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: 49 min 38 sec ago

One Man's Quest To Find The 'Sonic Wonders Of The World'

Wed, 02/19/2014 - 10:00am

Acoustic engineer Trevor Cox has traveled around the globe to hear whispering arches and singing sand dunes. Closer to home, he can also explain why your singing sounds better in the shower.

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With Humor And A Nod To History, Fallon Takes Over 'The Tonight Show'

Tue, 02/18/2014 - 12:09pm

On Monday night, Jimmy Fallon paid homage to 60 years of Tonight Show history while claiming his own place in line. "I just want to do the best I can and take care of the show for a while," he said. "If you guys let me stick around long enough maybe I'll get the hang of it."

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Teens Rehearse For Adulthood In Wolitzer's 'Interestings'

Tue, 02/18/2014 - 10:00am

Meg Wolitzer's novel is about lifelong friendship tinged with jealousy. It begins at a summer camp in 1974 and follows a group of friends through middle age. Wolitzer says her teen years were a rehearsal for her adult life and that today she is "different" but "in the same shell."

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In 'Passage,' Caro Mines LBJ's Changing Political Roles

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

The fourth volume in Robert Caro's monumental biography of Lyndon Johnson is The Passage of Power; it explores the period between 1958 and 1964 during which Johnson went from powerful Senate majority leader to powerless vice president to — suddenly — president of the United States. Originally broadcast on May 13, 2013.

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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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