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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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How Gen. Flynn Became Central To The Russia Hacking Scandal

Author: NPR
Thu, May 25, 2017


Matthew Rosenberg of the 'The New York Times' began writing about General Flynn in 2009 in Afghanistan; now he's investigating Flynn's role in Russia's interference in the U.S. election.

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Aziz Ansari On 'Master Of None'

Author: NPR
Wed, May 24, 2017


Ansari talks about his award-winning Netflix series, acting alongside his real-life parents, and hosting 'SNL' the day after Trump's inauguration. Also, book critic Maureen Corrigan shares her early summer reading list.

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The History Of Dentistry / NYT Book Review Editor Pamela Paul

Author: NPR
Tue, May 23, 2017


Medical historian Richard Barnett traces the history of dentistry in his new book. He says that prior to the 18th century, the profession was often practices by charlatans with "big muscles." His book is 'The Smile Stealers.' Also, Pamela Paul of 'The New York Times' talks to 'Fresh Air' producer Sam Briger about her "book of books," a list of every book she's read since she was 17 years old. Rock critic Ken Tucker reviews two solo albums from Harry Styles and Dan Auerbach.

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Churchill, Orwell And The Fight Against Totalitarianism

Author: NPR
Mon, May 22, 2017


Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Tom Ricks discuses how Winston Churchill and George Orwell stood up against totalitarianism from the far right and left. Ricks covered the Pentagon for the 'Washington Post' and wrote five books about the military and America's wars. He'll also talk about generals in Trump's administration. TV critic David Bianculli offers his first impressions of the new 'Twin Peaks.'

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Best Of: Comic Hasan Minhaj / Jill Soloway

Author: NPR
Fri, May 19, 2017


'Daily Show' correspondent Hasan Minhaj describes himself as a "third-culture kid" who doesn't fully belong in either the world of his parents or that of his hometown of Davis, Calif. His new Netflix special is 'Homecoming King.' Milo Miles reviews 'Synthesize the Soul,' a collection of dance music from Cape Verde. Also, 'Transparent' creator Jill Soloway talks about their new new Amazon series 'I Love Dick.' It tackles themes of gender, sexual obsession and artistic insecurity.

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A Tribute To 'The Simpsons'

Author: NPR
Fri, May 19, 2017


Thirty years ago 'The Simpsons' debuted on 'The Tracey Ullman Show.' To celebrate this milestone, we listen back to Terry's interviews with creator Matt Groening, Nancy Cartwright (Bart), Julie Kavner (Marge), Hank Azaria (Homer and others), producers and writers Al Jean and Mike Reiss, and composer Alf Clausen. Also, film critic David Edelstein reviews 'Alien: Covenant.'

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Comic Hasan Minhaj

Author: NPR
Thu, May 18, 2017


The 'Daily Show' correspondent describes himself as a "third-culture kid" who doesn't fully belong in either the world of his parents or that of his hometown of Davis, Calif. His new Netflix special is 'Homecoming King.'

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Voting Rights & Trump's Election Integrity Commission

Author: NPR
Wed, May 17, 2017


Ari Berman, author of 'Give Us the Ballot,' says the new commission will keep alive the idea that voter fraud is rampant — despite the fact that "all the studies show the opposite." Also, Ken Tucker reviews Angaleena Presley's album 'Wrangled.'

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Former Inmate Leads Women From Prison To Recovery

Author: NPR
Tue, May 16, 2017


For Susan Burton, getting on track after being released from prison was a daunting experience. Now she's determined to help other women follow in her footsteps. Her new memoir is 'Becoming Ms. Burton.' Also, Milo Miles reviews 'Synthesize the Soul,' a collection of dance music from Cape Verde.

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'Fargo' TV Series Creator Noah Hawley

Author: NPR
Mon, May 15, 2017


Hawley says his FX series, now in its third season, explores "the things people do for money." He also created the series 'Legion.' Kevin Whitehead reviews a book about jazz band Art Ensemble of Chicago. Linguist Geoff Nunberg comments on the common misattribution of famous quotes on social media

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Best Of: Gabourey Sidibe / Rhiannon Giddens

Author: NPR
Fri, May 12, 2017


Sidibe's break-out role was in 'Precious,' Lee Daniels' 2009 film about a girl who is sexually abused by her father and physically abused by her mother. She speaks with Terry Gross about landing the title role despite the fact she didn't have acting experience, overcoming anxiety and depression as a kid, and how working for a phone sex hotline prepared her for acting (and interviews). Maureen Corrigan reviews the novel 'No One Can Pronounce My Name,' by Rakesh Satyal. Rhiannon Giddens sings songs from her new album, 'Freedom Highway.' She co-founded the Carolina Chocolate Drops, which plays string band music from the African American tradition.

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The Power Of Genes

Author: NPR
Fri, May 12, 2017


Dr. Siddhartha Mukherjee says genetics play a significant role in identity, temperament, sexual orientation, and disease risk — but that environment also matters. His book 'The Gene,' is now out in paperback. Also, David Edelstein reviews 'Last Men In Aleppo,' and David Bianculli reviews Amazon's 'I Love Dick' and Netflix's 'Anne with an E.'

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Rhiannon Giddens / 'Fresh Air' Celebrates 30 Years Nationwide

Author: NPR
Thu, May 11, 2017


Giddens sings songs from her new album, 'Freedom Highway.' She co-founded the Carolina Chocolate Drops, which plays string band music from the African American tradition. Also, we celebrate Fresh Air's debut as a national, daily program on NPR, 30 years ago today. Join the conversation with #FreshAir30.

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'Transparent' Creator Jill Soloway On 'I Love Dick'

Author: NPR
Wed, May 10, 2017


'I Love Dick' tackles themes of gender, sexual obsession and artistic insecurity. "'Transparent' was my origin story. This is my story about finding my voice," Soloway says. Maureen Corrigan reviews the novel 'No One Can Pronounce My Name,' by Rakesh Satyal. And Kevin Whitehead reviews South African jazz pianist Abdullah Ibrahim's reissue of 'Ancient Africa.'

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Writer Mary Gaitskill / Cookbook Author Julia Turshen

Author: NPR
Tue, May 09, 2017


Before she turned to writing, Gaitskill ran away from home and worked as a stripper. Her new collection of personal essays is 'Somebody with a Little Hammer.' Also, Julia Turshen speaks with 'Fresh Air' producer Sam Briger about her new cookbook 'Small Victories.'

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Gabourey Sidibe

Author: NPR
Mon, May 08, 2017


Sidibe's break-out role was in 'Precious,' Lee Daniels' 2009 film about a girl who is sexually abused by her father and physically abused by her mother. She speaks with Terry Gross about landing the title role despite the fact she didn't have acting experience, overcoming anxiety and depression as a kid, and how working for a phone sex hotline prepared her for acting (and interviews).

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Best Of: W. Kamau Bell / The Dying Art Of Writing Obituaries

Author: NPR
Fri, May 05, 2017


Bell talks with Terry Gross about interviewing white nationalist Richard Spencer for his CNN series 'United Shades of America' and doing stand-up in black comedy rooms. He has a new memoir. Also, Ken Tucker reviews Kendrick Lamar's album 'Damn.' Bruce Weber and Margalit Fox have written obituaries for thousands of people, ranging from heads of state to the inventor of the Etch-a-Sketch. They are featured in the new documentary 'Obit.'

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Chef Michael Solomonov / Comic Chris Gethard

Author: NPR
Fri, May 05, 2017


The Philly-based chef talks about his Israeli roots, and the secret to his award-winning hummus. He is the recipient of a 2017 James Beard award for outstanding chef. John Powers reviews 'Risk,' the new Laura Poitras documentary about Julian Assange. Also, comic Chris Gethard talks about his one man show 'Career Suicide,' which premieres on HBO on Saturday. And David Edelstein reviews 'Guardians of the Galaxy 2.'

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'How President Trump Could Get Fired'

Author: NPR
Thu, May 04, 2017


'New Yorker' staff writer Evan Osnos discusses the likelihood that impeachment or the 25th Amendment will be used to remove President Donald Trump from office.

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A Forgotten History Of How Our Government Segregated America

Author: NPR
Wed, May 03, 2017


Author Richard Rothstein says the housing programs begun under the New Deal were tantamount to a "state-sponsored system of segregation," in which people of color were purposely excluded from suburbs. His new book is 'The Color of Law.' Critic David Bianculli shares an appreciation of late director Jonathan Demme's 'Who Am I This Time?' which was made for TV.

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For Richard Ford, Memoir Is A Chance To 'Tell The Unthinkable'

Author: NPR
Tue, May 02, 2017


The Pulitzer Prize-winning novelist revisits the lives and deaths of his parents in his new memoir, 'Between Them.' "As much as they loved me, an only child, they loved each other more," he says. Also, Maureen Corrigan reviews 'Anything is Possible' by Elizabeth Strout.

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Comic W. Kamau Bell

Author: NPR
Mon, May 01, 2017


Bell talks with Terry Gross about interviewing white nationalist Richard Spencer for his CNN series 'United Shades of America,' doing stand-up in black comedy rooms, and how being an asthmatic "indoor kid" affected him. His new memoir is 'The Awkward Thoughts Of W. Kamau Bell.'

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Best Of: 'Veep' Producer Frank Rich / MLB Pitcher Rick Ankiel

Author: NPR
Fri, Apr 28, 2017


Rich says the HBO series is about the "craven desire for power." He also writes a column for 'New York' magazine about the intersection of politics and pop culture. Maureen Corrigan reviews the book 'Hourglass' by Dani Shapiro. Rick Ankiel entered the major leagues in 1999 as an extremely gifted pitcher, then one day he suddenly lost it. His new memoir, 'The Phenomenon,' describes his struggle with an anxiety condition called "the Yips," as we'll as his unlikely comeback.

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The Wild Saga Of The Kidnapping, Crimes & Trial Of Patty Hearst

Author: NPR
Fri, Apr 28, 2017


Hearst was abducted in 1974 and then declared allegiance to her captors. Legal expert Jeffrey Toobin does not believe Hearst was brainwashed, but rather, "responded rationally to the circumstances." His book 'American Heiress' is now out in paperback. Also, film critic David Edelstein reviews 'The Circle,' starring Tom Hanks.

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For NYT Obit Writers, 'Death Is Never Solicitous Of A Deadline'

Author: NPR
Thu, Apr 27, 2017


Bruce Weber and Margalit Fox have written obituaries for thousands of people, ranging from heads of state to the inventor of the Etch-a-Sketch. They are featured in the new documentary 'Obit.' Also, Ken Tucker reviews Kendrick Lamar's album 'Damn.'

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'Veep' Exec. Producer Frank Rich

Author: NPR
Wed, Apr 26, 2017


Rich says the HBO series is about the "craven desire for power." Rich also writes a column for 'New York' magazine about the intersection of politics and pop culture. Also, TV critic David Bianculli reviews 'The Handmaid's Tale,' which was released today on Hulu.

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Inside Bellevue Hospital's Psychiatric Prison Ward

Author: NPR
Tue, Apr 25, 2017


Dr. Elizabeth Ford treated mentally ill inmates in New York City for more than a decade. It was almost universal, she says, that they suffered abuse or significant neglect as children. Her book is 'Sometimes Amazing Things Happen.' Also, jazz critic Kevin Whitehead celebrates Ella Fitzgerald's 100th birthday.

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The 'Phenomenon' That Changed MLB Pitcher Rick Ankiel's Life

Author: NPR
Mon, Apr 24, 2017


Ankiel entered the major leagues in 1999 as an extremely gifted pitcher, then one day he suddenly lost it. His new memoir, 'The Phenomenon,' describes his struggle with an anxiety condition called "the Yips," as we'll as his unlikely comeback. Also, Maureen Corrigan reviews the book 'Hourglass' by Dani Shapiro

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Best Of: Former Obama White House Staffer / 'The Secret Life Of Dictionaries'

Author: NPR
Fri, Apr 21, 2017


Alyssa Mastromonaco worked in the Obama White House for six exhilarating and exhausting years. She talks about running on adrenaline, planning for worst case scenarios, and wearing Snuggies on Air Force One. Her new memoir is 'Who Thought This Was a Good Idea?' Film critic Justin Chang reviews 'A Quiet Passion.' Merriam-Webster lexicographer Kory Stamper talks about how words (like "f-bomb") are added to the dictionary, finding the first-known use of a word, and how English continues to evolve. Her book is 'Word by Word.'

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'Girls & Sex' And The Importance Of Talking About Pleasure

Author: NPR
Fri, Apr 21, 2017


Author Peggy Orenstein says that when it comes to sexuality, girls hear that "they're supposed to be sexy, they're supposed to perform sexually for boys, but ... their sexual pleasure is unspoken." Orenstein discusses the effect hook-up culture, porn, and pop stars have had on girls' lives. Her book 'Girls & Sex' is now out in paperback. Also, film critic Justin Chang reviews 'A Quiet Passion.'

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The Leakiness & Loneliness Of Trump's White House

Author: NPR
Thu, Apr 20, 2017


As President Trump approaches his 100th day in office, 'New York Times' White House correspondent Maggie Haberman says "the magnitude of the job is sinking in for him."

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The Secret Life Of Dictionaries

Author: NPR
Wed, Apr 19, 2017


Merriam-Webster lexicographer Kory Stamper talks about how words (like "f-bomb" or "bodice ripper") are added to the dictionary, finding the first-known use of a word, and how English continues to evolve. TV critic David Bianculli reviews the Netflix series 'Bill Nye Saves The World' and the return of the FX series 'Fargo.'

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Former Obama White House Staffer Alyssa Mastromonaco

Author: NPR
Tue, Apr 18, 2017


Mastromonaco worked in the West Wing for six exhilarating and exhausting years. She talks about running on adrenaline, planning for worst case scenarios, and wearing Snuggies on Air Force One. Her new memoir is 'Who Thought This Was a Good Idea?' Also, John Powers reviews the film 'Norman,' starring Richard Gere.

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Uncovering The Forgotten Osage Murders

Author: NPR
Mon, Apr 17, 2017


Members of the Osage Indian Nation became very wealthy in the 1920s after oil deposits were found on their land. Then local whites began targeting the tribe, killing them off one by one in mysterious and disturbing ways. Journalist David Grann tells the story in his book 'The Killers of the Flower Moon.' Also, Ken Tucker reviews an album from The Menzingers.

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Best Of: Inside Jonestown / 'Better Call Saul' / Sasheer Zamata

Author: NPR
Fri, Apr 14, 2017


In 1978, more than 900 followers of the Rev. Jim Jones committed mass suicide in Guyana by drinking cyanide-laced Flavor Aid. Journalist Jeff Guinn details how Jones captivated his followers in his new book, 'The Road to Jonestown.' TV critic David Bianculli reviews the new season of AMC's 'Better Call Saul.' Also, comic Sasheer Zamata speaks with 'Fresh Air' producer Ann Marie Baldonado about her road to 'SNL.'

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'Leftovers' Actor Christopher Eccleston

Author: NPR
Fri, Apr 14, 2017


The British actor plays a reverend in 'The Leftovers,' the HBO series about what happens after 2 percent of the world's population vanishes in a mysterious event. Film critic David Edelstein reviews 'The Lost City of Z.'

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The Disappearing Colorado River / Sasheer Zamata

Author: NPR
Thu, Apr 13, 2017


Journalist David Owen says that convoluted legal agreements and a patchwork of infrastructure determine how water from the Colorado is allocated. How can the river continue to support 36 million people in 7 states? His new book is 'Where The Water Goes.' Also, comic Sasheer Zamata talks with 'Fresh Air' producer Ann Marie Baldonado about her new special 'Pizza Mind' and her road to 'SNL.'

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The Conservative Pipeline To The Supreme Court

Author: NPR
Wed, Apr 12, 2017


'New Yorker' staff writer Jeffrey Toobin discusses Leonard Leo, the conservative lawyer who is responsible, to a considerable extent, for one third of the justices on the Supreme Court — Roberts, Alito, and now Gorsuch. Leo is the Executive Vice President of the Federalist Society. Also, Ken Tucker reviews Jessi Colter's new album, 'The Psalms.'

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The Making Of An American Demagogue: Jim Jones

Author: NPR
Tue, Apr 11, 2017


In 1978, more than 900 followers of the Rev. Jim Jones committed mass suicide in Guyana by drinking cyanide-laced Flavor Aid. Journalist Jeff Guinn details how Jones captivated his followers in his new book, 'The Road to Jonestown.'

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How American Health Care Became 'Big Business'

Author: NPR
Mon, Apr 10, 2017


Why are medical bills so hard to read? How is the consolidation of hospitals affecting the price of care? Why is it that more competition in the pharmaceutical industry drives prices up rather than down? Journalist (and former physician) Elisabeth Rosenthal investigates the dysfunction of the American health care system in her new book 'An American Sickness.' Also, TV critic David Bianculli reviews the new season of AMC's 'Better Call Saul.'

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Best Of: Alec Baldwin / Trans Punk Rocker Laura Jane Grace

Author: NPR
Fri, Apr 07, 2017


Alec Baldwin talks about his impression of Trump on 'SNL,' growing up watching old films with his dad, and a regret he has about his early career. Ken Tucker reviews a new album from Tennessee singer-songwriter Valerie June. Laura Jane Grace, the founder of the punk band Against Me!, felt so conflicted about gender growing up that she thought she was schizophrenic. Grace transitioned in 2012, and speaks with Terry Gross about how her music and life have changed since then.

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Remembering Comic Don Rickles

Author: NPR
Fri, Apr 07, 2017


We listen back to two interviews with the great insult comic. He died yesterday at the age of 90. Rickles spoke with 'Fresh Air' in 2007 and 2008. Also, film critic David Edelstein reviews 'Colossal,' starring Anne Hathaway.

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How A War With Russia Could Start By Accident

Author: NPR
Thu, Apr 06, 2017


David Wood of 'The Huffington Post' says Russian jets are playing "chicken" with U.S. planes in international airspace with alarming frequency, and that a rash response could lead to all-out war. John Powers reviews 'Tell Me How It Ends' by Valeria Luiselli.

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Alec Baldwin

Author: NPR
Wed, Apr 05, 2017


Baldwin says his 'SNL' impression of the president is purposefully exaggerated. "There's a kind of volume to it," he says. "It's kind of the Macy's Day Parade [version] of Trump." He talks about the ups and downs of his career, aging in Hollywood, and his favorite movies growing up. Kevin Whitehead reviews Christian Scott aTunde Adjuah's album 'Ruler Rebel,' a mix of jazz and hip-hop.

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Trans Punk Rocker Laura Jane Grace

Author: NPR
Tue, Apr 04, 2017


The founder of the band Against Me! felt so conflicted about gender growing up that she thought she was schizophrenic. Grace transitioned in 2012, and speaks with Terry Gross about how her music and life have changed since then. The band's new album is 'Shape Shift With Me,' and Grace's memoir is 'Tranny: Confessions of Punk Rock's Most Infamous Anarchist Sellout.'

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A 'Global Quest' For A Better Tax System

Author: NPR
Mon, Apr 03, 2017


Why is filing taxes in the U.S. so complicated, expensive and time-consuming? When it comes to taxes, author T.R. Reid says other countries have done "what the U.S. Congress evidently can't do — they've made it simple." His new book is 'A Fine Mess.' Ken Tucker reviews a new album from Tennessee singer-songwriter Valerie June.

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Best Of: 'Monsters' Illustrator Emil Ferris / The 'Risk' Of For-Profit Colleges

Author: NPR
Fri, Mar 31, 2017


After West Nile virus left her paralyzed, Chicago illustrator Emil Ferris had to relearn how to draw. She says that experience was key to the creation of her first graphic novel, 'My Favorite Thing Is Monsters.' Book critic Maureen Corrigan reviews 'The Devil and Webster.' Tressie McMillan Cottom worked as an enrollment officer at two for-profit colleges, but quit because she felt uncomfortable selling students an education they couldn't afford. She says that for-profit colleges can exploit racial, gender and economic inequality. Her book is 'Lower Ed.'

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How 5 Hollywood Directors Filmed WWII

Author: NPR
Fri, Mar 31, 2017


During World War II, the military worked with famous Hollywood directors to create movies to both boost morale back home and document the devastation overseas. Mark Harris' book, 'Five Came Back,' is the basis for a new Netflix docuseries. [Originally broadcast March 2014.]

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'My Favorite Thing Is Monsters' Graphic Novelist Emil Ferris

Author: NPR
Thu, Mar 30, 2017


After contracting West Nile virus and becoming temporarily paralyzed, Chicago illustrator Emil Ferris had to relearn how to draw. She says that experience was key to the publication of 'My Favorite Thing Is Monsters.'

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Cyber War & North Korea's Nuclear Threat

Author: NPR
Wed, Mar 29, 2017


'New York Times' reporter David Sanger talks about North Korea's nuclear program and warns that the regime, which has been "fodder for late night comedians for many many years," is no joke. Maureen Corrigan reviews the novel 'One of the Boys,' about a corrosive father-son relationship.

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