Fresh Air Weekend

Opening the window on contemporary arts and issues with guests from worlds as diverse as literature and economics. Terry Gross hosts this multi-award-winning daily interview and features program. The veteran public radio interviewer is known for her extraordinary ability to engage guests of all dispositions. Every week she delights intelligent and curious listeners with revelations on contemporary societal concerns. 

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Interviews
9:03 am
Fri November 29, 2013

Billy Crystal Finds Fun In Growing Old (But Still Can't Find His Keys)

Billy Crystal has hosted the Academy Awards more times than anyone except Bob Hope. "I love doing it because I love the danger of it," Crystal says. "You have to come through and think on your feet."
Timothy A. Clary AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Mon December 2, 2013 7:04 am

This interview was originally broadcast on Oct. 17, 2013.

Billy Crystal isn't happy about turning 65, but at least he's finding a way to laugh about it. His memoir — Still Foolin' 'Em: Where I've Been, Where I'm Going, and Where the Hell Are My Keys? — is on the best-seller list.

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Movie Reviews
4:03 am
Fri November 29, 2013

A Korean Cult Thriller Gets A Spike Lee Makeover

After 20 years in captivity, Joe (Josh Brolin) is released into the world with a hammer and an appetite for revenge in Oldboy, a Spike Lee remake of the 2003 South Korean film.
Hilary Bronwyn Gayle FilmDistrict

Originally published on Mon December 2, 2013 7:04 am

Spike Lee's movies typically carry the label "A Spike Lee Joint," but Oldboy doesn't. He calls it "a Spike Lee Film," which my guess is Lee's way of saying he's a gun for hire — and that after a line of box office failures and difficulty getting financing for personal projects, he can make a fast, violent action thriller.

And as it happens, he can — a more-than-decent one. But this is also the first time I've come out of a Spike Lee film, bad or good, and not known why it had to be made. It's brutal, effective and utterly without urgency.

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Interviews
9:03 am
Thu November 28, 2013

In Memoir, Linda Ronstadt Describes Her 'Simple Dreams'

Linda Ronstadt performs in 1970.
Michael Ochs Archives Getty Images

Originally published on Thu November 28, 2013 12:42 pm

This interview was originally broadcast on Sept. 17, 2013.

With a career that spans rock, pop, country and everything in between, Linda Ronstadt knows no genre, only what her voice can accomplish. Her most famous recordings include "Heart Like a Wheel," "Desperado," "Faithless Love," and many more. But Ronstadt recently revealed that she has Parkinson's disease and can no longer sing.

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The Fresh Air Interview
9:19 am
Wed November 27, 2013

At The BBC, The Beatles Shocked An Institution

The Beatles on the stairs of NEMS — North End Music Stores, Brian Epstein's Liverpool record shop — having just signed a management deal, in 1964.
Mark and Colleen Hayward Getty Images

Originally published on Wed November 27, 2013 1:13 pm

England got a lot more of The Beatles than Americans did during the group's formative years. Between 1962 and 1965, The Beatles were featured on 53 BBC radio programs, including their own series, Pop Go the Beatles. They performed originals and covers and chatted with BBC hosts.

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Book Reviews
1:15 pm
Tue November 26, 2013

Thanksgivukkah Stress Getting You Down? Here's A Literary Escape Plan

Iryna Denysova iStockphoto

Originally published on Tue November 26, 2013 4:13 pm

Mark your calendars: According to some scholars, the next time it might happen is the year 79,811. I'm talking, of course, about the hybrid holiday of Thanksgivukkah, a melding of Thanksgiving and the Jewish Festival of Lights. The Borsch Belt-style Pilgrim jokes and mishmash recipes (turkey brined in Manischewitz, anyone?) are flying around the Internet; but since Jews are frequently referred to as "the People of the Book" and Pilgrims pretty much lived by the Book, Thanksgivukkah seems to me like the quintessential (stressful) family holiday to celebrate by escaping into a book.

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Food
10:05 am
Tue November 26, 2013

Don't Stuff The Turkey And Other Tips From 'America's Test Kitchen'

Originally published on Tue November 26, 2013 2:24 pm

If there's one Thanksgiving mistake Jack Bishop sees more than any other, it's people rushing to carve their birds. Bishop is editorial director of the public TV series America's Test Kitchen. He tells Fresh Air's Terry Gross, "Turkey needs to rest before you carve it ... and a lot fewer juices will end up on the carving board."

Bishop and Bridget Lancaster, also of America's Test Kitchen, share their tips for buying, seasoning and cooking a turkey, and describe some of their favorite side dishes.

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Music Reviews
8:16 am
Tue November 26, 2013

After Ailing, A Favorite Conductor Stages His Comeback

Conductor James Levine in rehearsal with Russian virtuoso Evgeny Kissin.
Cory Weaver Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Tue November 26, 2013 1:15 pm

An extended ovation greeted conductor James Levine last May when he returned to performing after a two-year absence. In 2011, he resigned as music director of the Boston Symphony Orchestra and cancelled his performances at the Metropolitan Opera. He'd been plagued by health problems, injuries and operations, and it was painful for him to move. Many of his admirers, even he himself, feared he might never conduct again.

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Author Interviews
11:15 am
Mon November 25, 2013

Roosevelt's Polio Wasn't A Secret: He Used It To His 'Advantage'

Franklin D. Roosevelt smiled upon hearing that he was leading the 1928 contest for governor of New York, more than six years after he contracted polio.
Hulton Archive Getty Images

Originally published on Mon November 25, 2013 1:07 pm

Americans remember Franklin Delano Roosevelt as the president who led the country through the Great Depression and World War II. He bolstered the nation's spirits with his confidence, strength and optimism, despite being crippled by polio, a disability that's largely invisible in photographs and newsreels of his presidency.

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Music Reviews
10:04 am
Mon November 25, 2013

Will The Real Llewyn Davis Please Stand Up?

Dave Van Ronk at the 1968 Philadelphia Folk Festival.
Diana Davies Courtesy of Smithsonian Folkways

Originally published on Mon November 25, 2013 11:15 am

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Fresh Air Weekend
6:03 am
Sat November 23, 2013

Fresh Air Weekend: 'Junkyard,' 'Great Beauty,' 'Narco Cultura,' Key And Peele

Keegan-Michael Key (left) and Jordan Peele both started their careers at Second City, Peele in Chicago and Key in Detroit.
Ian White Comedy Central

Originally published on Sat November 23, 2013 9:06 am

Fresh Air Weekend highlights some of the best interviews and reviews from past weeks, and new program elements specially paced for weekends. Our weekend show emphasizes interviews with writers, filmmakers, actors, and musicians, and often includes excerpts from live in-studio concerts. This week:

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The Kennedy Assassination, 50 Years Later
11:36 am
Fri November 22, 2013

How Live TV Helped America Mourn The Loss Of JFK

During JFK's funeral, live TV coverage helped make John-John Kennedy's salute an indelible image of American history.
Keystone Getty Images

Originally published on Fri November 22, 2013 11:50 am

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History
8:47 am
Fri November 22, 2013

Shortened Term Limited JFK's Accomplishments, But Not His Contributions

Originally published on Fri November 22, 2013 11:36 am

Fresh Air's Dave Davies discusses John F. Kennedy's abbreviated term in office with presidential historian Robert Dallek, who finds that while you can make an argument that Kennedy accomplished little, he represents something special in the American experience. Dallek's latest book is Camelot's Court: Inside The Kennedy White House.

Interviews
8:47 am
Fri November 22, 2013

Botched Investigation Fuels Kennedy Conspiracy Theories

Originally published on Fri November 22, 2013 11:36 am

This interview was originally broadcast on Oct. 28, 2013.

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Law
1:31 pm
Thu November 21, 2013

Personhood In The Womb: A Constitutional Question

iStockphoto

Originally published on Thu November 21, 2013 1:57 pm

Should a pregnant woman whose behavior has been deemed dangerous to her fetus be legally punished or forced into medical procedures against her will? A study released earlier this year found hundreds of cases across the country where pregnant women were arrested and incarcerated, detained in mental institutions and drug treatment programs, or subject to forced medical interventions, including surgery.

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Television
10:39 am
Wed November 20, 2013

For Key And Peele, Biracial Roots Bestow Special Comedic 'Power'

Keegan-Michael Key (left) and Jordan Peele both started their careers at Second City, Peele in Chicago and Key in Detroit.
Ian White Comedy Central

Originally published on Wed November 20, 2013 11:19 am

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Author Interviews
12:24 pm
Tue November 19, 2013

Anjelica Huston Tells Her 'Story' Of Growing Up With A Director Dad

In a new memoir, Anjelica Huston recounts her childhood in Ireland, her teen years in London and her coming of age in New York.
Robert Fleischauer Courtesy of Scribner

Originally published on Wed November 20, 2013 11:40 am

Anjelica Huston is best-known for her performances in Prizzi's Honor, The Grifters, The Addams Family, The Royal Tenenbaums and the TV series Smash. But her new memoir about her early life, A Story Lately Told, ends just as her successful acting career begins. That part of her life will be in a second volume, now in the works.

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Movie Reviews
10:23 am
Tue November 19, 2013

'Great Beauty,' 'Narco Cultura': Excess, Succeeding Wildly

Toni Servillo plays a jaded journalist and perpetual partier in The Great Beauty, Italy's submission for the best foreign language film Oscar.
Guanni Fiorito Janus Films

Originally published on Tue November 19, 2013 12:36 pm

In The Marriage of Heaven and Hell, William Blake served up one of those mind-bending proverbs he's known for: "The road of excess leads," he wrote, "to the palace of wisdom." I thought about this line as I watched two terrific new movies that put Blake's words to the test.

Paolo Sorrentino's thrillingly good The Great Beauty tackles the idea head-on — it's an excessive film about excess. Sorrentino doesn't merely aim to update one of the most famous movies of all time (Fellini's portrait of decadent Rome, La Dolce Vita). He intends to better it.

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Author Interviews
12:46 pm
Mon November 18, 2013

'Promised Land' Wrestles With Israel's Brutal Contradictions

Israeli soldiers work from a Gaza Strip watchtower.
Gali Tibbon AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Sun November 24, 2013 6:01 am

In his new book My Promised Land: The Triumph and Tragedy of Israel, Israeli journalist Ari Shavit tackles several basic questions: Why was Israel created? What has it achieved? What went wrong? Where is it heading? Will it survive?

The book is based on interviews with hundreds of Israelis — Jews and Arabs — as well as his own story and family history (two of Shavit's great-grandfathers became Zionists in the late 1800s).

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Remembrances
10:58 am
Mon November 18, 2013

Fresh Air Remembers 'Golden Notebook' Author Doris Lessing

Doris Lessing, pictured here in 2006, once refused to allow the queen to declare her a dame of the British Empire, because — as the author put it — "There is no British Empire."
Martin Cleaver AP

Originally published on Tue November 19, 2013 10:24 am

Novelist and essayist Doris Lessing died Sunday at the age of 94.

Lessing won the Nobel Prize in 2007. She lived in England most of her life, but she grew up in southern Rhodesia, now Zimbabwe.

Lessing often addressed racism and colonialism in her writing, including in a series of novels about a fictional character named Martha Quest. She was best known for her 1962 book, The Golden Notebook, which was regarded as among the most important feminist novels of its time.

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Fresh Air Weekend
6:03 am
Sat November 16, 2013

Fresh Air Weekend: Bruce Dern, Booker Ervin And 'Hyperbole And A Half'

You may recognize this drawing from Allie Brosh's popular "This Is Why I'll Never Be An Adult" blog post. (It's now a popular Internet meme.)
Courtesy Touchstone Books

Originally published on Sat November 16, 2013 7:53 am

Fresh Air Weekend highlights some of the best interviews and reviews from past weeks, and new program elements specially paced for weekends. Our weekend show emphasizes interviews with writers, filmmakers, actors, and musicians, and often includes excerpts from live in-studio concerts. This week:

Read more

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