Fresh Air

Fresh Air

Fresh Air from WHYY, the Peabody Award-winning weekday magazine of contemporary arts and issues, is one of public radio's most popular programs. Hosted by Terry Gross, the show features intimate conversations with today's biggest luminaries.

Episodes

July 27, 2021 46 min
Dr. Wen is an emergency physician, CNN Health Analyst and former Baltimore Health Commissioner. We talk about mask and vaccine mandates, the return to school and work, and the Delta variant. "Unfortunately, we're in a situation now where the vaccinated are having to pay the price for the actions of the unvaccinated," she says. Wen emigrated from China as a child and relied on the public health system while she had sever...
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Abumrad is the creator of the hit public radio series RadioLab. The show started off as a series about science-related mysteries, but now it investigates all kinds of stories. The new RadioLab miniseries, 'The Vanishing of Harry Pace,' is about the man who co-founded a publication with WEB DuBois, co-wrote St. Louis Blues with WC Handy, founded the first Black-owned record company, helped desegregate a Chicago neighborhood ...
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Ahmir "Questlove" Thompson talks about directing the new film 'Summer of Soul,' documenting the 1969 Harlem Cultural Festival. It features performances by Nina Simone, Stevie Wonder, Mahalia Jackson and more, and reflects on the cultural and political changes of the time. We'll also talk about big changes in Questlove's life.

Jazz critic Kevin Whitehead remembers electric guitarists George Barnes and Mary O...
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July 23, 2021 47 min
Hugh Grant has been nominated for an Emmy for his role in the HBO miniseries 'The Undoing,' in which he played an adulterous doctor suspected of murder. Grant got his start in romcoms, but lately he's been getting darker roles. "It's alarming how many pretty unpleasant narcissists I've played or been offered in the last six or seven years. But It's certainly been a blessed relief after having to be Mr. N...
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Journalist Ron Brownstein says Republican-controlled state legislatures are taking a sharp right turn, in a conscious backlash against unified Democratic control of Congress. These states are not only passing voting rights restrictions, they're passing a torrent of other conservative bills that reflect the cultural and racial priorities of Trump's base. Brownstein is a senior editor at 'The Atlantic' and a senior p...
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July 21, 2021 47 min
Ahmir "Questlove" Thompson is coming out of the pandemic a changed man. The co-founder of the Roots and the music director for 'The Tonight Show' did something he never thought he'd do — he bought a farm in upstate New York. "I thought chaos was the only way that I could exist. But now I embrace quiet and I can hear myself think." Now he's venturing into a new arena: He's made his directorial deb...
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Long after Jeffrey Epstein got a lenient sentence for sexual abuse of minors, 'Miami Herald' reporter Julie K. Brown identified 80 women who said they survived his abuse. "There is nothing that was more powerful than the words of the women talking about this themselves," she says. Her book is 'Perversion of Justice.'
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July 19, 2021 46 min
Memoirist Akash Kapur was raised in an intentional community in India, then moved to the U.S. at age 16. He's seen the idealism of people trying to remake human society and renounce materialism. He's also seen how idealism and spirituality can turn into zealotry--and how individuals can become victims of their own search for perfection. Kapur writes about the reality of utopian communities in 'Better to Have Gone: Love...
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Tahmima Anam's new novel is about a married couple, Cyrus and Asha, who found a social media platform that customizes ceremonies and rituals for people who aren't religious. The platform's success turns the husband into a messiah figure — even though it was his wife who designed it. We talk with Amam about how her real life boardroom experience helped inspire the novel.

TV critic David Bianculli reviews the comedy series...
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July 16, 2021 46 min
We revisit our 2016 interview with culinary icon Anthony Bourdain. He hosted the CNN series 'Parts Unknown' which took audiences to countries all over the world. He spoke with 'Fresh Air' about his breakout book, 'Kitchen Confidential,' and why he didn't think of himself as a journalist. Bourdain died in 2018 by suicide while filming in France. 'Roadrunner,' a new documentary about his life and t...
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July 15, 2021 46 min
'New York Times' reporter Ivan Penn unpacks the debate over infrastructure: Do we go big and fund huge wind and solar farms with new transmission lines, or go local, with rooftop solar panels, batteries and micro-grids?

Also, Maureen Corrigan reviews a reprint of Gloria Naylor's landmark novel, 'The Women of Brewster Place.'
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July 14, 2021 46 min
The six-time All Star pitched for the Yankees and the Indians over the course of his 19-year career. He also struggled with alcoholism. Sabathia reflects on baseball and sobriety in the memoir, 'Till the End.'

Justin Chang shares his favorite picks from the Cannes Film Festival, which he screened from L.A. Also, jazz critic Kevin Whitehead celebrates the centennial of two early electric guitarists, George Barnes and Mary Os...
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July 13, 2021 46 min
In their new book, 'New York Times' reporters Cecilia Kang and Sheera Frenkel examine the problems Facebook created and the problems it's facing. We talk about disinformation, hate speech, and how CEO Mark Zuckerberg knew the "Stop the Steal" private groups were planning a riot on the capitol but decided against warning the president. "Facebook knew the potential for explosive violence was very real [on Jan ...
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Tahmima Anam's new novel is about a married couple, Cyrus and Asha, who found a tech startup. It's a social media platform that customizes ceremonies and rituals for people who aren't religious. The platform's success turns the husband into a messiah figure — even though it was his wife who designed it. We talk with Amam about how her real life boardroom experience helped inspire the novel, the allure of rituals, an...
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Ashley C. Ford's father was incarcerated when she was too young to remember, and she was 30 when he got out. For many of those years, no one told her what his crime was. When she was in her teens, not longer after she'd been raped by a boyfriend, she was shocked to learn her father had been convicted of rape. Her memoir is 'Somebody's Daughter.'

Jazz critic Kevin Whitehead reviews a newly released recording of a ...
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Kaling's Netflix show, 'Never Have I Ever,' is based on her own experiences as a nerdy, confident teen who pined for a boyfriend. The second season drops next week. She spoke with Terry Gross in 2020 about the series, how being a diversity hire at 'The Office' inspired her movie 'Late Night,' and how the grief of losing a parent has impacted her as a mother.

TV critic David Bianculli reviews the music do...
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When Yutico Briley was 19 years old, he was sentenced to 60 years in prison for an armed robbery he said he didn't commit. After serving 7 years of his sentence, Briley heard criminal justice reporter Emily Bazelon on 'Fresh Air' and wrote to her about his case. Bazelon started corresponding with him and doing some research, and found flaws in his defense and trial representative of larger problems in the justice system...
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July 7, 2021 46 min
The Comstock Act, which passed in 1873, virtually outlawed contraception. In 'The Man Who Hated Women,' author Amy Sohn writes about the man behind the law — and the women prosecuted under it.

John Powers reviews the detective drama 'Unforgotten' on PBS.
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T.J. Newman's new book, 'Falling,' is a thriller about a hijacking on a commercial flight. The pilot is told he must crash the plane or his family on the ground will be killed. We talk with Newman about her book and about her 10 years in the skies — from pet peeves to scary situations. "If all you see us do is a beverage service, that's a great day at work because that means that we're not actually doing our...
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July 4, 2021 47 min
Batiste is the bandleader of 'The Late Show with Stephen Colbert.' He joins us from his home piano where he plays music he wrote for the Pixar movie 'Soul' and songs from his album 'We Are.' We'll also hear his rendition of 'The Star Spangled Banner' and the Black national anthem, "Lift Every Voice."
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