Fresh Air

Weekdays at noon

Fresh Air opens the window on contemporary arts and issues with guests from worlds as diverse as literature and economics. Terry Gross hosts this multi-award-winning daily interview and features program. The veteran public radio interviewer is known for her extraordinary ability to engage guests of all dispositions. Every weekday she delights intelligent and curious listeners with revelations on contemporary societal concerns.

http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=5013


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Author Interviews
3:34 pm
Tue July 22, 2014

How Scientists Created A Typhus Vaccine In A 'Fantastic Laboratory'

Originally published on Tue July 22, 2014 5:23 pm

When Germany invaded the Soviet Union during World War II, Nazi commanders had another worry besides the Red Army. Epidemics of typhus fever, which is transmitted by body lice, killed untold numbers of soldiers and civilians during and after World War I.

As World War II raged, typhus reappeared in war-torn areas and in Jewish ghettos, where cramped, harsh conditions were a perfect breeding ground for lice.

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Remembrances
3:34 pm
Tue July 22, 2014

Fresh Air Remembers Actress And Singer Elaine Stritch

Transcript

TERRY GROSS, HOST:

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Author Interviews
3:31 pm
Mon July 21, 2014

On 'Tomlinson Hill,' Journalist Seeks Truth And Reconciliation

Originally published on Mon July 21, 2014 4:36 pm

As the great-great-grandson of Texas slaveholders, journalist Chris Tomlinson wanted to find out what crimes his ancestors had committed to maintain power and privilege.

So he went to Tomlinson Hill, the plantation his ancestors built in the 1850s, to not only explore the slave-owning part of his family tree, but also to find the descendants of the slaves who kept the Tomlinson name after they were freed.

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Fresh Air Weekend
12:38 pm
Sat July 19, 2014

Fresh Air Weekend: Angela Ricketts; Chaz Ebert And Steve James

Roger Ebert was surrounded by movie memorabilia in his office. The new documentary Life Itself captures how Ebert lived life and faced death.
Kevin Horan Courtesy of Kartemquin

Fresh Air Weekend highlights some of the best interviews and reviews from past weeks, and new program elements specially paced for weekends. Our weekend show emphasizes interviews with writers, filmmakers, actors, and musicians, and often includes excerpts from live in-studio concerts. This week:

An Army Wife Charts Her Struggles In 'No Man's War': In her new book, Angela Ricketts writes about raising three kids while her husband deployed eight times over 22 years. Each separation "kind of blackens your soul," she says.

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The Fresh Air Interview
1:16 pm
Fri July 18, 2014

'Live In The Present': Charlie Haden Remembered

Charlie Haden plays upright bass with Keith Jarrett's band in New York City, 1975.
Jack Vartoogian Getty Images

Originally published on Fri July 18, 2014 3:22 pm

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Books
2:33 pm
Thu July 17, 2014

'Trans Bodies, Trans Selves': A Modern Manual By And For Trans People

Originally published on Thu July 17, 2014 3:18 pm

The growing number of people who identify as transgender is raising a lot of interesting and complicated questions about gender identity.

The new book Trans Bodies, Trans Selves is a collection of essays describing the varied experiences of transgender people — and the social, political and medical issues they face. It's written by and for transgender and gender-nonconforming people.

The idea was inspired by the groundbreaking 1970s feminist health manual Our Bodies, Ourselves.

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Music
1:55 pm
Wed July 16, 2014

Every Composer Needs A Great Storyteller

Originally published on Thu July 17, 2014 11:39 am

The legendary German conductor Otto Klemperer was one of the most profound musicians of the 20th Century. In the 1960s, nearing the end of his career, he overcame many physical handicaps to create an astonishing body of recorded classical music. EMI has just reissued a broad spectrum of his recordings, including a box set of one of the composers he's most associated with: Gustav Mahler. Fresh Air classical music critic Lloyd Schwartz has a review of Mahler: Symphonies 2, 4, 7 & 9 / Das Lied von der Erde.

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Africa
1:55 pm
Wed July 16, 2014

Nigeria's Boko Haram 'More Extreme Than Al-Qaida,' Journalist Says

This week, Pakistani activist Malala Yousafzai met with some of the girls who escaped Boko Haram's captivity. The Islamic extremist group gained attention in April when it kidnapped more than 200 girls from a school in northeastern Nigeria. Many girls are still missing.
Olamikan Gbemiga AP

Originally published on Wed July 16, 2014 2:20 pm

The Nigerian group Boko Haram is part of a new generation of Islamist extremists. It was founded in 2002, but received only limited, periodic attention until April when it kidnapped more than 200 girls after raiding a school in northeastern Nigeria and threatening to marry the girls off or sell them as slaves. Some girls escaped, but many are still missing.

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Music
3:03 pm
Tue July 15, 2014

The Cowboy That Wasn't A Cowboy Sings

Originally published on Tue July 15, 2014 3:52 pm

Cowboy Jack Clement, who died in 2013 at age 82, was a prolific producer, songwriter, arranger, and talent scout. He brought Jerry Lee Lewis to Sun Records, helped nurture the career of one of the few black country stars, Charley Pride, and worked on important albums for artists as various as Waylon Jennings and U2.

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Author Interviews
3:03 pm
Tue July 15, 2014

An Army Wife Charts Her Struggles In 'No Man's War'

Angela Ricketts, whose husband deployed eight times over 22 years, says she had to get over resentment around parenting their three kids alone while he was gone.
Courtesy of Counterpoint Press

Originally published on Tue July 15, 2014 3:52 pm

People often expect military wives to be strong and stoic. But in her new memoir, No Man's War: Irreverent Confessions of an Infantry Wife, Angela Ricketts writes about the difficulties she faced during her husband's deployments — including the stresses it put on their marriage and on raising their three children.

She also writes about the toll of always bracing herself for the next goodbye.

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Author Interviews
3:34 pm
Mon July 14, 2014

How A Factory Man Fought To Save His Furniture Company

Author Beth Macy worked for years as a reporter for the Roanoke Times. "When I became a journalist, I gravitated to those kinds of stories of what I call 'outsiders and underdogs,' " she says.
David Hungate Courtesy of Little, Brown and Co.

In the town of Bassett in southern Virginia, some of the downtown street lights are dark. The lamps, maintained by the once prosperous Bassett Furniture Co., are now funded by voluntary contributions from residents and businesses — when they can afford it.

Bassett is just one of many towns and cities in Virginia and North Carolina where scores of furniture-making plants have closed in the past 20 years, mostly because of competition from China and other foreign countries.

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Remembrances
3:34 pm
Mon July 14, 2014

'Fresh Air' Remembers South African Writer Nadine Gordimer

Transcript

TERRY GROSS, HOST:

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Book Reviews
3:34 pm
Mon July 14, 2014

'Mockingbird Next Door': A Genteel Peek Into Harper Lee's Quiet Life

Originally published on Mon July 14, 2014 9:53 pm

It's probably the most oft-cited literary fantasy of all time: I'm talking about that passage in Catcher in the Rye where Holden Caulfield says: "What really knocks me out is a book that, when you're all done reading it, you wish the author that wrote it was a terrific friend of yours and you could call him up on the phone whenever you felt like it. That doesn't happen much, though."

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Fresh Air Weekend
2:24 pm
Sat July 12, 2014

Fresh Air Weekend: Richard Linklater, Strand Of Oaks And Brian Krebs

Ellar Coltrane, who plays Mason in the new movie Boyhood, was 6 years old when director Richard Linklater picked him for the role.
Courtesy of Matt Lankes

Fresh Air Weekend highlights some of the best interviews and reviews from past weeks, and new program elements specially paced for weekends. Our weekend show emphasizes interviews with writers, filmmakers, actors, and musicians, and often includes excerpts from live in-studio concerts. This week:

Filmed Over 12 Years, 'Boyhood' Follows A Kid's Coming Of Age: Writer-director Richard Linklater says picking the film's star was vital because he had to guess what he'd be like at 18. "I just went with a kid who seemed kind of the most interesting."

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Remembrances
2:28 pm
Fri July 11, 2014

'Fresh Air' Remembers Soul Singer And Songwriter Bobby Womack

Womack sang for a gospel group with his brothers called the Valentinos. It's All Over Now was their first international hit. Womack, who died June 27 at the age of 70, talked with Terry Gross in 1999.

Movie Reviews
2:28 pm
Fri July 11, 2014

In A Remarkable Feat, 'Boyhood' Makes Time Visible

Transcript

TERRY GROSS, HOST:

This is FRESH AIR. Our film critic David Edelstein has a review of the new film "Boyhood." It was written and directed by Richard Linklater, who also made the movies, "Slacker," "Dazed And Confused," "School Of Rock," "The Before Sunrise" Trilogy and "Bernie." "Boyhood" covers a dozen years and was shot over a 12 year period. It stars Patricia Arquette, Ethan Hawke and newcomer Ellar Coltrane as the boy we watch grow up.

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Movie Interviews
3:03 pm
Thu July 10, 2014

Filmed Over 12 Years, 'Boyhood' Follows A Kid's Coming Of Age

Ellar Coltrane, who plays Mason in the new movie Boyhood, was 6 years old when director Richard Linklater picked him for the role.
Courtesy of Matt Lankes

Originally published on Fri July 11, 2014 5:25 pm

Usually when characters age in movies, they're covered with makeup and outfitted with prosthetics — or directors use different actors as the characters grow older. But in the new film Boyhood, none of that is necessary.

The film takes place over the course of 12 years, and it was shot over the course of 12 years. So we watch the actors getting older for real, which gives their characters a sense of authenticity.

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Music
3:02 pm
Thu July 10, 2014

Fred Hersch Knows His Trios

Fred Hersch.
Vincent Soyez Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Fri July 18, 2014 12:23 pm

Over the last 30 years, jazz pianist Fred Hersch has recorded in solo, duo, quartet, quintet and double-trio settings, with big band and with orchestras. Fresh Air jazz critic Kevin Whitehead says the classic piano, bass and drums trio format suits Hersch best of all in a review of Floating.

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Books
3:02 pm
Thu July 10, 2014

10 Years Later, Mystery Heroine 'Maisie Dobbs' Gains New Life

Originally published on Thu July 10, 2014 5:02 pm

If you asked mystery fans to name the most important novel of the past decade, most would say The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo — and they'd be right. In fact, Stieg Larsson's complete Millennium series, flanked by hordes of Nordic noirs by the likes of Henning Mankell, Camilla Lackberg and Jo Nesbo, have overrun the ranks of hard-boiled detective fiction, imbuing it with their distinctive strain of brittle dialogue and chill fatalism.

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The Salt
2:37 pm
Wed July 9, 2014

Biologist Says Promoting Diversity Is Key To 'Keeping The Bees'

The decline of honeybees has been attributed to a variety of causes, from nasty parasites to the stress of being transported from state to state to feed on various crops in need of pollination.
iStockphoto

Originally published on Wed July 9, 2014 3:32 pm

Every year, more than half of the honeybee hives in the United States are taken to California to pollinate the state's almond crop.

Biologist Laurence Packer says this illustrates both our dependence on honeybees to pollinate many plants people rely on for food and the devastating decline in the domestic honeybee population in recent years.

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Music
2:37 pm
Wed July 9, 2014

If Jim Lauderdale Is A Song, More People Should Hear It

Originally published on Wed July 9, 2014 2:46 pm

Jim Lauderdale's new album is called I'm A Song, a title that suggests his deep
immersion in songwriting. His compositions have been covered by singers ranging from George Strait to Solomon Burke, from the Dixie Chicks to Elvis Costello. Since his debut album in 1991, he's recorded more than 25 albums for a variety of record companies, and I'm A Song contains a generous 20 songs. Rock critic Ken Tucker says Lauderdale's career is at once admirable and somewhat puzzling.

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Television
2:37 pm
Wed July 9, 2014

'The Strain' And 'Extant' Play On Fears Of Forces Out Of Our Control

The threat is both viral and vampire in The Strain, a show about the sudden outbreak of a disease that kills most of its victims — then begins to mutate them into another species entirely.
Michael Gibson FX

Originally published on Wed July 9, 2014 4:02 pm

They say every generation gets the science fiction it deserves, built around its biggest and most primal fears. Well, maybe they don't say that — but they should. In the '50s, all those movies about mutant giant monsters going berserk were a way for us to channel our fears about the atomic bomb. In the same way, in that same decade, all those body-snatcher movies were about being unable to tell friend from foe, or trust even your closest loved ones — the perfect paranoid parable for the Communist witch-hunting era.

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Movie Reviews
4:51 pm
Tue July 8, 2014

'Violette' Evokes Exasperating Self-Pity, A Trait The French Like

In the new French film Violette, Emmanuelle Devos plays a fictionalized character based on Violette Leduc, the trailblazing French novelist.
Courtesy of Adopt Films

Originally published on Tue July 8, 2014 7:03 pm

Americans put a lot of stock in being likable. Pollsters take surveys of the president's likability. Test screenings check whether we like the characters in movies. And when a literary novelist like Claire Messud mocks the notion that fictional characters should be someone we'd like to be friends with, writers of popular fiction attack her for snootiness.

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All Tech Considered
4:30 pm
Tue July 8, 2014

The Hazards Of Probing The Internet's Dark Side

Journalist Brian Krebs spends time in the dark areas of the Internet, where hackers steal data off credit cards and sell the information in online underground stores. Krebs has learned computer code and how to get onto black market websites and cybercrime networks.
iStockphoto

Originally published on Tue July 8, 2014 5:00 pm

Late last year, hackers breached Target's data security and stole information from millions of credit cards. Brian Krebs, who writes about cybercrime and computer security for his blog, Krebs on Security, broke the story. A few days later, he broke the story of a credit card breach at Neiman Marcus.

Krebs spends time in the dark areas of the Internet, where hackers steal data off credit cards and sell the information in online underground stores.

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Music
1:20 pm
Mon July 7, 2014

The Westerlies Come On Home With Horvitz

The Westerlies is a quartet of young New York brass players who know each other from school days in Seattle. Their debut album is a set of pieces by Seattle-based composer and improviser Wayne Horvitz. Jazz critic Kevin Whitehead says Horvitz and the Westerlies are a perfect fit.

Copyright 2014 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Transcript

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Remembrances
1:20 pm
Mon July 7, 2014

'Fresh Air' Remembers Screenwriter Paul Mazursky

Transcript

TERRY GROSS, HOST:

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Remembrances
1:20 pm
Mon July 7, 2014

'Fresh Air' Remembers Actor Meshach Taylor

Transcript

TERRY GROSS, HOST:

This is FRESH AIR. The actor Meshach Taylor died on June 28 at the age of 67. We're going to remember him by listening back to our 1990 interview. Taylor was best known for his role on the TV sitcom "Designing Women" playing Anthony Bouvier, an ex-convict who's a deliveryman for a company of women interior designers in Atlanta. He eventually became their partner in the company.

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Fresh Air Weekend
11:44 am
Sat July 5, 2014

Fresh Air Weekend: Joel McHale, 'Friendship,' And 'The Great Fish Swap'

Comedian Joel McHale spoke at the annual White House Correspondents' Association dinner in May. He says everyone wanted to see his jokes ahead of time, but he likes keeping them a secret.
Olivier Douliery-Pool Getty Images

Fresh Air Weekend highlights some of the best interviews and reviews from past weeks, and new program elements specially paced for weekends. Our weekend show emphasizes interviews with writers, filmmakers, actors, and musicians, and often includes excerpts from live in-studio concerts. This week:

Read more
Music Interviews
3:35 pm
Fri July 4, 2014

In Big Bill Broonzy's Blues, Brothers Find A Way To Sing Together

Dave (left) and Phil Alvin.
Beth Herzhaft Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Fri July 4, 2014 4:05 pm

Dave and Phil Alvin have made their first full album together in nearly 30 years, a tribute to one of their early influences. "His persona was so big to me," Phil Alvin tells Fresh Air's Terry Gross.

Originally broadcast June 11, 2014.

Copyright 2014 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Movie Reviews
2:14 pm
Thu July 3, 2014

In Charming Film 'Begin Again,' Music Can Save A Life

Transcript

TERRY GROSS, HOST:

This is FRESH AIR. Director John Carney had a surprise hit with his low-budget musical "Once." And he returns to the musical arena - this time in New York and not Dublin - with his new movie "Begin Again." Keira Knightley plays a heartbroken singer-songwriter who teams up with a down and out drunken producer played by Mark Ruffalo. Film critic David Edelstein has this review.

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