Fresh Air on 89.5-1

Weekdays at 3pm and 9pm
  • Hosted by Terri Gross

Fresh Air with Terry Gross, the Peabody Award-winning weekday magazine of contemporary arts and issues, is one of public radio's most popular programs. Though Fresh Air has been categorized as a "talk show," it hardly fits the mold. Its 1994 Peabody Award citation credits Fresh Air with "probing questions, revelatory interviews and unusual insights." And a variety of top publications count Gross among the country's leading interviewers. The show gives interviews as much time as needed, and complements them with comments from well-known critics and commentators. Whether the topic is politics, world events, pop culture, film, the arts, or science, the opinion-makers always make time for Terry Gross. For the latest program, or to search the archives, visit here.

Fresh Air is produced at WHYY-FM in Philadelphia and broadcast nationally by NPR.

Copyright 2019 Fresh Air. To see more, visit Fresh Air.

TERRY GROSS, HOST:

Nearly 100 years ago, Congress passed a restrictive law that cut the overall number of immigrants coming to the United States and put severe limits on those who were let in.

Journalist Daniel Okrent says that the eugenics movement — a junk science that stemmed from the belief that certain races and ethnicities were morally and genetically superior to others — informed the Immigration Act of 1924, which restricted entrance to the U.S.

Copyright 2019 Fresh Air. To see more, visit Fresh Air.

TERRY GROSS, HOST:

Many women have a hard time admitting — even to themselves — that they're being abused by their husband or partner. Suzanne Dubus' first husband hit her, but still, she didn't initially identify herself as a victim of abuse.

"I attributed it to alcohol," Dubus says. "I knew that his father abused his mother. And I thought, 'Well, this is just poor learning, and I can help him with this.' "

Copyright 2019 Fresh Air. To see more, visit Fresh Air.

TERRY GROSS, HOST:

Copyright 2019 Fresh Air. To see more, visit Fresh Air.

TERRY GROSS, HOST:

There aren't many people who would choose to go back to middle school — what with all its braces, bullies, crushes and drama.

But that's exactly what actors Maya Erskine and Anna Konkle have done in their Hulu comedy series PEN15. The show is based loosely on their own middle school years and Erskine and Konkle, who are both in their early 30s, play 7th-grade versions of themselves on the show — alongside castmates who are actually middle schoolers.

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:

DAVID BIANCULLI, HOST:

This is FRESH AIR. Damon Young is best known as the editor and co-founder of the blog Very Smart Brothas, where he's built a faithful readership thanks to his social commentary on race and culture. His website is now part of the black news and culture site The Root. Young calls his new book "What Doesn't Kill You Makes You Blacker: A Memoir In Essays." Critic Soraya Nadia McDonald has this review.

Copyright 2019 Fresh Air. To see more, visit Fresh Air.

DAVID BIANCULLI, HOST:

Jo Sullivan Loesser, who died April 28, starred in Frank Loesser's Broadway show The Most Happy Fella and then married him. After he died she helped preserve his legacy.

Copyright 2019 Fresh Air. To see more, visit Fresh Air.

DAVID BIANCULLI, HOST:

Copyright 2019 Fresh Air. To see more, visit Fresh Air.

TERRY GROSS, HOST:

Copyright 2019 Fresh Air. To see more, visit Fresh Air.

TERRY GROSS, HOST:

TERRY GROSS, HOST:

This is FRESH AIR. I'm Terry Gross. The Mueller investigation gave us insights into how Paul Manafort and his business partner, Rick Gates, hid their ill-gotten money with the help of shell companies and real estate, protecting it from the reach of the law, until the investigation. Crooks, oligarchs, kleptocrats and some of the superrich from around the world use this transnational shadow system of shell companies and real estate to stash their money.

Copyright 2019 Fresh Air. To see more, visit Fresh Air.

TERRY GROSS, HOST:

When New York Times media columnist David Carr died suddenly of previously undiagnosed lung cancer in 2015, he left behind a legacy as a journalist, a mentor and a father.

In 2015, a woman named Dee Dee Blanchard was found stabbed to death in the Missouri home she shared with her teenage daughter, Gypsy Rose.

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:

Glenda Jackson On Playing King Lear: Gender Barriers 'Crack' With Age: The 82-year-old British actor is currently playing Shakespeare's famed tragic figure on Broadway. "Doors have opened for women that were firmly locked many decades ago," she says.

Copyright 2019 Fresh Air. To see more, visit Fresh Air.

DAVID BIANCULLI, HOST:

This is FRESH AIR. I'm David Bianculli, editor of the website TV Worth Watching, sitting in for Terry Gross.

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "FOR YOU MY LOVE")

DAVID BIANCULLI, HOST:

This is FRESH AIR. Over the past 40 years, Sir David Attenborough has become internationally known and respected for his groundbreaking documentary shows about the natural world. His new eight-part series "Our Planet" is currently streaming on Netflix. Our critic at large John Powers says this one is different.

TERRY GROSS, HOST:

This is FRESH AIR. As you might've heard, this week marks the release of "Avengers: Endgame," which ties up the threads of the previous 21 films in this Marvel series. Like last year's "Avengers: Infinity War," this one was directed by brothers Joe and Anthony Russo and reunites a cast of actors led by Robert Downey Jr., Chris Hemsworth, Mark Ruffalo, Chris Evans and Scarlett Johansson. Film critic Justin Chang has this review.

Copyright 2019 Fresh Air. To see more, visit Fresh Air.

TERRY GROSS, HOST:

Many years ago, I worked as an academic day laborer on Philadelphia's Main Line. For those unfamiliar with it, the Main Line — developed in the late 19th century along a railroad route west of the city — was, for decades, a quietly grand stretch of lavish estates, private schools, and cricket and golf clubs catering to Philadelphia's old money. The classic 1940 romantic comedy, The Philadelphia Story, starring Katharine Hepburn as a snooty socialite, was set on the Main Line.

Time was when the word "socialism" had a firm footing in the American political lexicon, with as many meanings as it has collected in all the other nations where it has taken root — as mixed or pure, as planned or market, as democratic or authoritarian, as a dogma or simply an aspiration — "the name of our desire," as the critic Irving Howe (and Lewis Coser) famously defined it.

Shakespeare's King Lear is one of the most challenging and prestigious roles in theater — and one that's traditionally played by a man.

But now a new production of King Lear on Broadway stars Glenda Jackson in its title role. The British actor, who is 82, is fine with the gender bending casting.

"When we're born, we teach babies ... to be boys or girls," Jackson says. "As we get older, those absolute barriers that define gender begin to crack."

DAVE DAVIES, HOST:

This is FRESH AIR. I'm Dave Davies in for Terry Gross. In the early morning darkness of June 17, 2017, the Navy destroyer USS Fitzgerald collided with a cargo ship in the South China Sea. The much larger cargo vessel ripped a huge hole in the Fitzgerald, killing seven sailors. Two months later, another destroyer, the USS John S. McCain, collided with another cargo ship leaving 10 more sailors dead.

Copyright 2019 Fresh Air. To see more, visit Fresh Air.

DAVE DAVIES, HOST:

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:

Biographer Robert Caro On Fame, Power And 'Working' To Uncover The Truth: The Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist was never interested in only telling the stories of famous men. Instead, he says, "I wanted to use their lives to show how political power worked."

DAVE DAVIES, HOST:

This is FRESH AIR. I'm Dave Davies in for Terry Gross, who's off this week. The Pulitzer Prize for History was awarded this week to historian David Blight for his book about 19th century abolitionist Frederick Douglass. Frederick Douglass is probably best known for his compelling autobiographies in which he described his experiences as a slave and his escape to freedom.

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