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: 11 min 58 sec ago

Philip Seymour Hoffman On Acting: An 'Exhausting' And 'Satisfying' Art

Mon, 02/03/2014 - 12:55pm

We listen back to interviews with Hoffman from 1999 and 2008, when he told Fresh Air's Terry Gross that carrying the emotional life of a character could be "burdensome." He was found dead on Sunday at age 46.

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Fresh Air Weekend: Ann Patchett, Ray Didinger And A Country Dilemma

Sat, 02/01/2014 - 8:00am

Patchett reflects on her first marriage, the sports writer looks at the myth of the "dumb" football player and Ken Tucker considers the challenge of keeping country music commercially viable.

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Too Much Of A Good Thing? Jane Ira Bloom's Beautiful Ballads

Fri, 01/31/2014 - 11:57am

On Sixteen Sunsets, the soprano saxophonist varies and honors melody like Billie Holiday.

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Midwestern Memoir Tracks 'Flyover Lives' Of Author's Forebears

Fri, 01/31/2014 - 10:14am

Diane Johnson often writes about American heroines living in France, but when she began her memoir, she found herself drawn back to her native ground in America's heartland. Critic Maureen Corrigan says Flyover Lives "lets scenes and conversations speak for themselves, accruing power as they lodge in readers' minds."

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Pioneer Billie Jean King Moved The Baseline For Women's Tennis

Fri, 01/31/2014 - 10:14am

A PBS documentary looks at King's legacy as both a tennis champion — she has a record 20 Wimbledon titles — and the leader of a female player uprising that demanded fairer treatment and pay. She tells Fresh Air about the challenges of being a female player before there was a women's league.

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Sports Writer Ray Didinger On The Myth Of The 'Dumb' Football Player

Thu, 01/30/2014 - 10:00am

Didinger, who has been covering football for decades, says there's a lot of thought that goes into successfully executing a football play. He tells Fresh Air's Dave Davies, "I really don't think you can be truly a dumb guy and play this game at the NFL level."

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Ron 'Jaws' Jaworski On What It's Like To Play The Super Bowl

Thu, 01/30/2014 - 10:00am

Jaworski spent 16 years in the NFL, most of them with the Philadelphia Eagles, the team he took to the Super Bowl in 1981. Now the former quarterback works as a football analyst for ESPN. He tells Fresh Air's Dave Davies about what it feels like to play in the big game.

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How Industrial Chemical Regulation Failed West Virginia

Wed, 01/29/2014 - 12:36pm

For Charleston Gazette reporter Ken Ward, the recent chemical spill — and sometimes confusing information authorities have provided about the risks to citizens — reflects longstanding regulatory failures in the state. He says West Virginia has "basically ignored" recommendations for stricter oversight.

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Don't Pigeonhole Me, Bro: New Country Albums On The Borderline

Wed, 01/29/2014 - 11:56am

Both Jon Pardi and Jason Eady have to confront the dilemma of all young country musicians: How to navigate the pop current that keeps country music commercially viable while connecting to a past that fewer and fewer listeners are aware of.

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Entrepreneurs Looking For 'Windfall' Cash In On Climate Change

Tue, 01/28/2014 - 12:57pm

A new book explores the ways melting Arctic ice yield new shipping channels, new oil and gas resources — and potential profits. Journalist McKenzie Funk delves into the "booming business of global warming" in Windfall.

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Pete Seeger Remembers Guthrie, Hopping Trains And Sharing Songs

Tue, 01/28/2014 - 11:46am

Seeger believed songs were a way of binding people to a cause. He talks about fellow folk music icon Woody Guthrie and jumping railroad cars in an archival interview from 1985.

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'Pope And Mussolini' Tells The 'Secret History' Of Fascism And The Church

Mon, 01/27/2014 - 10:00am

It's commonly thought that the Catholic Church fought heroically against the fascists in Italy. But in The Pope and Mussolini, historian David Kertzer says the church actually lent organizational strength and moral legitimacy to Mussolini's regime.

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On This Spanish Slave Ship, Nothing Was As It Seemed

Mon, 01/27/2014 - 10:00am

In The Empire of Necessity, historian Greg Grandin tells the story of a slave revolt at sea. The 1805 event inspired Herman Melville's Benito Cereno, and Grandin's account of the human horror is a work of power and precision.

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Fresh Air Weekend: Joaquin Phoenix And A Self-Help Skeptic

Sat, 01/25/2014 - 8:00am

The elusive actor tells Fresh Air about his new film, Her; his wacky 2009 David Letterman interview; and what it was like to be a child actor. And Jessica Lamb-Shapiro's new book, Promise Land, looks at what the self-help industry has to offer.

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Middle-Aged And Divorced, 'Gloria' Takes On Life's Uncertainties

Fri, 01/24/2014 - 10:00am

Gloria is a new film from Chile that centers on a late-middle-aged divorced woman whose life is full of ambiguity. She's played by Paulina Garcia, who won the top acting prize — the Silver Bear — at the 2013 Berlin Film Festival, where the movie was a surprise hit. It opens this week in New York and Los Angeles, and wider next month.

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Tom Hanks Is 'Captain Phillips' In High-Seas Hostage Drama

Fri, 01/24/2014 - 10:00am

The film tells the true story of Richard Phillips, whose container ship was hijacked by Somali pirates in 2009. Navy SEAL sharpshooters eventually freed the captain from the small lifeboat where he was held hostage for five days. Tom Hanks stars in the film, which is directed by Paul Greengrass.

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On 'Hard Working Americans,' Songs For The Ordinary Joe

Thu, 01/23/2014 - 1:10pm

Todd Snider, Widespread Panic's Dave Schools and Duane Trucks perform in a new band that specializes in covering working-class songs.

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Patchett: In Bad Relationships, 'There Comes A Day When You Gotta Go'

Thu, 01/23/2014 - 11:29am

Ann Patchett got married and divorced young. When she met the man who would eventually become her second husband she said: "I'll be true; I'll be faithful; I'll see you every day ... but I don't want to get married and I don't want to live together.'" Her new book is This Is The Story of a Happy Marriage.

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Skeptic Takes A Tour Of Self-Help's 'Promise Land'

Wed, 01/22/2014 - 10:00am

Despite being the daughter of a child psychologist and self-help author, Jessica Lamb-Shapiro has spent most of her life recoiling from the self-help industry. But eventually, her curiosity got the best of her. She tells Fresh Air about self-help's high- and low-brow iterations, and the ways the industry helped her address her fears.

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Phoenix To Self: 'Why Am I Talking About This? ... Joaquin, Shut Up.'

Tue, 01/21/2014 - 10:00am

The elusive actor tells Fresh Air about his new film, Her, his wacky 2009 David Letterman interview and what it was like to be a child actor. But he insists he's not really that interesting: "If I was driving and I heard this, I'd change the channel."

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