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Updated: 1 hour 47 min ago

'Outpost': Stories Of Diplomacy In The World's Most Harrowing Places

Sun, 10/05/2014 - 6:57am

Former Ambassador Christopher Hill has written his memoir, Outpost: Life on the Frontlines of American Diplomacy. NPR's Ari Shapiro speaks to Hill about his tenure as a diplomat in Iraq.

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For Her First Trilogy, Jane Smiley Returns To Iowa, 'Where The Roots Are'

Sun, 10/05/2014 - 6:57am

Smiley used to live in Iowa and says something about the place still pulls on her imagination. Her new book, Some Luck, begins on a family farm in 1920.

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This 'Book Of Witches' Casts A Fascinating, Sobering Spell

Sun, 10/05/2014 - 6:03am

A new Penguin compendium of documents relating to three centuries of witch trials lays the blame on fractured communities and cruel governments — and draws unsettling parallels to current events.

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Deciphering The 'Priestly Mumbo-Jumbo' Of The Financial World

Sun, 10/05/2014 - 4:56am

If you're mystified by terms like "Libor," "stagflation" and "Grexit," you should pick up John Lanchester's new book, How To Speak Money, which aims to untangle the tortured language of finance.

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Showtime's 'Homeland' Now Depends On Carrie Mathison As Flawed Hero

Sun, 10/05/2014 - 4:52am

As Showtime's Emmy-winning terrorism drama starts its fourth season Sunday, NPR TV Critic Eric Deggans says the show struggles to continue without a key character.

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Does Television Spanglish Need A Rewrite?

Sat, 10/04/2014 - 4:50pm

More Hollywood writers are having Latino characters speak a mix of English and Spanish. But if Latinos themselves are divided over Spanglish, how can the entertainment industry get it right?

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Horror Of Horrors: Is H.P. Lovecraft's Legacy Tainted?

Sat, 10/04/2014 - 4:39pm

Lovecraft, the author who famously invented Cthulhu, was also known for his highly racist opinions. This has created some controversy around the World Fantasy Award statue that bears his likeness.

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Affleck: 'Gone Girl' Was Freeing, And 'Batman' Will Be No 'Daredevil'

Sat, 10/04/2014 - 4:05pm

Ben Affleck says playing a character shrouded in suspicion was liberating, because "likability was sort of thrown out of the window." He also looks back on where his career began: Voyage of the Mimi.

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One Military Family, Two Lost Sons: One To Combat, One To Suicide

Sat, 10/04/2014 - 4:05pm

In The Invisible Front, journalist Yochi Dreazen tells the story of the Grahams, a close-knit family that lost two sons in the span of a year and then took up the fight against military suicide.

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Not My Job: Secretary Of Energy Ernest Moniz Gets Quizzed On Bert

Sat, 10/04/2014 - 10:52am

We asked the nuclear physicist — who either goes by the nickname Ernie, or ought to — how much he knows about the Sesame Street character Bert.

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Q&A: Plumbing The Mysteries Of The Teenage Brain

Sat, 10/04/2014 - 7:03am

In Age of Opportunity, psychologist Larry Steinberg applies neuroscience to risk-taking, peer influence, the boredom of high school and other adolescent conundrums.

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Star-Studded Broadway Show Opens, But 'It's Only A Play'

Sat, 10/04/2014 - 6:55am

It's Only a Play is a comedy about a theater crew and critic joking together while awaiting reviews. NPR's Scott Simon speaks with co-stars F. Murray Abraham and Megan Mullally about the production.

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The Man Who Casts The Metal For The Master Sculptors

Sat, 10/04/2014 - 6:55am

If you're an artist with an idea for a metal masterpiece, you'd probably turn to Dick Politch to cast it. His foundry has done works for over 500 artists. We get a look at an exhibit of his creations.

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Art Project Opens Long-Closed Ellis Island Hospital

Sat, 10/04/2014 - 6:55am

The dilapidated hospital on Ellis Island has been shuttered since 1954. But now it's opening to the public. The occasion? An art exhibition. NPR's Scott Simon talks to the head of Save Ellis Island.

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Behind The Sunglasses: The Lives Of Secret Service Agents

Fri, 10/03/2014 - 3:29pm

This week, following a series of security lapses, the Secret Service director resigned. For a look at the agency beyond the scandal, author Ben Dolnick recommends the novel Big If by Mark Costello.

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Who's Worth Your Trust In Fincher's Moody, Atmospheric 'Gone Girl'?

Fri, 10/03/2014 - 2:49pm

NPR's Bob Mondello says David Fincher's screen adaptation of the marriage-in-trouble thriller Gone Girl offers all the twists and jolts of the original novel, but gets a little pulpy toward the end.

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'Gone Girl': A Gripping Film That's More Fun Than The Book

Fri, 10/03/2014 - 1:35pm

Based on a screenplay by author Gillian Flynn, the movie is sensationally effective. It's made like a classic noir — evenly paced, with an elegance that in context is deeply perverse.

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'Homeland' Regains Urgency With Twin Protagonists And Divided Loyalties

Fri, 10/03/2014 - 10:44am

Last year, the Showtime drama about a CIA agent with a bipolar disorder lost its way. But the show's intensity is back in season four when the CIA accidentally bombs a wedding in Pakistan.

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Please Don't Judge John Mulaney By 'Mulaney'

Fri, 10/03/2014 - 10:28am

John Mulaney is an exceptional, intelligent stand-up comedian. His new show on Fox is unfortunately not a good way to encounter his work at all.

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Pop Culture Happy Hour: Denzel Washington And 'Gilligan's Island'

Fri, 10/03/2014 - 8:23am

On this week's show, we talk about how The Equalizer fits into the arc of Denzel Washington's long and full career, and we consider absurdist sitcoms as Gilligan's Island turns 50.

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