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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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Broadway Singer Barbara Cook

Author: NPR
Mon, Jun 27, 2016


After starring in Broadway shows like 'The Music Man' and 'Candide,' Cook struggled with addiction, then staged a successful second career as a cabaret singer. Her new memoir is 'Then and Now.' Also, film critic David Edelstein reviews 'Wiener-Dog.'

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Best Of: 'Veep' Actor Tony Hale / 'What A Fish Knows'

Author: NPR
Fri, Jun 24, 2016


Tony Hale played Buster on 'Arrested Development' and is Gary Walsh on the HBO comedy series, 'Veep.' "There's a reason why I do anxious characters," he says. "It comes from a lot of personal anxiety." Commentator Sarah Hepola had to rethink her sex life after she quit drinking. She shares an essay about that experience. Jonathan Balcombe, author of 'What a Fish Knows,' says that fish have a conscious awareness — or "sentience" — that allows them to experience pain, recognize individual humans and have memory.

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Bluegrass Legend Ralph Stanley

Author: NPR
Fri, Jun 24, 2016


The Grammy Award-winning bluegrass pioneer died yesterday at 89. Stanley spoke with Terry Gross in 2002, after his work on the 'O Brother, Where Art Thou?' soundtrack. Also, the Broadway revival of the 1963 musical 'She Loves Me' will be streamed live on June 30. Director Scott Ellis and lyricist Sheldon Harnick talk about the show.

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Handguns & The Rise Of The 'Concealed-Carry Lifestyle'

Author: NPR
Thu, Jun 23, 2016


"Something really profound has changed in the way that we use guns," journalist Evan Osnos says. He estimates that 13 million people are licensed to carry a concealed gun in America.

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Tony Hale Of 'Veep' & 'Arrested Development'

Author: NPR
Wed, Jun 22, 2016


Hale played Buster on 'Arrested Development' and is Gary Walsh on the HBO series, 'Veep.' "There's a reason why I do anxious characters," he says. "It comes from a lot of personal anxiety." Also, Fresh Air commentator Mat Johnson reads his essay about the vanishing middle class.

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Forgotten History: How The New England Colonists Embraced The Slave Trade

Author: NPR
Tue, Jun 21, 2016


Historian Wendy Warren, author of 'New England Bound,' says the early colonists imported African slaves and enslaved and exported Native Americans. Rock historian Ed Ward tells the story of the little-known '70s band Eggs Over Easy. Then, commentator Sarah Hepola says she relied on alcohol to give her the adventurous sex life of a strong, liberated woman. But when she gave up drinking, she had to figure out something else — what she really wanted.

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Fish Have Feelings, Too / Ellie Kemper

Author: NPR
Mon, Jun 20, 2016


Jonathan Balcombe, author of 'What a Fish Knows,' says that fish have a conscious awareness — or "sentience" — that allows them to experience pain, recognize individual humans and have memory. Also, Ellie Kemper, star of the Netflix series 'Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt,' talks to Fresh Air producer Ann Marie Baldonado.

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Best Of: 'O.J.: Made In America' / 'Sweetbitter' Author Stephanie Danler

Author: NPR
Fri, Jun 17, 2016


Director Ezra Edelman and legal analyst Jeffrey Toobin discuss the 5-part ESPN documentary series about the O.J. Simpson case and L.A.'s history of racial tension. Ken Tucker reviews singer-songwriter Margaret Glaspy's album 'Emotions and Math.' Former restaurant worker Stephanie Danler drew on her experience in the industry for her debut novel, 'Sweetbitter,' about a naĂŻve 22-year old who goes to NYC and gets a job at an upscale restaurant.

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Silence On The Sidelines: An MLB Insider's 'Manifesto' On Youth Sports

Author: NPR
Fri, Jun 17, 2016


MLB's Mike Matheny talks about his playing career, managing in the big leagues and the pressures of youth sports. His book, 'The Matheny Manifesto' is out in paperback. Film critic David Edelstein reviews the Pixar sequel to 'Finding Nemo,' 'Finding Dory,' and we hear an excerpt of a 1996 interview with producer Nick Venet, who recalls the story behind Bobby Darin's hit 'Beyond the Sea.' A version of the song plays in 'Finding Dory.'

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Novelist Draws On Her Years In The Restaurant Industry In 'Sweetbitter'

Author: NPR
Thu, Jun 16, 2016


Stephanie Danler's debut novel is about a naĂŻve 22 year old woman who comes to New York City and gets a job in an upscale restaurant. Ken Tucker reviews 'Emotions and Math' from singer-songwriter Margaret Glaspy. John Powers reviews 'The Witness,' a documentary about the 1964 murder of Kitty Genovese.

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Congressional Gerrymandering & 'Operation REDMAP'

Author: NPR
Wed, Jun 15, 2016


'Ratf**ked' author David Daley says Republicans targeted key state legislative races in 2010 in an effort to control state houses, and, eventually, congressional redistricting. "It's like Moneyball applied to politics," Daley says. Also, book critic Maureen Corrigan reviews Susan Faludi's new memoir 'In the Darkroom,' and jazz critic Kevin Whitehead reviews Matt Wilson's 'Big Happy Family.'

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The 'Perfect Perversity' Of The O.J. Simpson Case

Author: NPR
Tue, Jun 14, 2016


"He was acquitted of the crime he was guilty of and convicted of a crime he's innocent of," says legal analyst Jeffrey Toobin. He and director Ezra Edelman discuss 'O.J.: Made in America.'

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Surviving A Transcendent Childhood

Author: NPR
Mon, Jun 13, 2016


Journalist Claire Hoffman grew up in a Utopian community in Fairfield, Iowa. At first, she says, "it was entirely magical." Then doubt crept in. Hoffman's memoir is 'Greetings from Utopia Park.' TV critic David Bianculli reviews the new series 'BrainDead,' from the creators of 'The Good Wife.'

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Best Of: Producer Scott Rudin / Inside HBO's 'Silicon Valley'

Author: NPR
Fri, Jun 10, 2016


After getting his start in theater at 15, Rudin went on to create his own production company. He is now the lead producer on five shows that are nominated for Tony Awards, including 'Shuffle Along.' Rock critic Ken Tucker reviews William Bell's new album 'This is Where I Live.' Creator Mike Judge, co-showrunner Alec Berg, and actor Thomas Middleditch talk about their HBO series 'Silicon Valley,' and the real-life tech industry that inspired it.

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David Remnick On Muhammad Ali / Is Yellowstone In Trouble?

Author: NPR
Fri, Jun 10, 2016


New Yorker editor David Remnick, who wrote a biography of Muhammad Ali, tells us how he became a champion boxer, a great showman, and how he took the country by surprise. He spoke to Terry Gross in 1998. Each year, Yellowstone attracts millions of visitors and provides a home to countless animal species. But National Geographic journalist David Quammen warns that balancing tourism and preservation can be tricky. Film critic David Edelstein reviews 'Genius,' about book editor Maxwell Perkins.

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Inside HBO's 'Silicon Valley'

Author: NPR
Thu, Jun 09, 2016


Creator Mike Judge, co-showrunner Alec Berg, and actor Thomas Middleditch talk about their HBO series 'Silicon Valley,' and the real-life tech industry that inspired it. Ken Tucker reviews William Bell's new album 'This is Where I live.'

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Bust Times In Oil-Rich Venezuela

Author: NPR
Wed, Jun 08, 2016


New York Times reporter Nicholas Casey talks about life in Venezuela, where the collapse in oil prices has caused shortages of everything, including water, electricity, medicine, and cash.

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The Legacy Of Justice Louis Brandeis, The 'Jewish Jefferson'

Author: NPR
Tue, Jun 07, 2016


One hundred years ago, Brandeis became the first Jewish justice on the Supreme Court. Author Jeffrey Rosen says that Brandeis was also the most far-seeing progressive justice of the 20th century. His new book is 'Louis D. Brandeis: American Prophet.' Book critic Maureen Corrigan reviews 'Homegoing' by Yaa Gyasi.

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Broadway & Film Producer Scott Rudin

Author: NPR
Mon, Jun 06, 2016


After getting his start in theater at 15, Rudin went on to create his own production company. He is now the lead producer on five shows that are nominated for Tony Awards, including 'Shuffle Along.' He talks about soaring ticket prices, the risks and rewards of producing, and what he learned from director Mike Nichols.

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Best Of: The Lonely Island / The Science Of Warfare

Author: NPR
Fri, Jun 03, 2016


SNL veterans Andy Samberg, Jorma Taccone and Akiva Schaffer describe themselves as "frappers" — fake rappers. Working together as The Lonely Island, their new film 'Popstar' satirizes pop documentaries. Ken Tucker reviews Paul Simon's new album, 'Stranger to Stranger.' Science writer Mary Roach explores the curious science of humans at war in her new book, 'Grunt.' She talks about medical maggots and stink bombs, and new scientific developments that help keep soldiers safe.

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

Author: NPR
Fri, Jun 03, 2016


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,' now out in paperback. Rock historian Ed Ward tells the story of Herman's Hermits.

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Reporting On The War In Syria, Despite The Obstacles To Being There

Author: NPR
Thu, Jun 02, 2016


Anne Barnard of The New York Times and Thanassis Cambanis from The Century Foundation fell in love when they were reporting on the war in Iraq. Now based in Beirut, they continue to cover the region. Also, Ken Tucker reviews Paul Simon's new album, 'Stranger to Stranger.'

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The Lonely Island Satirizes Breakout Success In 'Popstar'

Author: NPR
Wed, Jun 01, 2016


Andy Samberg, Jorma Taccone and Akiva Schaffer describe themselves as "frappers" — fake rappers. Working together as The Lonely Island, they created a comic film about pop-music documentaries. Also, Milo Miles reviews a new release from the klezmer-fusion band Naftule.

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From Medical Maggots To Stench Soup: The Science Of Warfare

Author: NPR
Tue, May 31, 2016


Science writer Mary Roach explores the curious science of humans at war in her new book, 'Grunt.' She talks about traveler's diarrhea, medical maggots, and stink bombs, and new scientific developments that help keep soldiers safe. Also, we hear an excerpt of our 1980 interview with G. Gordon Liddy, and jazz critic Kevin Whitehead reviews 'Cuong Vu Trio Meets Pat Metheny.'

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Ahmir "Questlove" Thompson Live Onstage

Author: NPR
Mon, May 30, 2016


Questlove, the drummer and leader of The Tonight Show's house band The Roots, says he's obsessed with the creative process. His new book, 'somethingtofoodabout', is a collection of his interviews with chefs about how art and creativity apply to their preparation and presentation of food. Speaking with Terry Gross in front of an audience in Philadelphia, he talks about Prince, his late father Lee Andrews, and the food equivalent of the 'Mona Lisa.'

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Best Of: Marc Maron / Rabbi Susan Silverman / "I Feel Like"

Author: NPR
Fri, May 27, 2016


In season four of the IFC show 'Maron,' the comic (playing a fictionalized version of himself) relapses with painkillers, and ends up losing his podcast, his cats, and his home. Marc Maron talks about his own experience in rehab, his confessional comedy, and how to reconcile his anxious persona with his current success. Also, linguist Geoff Nunberg discusses the usage of "I feel like." Rabbi Susan Silverman is a mother of five children (two of whom were adopted from Ethiopia) and the older sister of the irreverent comic Sarah Silverman. She talks about how she became a rabbi after growing up in a secular family, her separation anxiety, and her relationship with her sister.

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Comic Maria Bamford

Author: NPR
Fri, May 27, 2016


The star of the new Netflix series 'Lady Dynamite' has used comedy to address her struggles with OCD, bipolar disorder, and suicidal thoughts. She spoke to Terry Gross in 2013. Film critic David Edelstein reviews the documentary 'Weiner,' about former congressman Anthony Weiner's 2013 political scandal.

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In New Political Warfare, 'Armies Of Video Trackers' Swarm Candidates

Author: NPR
Thu, May 26, 2016


The New Yorker's Jane Mayer discusses conservative activist James O'Keefe's latest botched sting operation, and the new kind of political opposition research he pioneered. TV critic David Bianculli reviews the remake of 'Roots.'

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An Unflinching Look At The Human Cost Of American Wars

Author: NPR
Wed, May 25, 2016


J. Kael Weston, former State Department adviser for the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, talks about why he feels personally responsible for the deaths of 30 marines and one navy corpsman. "There's a memorial in South Boston that says, 'If you forget my death only then will I have died in vain,' and I think that's the cleanest , most powerful message that should apply to every war," Weston says. Book critic Maureen Corrigan shares her favorite suspense novels of the summer.

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Marc Maron On Sobriety And His 'Uncomfortable' Comfort Zone

Author: NPR
Tue, May 24, 2016


In season four of the IFC show 'Maron,' the comic (playing a fictionalized version of himself) relapses with painkillers, and ends up losing his podcast, his cats, and his home — and living in a storage unit. Marc Maron talks about his own experience in rehab, his confessional comedy, and how to reconcile his anxious persona with his current success. Also, linguist Geoff Nunberg discusses the usage of "I feel like."

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Susan Silverman On Anxiety, Adoption And Faith

Author: NPR
Mon, May 23, 2016


Rabbi Susan Silverman, the author of the memoir 'Casting Lots,' is a mother of five children (two of whom were adopted from Ethiopia) and the older sister of the irreverent comic Sarah Silverman. She talks about how she became a rabbi after growing up in a secular family, her separation anxiety, and her relationship with her sister. Ken Tucker reviews album 'Cult Following' by Little Scream.

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Best Of: 'Black-ish' Creator Kenya Barris / Author Viet Thanh Nguyen

Author: NPR
Fri, May 20, 2016


Barris' ABC comedy series 'Black-ish' was inspired by his own family experiences. He talks about police brutality, Obama's inauguration, and raising his kids in a predominantly white neighborhood. John Powers reviews the film, 'A Bigger Splash.' Viet Thanh Nguyen and his family fled their village in South Vietnam in 1975. He won the Pulitzer Prize this year for 'The Sympathizer,' a spy novel set during and just after the war in Vietnam.

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Bryan Cranston

Author: NPR
Fri, May 20, 2016


After five seasons as Walt on AMC's 'Breaking Bad,' Cranston reinvented himself as Lyndon B. Johnson in the play (and now HBO film) 'All the Way.' Film critic David Edelstein reviews 'Maggie's Plan,' starring Greta Gerwig, and we remember '60 Minutes' correspondent Morley Safer in an excerpt of his 1990 interview. He died Thursday at 84.

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The Panama Papers Explained

Author: NPR
Thu, May 19, 2016


Documents leaked from a Panama-based law firm have offered new insight into how easy it is for the rich and corrupt to hide their assets. McClatchy's Kevin Hall has been reporting on the documents. Jazz critic Kevin Whitehead reviews a new album from Ralph Peterson's trio. Maureen Corrigan reviews 'Eleven Hours,' a novel about the "beauty and brutality" of childbirth.

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'Black-ish' Creator Kenya Barris

Author: NPR
Wed, May 18, 2016


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." He talks about police brutality, the n-word, and why his show isn't like 'The Cosby Show.'

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Author Viet Thanh Nguyen: 'Vietnam Is A Country And Not A War'

Author: NPR
Tue, May 17, 2016


Viet Thanh Nguyen and his family fled their village in South Vietnam in 1975. He won the Pulitzer Prize this year for 'The Sympathizer,' a spy novel set during and just after the war in Vietnam. TV critic David Bianculli discusses late-night TV's shift to any-time social media.

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The Power Of Genes

Author: NPR
Mon, May 16, 2016


Dr. Siddhartha Mukherjee says genetics play a significant role in identity, temperament, sexual orientation, and disease risk — but that environment also matters. His new book is 'The Gene.' John Powers reviews the film, 'A Bigger Splash.'

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Best Of: Writer Richard Russo / Daniel Clowes / A Cultural History Of Pit Bulls

Author: NPR
Fri, May 13, 2016


Pulitzer-Prize winning author Richard Russo on his new novel 'Everybody's Fool,' caring for his mother who suffered from OCD, and why he "feels like an idiot" going to cemeteries. Daniel Clowes is one of the most influential artists in the independent comics world. He talks about his latest book, 'Patience.' Author Bronwen Dickey says the idea of pit bulls as predators is based on myth and misinformation. In the early Hollywood era, the dogs were often chosen to appear in comedies. Her book is 'Pit Bull: The Battle Over an American Icon.'

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Baltimore Author On 'Living (And Dying) While Black'

Author: NPR
Fri, May 13, 2016


Author D. Watkins says that crack destroyed his East Baltimore neighborhood, and he explains how the real day-to-day of selling drugs is nothing like the movies. David Edelstein reviews 'Love & Friendship,' adapted from a Jane Austen novel. We remember poet Michael S. Harper.

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Actor Gary Cole / Cartoonist Daniel Clowes

Author: NPR
Thu, May 12, 2016


Gary Cole talks 'Veep,' getting mistaken for Gary Coleman, and why 'Office Space' endures. Daniel Clowes is one of the most influential artists in the independent comics world. His latest book, 'Patience,' uses time travel to look at the ways random events can set a life on a new path.

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Is America In A 'Vicious Circle' Of Jailing The Poor?

Author: NPR
Wed, May 11, 2016


There are almost 12 million admissions to local jails each year in the U.S. Activist Nancy Fishman says that most of those jailed are poor people being held for low-level offenses, like traffic violations. Ken Tucker reviews a new album from Car Seat Headrest.

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Pit Bull: The History Of America's Most Feared Dog

Author: NPR
Tue, May 10, 2016


Author Bronwen Dickey says the idea of pit bulls as predators is based on myth and misinformation. In the early Hollywood era, the dogs were often chosen to appear in comedies. Her book is 'Pit Bull: The Battle Over an American Icon.' Rock historian Ed Ward shares soul singer Clarence Carter's story. Book critic Maureen Corrigan reviews 'Heat & Light' by Jennifer Haigh.

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Writer Richard Russo On Why He Thinks He's 'Everybody's Fool'

Author: NPR
Mon, May 09, 2016


Pulitzer-Prize winning author of 'Empire Falls' Richard Russo on his new novel 'Everybody's Fool,' caring for his mother who suffered from OCD, and why he "feels like an idiot" going to cemeteries. TV critic David Bianculli reviews the series finale of 'The Good Wife.'

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Best Of: A Personal History Of L.A. Punk / Comic Jerrod Carmichael

Author: NPR
Fri, May 06, 2016


A look back at the L.A. punk scene with three people who helped define it. John Doe and Exene Cervenka, co-founders of the band X, and Dave Alvin, who joined X for a few years as their lead guitarist. In John Doe's new memoir, 'Under the Big Black Sun,' Doe brings together his own essays and stories from other musicians and scene-makers from that time. Comic Jerrod Carmichael has been described as having "one of standup's most unorthodox approaches to exploring race and class." His standup can make you squirm because he says things like, "I'm starting to appreciate slavery." Jerrod Carmichael is the creator and star of the NBC sitcom 'The Carmichael Show.'

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Former NYC Cop On 'The Job'

Author: NPR
Fri, May 06, 2016


Retired New York City police officer Steve Osborne shares stories including chasing a robber into a train tunnel and breaking up a knife fight. "Your heart is pounding; your adrenaline is shooting out of your ears," he says. "And you got one second to get it right." Over his 20 years of duty he never fired his gun. His memoir, 'The Job,' is now out in paperback. Jazz critic Kevin Whitehead reviews 'Perfection' from power trio David Murray, Gerri Allen, and Terri Lyne Carrington. Film critic David Edelstein reviews 'Captain America: Civil War.'

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A New Look At China's Cultural Revolution

Author: NPR
Thu, May 05, 2016


Historian Frank Dikötter says newly opened archives offer fresh details about the chaos China experienced in the 1960s, when Chairman Mao urged students to take to the streets. Ken Tucker offers his thoughts on Beyoncé's 'Lemonade.'

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Pakistani Squash Champion Maria Toorpakai / Director John Carney

Author: NPR
Wed, May 04, 2016


Growing up in the tribal region of Pakistan, Maria Toorpakai pretended she was a boy in order to compete as a weightlifter. Later she became an internationally-known squash champion. Her memoir is 'A Different Kind of Daughter.' Also, Fresh Air producer Ann Marie Baldonado talks to 'Once' director John Carney about his new film 'Sing Street,' about a teenager in the '80s who starts a band.

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Larry Wilmore On The Correspondents' Dinner

Author: NPR
Tue, May 03, 2016


The 'Nightly Show' host talks about his controversial performance at the White House Correspondents' Dinner in which he used the n-word referring to the President. "It definitely was a risk," he says. Also, we remember Jesuit priest and anti-war activist Daniel Berrigan who died Sunday.

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A Personal History Of L.A. Punk

Author: NPR
Mon, May 02, 2016


A look back at the L.A. punk scene with three people who helped define it. John Doe and Exene Cervenka, co-founders of the band X, and Dave Alvin, who joined X for a few years as their lead guitarist. In John Doe's new memoir, 'Under the Big Black Sun: A Personal History of L.A. Punk,' Doe brings together his own essays and stories from other musicians and scenemakers from that time.

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Best Of: Questlove / Tom Hanks

Author: NPR
Fri, Apr 29, 2016


An onstage interview with Ahmir 'Questlove' Thompson, the co-founder and drummer of The Roots. He talks about Prince, his late father Lee Andrews, and his new book, 'somethingtofoodabout.' David Edelstein reviews the new film 'Elvis & Nixon,' and Tom Hanks talks about growing up with multiple parents and religions. He stars in the new film 'A Hologram for the King.'

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