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Fresh Air with Terry Gross, the Peabody Award-winning weekday magazine of contemporary arts and issues, is one of public radio's most popular programs. Each week, nearly 4.5 million people listen to the show's intimate conversations broadcast on more than 450 National Public Radio (NPR) stations across the country, as well as in Europe on the World Radio Network.

Though Fresh Air has been categorized as a "talk show," it hardly fits the mold. Its 1994 Peabody Award citation credits Fresh Air with "probing questions, revelatory interviews and unusual insights." And a variety of top publications count Gross among the country's leading interviewers. The show gives interviews as much time as needed, and complements them with comments from well-known critics and commentators.

Fresh Air is produced at WHYY-FM in Philadelphia and broadcast nationally by NPR.

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Author Interviews
2:02 pm
Wed October 22, 2014

Disappearing Religions Charted In 'Heirs To Forgotten Kingdoms'

When Gerard Russell was a diplomat in the Middle East, he met followers of ancient religions facing extinction. His new book includes the origins of the Yazidis, who are fleeing the Islamic State.

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

Remembrances
1:32 pm
Wed October 22, 2014

Ben Bradlee On Journalism: Be 'Fair' And 'Honest,' But Don't 'Back Down'

Bradlee was the executive editor for the Washington Post from 1968 to 1991. He published the Pentagon Papers and covered Watergate. Bradlee, who died Tuesday at 93, talked with Fresh Air in 1995.

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

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Television
3:16 pm
Tue October 21, 2014

Nostalgia, Now Out On DVD, With 'Wonder Years' And 'Pee-wee' Releases

On The Wonder Years, Kevin Arnold (Fred Savage) had a crush on his neighbor Winnie Cooper (Danica McKellar).
Courtesy of Scoop Marketing

Originally published on Tue October 21, 2014 6:50 pm

At the moment, we're at yet another pivotal point in the history of home entertainment, which keeps changing with sudden — and major-- tectonic shifts. Just ask Blockbuster Video: Videocassettes for home libraries gave way to DVDs, which now seem to be giving way to streaming video and the cloud.

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Movie Interviews
3:16 pm
Tue October 21, 2014

Ed Norton On 'Birdman,' Wes Anderson And Why $40 Makes Him Proud

In Birdman, Ed Norton (right) plays a talented but pretentious actor in a Broadway play being directed by an actor he disrespects (Michael Keaton, left) for having starred in a series of Birdman superhero films.
Courtesy of Fox Searchlight Pictures

Originally published on Wed October 22, 2014 3:00 pm

In the new black comedy Birdman or (The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance), Edward Norton costars as a pretentious and self-absorbed but very talented and edgy theater actor who has been cast in a play directed by a washed-up movie star played by Michael Keaton.

Norton, who has starred in such films as Fight Club and American History X, says that making Birdman was a highlight of his career.

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Author Interviews
3:59 pm
Mon October 20, 2014

One Lawyer's Fight For Young Blacks And 'Just Mercy'

Bryan Stevenson takes on cases to exonerate people wrongfully convicted. "One of the things that pains me is we have so tragically underestimated the trauma, the hardship we create in this country when we treat people unfairly, when we incarcerate them unfairly, when we condemn them unfairly," he says.
Tracy King iStockphoto

When Bryan Stevenson was in his 20s, he lived in Atlanta and practiced law at the Southern Prisoners Defense Committee.

One evening, he was parked outside his apartment listening to the radio, when a police SWAT unit approached his car, shined a light inside and pulled a gun.

They yelled, "Move and I'll blow your head off!" according to Stevenson. Stevenson says the officers suspected him of theft and threatened him — because he is black.

The incident fueled Stevenson's drive to challenge racial bias and economic inequities in the U.S. justice system.

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Music
3:12 pm
Mon October 20, 2014

Ex Hex's 'Rips' Does What It Says On The Cover

Punk rock lives on the debut album by a new trio, Ex Hex. The album is called Rips, and it's at once a throwback to bands like the Ramones and the sound of something new. Fresh Air rock critic Ken Tucker says the three women who make up Ex Hex have created an exhilaratingly energetic piece of work.

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All Tech Considered
3:46 pm
Wed October 15, 2014

'Why Kids Sext' Describes Nude Photos As 'Social Currency' Among Teens

"The sexts are currency," explains Hanna Rosin. Teenage girls told Rosin boys collect the photos like "baseball cards or Pokemon cards."
iStockphoto

Originally published on Wed October 15, 2014 6:55 pm

In April, residents of Louisa County, Va., were shocked to learn of a sexting "ring" among the town's teenagers. When Hanna Rosin asked teens from Louisa County High School how many people they knew who had sexted, a lot of them replied: "Everyone." But what was originally characterized in the media as an organized criminal affair was soon revealed to be widespread teen behavior.

"I think we as a culture don't know whether to be utterly alarmed by sexting, or think of it as a normal part of teenage sexual experimentation," Rosin tells Fresh Air's Terry Gross.

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Book Reviews
1:57 pm
Wed October 15, 2014

'The Assassination Of Margaret Thatcher' And Other Stories From Hilary Mantel

A new Hilary Mantel book is an Event with a "capital "E." Here's why: The first two best-selling novels in Mantel's planned trilogy about Thomas Cromwell, Wolf Hall and Bring Up the Bodies, each won the Man Booker Prize — that's a first.

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Music
1:57 pm
Wed October 15, 2014

Tove Lo Chronicles Three Stages Of A Love Affair

There's more to Swedish pop music than Abba. In recent years, worldwide pop hits from acts such as Robyn and Icona Pop have achieved success in America; the Swedish pop producer Max Martin has written hits for acts like Katy Perry and Britney Spears. Now a singer-songwriter in her 20s called Tove Lo is scoring hits in this country that mix dance-club pop with rock soulfulness. Fresh Air music critic Ken Tucker has a review of Tove Lo's debut album Queen of the Clouds.

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Music Reviews
1:31 pm
Tue October 14, 2014

An Unofficial Memorial For Jazz Greats Jim Hall And Charlie Haden

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

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Author Interviews
1:31 pm
Tue October 14, 2014

Journalist Talks Confidential Sources, Getting Subpoenaed And His New Book

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

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NPR Story
12:03 pm
Sat October 11, 2014

Fresh Air Weekend

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

Movie Reviews
2:06 pm
Fri October 10, 2014

In 'Whiplash,' A Young Drummer Plays Till He Bleeds

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

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Television
2:06 pm
Fri October 10, 2014

Inconsistent Memories Are Revisited In 'The Affair,' A Captivating New Drama

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

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Author Interviews
2:06 pm
Fri October 10, 2014

'You Can't Be This Furry' And Other Life Lessons From Gary Shteyngart

In Little Failure, the novelist recounts his emigration from the USSR to the U.S. when he was 7. For the first few years, he says, he would sit alone in the school cafeteria, talking to himself in Russian "in this gigantic fur hat and fur coat." It wasn't long before a teacher advised, "Children won't play with you if you have that much fur on."

Originally aired Jan. 7, 2014.

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Book Reviews
11:41 am
Wed October 8, 2014

'Florence Gordon' Isn't Friend Material, But You'll Appreciate Her

Last year, the big debate in the world of books was over the question of whether or not a novel has to feature "likeable" main characters in order for readers to identify with them or make us want to stick with their stories. The debate had a sexist tinge to it: Female characters seemed especially burdened with the need to be pleasing.

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Music
3:35 pm
Tue October 7, 2014

One Final Offering From John Coltrane

In November 1966, eight months before he died of cancer, John Coltrane played a concert at Temple University in Philadelphia. It was not a financial success --only 700 people showed up — and the band's high-energy music proved too much for some listeners. That concert recording is now officially out for the first time. It got Fresh Air jazz critic Kevin Whitehead thinking about what Coltrane was up to.

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Shots - Health News
3:35 pm
Tue October 7, 2014

The Great Bluff That Led To A 'Magical' Pill And A Sexual Revolution

The history of how the birth control pill was developed in the 1950s is recounted in Jonathan Eig's new book The Birth of the Pill.
iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Wed October 8, 2014 4:20 pm

In the 1950s, four people — the founder of the birth control movement, a controversial scientist, a Catholic obstetrician and a wealthy feminist — got together to create a revolutionary little pill the world had never seen before.

They were sneaky about what they were doing — skirting the law, lying to women about the tests they performed and fibbing to the public about their motivations.

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Television
2:53 pm
Fri October 3, 2014

'Homeland' Regains Urgency With Twin Protagonists And Divided Loyalties

Claire Danes plays Carrie Mathison on Homeland. Season 4 begins Sunday on Showtime.
Joe Alblas Courtesy of Showtime

Season 4 of the Showtime drama Homeland begins Sunday — and it begins with a very significant change. Claire Danes is back as Carrie Mathison, the gifted but troubled CIA agent with bipolar disorder. But her co-star for the first three seasons, Damian Lewis, who played former prisoner-of-war and suspected traitor Nicholas Brody, is not.

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Author Interviews
2:35 pm
Fri October 3, 2014

Bio Credits Manson's Terrible Rise To Right Place And Time

California parolee Charles Manson arrived in San Francisco in 1967, when the city was full of young waifs looking for a guru. In Manson, Jeff Guinn argues that if the cult leader had instead been paroled in a place like Nebraska, he likely would not have been so successful.


Originally aired Sept. 18, 2013.

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Movie Reviews
2:35 pm
Fri October 3, 2014

'Gone Girl': A Gripping Film That's More Fun Than The Book

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

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Fresh Air Weekend
12:11 pm
Sat September 27, 2014

Fresh Air Weekend: Jimi Hendrix Movie, 'Transparent' And Ron Perlman

André Benjamin plays Jimi Hendrix in the new film Jimi: All Is By My Side.
Patrick Redmond Courtesy of Open Road Films

Originally published on Sat September 27, 2014 12:30 pm

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:

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Television
6:58 pm
Fri September 26, 2014

In 'Transparent,' A 70-Year-Old Divorced Dad Comes Out As A Woman

Jeffrey Tambor plays Maura on the new drama Transparent on Amazon Prime.
Courtesy of Amazon Studios

Originally published on Sat September 27, 2014 5:00 pm

Thanks to Netflix, many of us are familiar with the concept of new TV series that premiere not on broadcast or cable television, but on a streaming entertainment service. And Netflix isn't the only streaming service getting into the act. Starting Friday, Amazon Prime subscribers have access to the entire first season of a new series called Transparent, starring Jeffrey Tambor.

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Author Interviews
4:32 pm
Fri September 26, 2014

What's Mittens Thinking? Make 'Sense' Of Your Pet's Behavior

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

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Movie Reviews
4:32 pm
Fri September 26, 2014

British Coalminers Strike With A Gay Coalition In 'Pride,' A Crowd-Pleaser

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

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Author Interviews
4:08 pm
Wed September 24, 2014

After Childhood Abuse, 'Times' Columnist Says He Chose Life Over Vengeance

Charles Blow is a New York Times columnist. Before that, he worked at the paper as the graphics director and design director for news.
Beowolf Sheehan Courtesy of

Originally published on Mon September 29, 2014 3:33 pm

A new memoir by New York Times columnist Charles Blow begins with him in his car on his way to shoot and kill a man. That man is Blow's older cousin, who allegedly sexually abused Blow when Blow was 7 years old.

Blow, who was 20 when he set out for vengeance, turned back and never pulled the trigger. He finally realized he couldn't continue to live his life "through the eyes of a 7-year-old boy," he writes.

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The Fresh Air Interview
4:33 pm
Tue September 23, 2014

From Sideman To Star: A New Film Captures Jimi Hendrix's Pivotal Year

André Benjamin plays Jimi Hendrix in the new film Jimi: All Is By My Side.
Patrick Redmond Courtesy of Open Road Films

In 1966, Jimmy James, a guitarist working as a sideman in R&B bands, is discovered by Linda Keith, a 20-year-old music insider. She helps him move to London, where he developed his own sound. During that year, he transformed himself into an electrifying performer known as Jimi Hendrix.

Hendrix formed his band The Jimi Hendrix Experience, recorded his first album Are You Experienced, and soon became a star.

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Book Reviews
4:10 pm
Tue September 23, 2014

After WWI, A Mother And Daughter Must Take In 'Paying Guests'

Sarah Waters' new novel, The Paying Guests, is a knockout, which isn't a word any of her characters would use.

The book opens in 1922: The Edwardian Age, with its high collars and long skirts, is dead; the Jazz Age is waiting to be born — at least, that's the case in the suburban backwater of London where Waters' main character, a 26-year-old spinster named Frances Wray, lives with her mother.

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Television
4:55 pm
Thu September 18, 2014

'Madame Secretary' Pales In Comparison To 'The Good Wife'

Originally published on Thu September 18, 2014 5:39 pm

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

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Author Interviews
4:50 pm
Thu September 18, 2014

The Long, Scary Journey From A 'Terrorist's Son' To A Peace Activist

In a March 2014 TED talk, Ebrahim credited The Daily Show's Jon Stewart with helping him realize that "a person's race, religion or sexual orientation had nothing to do with the quality of one's character."
Ryan Lash

Originally published on Thu September 18, 2014 5:39 pm

When Zak Ebrahim was 7 years old, his father, El Sayyid Nosair, assassinated Meir Kahane, the militant ultra-Orthodox, anti-Arab rabbi who founded the Jewish Defense League. That was in 1990.

Then, from prison, Nosair helped plot the 1993 World Trade Center bombing — and was later convicted as one of the conspirators.

Ebrahim was shocked to learn what his father was capable of. So was Ebrahim's mother. Ebrahim writes his story in his new memoir, The Terrorist's Son.

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