll talk about these roles, growing up gay in Tennessee, and how she struggled with the violence in 'The Handmaid's Tale.'Also, TV critic David Bianculli reviews the TCM series, 'Women Make Film.'...

Best Of: 'Watchmen' Writer / Stephen Miller & The White Nationalist Agenda
The HBO series 'Watchmen' uses sci-fi and action heroes to examine American racism. We talk with show writer Cord Jefferson, who wrote the episode of the series in which the main character narrowly survives the 1921 Tulsa Massacre, when white supremacists destroyed a prosperous Black community. Kevin Whitehead shares an appreciation of jazz great Charlie Parker for the 100th anniversary of his birth. "It's impossible to understand the Trump era, with its unparalleled polarization, without tracing Stephen Mi...

Celebrating Jazz Legend Charlie Parker
Jazz saxophonist Charlie Parker created a totally new sound known as bebop, along with other virtuosos like Bud Powell, Dizzy Gillespie and Max Roach. To celebrate Parker's 100th birthday, we go to our archives for interviews with musicians who knew him and loved him: Drummer Max Roach, trumpeter Red Rodney, and alto saxophonist Jackie McLean. And our jazz critic Kevin Whitehead kicks things off with a crash course in what made Parker's playing so brilliant....


Why We Need Widespread Rapid COVID Testing
'Atlantic' journalist Alexis Madrigal says millions of at-home saliva tests for COVID could be the key to life returning to normal — even if the tests are less accurate than the traditional PCR tests. We talk about the advantages and disadvantages of different kinds of testing, and what it would take for the government to fund and manufacture millions of daily tests. "I think what's happened in the U.S. has been so catastrophic on so many levels — economically, psychologically, educationally — that we have ...

How Reagan Changed Conservatism
Historian Rick Perlstein has spent 20 years studying the roots of American conservatism. His latest book, 'Reaganland,' is about the events that propelled Ronald Reagan to the White House and made him a revered figure among Republicans. He says that "viciousness and a naked will to power" has always been part of the conservative Republican coalition....

How Reagan Changed Conservatism
Historian Rick Perlstein has spent 20 years studying the roots of American conservatism. His latest book, 'Reaganland,' is about the events that propelled Ronald Reagan to the White House and made him a revered figure among Republicans. He says that "viciousness and a naked will to power" has always been part of the conservative Republican coalition....


CNN's Brian Stelter On The 'Foxification' Of America
CNN media correspondent Brian Stelter says the president's "cozy" relationship with Fox News is like nothing he's seen before: "In some ways [Trump] wants to be a television producer more than a president." Stelter's new book is called 'Hoax.'...

How Stephen Miller Became The Architect Of Trump's Immigration Policies
"It's impossible to understand the Trump era, with its unparalleled polarization, without tracing Stephen Miller's journey to the White House," journalist Jean Guerrero writes in her new book 'Hatemonger.' She describes the ideological arc of Miller's life, investigates his ties to right-wing mentors and far-right groups, and explains his role as Trump's advisor....

Best Of: Writer Carl Hiaasen / 'Immigration Nation' Filmmakers
'Miami Herald' columnist and author Carl Hiaasen talks about his new novel, 'Squeeze Me,' a hilarious mystery set in Palm Beach, featuring wealthy widows, the president and first lady, a scrappy wildlife removal specialist, and some gigantic Burmese pythons.Film critic Justin Chang reviews the unusual film 'Tesla,' starring Ethan Hawke. Documentary filmmakers Shaul Schwarz and Christina Clusiau talk about their visceral portrait of the U.S. immigration system — including ICE agents, immigrants, activists an...


Remembering 'Freedom Summer'
In the summer of 1964, hundreds of student volunteers — most were white and from the North — spent weeks registering African Americans to vote in Mississippi. We hear from Stanley Nelson, director of the 2014 documentary 'Freedom Summer,' and also Charles Cobb, an organizer who was interviewed for the film.Justin Chang reviews 'Tesla,' starring Ethan Hawke....

Why QAnon Is Important
QAnon, the conspiracy theory that claims President Trump is battling a deep state child sex trafficking ring run by high-profile democrats and celebrities, is the subject of a new 'Atlantic' article by Adrienne LaFrance. "It's almost like a bad spy novel," LaFrance says. QAnon adherents often appear at Trump rallies, and one supporter has won the Republican nomination to a Georgia Congressional seat....

Why QAnon Is Important
QAnon, the conspiracy theory that claims President Trump is battling a deep state child sex trafficking ring run by high-profile democrats and celebrities, is the subject of a new 'Atlantic' article by Adrienne LaFrance. "It's almost like a bad spy novel," LaFrance says. QAnon adherents often appear at Trump rallies, and one supporter has won the Republican nomination to a Georgia Congressional seat....


The 'Hiroshima Cover-Up' & The Journalist Who Exposed The Truth
Historian Lesley M.M. Blume's new book, 'Fallout,' tells the story of John Hersey, the young journalist whose on-the-ground reporting in Hiroshima exposed the world to the devastation of nuclear weapons. "Hersey had seen everything from that point, from combat to concentration camps," Blume says. "But he later said that nothing prepared him for what he saw in Hiroshima."Maureen Corrigan reviews 'Black Bottom Saints,' by Alice Randall....

Writer Carl Hiaasen's Satirical Take On Florida Life
'Miami Herald' columnist and author Carl Hiaasen's new novel, 'Squeeze Me,' is a hilarious mystery set in Palm Beach, featuring wealthy widows, the president and first lady, a scrappy wildlife removal specialist, and some gigantic Burmese pythons. We'll also talk about politics, and battles over voting in Florida that are setting the stage for a dramatic election in November. Also John Powers reviews the documentary 'Coup 53,' about the US-supported coup which overthrew an elected government in Iran....

A Portrait Of ICE & Immigration In The U.S.
Documentary filmmakers Shaul Schwarz and Christina Clusiau paint a nuanced portrait of the U.S. immigration system — including ICE agents, immigrants, activists and smugglers — in their 6-part Netflix documentary series, 'Immigration Nation.' And jazz critic Kevin Whitehead reviews James Carney's album, 'Pure Heart.'...


Best Of: 'The Old Guard' Dir. / How MLK & Malcolm X Influenced Each Other
"Female characters are not [usually] the center of the story," filmmaker Gina Prince-Bythewood says. Her new movie, 'The Old Guard,' follows a diverse group of world-weary warriors who've been alive for centuries. Prince-Bythewood makes history as the first Black woman to direct a film adaptation of a comic book. Film critic Justin Chang reviews the documentary 'Boys State,' about a week-long mock political campaign for teen boys.Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and Malcolm X are frequently seen as opposing force...

Sister Helen Prejean On Fighting The Death Penalty
Prejean is best known for her 1993 memoir, 'Dead Man Walking,' about her role as a spiritual adviser to a convicted killer on death row. The story was adapted into an Oscar-winning film starring Susan Sarandon and Sean Penn. Prejean has accompanied six prisoners to their executions and has been at the forefront of activism against the death penalty. She spoke with Terry Gross in 2019. David Bianculli reviews HBO's series 'Lovecraft Country.'...

'Watchmen' Writer Cord Jefferson
The HBO series 'Watchmen' uses sci-fi and action heroes to examine American racism. Cord Jefferson wrote the episode of the series in which the main character narrowly survives the 1921 Tulsa Massacre, when white supremacists destroyed a prosperous Black community. In addition to writing for 'Succession,' 'The Good Place' and 'The Nightly Show with Larry Wilmore,' Jefferson has also written personal essays about his mother's cancer diagnosis, donating a kidney to his father, and being biracial. We remember ...


How MLK & Malcolm X Influenced Each Other
Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and Malcolm X are frequently seen as opposing forces in the struggle for civil rights, but Black Power scholar Dr. Peniel Joseph says the truth is more nuanced. His new book, 'The Sword and the Shield,' braids together the lives of the two civil rights revolutionaries. Also, film critic Justin Chang reviews the documentary 'Boys State,' about a week-long mock political campaign for teen boys....

GOP Strategist Takes On Trump & His Party: 'It Was All A Lie'
Veteran Republican strategist Stuart Stevens says the party's support for Trump reflects the abandonment of principles it long claimed to embrace, such as fiscal restraint, personal responsibility and family values. Stevens has helped get scores of Republicans elected, including George W. Bush and Bob Dole. His new book about how Trumpism has hijacked the party is, 'It Was All A Lie.' Also, TV critic David Bianculli reviews 'Star Trek: Lower Decks,' a CBS All Access cartoon....

'The Old Guard' Dir. Gina Prince-Bythewood
"Female characters are not [usually] the center of the story," filmmaker Gina Prince-Bythewood says. Her new movie, 'The Old Guard,' follows a diverse group of world-weary warriors who've been alive for centuries. Prince-Bythewood also talks about choreographing fight scenes, and her other films 'Love & Basketball' and 'Beyond the Lights.'...


Best Of: America's Caste System / The Decline Of Local News
In 'Caste: The Origins of Our Discontents', Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Isabel Wilkerson examines the laws and practices that created a bipolar caste system in the U.S. — and how the Nazis borrowed from it.Book critic Maureen Corrigan reviews two new novels: 'The Aunt Who Wouldn't Die,' and 'Blacktop Wasteland.'Since 2004, more than 2,000 American newspapers have gone out of business. 'Washington Post' media columnist Margaret Sullivan talks about the decline of local news coverage, a crisis she says ...

Best Of: America's Caste System / The Decline Of Local News
In 'Caste: The Origins of Our Discontents', Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Isabel Wilkerson examines the laws and practices that created a bipolar caste system in the U.S. — and how the Nazis borrowed from it.Book critic Maureen Corrigan reviews two new novels: 'The Aunt Who Wouldn't Die,' and 'Blacktop Wasteland.'Since 2004, more than 2,000 American newspapers have gone out of business. 'Washington Post' media columnist Margaret Sullivan talks about the decline of local news coverage, a crisis she says ...

How Satchel Paige Helped Integrate Baseball
This year marks the 100th anniversary of the founding of the Negro Leagues and today we remember one of baseball's greatest pitchers, Satchel Paige. We hear from Larry Tye, author of 'Satchel: The Life and Times of An American Legend.' Paige began his career pitching in the Negro leagues and later became a Major League star. In the 1930s, he made his way across the country amazing audiences with his blazing fastball and pinpoint accuracy.Also, Maureen Corrigan shares a remembrance of journalist Pete Hamill...


How Satchel Paige Helped Integrate Baseball
This year marks the 100th anniversary of the founding of the Negro Leagues and today we remember one of baseball's greatest pitchers, Satchel Paige. We hear from Larry Tye, author of 'Satchel: The Life and Times of An American Legend.' Paige began his career pitching in the Negro leagues and later became a Major League star. In the 1930s, he made his way across the country amazing audiences with his blazing fastball and pinpoint accuracy.Also, Maureen Corrigan shares a remembrance of journalist Pete Hamill...

Remembering Legendary Journalist Pete Hamill
Pete Hamill, who died Aug. 5, was a columnist and editor at the 'New York Post' and the 'New York Daily News,' covering wars, crime and the people of NYC's boroughs. He helped convince his friend Robert Kennedy to run for president, and on the night RFK was shot, helped tackle the assassin. Hamill spoke with 'Fresh Air' about RFK's assassination, giving up drinking in a boozy industry, and his work in the tabloids....

Jeffrey Toobin On The 'Tragedy' Of The Mueller Report
In Jeffrey ​Toobin's new book, ​'True Crimes and Misdemeanors,​'​​ the CNN legal analyst ​examines how​ President​ Trump and his team out-maneuvered special counsel Robert Mueller. Mueller, he says, gave Trump "a free pass" on obstruction of justice.​ ​We'll also talk about the impeachment trial and the Supreme Court....


Isabel Wilkerson On America's Caste System
In 'Caste: The Origins of Our Discontents', the Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist examines the laws and practices that created a bipolar caste system in the U.S. — and how the Nazis borrowed from it.Also, John Powers reviews Raven Leilani's debut novel, 'Luster.'...

The Decline Of Local News
Since 2004, more than 2,000 American newspapers have gone out of business. 'Washington Post' media columnist Margaret Sullivan talks about the decline of local news coverage, a crisis she says is as serious as the spread of disinformation on the internet. Her new book is 'Ghosting the News: Local Journalism and the Crisis of American Democracy.'Film critic Justin Chang reviews the thriller 'She Dies Tomorrow.'...

Best Of: Poet Natasha Trethewey / Mike Birbiglia & Jen Stein
When Natasha Trethewey was 19, her abusive stepfather killed her mother. In the 35 years since, she says, "I wanted to forge a new life for myself that didn't include that past, but, of course, that was impossible." Her new memoir is 'Memorial Drive.' Trethewey was the U.S. Poet Laureate in 2012 and 2013.Kevin Whitehead reviews a newly unearthed recording by drummer Art Blakey and his band.When comic Mike Birbiglia and poet Jen Stein got married, they agreed they didn't want kids. But then Jen changed her m...


Remembering Regis Philbin / Jazz Singer Annie Ross
We remember TV personality Regis Philbin, who died on July 24 at 88. He spoke with contributor David Bianculli in 2011 when his memoir, 'How I Got This Way,' came out. Also, we remember jazz singer Annie Ross, who died at 89. She sang in the trio Lambert, Hendricks & Ross and was best-known for the song "Twisted." Ross spoke with Terry Gross in 1990. David Bianculli reviews 'Muppets Now' on Disney+, and Ken Tucker reviews Taylor Swift's new album, 'Folklore.'...

The Legacy of White Supremacy In American Christianity
Robert P. Jones, author of the new book 'White Too Long,' talks about the history of white supremacy in American Christianity. His main focus is on the Southern Baptist Convention, the denomination in which he grew up. "There's so much work still to be done," he says. "White Christians have been largely silent ... and have hardly begun these conversations."Book critic Maureen Corrigan reviews two new novels: 'The Aunt Who Wouldn't Die,' and 'Blacktop Wasteland.'...

MLB Analyst Tim Kurkjian On Baseball During COVID
Major League Baseball is back — but for how long? About half of the Miami Marlins' roster has tested positive for COVID-19. ESPN baseball analyst Tim Kurkjian explains the challenges Major League Baseball faces as play resumes amid the pandemic.Also, Kevin Whitehead reviews 'Just Coolin'', a newly unearthed recording by drummer Art Blakey and his band....


Poet Natasha Trethewey
When Trethewey was 19, her abusive stepfather killed her mother. In the 35 years since, she says, "I wanted to forge a new life for myself that didn't include that past, but, of course, that was impossible." In her new memoir, 'Memorial Drive,' Trethewey revives her mother's memory and shares stories about growing up biracial in the South. She was the U.S. Poet Laureate in 2012 and 2013....

Comic Mike Birbiglia & Poet Jen Stein On 'Reluctant' Parenthood
When Mike Birbiglia and Jen Stein got married, they agreed they didn't want kids. But then Jen changed her mind. After their daughter Oona was born, Mike had difficulty bonding with her, and it put a strain on the marriage. In their book, 'The New One,' Mike writes "painfully true" stories about the first year of parenthood and Jen gives her perspective through poetry....

Comic Mike Birbiglia & Poet Jen Stein On 'Reluctant' Parenthood
When Mike Birbiglia and Jen Stein got married, they agreed they didn't want kids. But then Jen changed her mind. After their daughter Oona was born, Mike had difficulty bonding with her, and it put a strain on the marriage. In their book, 'The New One,' Mike writes "painfully true" stories about the first year of parenthood and Jen gives her perspective through poetry....


Best Of: Michaela Coel / Justice & Faith For The Wrongly Convicted
In the HBO series 'I May Destroy You,' Michaela Coel plays Arabella, a writer in London who goes to a bar and is drugged and sexually assaulted. She then has to piece together what happened to her. The series, which Coel wrote, directed and stars in, explores issues of sexuality and consent. She talks about how she drew on personal experience.John Powers reviews Zadie Smith's new collection of essays, 'Intimations,' written during the pandemic and completed after George Floyd's murder.Jim McCloskey, a lay m...

Remembering Foreign Correspondent Christopher Dickey
In a career spanning four decades, Dickey authored seven books and reported from more than 40 countries, often covering war, conflict and espionage. He died July 16 at 68. Dickey spoke with Terry Gross in 1998 and 2002.Also, Justin Chang reviews two new thriller movies about terrors within the home: 'Relic' and 'Amulet.'...

Mary Trump, The President's Niece
Mary Trump was devastated when her uncle was elected president. Her book, 'Too Much and Never Enough,' describes Donald Trump as a "belligerent" youth who hasn't changed since he was a teen. Mary's late father Freddy was the black sheep of the family....


Michaela Coel On 'I May Destroy You'
In the HBO series 'I May Destroy You,' Michaela Coel plays Arabella, a writer in London who goes to a bar and is drugged and sexually assaulted. She then has to piece together what happened to her. The series, which Coel wrote, directed and stars in, explores issues of sexuality and consent. She talks about how she drew on personal experience. John Powers reviews Zadie Smith's new collection of essays, 'Intimations,' written during the pandemic and completed after George Floyd's murder....

Faith, Justice, And Freedom For The Wrongly Convicted
Jim McCloskey, a lay minister, has devoted the past 40 years of his life to seeking justice and exoneration for men and women on death row or serving life sentences for crimes they didn't commit. "I saw firsthand how police and prosecutors manipulate evidence, coerce witnesses into giving false testimony," he says. His memoir is 'When Truth is All You Have.' Ken Tucker reviews the new album by HAIM, 'Women in Music Pt. III.'...

Remembering Rep. John Lewis
The towering civil rights leader John Lewis died July 17 at the age of 80. Lewis grew up the son of sharecroppers and later became an associate of Martin Luther King Jr. He co-led the 1965 civil rights march in Selma, Ala., which turned violent when state troopers beat and tear gassed the peaceful protestors. The protest became known as "Bloody Sunday." He spoke with Terry Gross in 2009. We'll also hear from the first Black lawyer in Selma, J.L. Chestnut, who shares his memories of Bloody Sunday. Maureen Co...


Best Of Colin Jost / Matthew Rhys
'Saturday Night Live' "Weekend Update" co-anchor Colin Jost talks about telling jokes about race with Michael Che and why he prefers writing to speaking. His new memoir is 'A Very Punchable Face.' Film critic Justin Chang says 'Palm Springs,' starring Andy Samberg and Cristin Milioti, is a perfect comedy for our current times. And Welsh actor Matthew Rhys talks about living out his boyhood fantasies in his new role as hardboiled detective Perry Mason....

Charlize Theron / Danny Trejo
Charlize Theron spoke with Terry Gross last year about growing up in Apartheid-era South Africa and growing up with an abusive father. She now stars in the film 'The Old Guard' on Netflix. Also, we listen back to our 2018 interview actor Danny Trejo. He's known for playing menacing characters in 'Breaking Bad,' 'Sons of Anarchy' and 'Machete.' The documentary 'Inmate #1: The Rise of Danny Trejo' chronicles his unlikely journey from prison to stardom....

Why The U.S. Prison System Makes Mental Illness Worse (And How We Might Fix It)
Dr. Christine Montross says in the U.S., people with serious mental illnesses are far more likely to be incarcerated than to be treated in a psychiatric hospital. Montross studied systemic change in the Norwegian prison system, and what the U.S. might learn from it. Her new book is 'Waiting for an Echo.'TV critic David Bianculli shares his thoughts on NBC's new streaming platform, Peacock....


Jane Mayer: Trump Used Pandemic To Weaken Worker Protections
Journalist Jane Mayer reports the Trump administration has weakened federal health and safety regulations of the poultry industry as plants have become COVID-19 hotspots, and allowed managers to speed up production lines. She says the U.S. Labor Department is effectively supporting an effort at one Delaware plant — owned by a major Trump campaign donor — to expel the union that has represented workers there for decades. Her article in the current issue of the 'New Yorker' is called, "How Trump is Helping Ty...

SNL's Colin Jost
The 'Saturday Night Live' "Weekend Update" co-anchor and writer Colin Jost acknowledges that his clean-cut image sometimes rubs people the wrong way. "When I get hurt or hit on camera," he says, "the audience really loves it." His new memoir is 'A Very Punchable Face.'Film critic Justin Chang reviews 'Palm Springs,' a nod to 'Groundhog Day' starring Andy Samberg....

Matthew Rhys
Rhys says his version of the iconic criminal defense attorney Perry Mason is more hardboiled than the one Raymond Burr played on TV: "He's a man who kind of lives on whiskey and cigarettes." We also talk about playing a spy in 'The Americans' and growing up in Wales (and masking his accent in auditions). Kevin Whitehead reviews a new album from trumpeter Ambrose Akinmusire....


Best Of: Padma Lakshmi / Patrick Stewart
In her new Hulu series, 'Taste the Nation,' Padma Lakshmi explores the different cultures that contribute to American cuisine. Lakshmi spoke with Terry Gross about splitting her childhood between the U.S. and India and her early modeling career.Ken Tucker reviews Bob Dylan's new album, 'Rough and Rowdy Ways.'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 my...

'Moonlight' Actor André Holland
Growing up in Alabama, André Holland's parents were voting rights activists and his father was a preacher. Holland is best known for his roles in 'Moonlight' and 'Castle Rock.' Next week he'll star in a radio version of Shakespeare's 'Richard II,' a co-production of WNYC and The Public Theater. Holland spoke with Terry Gross in 2018. John Powers reviews the action movie 'The Old Guard' starring Charlize Theron....

Chaos & Healing In The ER
In her memoir, 'The Beauty in Breaking,' Dr. Michele Harper writes about treating gunshot wounds, getting punched in the face, and discovering evidence of child abuse. She's also drawn insight and courage from her patients as she's struggled to overcome pain and trauma in her own life — growing up with an abusive father, and coping with the breakup of her marriage. Book critic Maureen Corrigan reviews 'Mexican Gothic' by Silvia Moreno-Garcia....


Why White Evangelicals Worship At The Altar Of Trump
Journalist Sarah Posner says while President Trump may not speak the language of faith and Christian values, he speaks the language of grievance — giving voice to legal, social and cultural concerns shared by the Christian right and the alt-right. Posner's book is 'Unholy.'Jazz critic Kevin Whitehead reviews an album by drummer Chad Taylor and his trio. Film critic Justin Chang reviews the HBO documentary 'Welcome to Chechnya,' about atrocities committed against the LGBTQ community....

'Demagogue' Draws Direct Line From McCarthy To Trump
Author Larry Tye chronicles Sen. Joseph McCarthy's infamous smear campaign in a new book, 'Demagogue.' He says both McCarthy and President Trump are "bullies" who exploit fears and "point fingers when they're attacked."Book critic Maureen Corrigan reviews the novel 'Want' by Lynn Steger Strong....

Padma Lakshmi
In her new Hulu series, 'Taste the Nation,' the 'Top Chef' host and executive producer explores the different cultures that contribute to American cuisine. Lakshmi spoke with Terry Gross about splitting her childhood between the U.S. and India, speaking out about sexual assault, and her early modeling career....


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 ...

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....

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....


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...

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.'...


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."...

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....


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....

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 ...


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....