June 20, 2013 The actor who brought mob boss Tony Soprano to life on the HBO drama The Sopranos died Wednesday at age 51. Fresh Air listens back to interviews with his co-stars Edie Falco and Jeff Daniels and Sopranos director David Chase, to hear their thoughts on Gandolfini's prodigious talent.
June 20, 2013 Journalist Jonathan Alter regards the 2012 presidential contest as the most consequential election of recent times. In his new book, Alter argues that President Obama's re-election prevented the country from veering sharply to the right, and he dissects the campaign and the events that led up to it.
June 19, 2013 Shane Harris, an author and journalist who covers intelligence, surveillance and cybersecurity for a number of publications, says that the revelations about the NSA from Edward Snowden are nothing new, and that such programs have a significant recent history in the United States.
June 18, 2013 As the brains behind the hip-hop parody group responsible for digital shorts like "D—- in a Box," Andy Samberg, Jorma Taccone and Akiva Schaffer have produced some of the funniest Saturday Night Live material in recent memory. Here, they talk about comedy, Yo! MTV Raps and adolescence.
June 17, 2013 In his new book, journalist Charles Glass explores the little-known history of thousands of American and British soldiers who deserted during World War II. Glass describes how the strain of war can push a soldier to the breaking point — and how the line between courage and cowardice is never simple.
June 15, 2013 Writing partners Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg met as adolescents. Their new project is the disaster-movie spoof This Is the End. A new documentary profiles backup singers whose voices you know but whose names you probably don't. Joss Whedon's new production of Shakespeare's classic is a delight.
June 14, 2013 Hilary Mantel is the first woman to win the Man Booker Prize twice, first for her 2009 novel, Wolf Hall, and then for that book's 2012 sequel, Bring Up the Bodies. The novels are part of a historical fiction trilogy about Tudor England and the events surrounding the reign of King Henry VIII.
June 14, 2013 With Jon Stewart on leave, The Daily Show's "Senior British Correspondent" John Oliver has stepped up to fill in as host. In a Fresh Air interview from 2010, he talks about moving to the United States to join the show — and the weird credibility his accent immediately gives him with Americans.
June 13, 2013 The singer-songwriter has said, as he was writing his new album Still Fighting the War, that "a theme of perseverance through hard times revealed itself." Rock critic Ken Tucker says the record is no downer, and that Cleaves finds complex sentiments and wittily phrased ideas in many of his new songs.