Fresh Air

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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: 16 min 12 sec ago

Don't Know What To Do With Your Life? Neither Did Thoreau

Mon, 02/17/2014 - 10:00am

A new biography reveals that young Thoreau took quite a few detours on his path to Walden. A gossipy young man who loved eating popcorn, ice skating and listening to his music box, schoolmates and neighbors found him standoffish and regarded his fascination with plants and Indian relics as downright odd.

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Fresh Air Weekend: 'Extreme Medicine,' Lake Street Dive, 'When We Get Home'

Sat, 02/15/2014 - 8:00am

Dr. Kevin Fong practices "extreme medicine" from deep sea to outer space. Lake Street Dive comes out with a new album called Bad Self Portraits. And a military couple describes their long recovery in Plenty of Time When We Get Home.

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At 77, Robert Redford Goes Back To His Roots

Fri, 02/14/2014 - 10:00am

Redford says filming All Is Lost was a "pure cinematic experience — the way films used to be." He talks with Fresh Air's Terry Gross about how it's been "sort of weird" being known for his good looks, and about how he nearly wasn't cast in Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid. (Originally broadcast on Dec. 12, 2013.)

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A Closer Look At How Corporations Influence Congress

Thu, 02/13/2014 - 10:00am

Eric Lipton, an investigative reporter for The New York Times, has been writing about how corporations work in opaque ways to shape debates. He also explains the revolving door between Congress and lobby groups, and how non-profit think tanks aren't always what they seem.

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In 'Whole Gritty City,' Marching Bands Vie For Coveted Mardi Gras Spots

Thu, 02/13/2014 - 10:00am

"New Orleans buries too many of its young," Wynton Marsalis says in the documentary's introduction. The Whole Gritty City, airing Saturday on CBS, follows young students who take refuge in New Orleans marching bands.

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Lake Street Dive: 'Portraits' Of Heartache

Wed, 02/12/2014 - 3:04pm

The band prides itself on technique over originality, but is nonetheless passionate about its craft.

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In The World's 'Sixth Extinction' Are Humans The Asteroid?

Wed, 02/12/2014 - 12:50pm

The dinosaurs were killed during the Fifth Extinction — which scientists suspect was caused by an asteroid. Now, we are living through an epoch that many scientists describe as the Sixth Extinction and this time, human activity is the culprit.

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In Session: Frank Wess' 'Magic 201' Offers One Last Lesson

Tue, 02/11/2014 - 2:22pm

There's something tender and specific about the ways elders like Frank Wess shaped their notes.

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Practicing 'Extreme Medicine,' From Deep Sea To Outer Space

Tue, 02/11/2014 - 1:41pm

In his new book, Dr. Kevin Fong explores how humans survive extremes of heat, cold, outer space and deep sea. "We're still exploring the human body and what medicine can do in the same way that the great explorers of the 20th century and every age before them explored the world," he says.

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Hangin' Tuff: Eric Church Takes A Chance On 'The Outsiders'

Mon, 02/10/2014 - 12:22pm

Church uses the power he's accrued from hit records to make exactly the kind of album he wants.

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For Military Couples, It's A Long Recovery 'When We Get Home'

Mon, 02/10/2014 - 10:00am

Kayla Williams and Brian McGough met in Iraq, in 2003, when they were serving in the 101st Airborne Division. Williams' new memoir Plenty of Time When We Get Home, describes their homecoming, after McGough sustained physical and cognitive injuries during an IED explosion.

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Fresh Air Weekend: Tim Gunn, 'Borgen' And The Parenting Paradox

Sat, 02/08/2014 - 8:00am

Project Runway's Tim Gunn "makes it work," John Powers says Borgen is Denmark's West Wing (but better), and Jennifer Senior explores the trials and triumphs of parenting in her book All Joy and No Fun.

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Fresh Air Celebrates The 50th Anniversary Of The Beatles' Arrival

Fri, 02/07/2014 - 10:16am

On Feb. 7, 1964, the Beatles touched down at JFK airport. To mark the day, we'll listen back to a 1995 interview with Ringo Starr and a 2001 interview with Paul McCartney.

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Masterpieces In Peril, 'Monuments Men' Protects, But Also Panders

Fri, 02/07/2014 - 10:00am

George Clooney's film tells the largely true story of a World War II squad of art experts assigned to protect European masterworks from Nazi theft and Allied bombardment. Critic David Edelstein says the film is engaging and earnest, but a little formulaic.

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Before He Joined Congress, A South African Janitor's Disco Past

Thu, 02/06/2014 - 3:15pm

Penny Penny put down his broom and picked up a mic for his 1994 debut, now reissued.

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When It Comes To High-Speed Internet, U.S. 'Falling Way Behind'

Thu, 02/06/2014 - 1:47pm

The U.S. needs to start treating the Internet like electricity or railroads, law professor and author Susan Crawford says. "We can't create a level playing field for all Americans or indeed compete on the world stage without having some form of government involvement," she says.

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Tim Gunn: On And Off The Runway, 'Life Is A Big Collaboration'

Wed, 02/05/2014 - 10:00am

"Make it work," the fashion guru tells designers on Project Runway. But life hasn't always "worked" for Gunn. He talks with Terry Gross about being bullied, being gay in the 60s and 70s, and how his mother thinks he should "dress more like Mitt Romney."

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Triumph Of The Book Worms: Two Novels To Cure Your Winter Blues

Wed, 02/05/2014 - 10:00am

Alena, a reworking of Daphne DuMaurier's Rebecca, takes place in the contemporary art world while The Yellow Eyes of Crocodiles is a "delicious French romp." Critic Maureen Corrigan says both novels are "exquisite vehicles of escape fiction."

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'Borgen' Is Denmark's 'West Wing' (But Even Better)

Tue, 02/04/2014 - 10:00am

Critic John Powers says that Borgen, a Danish TV series about a woman who unexpectedly becomes Denmark's prime minister is "irresistibly bingeable." The third and final season has just been released on DVD.

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Are We Having 'Fun' Yet? New Book Explores The 'Paradox' Of Parenting

Tue, 02/04/2014 - 10:00am

Kids can be magical and maddening. The title of Jennifer Senior's book — All Joy and No Fun — contrasts the strains of day-to-day parenting with the transcendent experience of raising a child.

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