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Updated: 1 hour 12 min ago

'Best Of Enemies': When Televised Verbal Fireworks Were A Novelty

Sun, 08/02/2015 - 6:24am

A new documentary chronicles the famed Gore Vidal-William F. Buckley debates and the beginnings of TV political punditry. NPR's Rachel Martin speaks with directors Morgan Neville and Robert Gordon.

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In Utah, 'Book Of Mormon' Strikes A Chord

Sun, 08/02/2015 - 6:24am

The Tony Award-winning musical, The Book of Mormon, opened in Salt Lake City last week. The sendup of missionaries from the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is getting a rousing reception.

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This 'Woman With A Secret' Plays Deadly Mind Games

Sun, 08/02/2015 - 6:03am

Sophie Hannah's new psychological crime thriller is about the cruel machinations of outwardly nice married folks with too much time on their hands.

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Luther Campbell Of 2 Live Crew On Fame, Obscenity And Community

Sun, 08/02/2015 - 4:42am

Before joining the notoriously shocking rap crew, Campbell was a party-rocking DJ in Miami. Even then, he knew that being aggressively different could lead to success.

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Counterfeit Duck Confit: All Of The Flavor, Without The Labor

Sun, 08/02/2015 - 4:23am

A classic French dish, confit de canard was originally a way to preserve meat, and traditional recipes can require dozens of steps to prepare. David Lebovitz's fake take cuts the steps down to five.

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Aviator Beryl Markham Soars Again In 'Paris Wife' Author's New Book

Sat, 08/01/2015 - 6:21pm

"It is my fate to illuminate the lives of these one-of-a-kind notable women that have been somehow forgotten by history," says Paula McClain. She shines her spotlight on Markham in Circling the Sun.

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Reggie Watts, Man Of Many Voices, Improvised His Way To Success

Sat, 08/01/2015 - 4:15pm

The comedian and Late, Late Show band leader beatboxes, imitates and impersonates with amazing accuracy. It was a phone call from Conan O'Brien that put Watts' one-man show into the spotlight.

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A Look Back On 'Middle Passage': The Evolution Of A Literary Classic

Sat, 08/01/2015 - 4:10pm

Twenty-five years after Charles Johnson's Middle Passage — which dwells with race, class and gender in 19th-century America — won the National Book Award, he reflects on his book's evolving meaning.

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76 Years Later, Lost F. Scott Fitzgerald Story Sees The Light Of Day

Sat, 08/01/2015 - 4:10pm

The story, called "Temperature," had never been published and was presumed lost. Long after magazine editor Andrew Gulli began his search for the story, he finally found it — and put it in print.

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More Than A Toy: Lego Enthusiasts Have Built A Community

Sat, 08/01/2015 - 4:10pm

A LEGO Brickumentary chronicles how children and adults alike use Legos for work, play and therapy. The documentary also explores the Lego Group's near demise — and meteoric return.

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For Penn & Teller's Magical Partnership, The Trick Is Telling The Truth

Sat, 08/01/2015 - 8:05am

The duo Penn Jillette and Raymond Teller are back on Broadway. They both talk — yes, even Teller — with NPR's Scott Simon about magic, danger and the remarkable endurance of their 40-year partnership.

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Not My Job: Chance The Rapper Gets Quizzed On Saran The Wrapper

Sat, 08/01/2015 - 7:02am

Chicago hip-hop superstar Chance the Rapper got his name because nobody believed a guy named Chancelor Bennett could rap.

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A Study Of Gods And Human Nature In 'Tiberius'

Sat, 08/01/2015 - 6:42am

Under Tiberius is a new novel about deceit and crime. The main character is the man who came to be known as Jesus Christ. NPR's Scott Simon talks to author Nick Tosches.

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Black Lives Matter: Coming To A Museum Near You?

Sat, 08/01/2015 - 6:42am

How do you curate a museum exhibit about the protests in Ferguson, Mo.? NPR's Scott Simon speaks with the director National Museum of African American History and Culture, which will open next fall.

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'Three Moments' Is A Symphony Of Short Story Strangeness

Sat, 08/01/2015 - 6:03am

Acclaimed sci-fi author China Miéville hasn't been known for his short fiction, but reviewer Jason Heller says his new collection — subversive, strange and full of sick humor — will change that.

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Blueprints Before High Tide: An Architect Explains The Perfect Sandcastle

Sat, 08/01/2015 - 4:27am

Famed architect Renzo Piano is best known for his massive skyscrapers and innovative designs. But the sandcastle enthusiast also has thoughts on how to plan a building that's a bit more ephemeral.

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Despite Host Controversy, Amazon Takes A Chance On 'Top Gear'

Fri, 07/31/2015 - 4:23pm

The trio that made Top Gear the world's biggest car show will return to the small screen in a new show for Amazon Prime. The BBC canned one of its hosts last year after a fight with a producer.

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Remembering Alan Cheuse, Our Longtime Literary Guide

Fri, 07/31/2015 - 3:28pm

For some 30 years, Alan Cheuse was our guide to the best and worst of the written word. He passed away today at 75, after a car accident two weeks ago. NPR's Susan Stamberg has an appreciation.

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The Play's The Thing — High School Productions Down The Decades

Fri, 07/31/2015 - 2:45pm

Bob Mondello looks at the most-produced shows at high schools through seven decades, and ponders what the choices made by drama teachers tell us.

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Alan Cheuse, Novelist And Longtime NPR Contributor, Dies At 75

Fri, 07/31/2015 - 2:28pm

The author and critic died Friday of injuries sustained in a car accident. For years, he was the voice of NPR's literature commentary — and, for many, the "guide to a very exciting world."

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