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This one-hour program features Terry Gross' in-depth interviews with prominent cultural and entertainment figures, as well as distinguished experts on current affairs and news.
Updated: 12 min 24 sec ago

From 'Banana' To 'Cucumber,' New Series Spans The Spectrum Of Sex

Wed, 04/01/2015 - 1:50pm

Cucumber tells the adventures of a middle-aged gay man; Banana is a series of short stories. Russell T. Davies, who made Queer As Folk, says the titles came from a scientific institute in Switzerland.

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Alabama Judge Says Raising Money To Be Elected Is 'Tawdry'

Tue, 03/31/2015 - 12:15pm

Mixing judges with campaign contributions can lead to conflicts of interest. Fresh Air talks to retired Judge Sue Bell Cobb and the Center for American Progress' Billy Corriher.

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No Hits, No Problem: Captain Beefheart's Major Label Run

Tue, 03/31/2015 - 12:15pm

In 1970, Warner Bros. Records had an unusual philosophy: they'd sign artists and, instead of wanting a hit single immediately, they'd develop them over several albums. Hence, Captain Beefheart.

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Open A Critic's 'Poetry Notebook' And Find The Works That Shaped Him

Mon, 03/30/2015 - 2:29pm

Clive James was diagnosed with leukemia a few years ago. "There is a grief in all poetry," he writes in his latest book of essays. "Poetry holds itself together, and eventually we ourselves do not."

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Art Pepper's Startling Intensity Captured On Live Recordings

Mon, 03/30/2015 - 2:29pm

Fresh Air jazz critic Kevin Whitehead says that Art Pepper played like he was making up for lost time.

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How 'One Nation' Didn't Become 'Under God' Until The '50s Religious Revival

Mon, 03/30/2015 - 2:29pm

Kevin Kruse's book looks at how industrialists in the '30s and '40s recruited clergy to preach free enterprise. And under the Eisenhower administration, Christianity and capitalism moved center stage.

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Fresh Air Weekend: Graham Yost, Review Of Courtney Barnett, 'American Crime'

Sat, 03/28/2015 - 8:03am

Graham Yost stays true to writer Elmore Leonard while making the FX show Justified; Ken Tucker reviews Barnett's first full album; creator John Ridley and actor Benito Martinez discuss American Crime.

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In 'While We're Young,' The Border Between Ridicule And Sympathy Is Thin

Fri, 03/27/2015 - 12:09pm

Noah Baumbach's new comedy is about a couple in their 40s who befriend 20-something hipsters and go wild. It gets off to a fun start, but two-thirds of the way through takes a surprising turn.

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An Oncologist's 'Biography Of Cancer' Adapted Into A Documentary

Fri, 03/27/2015 - 12:09pm

In The Emperor of All Maladies: A Biography of Cancer, Siddhartha Mukherjee chronicled how our understanding of cancer has evolved. Starting Monday, Ken Burns' three-part documentary will air on PBS.

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'Justified' Creator Aims To Stay True To The Late Writer Elmore Leonard

Thu, 03/26/2015 - 2:07pm

The FX series, now in its final season, is based on Leonard's novella Fire in the Hole. Showrunner Graham Yost says, "I look at this show as Elmore Leonard's show, and we're all in service of him."

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Journalist Says Ted Cruz's Message Is Clear That 'Compromise Is For Losers'

Wed, 03/25/2015 - 1:26pm

When Cruz announced his presidency, he said: "It's time to reclaim the constitution." The New Yorker's Jeffrey Toobin discusses the strict legal philosophy that has shaped Cruz's political agenda.

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Do You Believe In Ghosts? You Might After Reading This Book

Wed, 03/25/2015 - 1:26pm

Sante Fe's most famous ghost is Hannah Nordhaus' great-great-grandmother. Her new book American Ghost is mix of memoir, cultural history, genealogical detective story and paranormal investigation.

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'American Crime': A Series Packed With 'Emotional Honesty' About Race

Tue, 03/24/2015 - 1:39pm

The show revolves around a murder case in which nearly all the characters are part victim and part aggressor. Creator John Ridley and actor Benito Martinez explain.

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James Corden Hits Late-Night TV With His Own Skill Set And Mindset

Tue, 03/24/2015 - 1:39pm

The Late Late Show with James Corden fills the post-David Letterman time slot on CBS. TV critic David Bianculli says that based on first impressions, Corden will "settle in nicely."

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Former Orca Trainer For SeaWorld Condemns Its Practices

Mon, 03/23/2015 - 4:11pm

John Hargrove says he left SeaWorld after seeing "devastating effects of captivity" on orcas. His new book is Beneath The Surface. SeaWorld disputes such claims and says it treats whales with respect.

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Fresh Air Weekend: Daniel Genis, 'Seymour' Documentary And Norman Blake

Sat, 03/21/2015 - 8:03am

Genis, who served 10 years in prison for armed robbery, writes about prison life; John Powers reviews Seymour: An Introduction; Bluegrass musician Norman Blake releases an album of original songs.

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In 'Redeployment,' Former Marine Explores The Challenges Of Coming Home

Fri, 03/20/2015 - 1:01pm

Phil Klay served in Iraq from January 2007 to February 2008. He recently won a National Book Critics Circle award for his collection of short stories. Originally broadcast Nov. 25, 2014.

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Fresh Air Remembers Blues And Jazz Historian Samuel Charters

Fri, 03/20/2015 - 1:01pm

Charters helped ignite the blues revival of the '50s and '60s. He made field recordings of forgotten and previously undiscovered performers. He also wrote two books. He died Wednesday; he was 85.

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'Seymour': A Loving Portrait Of An Acclaimed Classical Pianist

Fri, 03/20/2015 - 1:01pm

Seymour: An Introduction is an inspiring new documentary by the actor Ethan Hawke. It's about Seymour Bernstein, who quit a successful concert career at the age of 50 to become a piano teacher.

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