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.
Fresh Air
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Fresh Air

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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.More from Fresh Air »

Most Recent Episodes

Remembering Stan Lee / 'Seduction' In Old Hollywood

Karina Longworth's new book, 'Seduction,' focuses on 10 women that had relationships with Howard Hughes and the exploitation of actresses in Old Hollywood. She also reflects on the #MeToo movement and women coming forward against Harvey Weinstein: "The thing that I've come to understand from studying the 20th century of Hollywood is that these things have always happened, and they were never talked about publicly," she says. "So just the fact that we're having a conversation is completely revolutionary." Longworth's podcast, 'You Must Remember This,' is about the forgotten stories of Hollywood's first century.

Also we remember Marvel Comics writer, editor, publisher Stan Lee. He died yesterday at 95. Lee spoke with Terry Gross in 1991 about coming up with Spider-Man, inventing new sound effects for his comics, and why superheroes have colorful costumes.

Remembering Stan Lee / 'Seduction' In Old Hollywood

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With Bugs & Bacteria Living In Your Home, You're 'Never Home Alone'

"Every surface, every bit of air, every bit of water in your home is alive," says scientist Rob Dunn. His new book, 'Never Home Alone,' examines the bacteria, fungi, viruses, parasites and insects we live with — from armpit bacteria to black mold in our walls.

Book critic Maureen Corrigan reviews 'A Ladder to the Sky' by John Boyne. She calls it "maliciously witty, erudite and ingeniously constructed."

With Bugs & Bacteria Living In Your Home, You're 'Never Home Alone'

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Best Of: 'How Hearts Can Heal' After Tragedy / Chef José Andrés

Religion scholar Elaine Pagels lost her young son to terminal illness and her husband a year later in an accident. Her new book, 'Why Religion?' combines memoir and biblical scholarship and reflects on loss and faith.

Rock critic Ken Tucker reviews the album 'Interstate Gospel' from the country trio Pistol Annies, comprised of Ashley Monroe, Miranda Lambert and Angaleena Presley.

Chef José Andrés talks about why "vegetables are sexy," reinventing the Philly Cheesesteak and growing up in Spain. His memoir is 'We Fed an Island.'

Best Of: 'How Hearts Can Heal' After Tragedy / Chef José Andrés

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Queen Guitarist Brian May

Terry Gross spoke with Queen lead guitarist Brian May in 2010 about recording the many vocals in 'Bohemian Rhapsody,' writing the anthem 'We Will Rock You' and getting a PhD in astrophysics. The new biopic 'Bohemian Rhapsody,' about Freddie Mercury and the meteoric rise of Queen, is now in theaters.

Also, film critic Justin Chang reviews the Coen Brothers' new film, 'The Ballad of Buster Scruggs,' coming to Netflix Nov. 16.

Queen Guitarist Brian May

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The Humanitarian Crisis In Yemen

In 2015, Saudi Arabia initiated a bombing campaign against Yemen that contributed to what is now the world's largest humanitarian crisis. Today, 14 million people in Yemen face starvation. Journalist Robert Worth says the country is "no longer a functioning state" — and that Americans share some of the blame, since the Obama administration backed the Saudis. "We gave a green light for it in 2015, and then we stood by and let it continue as it got worse and worse," he says.

The Humanitarian Crisis In Yemen

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Did Law Enforcement Overlook The Threat Of Far-Right Extremism?

'New York Times Magazine' journalist Janet Reitman says domestic counter-terrorism strategists ignored the rising danger of far-right extremism — which enabled the movement to grow and become more dangerous.

Juan Gabriel Vásquez's novel, 'The Shape Of The Ruins,' centers on the 1948 assassination of Colombian political leader Jorge Eliécer Gaitán, the years of violence that followed and the conspiracy theories concerning his death. Vásquez spoke with 'Fresh Air' producer Sam Briger.

Also Rock critic Ken Tucker reviews the album 'Interstate Gospel' from the country trio Pistol Annies, comprised of Ashley Monroe, Miranda Lambert and Angaleena Presley.

Did Law Enforcement Overlook The Threat Of Far-Right Extremism?

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The Fugitive Slave Act & The 'Struggle For America's Soul'

Author Andrew Delbanco says the 1850 law paved the way for the Civil War by endangering the lives of both escaped slaves and free black men and women in the North. His book is 'The War Before The War.'

Also, film critic Justin Chang reviews the psychological thriller 'Burning.'

The Fugitive Slave Act & The 'Struggle For America's Soul'

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'Why Religion?' Asks 'How Hearts Can Heal' After Tragedy

Religion scholar Elaine Pagels lost her young son to terminal illness and her husband a year later in an accident. Her new book combines memoir and biblical scholarship reflects on loss and faith.

Also, Lloyd Schwartz visits two art exhibitions — the Met's big Delacroix retrospective and the Morgan Library's Pontormo collection.

'Why Religion?' Asks 'How Hearts Can Heal' After Tragedy

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Best Of: Jonah Hill / How Newt Gingrich 'Broke Politics'

Jonah Hill always wanted to be a writer and director, but an unexpected complement in an acting class shifted him towards performing instead. He co-starred in 'The Wolf of Wall Street,' 'Superbad,' and 'Moneyball.' Now he's written and directed his first movie, 'Mid90s,' about a group of young skateboarders. He talks about toxic masculinity, self-acceptance, and his experience directing for the first time.

Maureen Corrigan reviews 'If You Ask Me,' a book of advice columns by Eleanor Roosevelt.

'Atlantic' journalist McKay Coppins says that by the time former Speaker of the House, Newt Gingrich, left Congress in 1999, he had enshrined a "combative, tribal, angry attitude in politics that would infect our national discourse in Washington and Congress for decades to come." Coppins' new article is 'The Man Who Broke Politics.'

Best Of: Jonah Hill / How Newt Gingrich 'Broke Politics'

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Comic Hasan Minhaj

"I'm an Indian-American-Muslim kid, but am I more Indian or am I more American?" Minhaj asks. The former 'Daily Show' correspondent has a new weekly political comedy series on Neflix called 'Patriot Act.' Minhaj spoke with Terry Gross in 2017 when his comedy special 'Homecoming King' was released and he had just done the White House Correspondents' dinner.

Also, TV critic David Bianculli reviews 'Homecoming' on Amazon Prime Video. The series stars Julia Roberts as a therapist who's working with a soldier returning from Afghanistan.

Comic Hasan Minhaj

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