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This Author: Terry Gross
This Publisher: National Public Radio

NPR: Fresh Air Podcast by Terry Gross

NPR: Fresh Air Podcast

by Terry Gross

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Fresh Air from WHYY, the Peabody Award-winning weekday magazine of contemporary arts and issues, is one of public radio's most popular programs. Hosted by Terry Gross, the show features intimate conversations with today's biggest luminaries.


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Mormon Polygamy & Women's Rights / Rachel Bloom Of 'Crazy Ex-Girlfriend'

Author: NPR
Tue, Jan 17, 2017


Pulitzer Prize-winning historian Laurel Thatcher Ulrich says that for Mormon women living in 19th century Utah, "plural marriages" were empowering in complicated ways. Rachel Bloom talks to 'Fresh Air' producer Ann Marie Baldonado about the CW musical comedy series, now in its second season, that she co-created and stars in. Bloom plays a woman who follows an ex across the country.

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The Systemic Segregation Of Schools

Author: NPR
Mon, Jan 16, 2017


Journalist Nikole Hannah-Jones says school segregation will continue to exist in America "as long as individual parents continue to make choices that only benefit their own children."

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Best Of: Jeff Bridges / Sportscaster Joe Buck

Author: NPR
Fri, Jan 13, 2017


Bridges talks about growing up in an acting family and the cult of 'Big Lebowski' fans. TV critic David Bianculli reviews the new Netflix adaptation of Lemony Snicket's 'A Series of Unfortunate Events.' NFL and MLB sportscaster Joe Buck talks about why he rubs some fans the wrong way, and his dad, hall-of-fame broadcaster Jack Buck.

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Lemony Snicket, AKA Author Daniel Handler

Author: NPR
Fri, Jan 13, 2017


TV critic David Bianculli reviews the new Netflix show based on 'A Series of Unfortunate Events' by Lemony Snicket (Daniel Handler). Handler spoke to Terry Gross in 2001 and in 2012, when he brought his accordion to the studio. Also, we remember celebrated Indian actor Om Puri, who died last week. David Edelstein reviews the German comedy 'Toni Erdmann.'

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Rewriting the Genetic Code

Author: NPR
Thu, Jan 12, 2017


New Yorker staff writer Michael Specter talks about the dramatic advances in genetic research. He says there are new tools that allow scientists "to edit genes in the way a word processor would edit words," so they can alter, delete, and rearrange the DNA of living organisms. Critic at large John Powers reviews '20th Century Women,' the new film written and directed by Mike Mills.

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Sportscaster Joe Buck

Author: NPR
Wed, Jan 11, 2017


Buck's new memoir, 'Lucky Bastard,' details his experiences in sports and life, including his addiction to hair-plug transplants. When it comes to announcing, he says, "I don't have a rooting interest for either side." Rock critic Ken Tucker reviews Natalie Hemby's album 'Puxico.'

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Why More Americans Are Giving Up On Banks

Author: NPR
Tue, Jan 10, 2017


Author Lisa Servon says a growing number of Americans are finding alternatives to traditional banks, including prepaid debit cards, check-cashing centers, and payday lenders. Her book is 'The Unbanking of America.' Also, we remember activist and jazz writer Nat Hentoff with an excerpt of his 1986 interview.

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Jeff Bridges

Author: NPR
Mon, Jan 09, 2017


Bridges talks about the lessons he learned from his father, actor Lloyd Bridges, the cult of 'Big Lebowski' fans, and how he calms his nerves on set. Maureen Corrigan reviews Betty Fussell's book of essays, 'Eat, Live, Love, Die.'

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Best Of: Lin-Manuel Miranda / 'La La Land' Director

Author: NPR
Fri, Jan 06, 2017


'Hamilton' creator Lin-Manuel Miranda talks about Disney, code-switching as a kid in New York, and addressing Vice President-elect Mike Pence at a recent performance. 'La La Land' hearkens back to Hollywood's glory days of song and dance. Director Damien Chazelle says he aimed to make a movie even musical skeptics would love.

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Comic Chris Gethard On 'Career Suicide'

Author: NPR
Fri, Jan 06, 2017


Gethard tells stories of hitting rock bottom in his new one-man off-Broadway show, which is billed as a comedy about "suicide, depression, alcoholism and all the other funniest parts of life." [Originally broadcast October 2016] Film critic David Edelstein reviews 'Paterson.'

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'La La Land' Director Damien Chazelle

Author: NPR
Thu, Jan 05, 2017


'La La Land' hearkens back to Hollywood's glory days of song and dance. Chazelle says he aimed to make a movie even musical skeptics would love.

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Reflections On Moderate Islam

Author: NPR
Wed, Jan 04, 2017


Omar Saif Ghobash has written a book of letters to his sons, urging them to find knowledge, wisdom and understanding in all cultures and to reject hate and extremism. Ghobash is the United Arab Emirates ambassador to Russia. Also, we remember world religions scholar Huston Smith. He spoke to Terry Gross in 1996.

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Lin-Manuel Miranda

Author: NPR
Tue, Jan 03, 2017


The 'Hamilton' creator talks about making mixtapes in the '90s, code-switching as a kid in New York, and addressing Vice President-elect Mike Pence at a recent performance.

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Roast Comic Jeff Ross

Author: NPR
Mon, Jan 02, 2017


Jeff Ross says he learned to "dish it out and take it" as a kid in Newark, N.J. He says that ideally a celebrity roast is "like a party where everybody goes and has a good time." [Originally broadcast September 2016]

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Best Of: 2016 Pop Culture Wrap-Up

Author: NPR
Fri, Dec 30, 2016


Film critic David Edelstein, TV critic David Bianculli, critic at-large John Powers, rock critic Ken Tucker and jazz critic Kevin Whitehead share their picks for the best of 2016.

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Stephen Colbert

Author: NPR
Thu, Dec 29, 2016


For the first time since hosting 'The Late Show,' Colbert talks to Terry Gross about shedding his 'Colbert Report' character and becoming comfortable playing himself. [Originally broadcast November 2016] Also, this year marked the 400th anniversary of Shakespeare's death. Classical music critic Lloyd Schwartz reviews a recent CD that celebrates Shakespeare in words and music.

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Francis Ford Coppola On 'The Godfather'

Author: NPR
Thu, Dec 29, 2016


Coppola was 29 when he signed on to direct a film based on Mario Puzo's novel about an Italian-American crime family. "I was always just trying to bluff the studio to let me do it my way," he says. [Originally broadcast November 2016]

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Remembering Carrie Fisher

Author: NPR
Wed, Dec 28, 2016


Carrie Fisher, the actress who became a pop culture icon for her performance as Princess Leia in 'Star Wars,' has died at age 60. She spoke to Terry Gross in 1990, 2004 and most recently in 2016 for her memoir, 'The Princess Diarist.' Rock critic Ed Ward reflects on The Ramones' self-titled first album, which debuted 40 years ago.

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Gaby Hoffmann / 'Blackish' Creator Kenya Barris

Author: NPR
Tue, Dec 27, 2016


Gaby Hoffmann grew up in the Chelsea Hotel with her mother, an actress in Andy Warhol's Factory. Gaby appeared in 'Field of Dreams' and other films as child, but says she saw acting as "a means to an end." She now stars in the Amazon series 'Transparent.' [Originally broadcast October 2016] Kenya Barris' ABC comedy series 'Black-ish' was inspired by his own family experiences. He says the show is about "raising your kids in a different environment than you were accustomed to being raised in." [Originally broadcast May 2016]

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Bruce Springsteen

Author: NPR
Mon, Dec 26, 2016


Recorded at his home studio, Springsteen speaks to Terry Gross about growing up in Jersey, songwriting, and wishing to be his stage persona. His new memoir is 'Born to Run.' [Originally broadcast October 2016]

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Best Of: Mike Mills On '20th Century Women' / Billy Eichner

Author: NPR
Fri, Dec 23, 2016


Mills' latest film was inspired by his desire to understand his mother. Set in Santa Barbara in 1979, it stars Annette Bening as a woman struggling to raise her teenage son on her own. Mills also wrote and directed 'Beginners.' Actor Billy Eichner has been pop culture obsessed since childhood, and he embraces it all with his 'Billy on the Street' persona. He describes the concept of his man-on-the-street gameshow.

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'Moonlight' Director Barry Jenkins & Playwright Tarell McCraney

Author: NPR
Fri, Dec 23, 2016


Filmmaker Barry Jenkins and playwright Tarell McCraney drew on their own childhood experiences in making 'Moonlight,' a film about a boy growing up in a Miami housing project. [Originally broadcast October 2016]

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Critics Pick Best Film & TV Of 2016

Author: NPR
Thu, Dec 22, 2016


David Edelstein and David Bianculli sit down with Terry Gross to share their favorite films and TV shows of 2016. Linguist Geoff Nunberg explains why "normal" and "normalize" are his picks for the words of the year.

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Journalist: Trump Seems 'Willfully Blind' To Putin's Real Goals

Author: NPR
Wed, Dec 21, 2016


'Politico' reporter Michael Crowley discusses Trump's relationship with Russian President Vladimir Putin, "There's something I think we don't completely understand."

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'New Yorker' Writer On Trump's Secretary Of State Pick

Author: NPR
Tue, Dec 20, 2016


'New Yorker' writer Steve Coll says that though Rex Tillerson has conducted billion-dollar international deals as CEO of ExxonMobil, he has no government experience. Also, jazz critic Kevin Whitehead remembers jazz greats who died in 2016.

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Director Mike Mills On '20th Century Women'

Author: NPR
Mon, Dec 19, 2016


Mills' latest film was inspired by his desire to understand his mother. Set in Santa Barbara in 1979, it stars Annette Bening as a woman struggling to raise her teenage son on her own. Mills also wrote and directed 'Beginners.'

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Best Of: Transgender Activist Nicole Maines / Writer Maria Semple

Author: NPR
Fri, Dec 16, 2016


Nicole Maines was born an identical twin, but unlike her twin brother, never identified as male. She became prominent in the trans community after winning a discrimination lawsuit. Also, contributor Sarah Hepola talks about the stress of the holiday season when you don't drink. And producer Sam Briger speaks to author Maria Semple about her comic novel 'Today Will Be Different,' about a stressed-out wife and mother who starts every day with a mantra.

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Trevor Noah

Author: NPR
Fri, Dec 16, 2016


The 'Daily Show' host revisits his childhood in apartheid-era South Africa in his new memoir, 'Born a Crime.' Noah says writing the book helped him see that his mother was the real hero of his story. [Originally broadcast Nov. 2016] David Edelstein reviews 'Rogue One.'

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Inside The Prescription Drug Epidemic

Author: NPR
Thu, Dec 15, 2016


Psychiatrist Anna Lembke says the medical establishment and drugmakers began telling doctors in the 1980s that opioids were effective treatment for long-term chronic pain. "That was patently false," she says. Her book is 'Drug Dealer, MD.' Critic Ken Tucker shares his top 10 favorite albums of 2016.

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How Fake News Spreads & Why People Believe It

Author: NPR
Wed, Dec 14, 2016


Buzzfeed News' media editor, Craig Silverman, dissects how false stories during the presidential campaign were spread on Facebook and monetized by Google Ad Sense. Also, critic at-large John Powers shares six things he loved this year that he didn't get around to reviewing.

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Original 'Cabaret' Emcee Joel Grey

Author: NPR
Tue, Dec 13, 2016


Grey talks about how he brought his decadent 'Cabaret' character to life on both the stage and screen, and reflects on coming out as gay after years of being closeted. His memoir is 'Master Of Ceremonies.' [Originally broadcast Feb. 2016] Ken Tucker reviews Kacey Musgraves' Christmas album.

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Billy Eichner Of 'Billy On The Street'

Author: NPR
Mon, Dec 12, 2016


Eichner has been pop culture obsessed since childhood, and he embraces it all with his 'Billy on the Street' persona. He describes the concept of his man-on-the-street gameshow, his love/hate relationship with celebrity culture, and the advice Joan Rivers gave him. Also, contributor Sarah Hepola talks about the stress of the holiday season when you don't drink.

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Best Of: Megyn Kelly / NYT Exec. Editor Dean Baquet

Author: NPR
Fri, Dec 09, 2016


Baquet talks about covering tweets as news and his decision to use the word "lie" in a headline about Trump. Fox News anchor Megyn Kelly discusses "PC culture" and the threatening and misogynist tweets she received from Trump supporters. Her new memoir is 'Settle For More.' Also, book critic Maureen Corrigan shares her top 10 books of 2016.

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Remembering 'Mary Tyler Moore' Producer Grant Tinker

Author: NPR
Fri, Dec 09, 2016


Tinker was a former NBC chairman and oversaw shows like 'Cheers,' 'Hill Street Blues,' and 'St. Elsewhere.' He also founded MTM Enterprises with his then wife, Mary Tyler Moore, and produced her hit show. Tinker died last month. We remember him with his 1994 interview and a 1995 interview with Moore. Ken Tucker reviews Allyson Seconds' album 'Little World.' Also, film critic David Edelstein reviews 'La La Land.'

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NYT Exec. Editor On The New Terrain Of Covering Trump

Author: NPR
Thu, Dec 08, 2016


Dean Baquet talks about covering tweets as news, his decision to use the word "lie" in a headline about Trump and why he's not worried about libel suits from the president-elect. Book critic Maureen Corrigan shares her top 10 books of 2016.

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Megyn Kelly Of Fox News

Author: NPR
Wed, Dec 07, 2016


Fox News anchor Megyn Kelly talks about "PC culture,"coming forward about CEO Roger Ailes sexually harassing her, and how Trump's election has empowered white nationalists. Her new memoir is 'Settle For More.'

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Dwight Yoakam / Author Maria Semple

Author: NPR
Tue, Dec 06, 2016


Country music star Dwight Yoakam talks about his grandfather's work in the coal mines and plays songs from his latest album, 'Swimmin' Pools, Movie Stars.' Also, producer Sam Briger speaks to author Maria Semple about her comic novel 'Today Will Be Different,' about a stressed-out wife and mother who starts every day with a mantra. Jazz critic Kevin Whitehead reviews a recording of Dizzy Gillespie's 1980 "concert of the century" in Montreal.

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Transgender Activists Nicole Maines & Kylar Broadus

Author: NPR
Mon, Dec 05, 2016


Nicole Maines was born an identical twin, but unlike her twin brother, never identified as male. She became prominent in the trans community after winning a discrimination lawsuit. Kylar Broadus directed The Transgender Civil Rights Project and was the first openly transgender person to testify before the U.S. Senate. They're both featured in the HBO documentary, 'The Trans List.' Ken Tucker reviews Miranda Lambert's new album, 'The Weight of These Wings.'

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Best Of: Carrie Fisher / LGBTQ Activist Cleve Jones

Author: NPR
Fri, Dec 02, 2016


Carrie Fisher was an insecure 19-year-old when she appeared as Princess Leia in the first 'Star Wars' movie, a role that would come to define her career. She tells Terry Gross that despite becoming romantically involved with her older, married co-star, Harrison Ford, she often felt isolated on set. Fisher has a new memoir called 'The Princess Diarist.' Cleve Jones became an activist after Harvey Milk's assassination, and he lost countless friends to the AIDS epidemic. He conceived the AIDS Memorial Quilt in 1985. His memoir is 'When We Rise.'

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Photographer William Christenberry / Country Singer Charlie Rich

Author: NPR
Fri, Dec 02, 2016


Christenberry, who died on Monday, drew on his childhood experiences in the rural South. One of his pieces was inspired by an encounter he had with a Klansman. [Originally broadcast in 1997] Charlie Rich, who died in 1995, was known for "countrypolitan" music, which featured orchestral arrangements and backup singers. A new Rich tribute album has just been released. [Originally broadcast in 1992.] Film critic David Edelstein reviews 'Jackie,' a biopic about Jacqueline Kennedy.

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Trump's Potential Conflicts Of Interest: 'They're Everywhere'

Author: NPR
Thu, Dec 01, 2016


'New York Times' reporter Eric Lipton warns that Donald Trump could take actions as president that would benefit his business holdings, and "it wouldn't be a formal ethics violation," Lipton says. Also jazz critic Kevin Whitehead reviews prolific guitarist Mary Halvorson's album 'Away with You.'

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'Manchester By The Sea' Director Kenneth Lonergan

Author: NPR
Wed, Nov 30, 2016


Kenneth Lonergan's new film is about a janitor (Casey Affleck), crippled by guilt and grief, who returns to his hometown after the death of his brother. Also, critic at large John Powers reviews two works that confront the refugee crisis.

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LGBTQ Activist Cleve Jones

Author: NPR
Tue, Nov 29, 2016


Jones became an activist after Harvey Milk's assassination, and he lost countless friends to the AIDS epidemic. He says, "There are some days when it is so painful that I really can barely function." He conceived the AIDS Memorial Quilt in 1985. His memoir is 'When We Rise.'

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Carrie Fisher

Author: NPR
Mon, Nov 28, 2016


Carrie Fisher was an insecure 19-year-old when she appeared as Princess Leia in the first Star Wars movie, a role that would come to define her career. She tells Terry Gross that despite becoming romantically involved with her older, married co-star, Harrison Ford, she often felt isolated on set. Fisher has a new memoir, called 'The Princess Diarist.' Also, classical music critic Lloyd Schwartz reviews the national touring production of the Broadway musical "An American in Paris.'

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Best Of: Zadie Smith / Trevor Noah

Author: NPR
Fri, Nov 25, 2016


Writer Zadie Smith talks about nostalgia and why she likes talking to people with whom she disagrees. Her new novel is 'Swing Time.' Also, 'Daily Show' host Trevor Noah revisits his childhood in apartheid-era South Africa in his new memoir, 'Born a Crime.' Noah says writing the book helped him see that his mother was the real hero of his story.

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Remembering Leonard Cohen

Author: NPR
Fri, Nov 25, 2016


Before he died earlier this month, Cohen released a new album with songs that wrestled with mortality, transcendence and the question of God — themes he touched on in this 2006 interview with Terry Gross.

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Johnny Cash / Ray Charles

Author: NPR
Thu, Nov 24, 2016


For Thanksgiving, two archival interviews with American music icons: Cash spoke to Terry Gross in 1997, Charles in 1998.

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Remembering Sharon Jones

Author: NPR
Wed, Nov 23, 2016


The powerhouse soul singer for The Dap-Kings spoke to 'Fresh Air' in '07 and again in '16, after she'd been diagnosed with pancreatic cancer. Jones died on Nov. 18. Book critic Maureen Corrigan reviews Michael Chabon's new novel, 'Moonglow.'

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Trevor Noah

Author: NPR
Tue, Nov 22, 2016


The 'Daily Show' host revisits his childhood in apartheid-era South Africa in his new memoir, 'Born a Crime.' Noah says writing the book helped him see that his mother was the real hero of his story.

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Zadie Smith

Author: NPR
Mon, Nov 21, 2016


Writer Zadie Smith talks about the nature of talent, nostalgia, and why she likes talking to people with whom she disagrees. Her new novel is 'Swing Time.'

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