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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.
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'Twain & Stanley Enter Paradise' Educates But Doesn't Entertain Its Readers

Tue, 11/03/2015 - 12:55pm

Oscar Hijuelos' posthumously published novel chronicles the friendship between Mark Twain and explorer Henry Morton Stanley. Maureen Corrigan says the book lacks the magic of Hijuelos' best work.

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For Tracey Stewart, Life After The 'Daily Show' Is All About The Animals

Tue, 11/03/2015 - 12:55pm

When they ran out of room for rescue animals in their home, Tracey Stewart and her husband, former Daily Show host Jon Stewart, bought a farm. Tracey Stewart's new book is Do Unto Animals.

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The 'Complete Bee Hive Recordings' Buzz With The Energy Of '70s Mainstream Jazz

Mon, 11/02/2015 - 12:34pm

A new 12-CD box set by Mosaic features a number of superior musicians who aren't household names, like saxophonists Nick Brignola and Sal Nistico. Critic Kevin Whitehead has a review.

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Actress Illeana Douglas Recounts A Life 'Lived In And Out Of The Movies'

Mon, 11/02/2015 - 12:34pm

The actress, who appeared in Six Feet Under and Cape Fear, discusses growing up on a commune, working with (and dating) Scorsese and her various acting gigs. Douglas' memoir is I Blame Dennis Hopper.

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Fresh Air Weekend: Gloria Steinem; 'The Witches'; Carrie Brownstein

Sat, 10/31/2015 - 8:03am

At 81, feminist Gloria Steinem says she feels free of the "demands of gender." Maureen Corrigan reviews The Witches, by Stacy Schiff. Carrie Brownstein describes finding (and hiding) herself in music.

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Black Comedy 'Crisis' Is Marred By A Hollywood Ending

Fri, 10/30/2015 - 12:50pm

Sandra Bullock is a high-strung political consultant on the loose in Bolivia in Our Brand is Crisis. Critic David Edelstein says that despite clunky touches, the film offers "good screwball turns."

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Author Richard Ford Says 'Let Me Be Frank' About Aging And Dying

Fri, 10/30/2015 - 12:50pm

The Pulitzer Prize-winning writer's most recent book centers on a 68-year-old man dealing with his aging body, a dying friend and his ex-wife, who has Parkinson's. Originally broadcast Nov. 12, 2014.

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Three Songs That Expose Frayed Nerves And Yearning

Thu, 10/29/2015 - 2:49pm

Critic Ken Tucker considers three songs by three artists: Elvis Costello's "I Can't Turn It Off," Lana Del Rey's cover of "Don't Let Me Be Misunderstood" and Eleanor Friedberger's "Alphabet City."

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Film Shines A 'Spotlight' On Boston's Clergy Sex Abuse Scandal

Thu, 10/29/2015 - 1:36pm

A new movie chronicles the team of journalists who uncovered the clergy sex abuse scandal in Boston. Director Tom McCarthy and former Globe editor Walter Robinson join Fresh Air to discuss Spotlight.

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From 'Carol Burnett' To 'Mad Men', Here Are Four DVD Box Sets Worth Buying

Wed, 10/28/2015 - 12:48pm

Despite the popularity of streaming services, DVD box sets continue to be released, and embraced, by serious fans and collectors. TV critic David Bianculli details four recent releases he treasures.

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Spellbinding 'Witches' Offers A Fresh Take On A Familiar Story

Wed, 10/28/2015 - 12:48pm

In her new book, Stacy Shiff evokes the world of Salem, Mass., and the bitter winter of 1692 when 19 people were hanged for witchcraft. Reviewer Maureen Corrigan calls The Witches a "haunting" tale.

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Oncologist Discusses Advancements In Treatment And The Ongoing War On Cancer

Wed, 10/28/2015 - 12:48pm

During his decades-long career, oncologist Vincent DeVita helped develop the combination chemotherapy regimen that cures most cases of Hodgkin's lymphoma. His new book is The Death of Cancer.

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Remembering San Antonio's Horn-Infused Doo-Wop Scene

Tue, 10/27/2015 - 12:35pm

From the early '60s until the mid '70s, a multi-cultural music scene thrived on the west side of San Antonio, Texas. Ed Ward looks at two releases on Numero that open a small window on this music.

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'Modern Girl' Carrie Brownstein Describes Finding (And Hiding) Herself In Music

Tue, 10/27/2015 - 12:17pm

The Sleater-Kinney guitarist and singer is known for her defiant performances, but it was vulnerability that initially drew her to music. Brownstein's new memoir is Hunger Makes Me A Modern Girl.

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CBS' 'Supergirl' Struggles To Get Off The Ground

Mon, 10/26/2015 - 12:18pm

In the new series, Melissa Benoist's Supergirl is overshadowed by her boss, played by Calista Flockhart. David Bianculli asks: "Shouldn't the most interesting character in Supergirl be ... Supergirl?"

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At 81, Feminist Gloria Steinem Finds Herself Free Of The 'Demands Of Gender'

Mon, 10/26/2015 - 11:42am

As she approached 60, the co-founder of Ms. magazine says, she entered a new phase in life, one in which "you can do what you want." Steinem's new memoir is My Life on the Road.

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Fresh Air Weekend: Sarah Silverman; 'Bridge Of Spies'; 'The Living Bird'

Sat, 10/24/2015 - 8:03am

Sarah Silverman opens up about depression and comedy. Critic John Powers reviews Bridge of Spies. Photographer Gerrit Vyn and writer Scott Weidensaul discuss some of the remarkable abilities of birds.

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Patti Smith Looks Back On Life Before She Became The Godmother Of Punk

Fri, 10/23/2015 - 12:29pm

The singer joins Fresh Air for a conversation about her career and her relationship with photographer Robert Mapplethorpe. Smith's new memoir is M Train. Originally broadcast in 1996 and 2010.

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'Experimenter' Revisits A Decades-Old Trial Of Free Will And Compassion

Fri, 10/23/2015 - 12:29pm

A new film revisits a controversial 1961 social science experiment in which volunteer subjects were asked to administer electrical shocks to other human beings. David Edelstein reviews Experimenter.

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'Portrait of an American Singer' Revives The Memory Of Tennessee Ernie Ford

Thu, 10/22/2015 - 1:27pm

Tennessee Ernie Ford was a hugely popular singer in the 1950s and 60s. Now, a new 5-disc boxed set attempts to reintroduce Ford to a new audience. Rock critic Ken Tucker has a review.

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