Saturday

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Maj. Frank Capra sits at his War Department desk in Washington on March 6, 1942. Capra's non-War Department films include It's A Wonderful Life and Mr. Smith Goes To Washington. AP hide caption

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Fresh Air Weekend

Fresh Air Weekend: WWII Filmmakers, Kevin Young And Solitary Confinement

A look at how the military and Hollywood teamed up during World War II; poet Kevin Young says his new book has a blues sensibility; and how California convicts organized a statewide hunger strike.

Fresh Air Weekend: WWII Filmmakers, Kevin Young And Solitary Confinement

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Friday

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Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie's short fiction has appeared in The New Yorker and Granta. She is also the author of the novels Purple Hibiscus and Half of A Yellow Sun. Little, Brown and Co. hide caption

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Interviews

'Americanah' Author Explains 'Learning' To Be Black In The U.S.

When Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie moved from Nigeria to the U.S., she was suddenly confronted with what it meant to be a person of color in America. Her novel explores race in contemporary America.

'Americanah' Author Explains 'Learning' To Be Black In The U.S.

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Remembrances

Fresh Air Remembers Surgeon And 'How We Die' Author Sherwin Nuland

Nuland's book won a National Book Award and impacted the national debate about end-of-life care. He died on Monday at 83. Nuland spoke to Fresh Air in 1994.

Fresh Air Remembers Surgeon And 'How We Die' Author Sherwin Nuland

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Ralph Fiennes plays Gustave H., a hotel concierge given to bedding his elderly guests, in Wes Anderson's latest film. Bob Yeoman/Courtesy of Fox Searchlight Pictures hide caption

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Movie Reviews

'Grand Budapest Hotel': Kitsch, Cameos And A Gloriously Stylized Europe

Wes Anderson's new feature takes place at a resort hotel, between World Wars I and II. Fresh Air's critic says the visuals are so witty they transcend camp, but the dialogue isn't quite at that level.

'Grand Budapest Hotel': Kitsch, Cameos And A Gloriously Stylized Europe

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Thursday

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The July 8 hunger strike wasn't the first California's Pelican Bay State Prison has seen. Inmates in the prison's isolation unit also protested their conditions in 2011. Rich Pedroncelli/AP hide caption

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Around the Nation

How 4 Inmates Launched A Statewide Hunger Strike From Solitary

The California convicts overcame the extreme isolation of their imprisonment to organize a 30,000-prisoner-strong movement. Their goal? To end long-term incarceration in solitary confinement.

How 4 Inmates Launched A Statewide Hunger Strike From Solitary

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Pharrell, sporting more conventional headwear. Mimi Valdés/Courtesy of the artist hide caption

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Music Reviews

Pharrell Williams: Just Exhilaratingly Happy

To hear G I R L, you'd think Pharrell's world consisted of grooving on catchy beats and flirting with women. It's a lightweight image that draws gravitas from his prolific work ethic.

Pharrell Williams: Just Exhilaratingly Happy

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Wednesday

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Seen here in 1935, the building that housed Manhattan's Democratic Party, known as Tammany Hall, still stands today. AP hide caption

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Author Interviews

The Case For Tammany Hall Being On The Right Side Of History

In a new book, Terry Golway takes a sympathetic view of Manhattan's infamous political machine. He says, "Tammany Hall was there for the poor immigrant who was otherwise friendless in New York."

The Case For Tammany Hall Being On The Right Side Of History

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Book Reviews

'Schmuck' Revisits The Golden Age Of Radio, And A Bygone Manhattan

Ross Klavan's novel follows two radio sidekicks in midcentury New York: golden-voiced straight man Ted Fox, who has an eye for a good-looking dame, and funnyman Jerry Elkin, a veteran of World War II.

'Schmuck' Revisits The Golden Age Of Radio, And A Bygone Manhattan

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Tuesday

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Kevin Young's 2012 essay collection The Grey Album: On The Blackness Of Blackness was a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award. Melanie Dunea/CPi hide caption

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Author Interviews

Kevin Young On Blues, Poetry And 'Laughing To Keep From Crying'

The poet describes his new book — about the death of his father and the birth of his son — as having a blues sensibility. "There are moments of humor even in the sorrow," he says.

Kevin Young On Blues, Poetry And 'Laughing To Keep From Crying'

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Author Interviews

Fresh Air Remembers Literary Biographer Justin Kaplan

Kaplan died Sunday at 88. His biography of Mark Twain won a National Book Award and a Pulitzer Prize. He also edited two editions of Bartlett's Familiar Quotations. Kaplan spoke to Fresh Air in 1992.

Fresh Air Remembers Literary Biographer Justin Kaplan

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Mercedes' S500 Intelligent Drive is one traditional carmaker's approach to driverless cars. Johannes Eisele/AFP/Getty Images hide caption

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All Tech Considered

By The Time Your Car Goes Driverless, You Won't Know The Difference

The once-futuristic concept is closer than ever to becoming a reality. Parallel parking? Let the car find the perfect approach. Squeezing into a tight space? Hop out and use your smartphone.

By The Time Your Car Goes Driverless, You Won't Know The Difference

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Monday

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Maj. Frank Capra sits at his War Department desk in Washington on March 6, 1942. Capra's non-War Department films include It's A Wonderful Life and Mr. Smith Goes To Washington. AP hide caption

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Author Interviews

During World War II, Even Filmmakers Reported For Duty

A new book looks at how the military and Hollywood directors teamed up during the war. The films they made helped show Americans what was at stake, and served as evidence during the Nuremberg Trials.

During World War II, Even Filmmakers Reported For Duty

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Chuck Mead. Courtesy of the artist hide caption

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Music Reviews

Chuck Mead: Gleefully Sinister Country Serenades

Mead hooks the listener, eager to show us the bleak side of what seemed like a bright scenario. That's the way he operates during much of Free State Serenade.

Chuck Mead: Gleefully Sinister Country Serenades

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Saturday

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Astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson hosts a new TV series called Cosmos: A Space-Time Odyssey. It's an update of the influential 1980 PBS series Cosmos: A Personal Journey, hosted by Carl Sagan. Patrick Eccelsine/Fox hide caption

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Fresh Air Weekend

Fresh Air Weekend: The Cosmos, Harold Ramis, And Protecting Your Data Online

Astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson explains why the cosmos shouldn't make you feel small. Critic John Powers remembers Harold Ramis. And if you think you're anonymous online, think again.

Fresh Air Weekend: The Cosmos, Harold Ramis, And Protecting Your Data Online

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Friday

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Colm Toibin's novel, The Testament of Mary, imagines the life of the mother of Christ in her later years. Steve Heap/iStockphoto hide caption

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Interviews

A New 'Testament' Told From Mary's Point Of View

In The Testament of Mary, Colm Toibin imagines Mary's life 20 years after her son's crucifixion, what she might have done to ease her son's suffering. (Originally broadcast on Nov. 28, 2012.)

A New 'Testament' Told From Mary's Point Of View

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Movie Reviews

Liam Neeson's Action Chops Take Flight In 'Non-Stop'

Neeson became a bankable action hero in 2008 after the thriller Taken. Now almost 62, he's still getting out of tight corners with his fists. His new film unfolds on a transatlantic flight.

Liam Neeson's Action Chops Take Flight In 'Non-Stop'

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Thursday

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Astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson hosts a new TV series called Cosmos: A Space-Time Odyssey. It's an update of the influential 1980 PBS series Cosmos: A Personal Journey, hosted by Carl Sagan. Patrick Eccelsine/Fox hide caption

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Space

Neil DeGrasse Tyson Explains Why The Cosmos Shouldn't Make You Feel Small

The astrophysicist says that participating in a "great unfolding of a cosmic story" should make us feel large, not small. This spring, Tyson hosts a TV series called Cosmos: A Space-Time Odyssey.

Neil DeGrasse Tyson Explains Why The Cosmos Shouldn't Make You Feel Small

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Remembrances

Remembering Harold Ramis, Master Of The 'Smart Dumb-Movie'

Best known for Animal House, Ghostbusters and Groundhog Day, Ramis died Monday at 69. Critic John Powers says Ramis was like a favorite uncle who spices up the family reunion by spiking the punch.

Remembering Harold Ramis, Master Of The 'Smart Dumb-Movie'

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Wednesday

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A vehicle inside the U.S. Consulate compound in Benghazi is engulfed in flames after an attack on Sept. 11, 2012. "There is no evidence whatsoever that al-Qaida or any group linked to al-Qaida played a role in organizing or leading the attack," says New York Times correspondent David Kirkpatrick. STR/AFP/Getty Images hide caption

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Middle East

In Benghazi, U.S. Intelligence Wasn't Focused On 'Homegrown Militants'

New York Times correspondent David Kirkpatrick spent months on the ground in Benghazi, Libya, trying to get to the bottom of the deadly Sept. 11, 2012 attack on the U.S. Consulate.

In Benghazi, U.S. Intelligence Wasn't Focused On 'Homegrown Militants'

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Courtesy of Knopf

Book Reviews

These Stories Consider Solitude, With Echoes Of Emily Dickinson

It's been 15 years since acclaimed writer Lorrie Moore has brought out a new short story collection. Bark has some clunkers and some keepers, but critic Maureen Corrigan says it was worth the wait.

These Stories Consider Solitude, With Echoes Of Emily Dickinson

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