Fresh Air

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This one-hour program features Terry Gross' in-depth interviews with prominent cultural and entertainment figures, as well as distinguished experts on current affairs and news.
Updated: 1 hour 39 min ago

'Grand Budapest Hotel': Kitsch, Cameos And A Gloriously Stylized Europe

Fri, 03/07/2014 - 10:00am

Wes Anderson's new feature takes place at a resort hotel, between World Wars I and II. Fresh Air's critic says the visuals are so witty they transcend camp, but the dialogue isn't quite at that level.

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Pharrell, Just Exhilaratingly Happy

Thu, 03/06/2014 - 10:00am

To hear GIRL, you'd think Pharrell's world consisted of grooving on catchy beats and flirting with women. It's a lightweight image leant gravitas by his prolific work ethic.

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How Four Inmates Launched A Statewide Hunger Strike From Solitary

Thu, 03/06/2014 - 10:00am

The California convicts overcame the extreme isolation of their imprisonment to organize a 30,000-prisoner-strong movement. Their goal? To end long-term incarceration in solitary confinement.

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'Schmuck' Revisits The Golden Age Of Radio, And A Bygone Manhattan

Wed, 03/05/2014 - 10:00am

Ross Klavan's novel follows two radio sidekicks in midcentury New York: golden-voiced straight man Ted Fox, who has an eye for a good-looking dame, and funnyman Jerry Elkin, a veteran of World War II.

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The Case For Tammany Hall Being On The Right Side Of History

Wed, 03/05/2014 - 10:00am

In a new book, Terry Golway takes a sympathetic view of Manhattan's infamous political machine. He says, "Tammany Hall was there for the poor immigrant who was otherwise friendless in New York."

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Fresh Air Remembers Literary Biographer Justin Kaplan

Tue, 03/04/2014 - 10:00am

Kaplan died Sunday at 88. His biography of Mark Twain won a National Book Award and a Pulitzer Prize. He also edited two editions of Bartlett's Familiar Quotations. Kaplan spoke to Fresh Air in 1992.

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By The Time Your Car Goes Driverless, You Won't Know The Difference

Tue, 03/04/2014 - 10:00am

The once-futuristic concept is closer than ever to becoming a reality. Parallel parking? Let the car find the perfect approach. Squeezing into a tight space? Hop out and use your smart phone.

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Kevin Young On Blues, Poetry And 'Laughing To Keep From Crying'

Tue, 03/04/2014 - 10:00am

The poet describes his new book — about the death of his father and the birth of his son — as having a blues sensibility. "There are moments of humor even in the sorrow," he says.

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Chuck Mead: Gleefully Sinister Country Serenades

Mon, 03/03/2014 - 10:00am

Mead hooks the listener, eager to show us the bleak side of what seemed like a bright scenario. That's the way he operates during much of Free State Serenade.

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During World War II, Even Filmmakers Reported For Duty

Mon, 03/03/2014 - 8:12am

A new book looks at how the military and Hollywood directors teamed up during the war. The films they made helped show Americans what was at stake, and served as evidence during the Nuremberg Trials.

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Fresh Air Weekend: The Cosmos, Harold Ramis, And Protecting Your Data Online

Sat, 03/01/2014 - 8:00am

Astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson explains why the cosmos shouldn't make you feel small. Critic John Powers remembers Harold Ramis. And if you think you're anonymous online, think again.

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A New 'Testament' Told From Mary's Point Of View

Fri, 02/28/2014 - 11:01am

In The Testament of Mary, Colm Toibin imagines Mary's life 20 years after her son's crucifixion, what she might have done to ease her son's suffering. (Originally broadcast on Nov. 28, 2012.)

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Liam Neeson's Action Chops Take Flight In 'Non-Stop'

Fri, 02/28/2014 - 10:00am

Neeson became a bankable action hero in 2008 after the thriller Taken. Now almost 62, he's still getting out of tight corners with his fists. His new film unfolds on a transatlantic flight.

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Neil DeGrasse Tyson Explains Why The Cosmos Shouldn't Make You Feel Small

Thu, 02/27/2014 - 1:35pm

The astrophysicist says that participating in a "great unfolding of a cosmic story," should make us feel large, not small. This spring, Tyson hosts a TV series called Cosmos: A Space-Time Odyssey.

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Remembering Harold Ramis, Master Of The 'Smart Dumb-Movie'

Thu, 02/27/2014 - 10:00am

Best known for Animal House, Ghostbusters and Groundhog Day, Ramis died Monday at 69. Critic John Powers says Ramis was like a favorite uncle who spices up the family reunion by spiking the punch.

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In Benghazi, U.S. Intelligence Wasn't Focused On 'Homegrown Militants'

Wed, 02/26/2014 - 10:00am

New York Times correspondent David Kirkpatrick spent months on the ground in Benghazi, Libya trying to get to the bottom of the deadly Sept. 11, 2012 attack on the U.S. consulate.

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These Stories Consider Solitude, With Echoes Of Emily Dickinson

Wed, 02/26/2014 - 10:00am

It's been 15 years since acclaimed writer Lorrie Moore has brought out a new short story collection. Bark has some clunkers and some keepers, but critic Maureen Corrigan says it was worth the wait.

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Harold Ramis On Working At 'Playboy' And Writing 'Animal House'

Tue, 02/25/2014 - 11:28am

The comedy actor, writer and director had co-written and planned to star in the long-awaited Ghostbusters III — but did not get the chance. He died Monday in Chicago at age 69.

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Still 'Out To Lunch' 50 Years Later

Tue, 02/25/2014 - 11:02am

Eric Dolphy's creativity was exploding early in 1964, and he was finding more players who could keep up. Out to Lunch is free and focused, dissonant and catchy, wide open and swinging all at once.

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During World War I, Germany Unleashed 'Terrorist Cell In America'

Tue, 02/25/2014 - 10:00am

In Dark Invasion, Howard Blum explores the campaign of sabotage that Germany inflicted on an unsuspecting U.S. As ships and factories blew up, "no one really suspected a spy network," he says.

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