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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.


People Who Liked NPR: Fresh Air Podcast Also Liked These Podcasts:
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Donald Trump's White Nationalist Support

Author: NPR
Thu, Sep 03, 2015


The New Yorker staff writer Evan Osnos discusses his article about Trump's white nationalist support. Also linguist Geoff Nunberg examines new attacks on the word "so" and considers whether "so" is being overused.

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The Legacy Of Autism

Author: NPR
Wed, Sep 02, 2015


Science writer Steve Silberman talks about how different factors — including Nazi extermination plans and a (now discredited) journal article about vaccines — have shaped our current understanding of autism. Book critic Maureen Corrigan reviews Jonathan Franzen's new novel, 'Purity.'

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Jonathan Franzen

Author: NPR
Tue, Sep 01, 2015


The author of 'The Corrections' and the new novel 'Purity' likens writing to losing himself in a dream. "When it's really going well ... you're in a fantasy land and feeling no pain," he says.

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Oliver Sacks

Author: NPR
Mon, Aug 31, 2015


The neurologist, who died Sunday, saw "infinitely moving, dramatic, romantic situations" during his decades studying the human brain. Fresh Air remembers Sacks with interviews from 1985 and 2012.

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Best Of: Alison Bechdel's 'Fun Home' / 'Blackout' Author Sarah Hepola

Author: NPR
Fri, Aug 28, 2015


The musical and graphic novel 'Fun Home' describe Alison Bechdel's coming out, and her dad's closeted homosexuality. She says, "In many ways ... my professional career has been a reaction to my father's life." 'Fun Home' won five Tonys this year, including the award for best musical. Lyricst Lisa Kron and composer Jeanine Tesori join Bechdel in the conversation. Sarah Hepola once got so drunk that she gave a presentation to 300 people — and didn't remember a thing the next day. She wrestles with her reasons for drinking in the memoir 'Blackout.'

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Michael Keaton

Author: NPR
Fri, Aug 28, 2015


From 'Batman' to 'Birdman,' Michael Keaton knows suits and superheroes. The actor talks about his Oscar-nominated performance and growing up the youngest of seven kids. [Originally broadcast February 2015] Jazz critic Kevin Whitehead reviews the debut album from vocalist Tiffany Austin.

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Larry David / Writer Chris Offutt On His Father, The Pornographer

Author: NPR
Thu, Aug 27, 2015


Writer Chris Offutt's late father went from running a small insurance agency to writing more than 400 books, mostly pornography. Offutt discusses his father's career. Also, Larry David talks about his Broadway show 'Fish in the Dark,' and how his character on 'Curb Your Enthusiasm' changed him in real life. [Originally broadcast March 2015]

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Adam Driver / Review Of 'Mr.Robot'

Author: NPR
Wed, Aug 26, 2015


Actor Adam Driver of 'Girls' stars in Noah Baumbach's film, 'While We're Young.' He talks about leaving the Marines for Juilliard, doing sex scenes in 'Girls,' and why he'll never watch his own performances. [Originally broadcast April 2015] John Powers reviews the the USA series 'Mr.Robot.'

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Crime Fiction Writer Richard Price

Author: NPR
Tue, Aug 25, 2015


Richard Price says that in every precinct there's one cop who just can't let go of a case. "They all reminded me of Ahab looking for their whales," he says. Price's latest is called 'The Whites.' [Originally broadcast February 2015] TV critic David Bianculli reviews 'Public Morals,' a new police drama set in the '60s.

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Toni Morrison

Author: NPR
Mon, Aug 24, 2015


Nobel Prize-winning writer Toni Morrison discusses her new novel, 'God Help the Child.' At 84, she looks back on her life and says she regrets everything. "It's not profound regret," she says. "It's just a wiping up of tiny little messes that you didn't recognize as mess when they were going on." [Originally broadcast April 2015] Book critic Maureen Corrigan reviews a short story collection called 'A Manual for Cleaning Women.'

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Best Of: Larry Wilmore / Lily Tomlin

Author: NPR
Fri, Aug 21, 2015


Larry Wilmore discusses Bill Cosby, being a "blerd" (black nerd), and the advice Jon Stewart gave him. He hosts his 100th episode of 'The Nightly Show' this week. John Powers reviews the new documentary 'Best of Enemies' about the 1968 debates between William F. Buckley and Gore Vidal — who hated each other. Actress Lily Tomlin stars in the film 'Grandma' and with Jane Fonda in the Netflix series 'Grace and Frankie.' We discuss her life and work, including her marrying her long, long time partner Jane Wagner a year and a half ago.

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

Author: NPR
Fri, Aug 21, 2015


Human rights lawyer Bryan Stevenson represents those who have been abandoned. His clients are people on death row — abused and neglected children who were prosecuted as adults and placed in adult prisons where they were beaten and sexually abused, and mentally disabled people whose illnesses helped land them in prison where their special needs were unmet. "I'm not persuaded that the opposite of poverty is wealth," he says. "I've come to believe ... that the opposite of poverty is justice." David Edelstein reviews mountain climbing documentary 'Meru.'

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How Close Are We Really To A Robot-Run Society?

Author: NPR
Thu, Aug 20, 2015


From self-driving cars to automated warehouses, humans are being pushed out of the equation. Soon, robots will "do a million other things we can't even conceive of," author John Markoff says. TV critic David Bianculli reviews the IFC spoof 'Documentary Now!' and the prequel series 'Fear the Walking Dead.'

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Larry Wilmore On Finding His Voice As Host Of 'The Nightly Show'

Author: NPR
Wed, Aug 19, 2015


The host discusses Bill Cosby, being a "blerd" (black nerd), and the advice Jon Stewart gave him. He hosts his 100th episode of 'The Nightly Show' this week.

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Lily Tomlin / Review of 'Best Of Enemies'

Author: NPR
Tue, Aug 18, 2015


Actress Lily Tomlin stars in the film 'Grandma' and with Jane Fonda in the Netflix series 'Grace and Frankie.' We discuss her life and work, including her marrying her long, long time partner Jane Wagner a year and a half ago. John Powers reviews the new documentary 'Best of Enemies' about the 1968 debates between William F. Buckley and Gore Vidal — who hated each other. Jazz critic Kevin Whitehead reviews the new album by the Maria Schneider Orchestra.

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Alison Bechdel & Songwriters On 'Fun Home' Musical

Author: NPR
Mon, Aug 17, 2015


The musical and graphic novel 'Fun Home' describe Bechdel's coming out, and her dad's closeted homosexuality. She says, "In many ways ... my professional career has been a reaction to my father's life." 'Fun Home' won five Tonys this year, including the award for best musical. Lyricst Lisa Kron and composer Jeanine Tesori join Bechdel in the conversation.

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Best Of: Ivory Smuggling / Review of 'Mistress America'

Author: NPR
Fri, Aug 14, 2015


Some 30,000 African elephants die each year as a result of poaching. Journalist Bryan Christy wanted to see where their tusks were going, so he created fake tusks and embedded them with GPS trackers. Justin Chang reviews 'Mistress America' starring Greta Gerwig. Graphic artist and professor Phoebe Gloeckner wrote the graphic novel, 'The Diary of a Teenage Girl,' based on her experience losing her virginity to her mother's boyfriend when she was 15. Filmmaker Marielle Heller adapted the story into a new movie.

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David Foster Wallace / Jason Segel

Author: NPR
Fri, Aug 14, 2015


The late writer David Foster Wallace spoke to Terry Gross in 1997 when 'Infinite Jest' was published in paperback. He talks about irony, happiness, and why he doesn't have a TV. He is the subject of the new film, 'The End of the Tour,' starring Jason Segel and Jesse Eisenberg. Segel was on 'Fresh Air' in 2009. He discusses breakups, bromance, and growing up on 'Freaks and Geeks.' Finally, David Bianculli reviews HBO's miniseries 'Show Me A Hero,' by David Simon, creator of 'The Wire.'

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A 'Diary' Unlocked: A Teenage Coming-Of-Age Story Put On Film

Author: NPR
Thu, Aug 13, 2015


When she was 15, Phoebe Gloeckner lost her virginity to her mother's boyfriend. Gloeckner wrote about the experience in 'The Diary of a Teenage Girl,' which Marielle Heller adapted into a film. We begin with a review of the film from David Edelstein.

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GPS Trackers In Elephant Tusks Reveal Ivory Smuggling Route

Author: NPR
Wed, Aug 12, 2015


Some 30,000 African elephants die each year as a result of poaching. Journalist Bryan Christy wanted to see where their tusks were going, so he created fake tusks and embedded them with GPS trackers. Also, Ken Tucker reviews Iris DeMent's new album of poetry set to music, 'The Trackless Woods.'

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A Century Of Sex Laws / The Obsessive Hunt For Rare 78 RPM Records

Author: NPR
Tue, Aug 11, 2015


American sex laws have not always kept pace with society's changing standards. In 'The Boundaries of Desire,' Eric Berkowitz explores how the legal system has addressed sex in the last century. Book critic Maureen Corrigan reviews 'A Tour of Bones.' In 'Do Not Sell At Any Price,' Amanda Petrusich details the extreme measures collectors take in pursuit of rare 78rpm records.

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The Modern Struggle For Voting Rights In America

Author: NPR
Mon, Aug 10, 2015


The Voting Rights Act of 1965 outlawed racial discrimination in voting. But author Ari Berman says a 2013 Supreme Court ruling blocks the act's enforcement — and opened the door for new restrictions.

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Best Of: 'Friday Night Lights' Turns 25 / Noir Novel 'Dragonfish'

Author: NPR
Fri, Aug 07, 2015


Twenty-five years ago, Buzz Bissinger wrote about the big-time stakes of small-town high-school football in 'Friday Night Lights.' Now he talks about the impact the book had on the players and himself. Maureen Corrigan reviews noir novel 'Dragonfish.' In her new book, 'Voices in the Ocean,' Susan Casey describes the life of dolphins and details some new threats the animals face, such as organized dolphin kills and man-made sounds in the ocean.

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'Blood Will Out,' A True Story Of Murder And Deception

Author: NPR
Fri, Aug 07, 2015


Author Walter Kirn thought he was befriending an eccentric Rockefeller, but his pal turned out to be an impostor wanted for murder. His book is 'Blood will Out.' [Originally broadcast March 2014]. David Edelstein reviews 'Ricki and the Flash' and David Bianculli comments on last night's farewell to Jon Stewart.

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Jon Stewart

Author: NPR
Thu, Aug 06, 2015


In honor of Jon Stewart's final night as host of 'The Daily Show,' we play excerpts of Stewart's Fresh Air interviews from 2000, 2010 and 2014. In his most recent interview, Stewart contemplates the end of his hosting run: "I don't know that there will ever be anything that I will ever be as well-suited for as this show," he said. We'll also hear from Ben Karlin, former Executive Producer of 'The Daily Show.'

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Why It Took Years To Arrest A Former NFL Star For Sexual Assault

Author: NPR
Wed, Aug 05, 2015


Former NFL player Darren Sharper pleaded guilty to rape charges involving nine women in four states. ProPublica reporter T. Christian Miller says local police weren't sharing information. Kevin Whitehead reviews jazz trombonist Ku-umba Frank Lacy's album dedicated to Charles Mingus.

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The 'Wild And Haunting' World Of Dolphins

Author: NPR
Tue, Aug 04, 2015


In her new book, 'Voices in the Ocean,' Susan Casey describes the life of dolphins and details some new threats the animals face, such as organized dolphin kills and man-made sounds in the ocean. Ken Tucker reviews Daniel Romano's new album and Maureen Corrigan reviews noir novel 'Dragonfish.'

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'Friday Night Lights' Turns 25

Author: NPR
Mon, Aug 03, 2015


Twenty-five years ago, Buzz Bissinger wrote about the big-time stakes of small-town high-school football in 'Friday Night Lights.' Now he talks about the impact the book had on the players and himself.

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Best Of: Bobcat Goldthwait & Barry Crimmins / Hollywood Animal Trainer

Author: NPR
Fri, Jul 31, 2015


Barry Crimmins mentored Bobcat Goldthwait when they were up-and-coming comics in the 80's. 'Call Me Lucky,' directed by Goldthwait, details their relationship – and the sexual abuse Crimmins suffered as a child. Animal trainer Teresa Ann Miller is used to working with furry performers, but she says the Hungarian film 'White God' was especially challenging. 'This wasn't necessarily a film with an animal in it,' Miller tells Fresh Air's Terry Gross. 'It was a dog leading the film and telling the story.'

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Key & Peele / Jon Stewart in 2004

Author: NPR
Fri, Jul 31, 2015


Keegan Michael Key and Jordan Peele from the Comedy Central sketch comedy series 'Key & Peele' which will air its final episode in September. Also an archived interview with Jon Stewart of The Daily show. Stewart ends his run as The Daily Show's host next week.

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'Blackout' Author Remembers The Things She 'Drank To Forget'

Author: NPR
Thu, Jul 30, 2015


Sarah Hepola once got so drunk that she gave a presentation to 300 people — and didn't remember a thing the next day. She wrestles with her reasons for drinking in the memoir 'Blackout.' Film critic David Edelstein reviews 'The End of the Tour.'

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A Hollywood Animal Trainer's Secrets For Getting Dogs To Act

Author: NPR
Wed, Jul 29, 2015


Animal trainer Teresa Ann Miller is used to working with furry performers, but she says the Hungarian film 'White God' was especially challenging. "This wasn't necessarily a film with an animal in it," Miller tells Fresh Air's Terry Gross. "It was a dog leading the film and telling the story." Ken Tucker reviews Ashley Monroe's album 'Blade.'

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The Strange New Science Of The Self

Author: NPR
Tue, Jul 28, 2015


In his new book, 'The Man Who Wasn't There,' Anil Ananthaswamy examines the ways people think of themselves — and how those perceptions can be distorted by certain brain conditions. For instance, a patient with Cotard's Syndrome is utterly convinced that they are already dead, and a patient with Body Integrity Identity Disorder perceives that a body part is not their own. Also, rock historian Ed Ward shares blues musician Slim Harpo's story.

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Comics Bobcat Goldthwait & Barry Crimmins

Author: NPR
Mon, Jul 27, 2015


Barry Crimmins mentored Bobcat Goldthwait when they were up-and-coming comics in the '80s. 'Call Me Lucky,' directed by Goldthwait, details their relationship — and the sexual abuse Crimmins suffered as a child. Kevin Whitehead reviews a reissue from jazz flutist Sam Most.

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Best Of: Jake Gyllenhaal / 'Tangerine' Filmmakers

Author: NPR
Fri, Jul 24, 2015


In 'Southpaw,' Gyllenhaal plays a boxer who grew up in foster care and is struggling to be a father to his daughter. He also discusses his roles in 'Donnie Darko,' 'Nightcrawler,' and working with Heath Ledger. Director Sean Baker wanted to make a film about L.A.'s transgender sex workers, but first he needed to find someone who knew that world well. Then he met Mya Taylor, and together they made 'Tangerine.'

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E.L. Doctorow & Broadcast Pioneer Marlene Sanders

Author: NPR
Fri, Jul 24, 2015


We remember historical fiction author E. L. Doctorow and broadcast news pioneer Marlene Sanders, who was the first woman to anchor a network TV evening newscast. Also, Lloyd Schwartz discusses the timeless appeal of the late choreographer George Balanchine. Film critic David Edelstein reviews 'Phoenix.'

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From Upspeak To Vocal Fry: Are We 'Policing' Young Women's Voices?

Author: NPR
Thu, Jul 23, 2015


Journalist Jessica Grose, linguistics professor Penny Eckert and speech pathologist Susan Sankin discuss upspeak, vocal fry and why women's voices are changing — and whether or not that's a problem. Book critic Maureen Corrigan reviews 'Among the Ten Thousand Things.'

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Jake Gyllenhaal

Author: NPR
Wed, Jul 22, 2015


In 'Southpaw,' Gyllenhaal plays a boxer who grew up in foster care and is struggling to be a father to his daughter. He also discusses 'Donnie Darko,' 'Nightcrawler,' and working with Heath Ledger. Jazz critic Kevin Whitehead reviews a reissue of a Thelonious Monk box set.

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'Tangerine' Director Sean Baker & Actress Mya Taylor

Author: NPR
Tue, Jul 21, 2015


Director Sean Baker wanted to make a film about L.A.'s transgender sex workers, but first he needed to find someone who knew that world well. Then he met Mya Taylor, and together they made 'Tangerine.' Also, Ken Tucker reviews 'Wildheart' by Miguel.

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Sir Ian McKellen

Author: NPR
Mon, Jul 20, 2015


The acclaimed British actor talks about portraying a 93-year-old Sherlock Holmes, serving as grand marshal to New York City's gay pride march and his 'Lord of the Rings' tattoo. Rock historian Ed Ward shares soul singer Garnet Mimms' story.

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Best Of: Amy Schumer & Judd Apatow / Jason Isbell Reviewed / Ta-Nehisi Coates

Author: NPR
Fri, Jul 17, 2015


Amy Schumer and Judd Apatow discuss their new romantic comedy, 'Trainwreck,' and highlights from the latest season of 'Inside Amy Schumer.' Also, Ken Tucker reviews Jason Isbell's latest album, 'Something More Than Free.' Growing up in Baltimore, African-American writer Ta-Nehisi Coates faced threats from both the streets and the police. His book, 'Between the World and Me,' is an open letter to his teenage son.

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'The Great Fish Swap'

Author: NPR
Fri, Jul 17, 2015


One-third of the seafood Americans catch is sold abroad, but most of the seafood we eat is imported and often of lower quality. Author Paul Greenberg explains why. Originally broadcast July 1, 2014. David Edelstein reviews 'Trainwreck.'

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Amy Schumer & Judd Apatow On 'Trainwreck'

Author: NPR
Thu, Jul 16, 2015


Amy Schumer and Judd Apatow discuss their new romantic comedy, 'Trainwreck,' and highlights from the latest season of 'Inside Amy Schumer.'

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'Cartel' Author On Mexico's Sadistic Drug Wars

Author: NPR
Wed, Jul 15, 2015


Novelist Don Winslow spent ten years researching the Mexican drug wars. His new novel, 'The Cartel,' reveals "a new generation of cartel leaders that are more violent, more sadistic" than ever before. He discusses the recent escape of drug lord El Chapo, who serves as inspiration for his main character. Also, linguist Geoff Nunberg contemplates the phrase "tell it like it is," now Chris Christie's campaign slogan.

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A Doctor's Case for Medical Marijuana

Author: NPR
Tue, Jul 14, 2015


Dr. David Casarett used to think of medical marijuana as "a joke." Then he began to look into the issue and he changed his mind. Casarett's new book is 'Stoned: A Doctor's Case for Medical Marijuana.' Also, Ken Tucker reviews Jason Isbell's latest album, 'Something More Than Free.'

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Ta-Nehisi Coates / New Harper Lee Novel Reviewed

Author: NPR
Mon, Jul 13, 2015


Growing up in Baltimore, African-American writer Ta-Nehisi Coates faced threats from both the streets and the police. His book, 'Between the World and Me,' is an open letter to his teenage son. Also, Maureen Corrigan reviews Harper Lee's post-'Mockingbird' book, 'Go Set a Watchman,' which she calls a "troubling confusion of a novel."

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Best Of: 3 Films - Amy Winehouse Doc, 'Tangerine' & 'Do I Sound Gay?'

Author: NPR
Fri, Jul 10, 2015


The new documentary 'Amy' uses personal and archival video to tell the story of her short life. We talk to the film's director Asif Kapadia and Winehouse's former manager Nick Shymansky, who tried to get her into rehab--which later inspired her biggest hit. Fresh Air Weekend critic Justin Chang reviews 'Tangerine.' Also, David Thorpe searches for the origin of the so-called "gay voice" in his new film 'Do I Sound Gay?'

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The Secret History Of Wonder Woman

Author: NPR
Fri, Jul 10, 2015


Wonder Woman's creator, William Moulton Marston, was inspired by suffragists and centerfolds. Political historian Jill Lepore explains how the comic book hero came to be in 'The Secret History of Wonder Woman.' Duke Ellington recorded two tunes engineered by Conny Plank, a few years before Plank became known for recording rock musicians like Brian Eno. That session is now on CD; jazz critic Kevin Whitehead says it's a window onto Ellington's working method.

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The Long Road To Marriage Equality

Author: NPR
Thu, Jul 09, 2015


For 25 years, attorney Mary Bonauto and activist Evan Wolfson helped shape the gay marriage movement. They discuss the recent Supreme Court ruling, which represented the culmination of their efforts. Also, David Edelstein reviews 'Tangerine.'

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Amy Winehouse Documentary Rescues Her Story From The Tabloids

Author: NPR
Wed, Jul 08, 2015


The new documentary 'Amy' uses personal and archival video to tell the story of her short life. Winehouse died at 27. We talk to the film's director Asif Kapadia and Winehouse's former manager Nick Shymansky, who tried to get her into rehab--which later inspired her biggest hit.

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