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 13 min ago

NRA-Backed Gun Laws Have Found Success In State Legislatures Across The U.S

Thu, 10/05/2017 - 12:36pm

Journalist Mike Spies says the NRA's push to allow guns on college campuses, daycare centers and bars is part of an effort to "normalize gun carrying as much as possible in American public life."

New Muhammad Ali Biography Reveals A Flawed Rebel Who Loved Attention

Wed, 10/04/2017 - 1:25pm

"I don't think we do Ali any good by treating him as a saint," says biographer Jonathan Eig. "He was a human being, and he was deeply flawed, but ... he had the spirit of a rebel."

(Image credit: Kent Gavin/Getty Images)

50 Years After The Summer Of Love, Hippie Counterculture Is Relegated To Kitsch

Wed, 10/04/2017 - 12:51pm

Looking back on the vanished styles and language of the hippie movement, linguist Geoff Nunberg says, "The most persistent single pejorative term to come out of the era is 'hippie' itself."

(Image credit: Josh Edelson/AFP/Getty Images)

'Afrobeats' Offers A Sensual Blend Of Electronics, Vocals And Rhythms

Tue, 10/03/2017 - 1:07pm

A new collection mashes-up Jamaican dancehall, soca, hip-hop and polyrhythms from Ghana and Nigeria. Critic Milo Miles says Afrobeats Hot Hits is a "seductive invitation to dance."

Tom Petty To 'Fresh Air': 'The Songs Mean A Lot To People, And It Means A Lot To Me'

Tue, 10/03/2017 - 12:32pm

Petty, who died Monday night, spoke with Terry Gross in 2006 about the seeds of his Hall Of Fame career: "We always wanted very much to create our own sound."

(Image credit: Jason Merritt/Getty Images)

Cartoonist Roz Chast Draws A 'Love Letter' To New York City, Cockroaches And All

Mon, 10/02/2017 - 1:35pm

The New Yorker cartoonist channels her affection for the city into a new tongue-in-cheek guidebook, Going Into Town. "It's just fun," Chast says of New York. "Everything seems to suggest stories."

(Image credit: Roz Chast/Bloomsbury)

How An Epic Poem Helped Transform A Difficult Father-Son Relationship

Mon, 10/02/2017 - 1:30pm

Author David Mendelsohn says having his 81-year-old father in the college seminar he was teaching on Homer's Odyssey led to an unexpected bonding.

Fresh Air Weekend: 'Deuce' Traces The Birth Of Porn; An Obama Speechwriter Looks Back

Sat, 09/30/2017 - 8:00am

David Simon and George Pelecanos discuss the dawn of the porn industry. Haroon Moghul recounts living abroad with depression. David Litt says writing for President Obama was often a delicate task.

(Image credit: Paul Schiraldi/HBO)

Larry David On His 'Curb' Persona: 'The Character Has Emboldened Me'

Fri, 09/29/2017 - 12:24pm

After years playing a version of himself on the HBO series Curb Your Enthusiasm, David has a distinct comic sensibility and a very recognizable voice and persona. Originally broadcast March 5, 2015.

'Curb Your Enthusiasm' Returns, And Larry David Is Back To Playing Himself

Fri, 09/29/2017 - 12:24pm

David's comically exaggerated TV version of himself first appeared 18 years ago. TV critic David Bianculli welcomes the character's return to HBO.

(Image credit: John P. Johnson/HBO)

Farcical And Madcap, 'American Made' Stars Tom Cruise At His Best

Thu, 09/28/2017 - 12:47pm

Cruise plays a drug-smuggling pilot working for the DEA, CIA and Medellin Cartel in his new film, a dark comedy set in the '80s. Critic David Edelstein calls American Made "breathlessly entertaining."

New Lobbyists Arrive In Washington, Cashing In On Their Connection to Trump

Thu, 09/28/2017 - 12:47pm

New York Times reporter Nicholas Confessore explains how Trump's election was a boon to those with access to the president. "If you had a Trump connection, you could write your own ticket," he says.

Hugh Hefner On Early 'Playboy' And Changing America's Values

Thu, 09/28/2017 - 12:00pm

In 1999, Hefner told Fresh Air that his magazine was a reaction to his own upbringing. "I believe and hope that Playboy [has] played some small part in changing the values ... of our time," he said.

(Image credit: Hector Mata/AFP/Getty Images)

'Deuce' Creators Capture The Birth Of America's Billion-Dollar Porn Industry

Wed, 09/27/2017 - 12:58pm

David Simon and George Pelecanos' new show depicts the growth of porn from illegal enterprise to full-fledged industry. Since then, Simon says, "The 'pornographication' of America has been profound."

(Image credit: Paul Schiraldi/HBO)

Jennifer Egan's 'Manhattan Beach' Is A Gorgeous Tribute To NYC And Its Seaport

Tue, 09/26/2017 - 2:18pm

Egan's sweeping new historical novel doesn't just draw from the classic catalog of New York stories — it also takes its place among them.

(Image credit: Library of Congress)

How The Boer War Helped Winston Churchill Become The 'Hero Of The Empire'

Tue, 09/26/2017 - 2:18pm

Author Candice Millard argues that Churchill's battlefield coverage and daring escape from capture while serving as a correspondent for a British newspaper were turning points in his life.

An Encounter At A Passport Checkpoint Offers Respite From Depression's Grip

Tue, 09/26/2017 - 1:27pm

Newly divorced and suffering from depression, author Haroon Moghul moved to Dubai for a while, hoping to find a reason to live. Strangely enough, sharing a laugh over his "fat" passport photo helped.

(Image credit: Mark Airs/Ikon Images/Getty Images)

A Former Speechwriter Looks Back On His 'Hopey, Changey' Years With Obama

Mon, 09/25/2017 - 2:55pm

David Litt says writing speeches and jokes for former President Obama was often a delicate task: "There's a whole industry of people trying to take your words out of context."

(Image credit: Olivier Douliery/Getty Images)

Deer Tick Demonstrates Its Ambition And Range On 2 New Albums

Mon, 09/25/2017 - 2:55pm

The Rhode Island quartet is back with two new albums, titled Deer Tick Vol. 1 and Deer Tick Vol. 2. Critic Ken Tucker says first is largely acoustic, while the second features a louder electric sound.

Fresh Air Weekend: Loudon Wainwright III; 'Jerry Before Seinfeld'; 'The Vietnam War'

Sat, 09/23/2017 - 8:00am

Wainwright opens up about the "exes & excess" that inform his music. David Bianculli reviews Jerry Seinfeld's new Netflix special. Ken Burns and Lynn Novick discuss their PBS documentary series.

(Image credit: PBS)

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