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Crime Is Down In American Cities, And 'Uneasy Peace' Explains Why

Sat, 01/20/2018 - 6:29am

Contrary to what you might see on TV, homicide, assault and rapes have decreased in big cities since the 1970s. Patrick Sharkey attributes the change, in part, to something that happened in the '90s.

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How The Man In The Apartment Hit Big With 'The Woman In The Window'

Sat, 01/20/2018 - 6:25am

Take a pinch of Hitchcock, a bit of Gone Girl, stir in a mysterious author and you've got the recipe for something unusual: One of the rare debut novels to hit number one its first week on the market.

(Image credit: Eslah Attar/NPR)

In 'The Alienist,' Dakota Fanning Plays The NYPD's First Woman Hire

Sat, 01/20/2018 - 6:24am

Fanning says the struggles her character faced on the police force in 1896 are still relevant to women in the workplace today — though at least today's women aren't stuck in restrictive corsets.

(Image credit: Kata Vermes/Turner )

PHOTOS: To Brighten Dreary Winter Nights, A Festival Lights Up London

Sat, 01/20/2018 - 6:00am

Winters in London can be damp and dreary, and it gets dark early. The "Lumiere London" light festival features more than 50 outdoor installations by artists from Europe and North America.

(Image credit: Frank Langfitt/NPR)

Denis Johnson Leaves Us With His Best In 'Largesse Of The Sea Maiden'

Sat, 01/20/2018 - 6:00am

Denis Johnson finished his first story collection in 25 years just before he died. The pieces in it are stunning, dark, sometimes as bleak as anything he's ever written — but miraculous to read.

(Image credit: Eslah Attar/NPR)

L.A. Coroner: Tom Petty's Death Was Due To An Accidental Overdose

Fri, 01/19/2018 - 8:30pm

Family members said they hoped that the cause of his death would spark discussion about the power and danger of the opioid drugs.

(Image credit: Rob Grabowski/Rob Grabowski/Invision/AP)

Films At Sundance Reflect Vast Cultural Shifts Across The World

Fri, 01/19/2018 - 3:18pm

The Sundance Film Festival is underway in Park City, Utah, the first since the Harvey Weinstein story broke. This year's slate of films reflect vast cultural shifts across the country and the world.

Documentary Offers A Devastating Look At The Obama Administration's 'Final Year'

Fri, 01/19/2018 - 12:25pm

Greg Barker's new film follows Obama's foreign policy team as they set about negotiating an arms deal in Iran, a climate accord in Paris and a response to refugee crises in Syria and parts of Africa.

Daniel Ellsberg Explains Why He Leaked The Pentagon Papers

Fri, 01/19/2018 - 12:25pm

In 1971, Ellsberg leaked the Pentagon Papers to the press in the hope that they would help end the Vietnam War. His story is portrayed in the new film The Post. Originally broadcast Dec. 4, 2017.

Remembering Peabody Award-Winning Radio Artist Joe Frank

Fri, 01/19/2018 - 12:25pm

Frank, who died on Monday, created the radio drama series Work in Progress and was known for his intimate on-air monologues, sketches and interviews. Originally broadcast in 1989.

Pop Culture Happy Hour: 'The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel'

Fri, 01/19/2018 - 6:00am

The gang takes a look at Amy Sherman-Palladino's award-winning comedy, starring Rachel Brosnahan as a '50s housewife-turned-comedian. And, as always, What's Making Us Happy this week.

(Image credit: Nicole Rivelli/Amazon)

Is That Awl There Is? Remembering The Awl And The Hairpin

Fri, 01/19/2018 - 3:55am

The web site The Awl and its sister site The Hairpin are shutting down. The two sites always valued lively, thoughtful writing — even as the media landscape shifted around them.

(Image credit: bodu9/Getty Images/iStockphoto)

In 'Munich,' Neville Chamberlain Gets The Best Of Hitler

Fri, 01/19/2018 - 3:54am

History hasn't been kind to British Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain, who tried to head off war by appeasing Adolf Hitler. But Robert Harris' new novel Munich asks readers to reconsider Chamberlain.

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'Den Of Thieves' Offers An Epic Cops And Robbers Tale, Re-'Heat'ed

Thu, 01/18/2018 - 4:30pm

Christian Gudegast's film about a bank heist in L.A. borrows so freely from Michael Mann's 1995 film Heat it never quite recovers from the deep cinematic debt.

(Image credit: Photo courtesy of STX Entertainment/Photo courtesy of STX Entertainment)

Documentary 'The Final Year' Offers Behind-The-Scenes Look At Obama's Foreign Policy

Thu, 01/18/2018 - 4:00pm

Greg Barker's film favors candid emotional moments over a meaningful examination of how key policy initiatives were shaped in the closing months of the Obama presidency.

(Image credit: Kevin Lamarque/Reuters)

'Forever My Girl': A Familiar Tune, Played (Too) Simply

Thu, 01/18/2018 - 4:00pm

A Southern town, a heapin' helpin' of heartbreak, a shot at redemption and an adorable tyke: Writer-director Bethany Ashton Wolf's romantic drama never complicates or deepens its rote story.

(Image credit: Jacob Yakob/Roadside Attractions)

'Portlandia' Is Ending, And Portlanders Are OK With That

Thu, 01/18/2018 - 3:37pm

The TV show's early sketches lovingly skewered the city's progressive optimism and "Keep Portland Weird" mindset. It was an image Portlanders embraced, then struggled with.

(Image credit: Augusta Quirk/IFC)

Google's Art Selfie App Offers A Lesson In Biometric Privacy Laws In U.S.

Thu, 01/18/2018 - 3:16pm

Google's popular art selfie feature isn't available in Illinois or Texas. NPR's Mary Louise Kelly talks with Matthew Kluger, a law professor at NorthwesternUniversity, about how biometric privacy laws are affecting tech companies in certain states.

A Former Neo-Nazi Explains Why Hate Drew Him In — And How He Got Out

Thu, 01/18/2018 - 12:34pm

Christian Picciolini spent eight years as a member of a violent, white power skinhead group. He eventually withdrew and co-founded a non-profit to help former extremists disengage.

(Image credit: Dennis Sevilla/Hachette Book Group)

In 'Heartland,' Writer's Block Can Be Murder

Thu, 01/18/2018 - 6:00am

Ana Simo's brash and unsettling debut novel straddles the line between pulp noir and slapstick; it's the story of a struggling writer who decides that murder is the cure for her decade-long block.

(Image credit: Restless Books )

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