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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: 1 hour 5 min ago

Louis Armstrong Lays Bare The Studio Process In 'Pops Is Tops'

Fri, 04/27/2018 - 2:59pm

A new four-disc compilation presents recordings Armstrong made for Verve in 1957. Critic Kevin Whitehead says the album includes a wealth of alternate takes, warm-ups and rehearsal sequences.

Categories: Syndicated

CNN's Jake Tapper On McCarthyism, Trump And The 'Jar Jar Binks Principle'

Thu, 04/26/2018 - 1:38pm

Tapper's new novel, The Hellfire Club, takes place in 1954 during Sen. Joseph McCarthy's Communist "witch hunt" — a time he describes as "very resonant" with the current political climate.

(Image credit: Corey Nickols/Getty Images for Pizza Hut)

Categories: Syndicated

From BlocBoy JB And Drake To Post Malone, A Roundup Of Catchy Hip-Hop

Wed, 04/25/2018 - 2:01pm

Rock critic Ken Tucker shares some hits he's listening to, including BlocBoy JB and Drake's upbeat "Look Alive" and the moody sound of Post Malone's "Walk It Talk It."

Categories: Syndicated

How America's White Power Movement Coalesced After The Vietnam War

Wed, 04/25/2018 - 1:39pm

Author Kathleen Belew says that as America's disparate racist groups came together in the 1970s and '80s, the movement's goal shifted from one of "vigilante activism" to something more wide-reaching.

(Image credit: Steven D Starr/Corbis via Getty Images)

Categories: Syndicated

Why Pius IX Might Be The 'Most Important Pope' In Modern Church History

Tue, 04/24/2018 - 2:20pm

Pius IX became head of the Catholic church in 1846 and instituted the doctrine of Papal infallibility. Pulitzer Prize-winning author David Kertzer says his exile led to the emergence of modern Italy.

Categories: Syndicated

'Zama' Offers A Withering Critique Of Colonialism From Within

Tue, 04/24/2018 - 12:45pm

Lucrecia Martel's latest film centers on a frustrated Spanish official who is stationed at a remote outpost in South America in 1790. Critic Justin Chang calls Zama "feverishly brilliant."

(Image credit: Strand Releasing )

Categories: Syndicated

Pulitzer Prize-Winning Poet Reflects On 'Ambition And Manhood In America'

Mon, 04/23/2018 - 2:26pm

Gregory Pardlo's new memoir, Air Traffic, chronicles his complicated relationship with his father, a labor organizer who lost his job following the air traffic controllers' 1981 strike.

Categories: Syndicated

'Art Of The Wasted Day' Makes A Case For Letting The Mind Wander

Mon, 04/23/2018 - 1:09pm

Patricia Hampl's sharp new book argues that daydreaming is a vital part of life. Maureen Corrigan says, after reading it, "you'll understand more of what makes life worth living."

(Image credit: Eslah Attar/NPR)

Categories: Syndicated

Fresh Air Weekend: James Comey; 'Atlanta' Actor Brian Tyree Henry

Sat, 04/21/2018 - 9:00am

Comey defends the FBI against charges of partisanship. Critic Ken Tucker reviews John Prine's The Tree of Forgiveness. Henry talks about his Atlanta character Alfred, aka the rapper "Paper Boi."

(Image credit: Elias Williams for NPR)

Categories: Syndicated

Amy Schumer Deftly Challenges Beauty Standards In 'I Feel Pretty'

Fri, 04/20/2018 - 2:19pm

A woman with low self-esteem hits her head and suddenly sees herself as madly attractive. Critic David Edelstein says I Feel Pretty suggests the notion of what's "pretty" should be "elasticized."

Categories: Syndicated

Before He Became The 'Night Court' Judge, Harry Anderson Was A Con-Man Magician

Fri, 04/20/2018 - 2:19pm

Anderson, who died April 16, began his career as a street performer specializing in elaborate pranks. He spoke to Fresh Air in 1989 about an illusion in which he pretended to chop off his own hand.

Categories: Syndicated

Remembering Milos Forman, Director Of 'One Flew Over The Cuckoo's Nest'

Fri, 04/20/2018 - 2:19pm

The Academy Award-winning filmmaker, who died on April 13, spoke to Fresh Air in 1994 about growing up in the former Czechoslovakia, first under the Gestapo, then under communist rule.

Categories: Syndicated

'Westworld' And 'The Handmaid's Tale' Make Impressive Season 2 Returns

Thu, 04/19/2018 - 2:01pm

Both shows are set in a dystopian near-future where things have gone terribly wrong — and both expand their established environments considerably in their sophomore seasons.

Categories: Syndicated

Who Is The Mystery Man Behind @realDonaldTrump? (Besides The President)

Thu, 04/19/2018 - 1:54pm

Journalist Robert Draper says "no one understands Trump's base" better than White House social media director (and former caddie) Dan Scavino.

(Image credit: Matt Rourke/AP)

Categories: Syndicated

Actor Brian Tyree Henry On Fame, Authenticity And 'Atlanta'

Wed, 04/18/2018 - 2:32pm

Henry plays Alfred, aka the rapper "Paper Boi'," on the FX series Atlanta. As his character becomes more successful, Henry says, he's getting "a little further away from the essence of who [he] is."

Categories: Syndicated

Barbara Bush On Meeting George, Motherhood And Her Signature Fake Pearls

Wed, 04/18/2018 - 12:48pm

The former first lady, who died Tuesday, told Terry Gross in 1994 that she grew up thinking she'd be a nurse. "But then I met that marvelous George [H.W.] Bush and the nursing went out the window."

(Image credit: Bob Daugherty/AP)

Categories: Syndicated

James Comey To 'Fresh Air': The FBI Isn't 'On Anybody's Side'

Tue, 04/17/2018 - 12:12pm

The former FBI director tells Terry Gross that he wants to sound the alarm about the "forest fire" of the Trump presidency — and also to defend the FBI against charges of partisanship.

(Image credit: Elias Williams for NPR)

Categories: Syndicated

Latest Episode Of 'Legion' Delivers A Thrillingly Original Hour Of TV

Mon, 04/16/2018 - 1:48pm

Legion began its second season in early April on FX. David Bianculli says the new episode of the series, "Chapter 11," is strange and compelling in a way that reminds him of the original Twin Peaks.

Categories: Syndicated

After A Journey Through The Lone Star State, Author Concludes: 'The Future Is Texas'

Mon, 04/16/2018 - 1:48pm

Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Lawrence Wright predicts that the largest "red" state in the union will eventually move into the "blue" column — and change the nation's politics in the process.

Categories: Syndicated

Fresh Air Weekend: The Story Behind 'The Rider'; The Work Of Rodgers And Hammerstein

Sat, 04/14/2018 - 9:00am

Cowboy Brady Jandreau and director Chloé Zhao discuss The Rider. Maureen Corrigan reviews Meg Wolitzer's The Female Persuasion. Todd Purdum talks about Rogers and Hammerstein's legendary partnership.

(Image credit: Sony Pictures Classics)

Categories: Syndicated