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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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'Justified' Creator Graham Yost

Author: NPR
Thu, Mar 26, 2015
-0400 ,


Graham Yost, creator and showrunner of the FX series 'Justified,' talks about staying true to Elmore Leonard's vision. Ken Tucker reviews Courtney Barnett's album 'Sometimes I Sit and Think, And Sometimes I Just Sit.'

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Jeffrey Toobin On Ted Cruz

Author: NPR
Wed, Mar 25, 2015


When Ted Cruz announced his presidency, he said: "It's time to reclaim the constitution." The New Yorker's Jeffrey Toobin discusses the strict legal philosophy that has shaped Cruz's political agenda. Book critic Maureen Corrigan reviews 'American Ghost.'

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'American Crime' Creator John Ridley & Actor Benito Martinez

Author: NPR
Tue, Mar 24, 2015


The show, revolving around a murder case, is an examination of race, ethnicity and the criminal justice system. Nearly all the characters are part victim and part aggressor. Creator John Ridley (Screenwriter, 12 Years a Slave) and actor Benito Martinez (The Shield) explain. David Bianculli gives us his first impressions of late night's James Corden.

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The Debate Over Killer Whales In Marine Parks

Author: NPR
Mon, Mar 23, 2015


Former killer whale trainer, John Hargrove, explains why he left the business in his new book, 'Beneath The Surface.' Two SeaWorld executives defend their practices.

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Best Of: A Writer Reflects On Prison Time & Music From Norman Blake

Author: NPR
Fri, Mar 20, 2015


Daniel Genis, son of Soviet emigre writer Alexander Genis, served 10 years for armed robbery. The crimes fueled his heroin addiction. He shares stories from life in prison. John Powers reviews 'Seymour: An Introduction' about Seymour Bernstein, who quit a successful concert career at the age of 50 to become a piano teacher. Bluegrass musician Norman Blake has performed for more than 60 years. He was in Johnny Cash's band and played on Bob Dylan's 'Nashville Skyline' album. Now 77, his new album is called 'Wood, Wire and Words.'

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Blues And Jazz Historian Samuel Charters & 'Redeployment'

Author: NPR
Fri, Mar 20, 2015


Samuel Charters helped ignite the blues revival of the '50s and '60s. He made field recordings of forgotten and previously undiscovered performers. He also wrote two books. He died Wednesday; he was 85. Phil Klay served in Iraq from January 2007 to February 2008. He recently won a National Book Critics Circle award for his collection of short stories, 'Redeployment.' John Powers reviews 'Seymour: An Introduction,' an inspiring new documentary by the actor Ethan Hawke.

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Bluegrass Musician Norman Blake

Author: NPR
Thu, Mar 19, 2015


Blake has performed for more than 60 years. He was in Johnny Cash's band and played on Bob Dylan's 'Nashville Skyline' album. Now 77, his new album is called 'Wood, Wire and Words.' John Powers reviews 'A Little Life,' a novel by Hanya Yanagihara.

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After Prison, 'Apologetic Bandit' Writes About Life Inside

Author: NPR
Wed, Mar 18, 2015


Daniel Genis, son of Soviet emigre writer Alexander Genis, served 10 years for armed robbery. The crimes fueled his heroin addiction. "It was so obvious I didn't fit in," he says. Kevin Whitehead says saxophonist Tony Malaby's new quartet brings out his rowdy side.

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Writer Explores The Blurry Line Between Fact And Fiction

Author: NPR
Tue, Mar 17, 2015


In Dan Torday's 'The Last Flight of Poxl West,' a Jewish refugee tells his heroic World War II story in a best-selling — and partly fabricated — memoir. Classical music critic Lloyd Schwartz says one company in France is remastering old records in a revolutionary way. TV critic David Bianculli addresses the downside of binge watching.

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Former MA Congressman Barney Frank

Author: NPR
Mon, Mar 16, 2015


In his new memoir, Frank describes how early in politics he feared people would "draw inferences" that he was gay if he supported gay rights. But his drive to fight discrimination was stronger. Ken Tucker reviews Brandi Carlile's album 'The Firewatcher's Daughter.'

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Best Of: 'Better Call Saul' & Test Kitchen

Author: NPR
Fri, Mar 13, 2015


Actor Jonathan Banks and writer/co-creator Peter Gould discuss 'Better Call Saul,' the prequel spin-off of 'Breaking Bad.' Ken Tucker reviews James McMurtry's album 'Complicated Game,' and America's Test Kitchen shares their tricks for more flavorful vegetarian dishes.

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Songwriting Duo Barry Mann & Cynthia Weil

Author: NPR
Fri, Mar 13, 2015


Songwriters Barry Mann and Cynthia Weil have been a team (and husband and wife) for more than 50 years. Terry spoke to them in 2000 when they were portrayed in the Broadway musical 'Beautiful.' Drummer Hal Blaine of 'The Wrecking Crew' was featured on thousands of records and over 40 number one hits. A new documentary tells the story of the Crew's success. David Edelstein reviews the independent horror film 'It Follows.'

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Solitude & 'Dirty Old London'

Author: NPR
Thu, Mar 12, 2015


Fenton Johnson says that while alone, people can "find the richest possible ways of being in the world." He's lived alone for more than 20 years. His Harper's article describes his pursuit in solitude. Maureen Corrigan reviews two memoirs. Historian Lee Jackson talks about the filth of Victorian-era London. Linguist Geoff Nunberg tells us about one Wikipedia editor who has decided to eliminate the phrase "comprised of" from thousands of entries.

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'Bettyville' Author & History Of The Hollies

Author: NPR
Wed, Mar 11, 2015


Author George Hodgman talks about leaving his home in Manhattan to take care of his 91 year old mother in his hometown, Paris, Missouri. His new memoir is called 'Bettyville.' Also rock historian Ed Ward tells us the story of The Hollies.

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America's Test Kitchen On Cooking Vegetarian

Author: NPR
Tue, Mar 10, 2015


Jack Bishop and Bridget Lancaster of America's Test Kitchen share their favorite vegetarian recipes. Also we remember documentary filmmaker Albert Maysles.

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Better Call Saul: Peter Gould & Jonathan Banks

Author: NPR
Mon, Mar 09, 2015


The new show's co-creator says it became a writer's room joke on 'Breaking Bad' that if something didn't fit it would go on the Saul Goodman show, or what is now AMC's 'Better Call Saul.' Ken Tucker reviews 'Complicated Game' by James McMurtry.

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Best Of: Larry David & Chris Offutt

Author: NPR
Fri, Mar 06, 2015


Fresh Air Weekend: Larry David on his new Broadway play, the creators of the web series 'High Maintenance' and writer Chris Offutt on his father, who wrote over 400 books, mostly pornography.

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50th Anniversary Of 'Bloody Sunday'

Author: NPR
Fri, Mar 06, 2015


On March 7, 1965, marchers from Selma, Ala., attempted to cross a bridge to demonstrate in support of voting rights. Selma director Ava DuVernay, John Lewis and civil rights activist J.L. Chestnut reflect on that day.

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Larry David

Author: NPR
Thu, Mar 05, 2015


Larry David of wrote and stars in the Broadway play, 'Fish in the Dark', about rivalries and dysfunction when a family patriarch dies. He says the idea came to his "twisted mind" when his friend's dad passed away. Jazz critic Kevin Whitehead reviews Eddie Henderson's album 'Collective Portrait,' and book critic Maureen Corrigan reviews 'The Buried Giant.'

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Kim Gordon Of Sonic Youth & 'High Maintenance'

Author: NPR
Wed, Mar 04, 2015
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Kim Gordon co-founded Sonic Youth with Thurston Moore. When their marriage broke up in 2011, so did the band. Gordon talks about rebuilding her life, writing her memoir, 'Girl in a Band,' and her new band Body/Head. The Vimeo web series 'High Maintenance' centers on a pot dealer who bikes around Brooklyn delivering to clients. Creators Katja Blichfeld and Ben Sinclair say they drew on their experiences and friends' generosity to make the show. Ken Tucker reviews Nora Jane Struthers' album 'Wake,' and David Bianculli checks out the Tina Fey's Netflix series 'The Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt' and 'American Crime.'

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'The End Of College' As We Know It

Author: NPR
Tue, Mar 03, 2015


In his new book, 'The End of College: Creating the Future of Learning and the University of Everywhere,' Kevin Carey envisions a future in which online education programs solve two of colleges' biggest problems: costs and admissions. Maureen Corrigan reviews 'Welcome to Braggsville,' and we remember 'jazz master' Orrin Keepnews.

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Family Secret Revealed In 'My Father, The Pornographer'

Author: NPR
Mon, Mar 02, 2015


Chris Offutt's late father went from running a small insurance agency to writing more than 400 books, mostly pornography. The writer tells Fresh Air his dad believed he would be "extremely famous" for it Also, jazz critic Kevin Whitehead reviews organist Chris Foreman's album, 'Now Is The Time.'

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Best Of: Larry Wilmore & The Quest To Stay Young Forever

Author: NPR
Fri, Feb 27, 2015


Larry Wilmore, the Daily Show's former "Senior Black Correspondent," talks about his new role as the host of The Nightly Show, which fills the time slot vacated by The Colbert Report. Also we'll talk to Bill Gifford. His new book is 'Spring Chicken: Stay Young Forever (Or Die Trying).' And Fresh Air tech contributor Alexis Madrigal considers the state of "the Internet of things," with a look at his new wi-fi enabled coffee maker.

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Inside The World Series Of Poker

Author: NPR
Fri, Feb 27, 2015


Colson Whitehead's book, 'The Noble Hustle,' now out in paperback, was born of an assignment to write about the World Series of Poker. It's a sharp observational tale of poker: those who play it and how it changed him. Then we remember former Notre Dame President Rev. Theodore Hesburgh. He was an author, theologian and activist. Finally David Edelstein reviews 'Maps to the Stars.'

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The Quest To Stay Young Forever

Author: NPR
Thu, Feb 26, 2015


"Nature knows how to let animals live a very long time," says Bill Gifford, whose latest book is 'Spring Chicken: Stay Young Forever (Or Die Trying),' a look at the history of anti-aging schemes and current ways people try to live longer. David Bianculli reviews 'Battle Creek.'

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The Risk Of Transporting Oil By Train

Author: NPR
Wed, Feb 25, 2015


Marcus Stern has spent the past year investigating the practice. Recent accidents in Canada and U.S. show that the rail cars aren't built for carrying so much oil, he says, and tracks are deteriorating. Also Ken Tucker reviews The Mavericks and tech correspondent Alexis Madrigal comments on smart home technology. 

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Memoirist On Coming To Terms With Brother's Suicide

Author: NPR
Tue, Feb 24, 2015


In his new memoir, Philip Connors writes about "living in the shadow of a suicide." Wracked by guilt and haunted by "what ifs," Connors investigated his brother's death and learned a terrible secret.  Critic at-large John Powers reviews 'Foyle's War.' 

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Ojibwe Writer David Treuer

Author: NPR
Mon, Feb 23, 2015


 Native American writer David Treuer talks about his family, his culture and his new novel, Prudence, about an Ojibwe reservation during World War II. Then Mark Woollen explains the process of cutting movie trailers and book critic Maureen Corrigan reviews Mr. and Mrs. Disraeli. 

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Best Of: Richard Price & David Remnick

Author: NPR
Fri, Feb 20, 2015


Fresh Air Weekend: Novelist 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.' Then, David Remnick looks back on tough decisions as 'The New Yorker' turns 90. Remnick, who became editor in 1998, talks about his early days at the magazine and his biggest regret: He says he'd "love to have another crack" at covering Iraq's alleged weapons of mass destruction.

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Poet Philip Levine & Lesley Gore

Author: NPR
Fri, Feb 20, 2015


Former poet laureate Philip Levine's work often reflected the hardships and dignity of manual labor. He died Feb. 14 in Fresno, Calif. He was 87. In 1991, Levine spoke with Terry Gross about his collection 'What Work Is.'  Then jazz Critic Kevin Whitehead reviews 'New Vocabulary' from saxophonist Ornette Coleman. We also remember Lesley Gore, who is known for her Top 40 sensations such as 'You Don't Own Me' and 'It's My Party.'  Her last album was released in 2005, the year she came out as a lesbian. She died Monday at the age of 68. Finally David Edelstein reviews 'Wild Tales.' 

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Larry Wilmore

Author: NPR
Thu, Feb 19, 2015


It has been a year of professional highs and personal lows for Larry Wilmore. He is still fine-tuning 'The Nightly Show,' which fills the late-night spot on Comedy Central vacated by Stephen Colbert. The show launched just as Wilmore's 20-year marriage was coming to an end. 

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Crime Fiction Writer Richard Price

Author: NPR
Tue, Feb 17, 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.

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The Passing Of The 1964 Civil Rights Act

Author: NPR
Mon, Feb 16, 2015


The act, which turned 50 last year, ended the era of legal segregation in public accommodations, like restaurants and hotels. Author Todd Purdum talks about the battles that surrounded it.  Then rock historian Ed Ward shares a story about a Wisconsin furniture company that began selling blues albums in the '20s. 

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Best Of: Lynsey Addario & Michael Keaton

Author: NPR
Fri, Feb 13, 2015


Photojournalist Lynsey Addario was taken captive in 2011 while covering Libya's civil war. With a gun to her head, she says she was thinking, "Will I ever get my cameras back?"  Also actor Michael Keaton says his 1989 bat suit was downright claustrophobic, but he somehow made it work. In the existential comedy, Keaton plays a washed up, insecure actor looking for a second shot at fame.

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David Carr

Author: NPR
Fri, Feb 13, 2015


Fresh Air remembers 'New York Times' media columnist David Carr. David Edelstein reviews 'Fifty Shades of Grey.' 

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'Ida' Director Pawel Pawlikowski

Author: NPR
Thu, Feb 12, 2015


The film is set in 1962 in Poland where director Pawel Pawlikowski lived until he was 14. Up for an Oscar for best foreign language film, Ida is about identity, faith, guilt and socialism. Then we remember longtime 60 Minutes correspondent, Bob Simon.  Finally, classical music critic Lloyd Schwartz reviews a reissue by the Schneider Quartet. 

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Photojournalist Lynsey Addario

Author: NPR
Wed, Feb 11, 2015


Lynsey Addario was taken captive in 2011 while covering the fighting between Moammar Gadhafi's troops and rebel forces. With a gun to her head, she says she was thinking, "Will I ever get my cameras back?"

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David Axelrod

Author: NPR
Tue, Feb 10, 2015
16:00:00 -0500,


In his new book, veteran political consultant David Axelrod tells stories about his years at Obama's side. After one debate, Axelrod says Obama "made clear how he felt about me at that moment, and he bolted." Then David Bianculli reviews the new Canadian sitcom 'Schitt's Creek' and Maureen Corrigan reviews the novel 'The Unfortunate Importance of Beauty.' 

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Michael Keaton

Author: NPR
Mon, Feb 09, 2015


Michael Keaton talks about his Oscar-nominated performance in the film Birdman. He plays a Hollywood actor, once famous for his role as the superhero Birdman, attempting to reinvent himself by directing and starring in a Broadway play.  Not coincidentally, Keaton, like his character, starred in a superhero franchise as Batman.  

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Best Of: Bradley Cooper, 'Better Call Saul' Review

Author: NPR
Fri, Feb 06, 2015


Bradley Cooper on American Sniper: The film's depiction of the Iraq war has come under scrutiny. Cooper, who portrays Navy SEAL Chris Kyle, says the conversation is moving away from "the fact that 22 vets commit suicide each day." A Review of Better Call Saul: The new AMC show is about public defender Jimmy McGill who adopts a sleazy new persona as Saul Goodman. The show has the same tight plots, rich characters and delicious twists as its parent series. The Science of 'Touch': In his latest book, neuroscientist David Linden explains the science of touch. He tellsFresh Air how pain protects, why fingertips are so sensitive and why you can't read Braille with your genitals.

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Bob Odenkirk

Author: NPR
Fri, Feb 06, 2015


Breaking Bad's fast-talking, sleazeball lawyer Saul Goodman knows how to bend the law, or break it, depending on his clients' needs. Odenkirk tells Fresh Air's Terry Gross about playing the AMC drama's most comedic character, and the origins of Saul's comb-over. The prequel spin-off Better Call Saul premieres Sunday February 8th. Then film critic David Edelstein reviews The Spongebob Movie: Sponge Out of Water.

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Asali Solomon On Her Novel 'Disgruntled'

Author: NPR
Thu, Feb 05, 2015


Asali Solomon's novel is about a girl growing up in West Philadelphia whose parents were black nationalists. "My parents taught us to revere Africa — people at school made fun of Africa," she says. Then we remember the late Charlie Sifford, the first black player admitted to the Professional Golfer's Association. Terry spoke to him in 1992. 

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Reporter Investigates Heroin Addiction And Treatment

Author: NPR
Wed, Feb 04, 2015


The Huffington Post's Jason Cherkis investigated the heroin epidemic in Kentucky, and found that the abstinence-based approach used in most treatment centers was leading to many fatal relapses.  Then jazz critic Kevin Whitehead reviews a newly released live recording of Lennie Tristano's sextet at Chicago's Blue Note Club. Also, David Bianculli reviews the Breaking Bad spin-off, Better Call Saul on AMC.

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Pleasure, Pain And The Science Of 'Touch'

Author: NPR
Tue, Feb 03, 2015


In his new book, neuroscientist David Linden explains the science of touch. He tells Fresh Air why pain can protect you, why fingertips are sensitive and why you can't read Braille with your genitals. Then Ken Tucker reviews Bob Dylan's new album, Shadows in the Night, a collection of songs recorded by Frank Sinatra. 

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Bradley Cooper

Author: NPR
Mon, Feb 02, 2015


 Actor Bradley Cooper discusses his Oscar-nominated film American Sniper. He plays Navy SEAL Chris Kyle who is considered to be the most skilled sniper in U.S. military history.  Cooper talks about the controversy surrounding the film, working with director Clint Eastwood, and portraying Joseph Merrick in the Broadway revival of The Elephant Man. 

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Best Of: Benedict Cumberbatch & The Teenage Brain

Author: NPR
Fri, Jan 30, 2015


Fresh Air Weekend:Benedict Cumberbatch gained critical acclaim — and a big following — for his role in Sherlock. Now he's up for an Oscar for his portrayal of eccentric mathematician Alan Turing in The Imitation Game.  'American Sniper' is about a Navy SEAL whose service in Iraq made him a mythic figure has become a cultural lightning rod. But the squabbles are too simple for a low-key movie striking in its lack of stridency. Critic at large John Powers comments.  New research shows that teenagers' brains aren't fully insulated, so the signals travel slowly when they need to make decisions. Neuroscientist Frances Jensen, who wrote The Teenage Brain, explains. 

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Why Parenting Is "All Joy And No Fun"

Author: NPR
Fri, Jan 30, 2015


 Jennifer Senior writes about how about children change the lives of their parents—for better, and sometimes for worse.  She’s the author of All Joy and No Fun:  The Paradox of Modern Parenthood.  Senior considers the impact of children on marriage, sex, work, friendships, and one’s sense of self.  Her book draws on a wide variety of studies, surveys, social histories and interviews with parents.  Then David Edelstein reviews Timbuktu, one of the five nominees in this year's Academy Award race for Best Foreign Language Film. It centers on the radical Islamist occupation of Mali.  

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Religion Scholar On Death, Extremism And Leaving The Seminary

Author: NPR
Thu, Jan 29, 2015


 Religion scholar Jack Miles edited the first ever Norton Anthology of World Religions. The anthology includes ancient and contemporary interpretations of Judaism, Christianity, Islam, Hinduism, Buddhism and Daoism. Miles discusses primary texts, extremism and death.  Also, book critic Maureen Corrigan reviews Outline by Rachel Cusk, a novel about divorce that pushes back against convention — not so much in its sentiment but in its form. 

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The Science Of The Teenage Brain

Author: NPR
Wed, Jan 28, 2015


Why do teenagers behave like — teenagers? We get an explanation from neuroscientist Dr. Frances Jensen, who says our brains are still maturing through our 20s and that the front part of the brain is the last to develop. "And what's in the front? Your frontal cortex and prefrontal cortex; these are the areas where we have insight, empathy, impulse control," she says. "Risk-taking behavior is suppressed by activity in your frontal lobes." Her new book is called The Teenage Brain.  Also critic at large John Powers comments on the controversy surrounding American Sniper. He says the film isn't as simple as some people seem to think. 

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How The Beatles Changed The BBC

Author: NPR
Tue, Jan 27, 2015


We talk to Kevin Howlett, the executive producer of The Beatles: On Air Live at the BBC Volume 2. The album is a collection of recordings of the Beatles performing originals, covers, and chatting with BBC hosts in the early '60s.

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