Fresh Air

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Hosted by Terry Gross, Fresh Air from WHYY is the Peabody Award-winning weekday magazine of contemporary arts and issues. One of public radio's most popular programs, Fresh Air features intimate conversations with today's biggest luminaries.
Updated: 1 hour 45 min ago

Inside DARPA, The Pentagon Agency Whose Technology Has 'Changed the World'

Tue, 03/28/2017 - 12:27pm

Journalist Sharon Weinberger discusses the Defense Advance Research Projects Agency, which develops innovative scientific technologies for the military. Her new book is The Imagineers of War.

How For-Profit Colleges Sell 'Risky Education' To The Most Vulnerable

Mon, 03/27/2017 - 12:49pm

Tressie McMillan Cottom worked in enrollment at two for-profit colleges, but quit because she felt uncomfortable selling students an education they couldn't afford. Her new book is Lower Ed.

(Image credit: Cargo/Getty Images/Imagezoo)

Fresh Air Weekend: Comic Pete Holmes; Ron Powers Discusses His Sons' Schizophrenia

Sat, 03/25/2017 - 8:00am

Holmes, who grew up a devout Christian, says he draws on his early career and "churchy" roots in HBO's Crashing. Powers talks about mental illness and his efforts to help his sons.

(Image credit: McCall B. Polay/HBO)

A Middle-Aged Misanthrope Reconnects With His Long Lost Daughter In 'Wilson'

Fri, 03/24/2017 - 2:46pm

Daniel Clowes' angst-ridden graphic novel is the basis for a new film starring Woody Harrelson and Laura Dern. Critic David Edelstein says Wilson's abrasive protagonist is worth getting to know.

The Supreme Court Ruling That Led To 70,000 Forced Sterilizations

Fri, 03/24/2017 - 2:46pm

In the early 20th century, American eugenicists used forced sterilization to "breed out" traits considered undesirable. Adam Cohen tells the story in Imbeciles. Originally broadcast March 7, 2016.

Remembering Chuck Barris, Self-Proclaimed 'King Of Daytime Television'

Thu, 03/23/2017 - 12:53pm

Barris, who died Tuesday in New York, created The Dating Game, The Newlywed Game and The Gong Show, and later wrote the autobiography, Confessions of a Dangerous Mind. Originally broadcast in 1986.

An 'Intimate Portrait' Of Dorothy Day, The Catholic Activist With A Bohemian Past

Thu, 03/23/2017 - 12:53pm

Kate Hennessy drew from family letters, diaries and memories in writing Dorothy Day, a biography of her late grandmother. Day founded the Catholic Worker Movement and is now a candidate for sainthood.

Inside The Wealthy Family That Has Been Funding Steve Bannon's Plan For Years

Wed, 03/22/2017 - 1:06pm

Jane Mayer writes in the New Yorker about Robert Mercer and his daughter, Rebekah, who have poured millions of dollars into Breitbart News, and who pushed to have Bannon run Trump's campaign.

Smart, Satirical 'Devil And Webster' Takes On College Identity Politics

Wed, 03/22/2017 - 10:34am

Jean Hanff Korelitz's new novel surveys student life at a New England college in turmoil. Critic Maureen Corrigan says The Devil and Webster is "wittily on target."

(Image credit: Raquel Zaldivar/NPR)

Comic Pete Holmes Draws On His Early Career And 'Churchy' Roots In 'Crashing'

Tue, 03/21/2017 - 12:39pm

Holmes, who grew up a devout Christian, says he saw himself as a "Good Boy" comic in the early stages of his career. "I was basically picturing [Jesus] in the back of the club."

(Image credit: McCall B. Polay/HBO)

Remembering Rock N' Roll Pioneer Chuck Berry

Mon, 03/20/2017 - 12:20pm

The legendary guitarist, songwriter and singer died Saturday at the age of 90. Rock historian Ed Ward looks back on Berry's music and career. Originally broadcast in May 2008.

Father Of 2 Sons With Schizophrenia Talks Of His Struggle To Save Them

Mon, 03/20/2017 - 12:13pm

"There is no greater ... feeling of helplessness than to watch two beloved sons deteriorate before [your] eyes," says Ron Powers. His new book is No One Cares About Crazy People.

(Image credit: Roy Scott/Ikon Images/Getty Images)

Fresh Air Weekend: Jordan Peele; 'Monk Dreams'; Novelist Sebastian Barry

Sat, 03/18/2017 - 8:00am

Get Out Director Jordan Peele discusses his love of horror films. Kevin Whitehead reviews Frank Carlberg's new tribute to Thelonious Monk. Barry's novel, Days Without End, features Irish immigrants.

(Image credit: Rich Fury/Invision/AP)

With 'T2: Trainspotting,' Director Danny Boyle Proves You can Go Home Again

Fri, 03/17/2017 - 2:25pm

More than 20 years after the release of the original film about a band of thieving Scottish junkies, Boyle returns to the same characters. Critic David Edelstein calls the new film "tremendous fun."

'Fresh Air' Marks The 90th Birthday Of Broadway Composer John Kander

Fri, 03/17/2017 - 2:25pm

Kander and his partner, Fred Ebb, wrote the songs for a number of musicals, including Chicago, Kiss of the Spider Woman and Cabaret. Kander spoke to Terry Gross in 1991 and 2015.

Julie Andrews Teams Up With Henson Puppets In Netflix's 'Greenroom'

Fri, 03/17/2017 - 11:15am

Andrews presides over a quintet of youngsters who are putting on a play in her new Netflix series. Critic David Bianculli calls Julie's Greenroom a celebration of creative collaboration.

(Image credit: Ali Goldstein/ Netflix)

Sxip Shirey's 'Bottle of Whiskey' Is A 21st-Century Music Creation

Thu, 03/16/2017 - 12:15pm

Shirey mixes dry vocals with multi-instrumentalist stylings on his new album. Critic Milo Miles says A Bottle of Whiskey and a Handful of Bees is an original and engaging work.

'Idiot' Chronicles First Love, Freshman Year And The Early Days Of Email

Thu, 03/16/2017 - 12:15pm

New Yorker staff writer Elif Batuman's new novel, The Idiot, follows a young woman's first year at Harvard University, and how she finds love through email.

Searching For Meaning After A Jewish Cemetery Is Desecrated

Thu, 03/16/2017 - 10:41am

As a child, author Daniel Torday visited desecrated Jewish grave sites in Europe. But recently the vandalism occurred closer to home, at a Jewish cemetery in his hometown of Philadelphia.

(Image credit: Jacqueline Larma/AP)

'Get Out' Sprung From An Effort To Master Fear, Says Director Jordan Peele

Wed, 03/15/2017 - 11:59am

As a kid, Peele was terrified of "the demons that lurked in the dark." Then he realized that by making a horror-thriller, he "would be wielding this power, as opposed to being a victim to it."

(Image credit: Rich Fury/Invision/AP)

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