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Hosted by Terry Gross, Fresh Air from WHYY is the Peabody Award-winning weekday magazine of contemporary arts and issues. One of public radio's most popular programs, Fresh Air features intimate conversations with today's biggest luminaries.
Updated: 24 min 3 sec ago

Fresh Air Weekend: Bugs And Bacteria In Your Home; Actor Steven Yeun

Sat, 11/17/2018 - 9:00am

Ecologist Rob Dunn talks about the tiny life forms living in different parts of the home. Geoff Nunberg explains why "nationalist" is his pick for word of the year. Yeun discusses his film Burning.

(Image credit: Basic Books )

Categories: Syndicated

40 Years Later, Jonestown Offers A Lesson In Demagoguery

Fri, 11/16/2018 - 1:27pm

In 1978, more than 900 followers of the Rev. Jim Jones committed mass suicide in Guyana. Jeff Guinn explains how Jones captivated so many in The Road to Jonestown. Originally broadcast April 11, 2017.

Categories: Syndicated

The Twists And Turns In 'Little Drummer Girl' Are Pure Le Carré

Fri, 11/16/2018 - 12:43pm

An actress is charged with infiltrating a terrorist cell in a new AMC miniseries based on John Le Carré's 1983 novel. David Bianculli says it's one of 2018's most tense and well-acted TV thrillers.

(Image credit: Jonathan Olley/AMC/Ink Factory)

Categories: Syndicated

Crackling Heist Thriller 'Widows' Takes On Issues Of Race, Class And Gender

Thu, 11/15/2018 - 1:28pm

Steve McQueen's new film centers on four women who come together to pull off a $5 million robbery. Critic Justin Chang says as gripping as it is, Widows never feels like mere escapism.

Categories: Syndicated

Inside The Russian Disinformation Playbook: Exploit Tension, Sow Chaos

Thu, 11/15/2018 - 1:28pm

A new video series by New York Times reporter Adam Ellick explores Russia's role in spreading fake news, dating back to the '80s conspiracy theory that the AIDS virus was created by the U.S. military.

Categories: Syndicated

Steven Yeun Won't Say Whether Or Not His 'Burning' Character Is A Psychopath

Wed, 11/14/2018 - 2:17pm

The Walking Dead actor plays a South Korean playboy who may or may not be murdering his girlfriends in Burning. "To this day, I'm the only one who knows who Ben really is," Yeun says of the character.

Categories: Syndicated

Netflix Documentary Revisits Decades-Old Mystery Between Filmmaker and Mentor

Wed, 11/14/2018 - 2:17pm

Sandi Tan was 19 when she wrote and starred in a film directed by her 40-year-old mentor. Then her mentor disappeared with the film footage. Twenty years later, Tan chronicles the mystery in Shirkers.

Categories: Syndicated

Opinion: 'Nationalist' Arises, With Myriad Connotations, As The Word Of 2018

Wed, 11/14/2018 - 2:11pm

President Trump created a firestorm when he described himself as a "proud" nationalist at a recent rally. Linguist Geoff Nunberg says the word carries a specter of racism and belligerence.

(Image credit: Loren Elliott/Getty Images)

Categories: Syndicated

'Sex, Lies And Stardom': Exploitation In Howard Hughes' Hollywood

Tue, 11/13/2018 - 4:08pm

Karina Longworth's new book Seduction tells the story of 10 women who had sexual relationships with Hughes. "These things have always happened and they were never talked about publicly," she says.

(Image credit: Hulton Archive/Getty Images)

Categories: Syndicated

'Fresh Air' Remembers Marvel Comics Writer And Editor Stan Lee

Tue, 11/13/2018 - 4:02pm

The Spider-Man and Hulk creator spoke to Fresh Air in 1991 about coming up with Spider-Man, inventing new sound effects for his comics and why superheroes have colorful costumes.

Categories: Syndicated

Counting The Bugs And Bacteria, You're 'Never Home Alone' (And That's OK)

Mon, 11/12/2018 - 2:11pm

Ecologist Rob Dunn's new book describes the tiny life forms, helpful and risky, that live in different parts of the home, including on floors and in water faucets, basements and heating systems.

(Image credit: Basic Books )

Categories: Syndicated

Stolen Stories: A Literary Con Man Climbs To Success In 'Ladder To The Sky'

Mon, 11/12/2018 - 1:27pm

A charismatic young writer poaches plot points from the lives of established authors in John Boyne's new novel. Critic Maureen Corrigan calls A Ladder to the Sky "erudite and ingeniously constructed."

(Image credit: Cameron Pollack/NPR)

Categories: Syndicated

Fresh Air Weekend: Turning To Religion After Tragedy; Chef José Andrés

Sat, 11/10/2018 - 9:00am

Elaine Pagels reflects on loss and faith in her book, Why Religion? Ken Tucker reviews Interstate Gospel by Pistol Annies. Andrés talks about growing up in Spain and why he thinks vegetable are sexy.

(Image credit: Echo)

Categories: Syndicated

Queen Guitarist Brian May On Writing Anthems And Studying Astrophysics

Fri, 11/09/2018 - 2:23pm

Brian May spoke to Fresh Air in 2010 about writing "We Will Rock You," recording the many vocals in "Bohemian Rhapsody" and getting a Ph.D. The biopic Bohemian Rhapsody details Queen's meteoric rise.

Categories: Syndicated

Life's Cruelty Is A Constant In The Coen Brothers' Mixed Bag Western 'Ballad'

Fri, 11/09/2018 - 12:56pm

Joel and Ethan Coen's new film is a feature-length collection of six stories set in the Old West. Justin Chang says the tall tales featured in The Ballad of Buster Scruggs are an odd, melancholy lot.

(Image credit: Netflix)

Categories: Syndicated

Plagued By War and Famine, Yemen Is 'No Longer A Functioning State,' Journalist Warns

Thu, 11/08/2018 - 2:37pm

In 2015, Saudi Arabia initiated a bombing campaign against Yemen that continues today. Journalist Robert Worth says the results have been devastating — and that the U.S. shares some of the blame.

(Image credit: Andrew Renneisen/Getty Images)

Categories: Syndicated

'Interstate Gospel' Showcases Pistol Annies' Impressive Range Of Style

Wed, 11/07/2018 - 1:19pm

The trio of three country-music stars who make up Pistol Annies — Miranda Lambert, Ashley Monroe and Angaleena Presley — mix humor with righteousness and drama on their new album.

Categories: Syndicated

Novelist Revisits The Assassination And Conspiracies That Fueled Colombia's Civil War

Wed, 11/07/2018 - 1:19pm

Juan Gabriel Vásquez's novel, The Shape Of The Ruins, centers on the 1948 assassination of Jorge Eliécer Gaitán, the years of violence that followed and the conspiracy theories surrounding his death.

Categories: Syndicated

Did Law Enforcement Overlook The Threat Of Far-Right Extremism?

Wed, 11/07/2018 - 1:19pm

Janet Reitman of The New York Times Magazine says counter-terrorism strategists failed to adequately address right-wing domestic extremism — which enabled the movement to become even more dangerous.

Categories: Syndicated

How The Fugitive Slave Act Ignited A 'Struggle For America's Soul'

Tue, 11/06/2018 - 1:24pm

Author Andrew Delbanco says the 1850 law paved the way for the Civil War by endangering the lives of both escaped slaves and free black men and women in the North. His book is The War Before The War.

Categories: Syndicated