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: 25 min 41 sec ago

The Politics Of Passing 1964's Civil Rights Act

Sun, 01/19/2014 - 11:00pm

The act, among other things, ended the era of legal segregation in public accommodations, like restaurants and hotels. This year marks the 50th anniversary of its passage. Author Todd Purdum joins Fresh Air to talk about the legislative and political battles that surrounded it.

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Lafayette Gilchrist: An Old Soul, At Ease In A Modern World

Sun, 01/19/2014 - 11:00pm

On Gilchrist's The View From Here, go-go dance beats inform his piano the same way freight-train boogie-woogie does.

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Fresh Air Weekend: Roger Ailes, Rosanne Cash And Sonia Sotomayor

Fri, 01/17/2014 - 11:00pm

Gabriel Sherman traces the beginning of Fox News' success, Ken Tucker calls Cash's new album a timeless work of comfort and quiet joy, and the Supreme Court justice explains how, as a Latina, she had to work harder.

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'Klansville, U.S.A.' Chronicles The Rise And Fall Of The KKK

Fri, 01/17/2014 - 10:00am

Author and sociologist David Cunningham speaks with Fresh Air's Terry Gross about the origins of cross burnings and white hoods, and why North Carolina had more Klan members during the height of the civil rights movement than all other Southern states combined.

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Jack Ryan Gets A Makeover, And A Quick Trip To Moscow

Thu, 01/16/2014 - 4:01pm

Tom Clancy's wonkish spy returns in a new thriller from Kenneth Branagh, with Star Trek's Chris Pine in the title role and the director playing a menacing Russian bad guy out to bring the U.S. to its knees.

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Hackers? Techies? What To Call San Francisco's Newcomers

Thu, 01/16/2014 - 10:00am

Linguist Geoff Nunberg lives in the Mission and says young tech employees have been pouring into the neighborhood. But what to call these new residents? He says the term "techie" used to suggest a computer whiz with no social skills; now it suggests one with no social conscience.

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Book Chronicles The Building Of Roger Ailes' Fox News Empire

Thu, 01/16/2014 - 10:00am

Gabriel Sherman traces the beginning of Fox News' success back to its wall-to-wall coverage of Monica Lewinsky. He says, "Ratings during the Lewinsky scandal exploded more than 400 percent, so you saw instantly that there was a market for this type of ... television." Sherman's book is called The Loudest Voice In The Room.

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Why The GOP Is Winning The Statehouse War

Wed, 01/15/2014 - 2:37pm

In an increasing number of states, one party controls both chambers of the legislature and the governor's office. While both parties have contributed to the trend, the Republicans have had a lot more success with it. Reporter Nicholas Confessore credits the foresight of GOP strategists.

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The Soul Singer Who Never Quite Made It

Wed, 01/15/2014 - 10:55am

There was a time when people in the know in Memphis described James Govan as Otis Redding's natural successor. A new compilation collects some of his unreleased recordings.

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Uneven But Vital, Bruce Springsteen Has 'High Hopes'

Tue, 01/14/2014 - 11:56am

His 18th album is a mixed-bag assortment of covers and originals brimming with undimmed eagerness.

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'What Everyone Needs To Know' About Today's Cyberthreats

Tue, 01/14/2014 - 11:40am

Security questions such as, "What's your mother's maiden name?" are easy to look up online. So for an extra layer of protection, author P.W. Singer advises making the answer something counter-intuitive, like pizza.

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Chang-rae Lee Stretches For Dystopic Drama, But Doesn't Quite Reach

Mon, 01/13/2014 - 11:00pm

Lee is acclaimed for his realistic and historical fiction, but he's made a foray into the futuristic sci-fi genre with a new novel called On Such a Full Sea. Fresh Air book critic Maureen Corrigan says sometimes it's better for writers to stick closer to familiar shores.

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Three Protesters, One 'Square': Film Goes Inside Egypt's Revolution

Sun, 01/12/2014 - 11:00pm

As we approach the third anniversary of the demonstrations in Egypt, Fresh Air critic John Powers reviews a documentary that captures the story of Cairo's Tahrir Square. He says the film "is less a final reckoning than an exciting bulletin from the frontlines of an unfinished revolution."

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As A Latina, Sonia Sotomayor Says, 'You Have To Work Harder'

Sun, 01/12/2014 - 11:00pm

The Supreme Court justice tells Fresh Air's Terry Gross, "In every position that I've been in, there have been naysayers who don't believe I'm qualified or who don't believe I can do the work." She's committed herself to proving those people wrong.

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Fresh Air Weekend: Emma Thompson, Gary Shteyngart, 'Babylon' And 'Detective'

Sat, 01/11/2014 - 8:00am

The actress takes on Mary Poppins' acerbic creator, the novelist recounts his emigration from the USSR to the U.S. and David Bianculli says two new miniseries are worth special mention — and couldn't be more different.

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'Invisible Woman' Charts Charles Dickens' Hidden Relationship

Fri, 01/10/2014 - 12:59pm

A new film explores the affair between Dickens and a young actress for whom he left his wife, but who for years never showed up in biographies of Dickens. It's the second film directed by Ralph Fiennes, who also plays Dickens.

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Remembering Activist Poet Amiri Baraka

Fri, 01/10/2014 - 12:59pm

Baraka was one of the key black literary voices of the 1960s. The political and social views that inspired his writing changed over the years, from his bohemian days as a young man in Greenwich Village to his later years as a Marxist. He spoke to Fresh Air's Terry Gross in 1986.

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Julian Fellowes On The Rules Of 'Downton'

Fri, 01/10/2014 - 12:58pm

On the hit PBS Masterpiece series, the social rules the characters have always known are changing as the world events of the 20th century unfold. The series' creator, Julian Fellowes, says his relatives who lived through that era inspired his lasting interest in class.

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Rosanne Cash: Seeking A 'Thread' Through Southern History

Fri, 01/10/2014 - 11:29am

Ken Tucker says The River & The Thread is a travelogue; a timeless work of comfort and quiet joy.

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Kenny Clarke, Inventor Of Modern Jazz Drumming, At 100

Thu, 01/09/2014 - 10:01am

The drummer known as "Klook" was a founder of bebop — and a man endlessly open to possibilities.

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