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Fresh Air

Podcasts | Fresh Air

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. Each week, nearly 5 million people listen to the show's intimate conversations broadcast on more than 624 NPR stations across the country, as well as in Europe on the World Radio Network. In 2015, Fresh Air was the No. 1 most downloaded podcast on iTunes.

Fresh Air latest podcasts.

Best Of: Jad Abumrad / Public Health Expert Dr. Leana Wen

Listen to Best Of: Jad Abumrad / Public Health Expert Dr. Leana WenAbumrad is the creator of the hit public radio series 'RadioLab.' The new 'RadioLab' miniseries, 'The Vanishing of Harry Pace,' is about the man who co-founded a publication with WEB DuBois, founded the first Black-owned record company, helped desegregate a Chicago neighborhood — and then kind of disappeared. Abumrad also co-reported the podcast miniseries 'Dolly Parton's America.'

Also, Maureen Corrigan reviews the novel 'Wayward' by Dana Spiotta.

Finally, Dr. Wen has commented extensively on CNN and in her 'Washington Post' column about COVID-19 and the precautions we need to take. She emigrated from China as a child and relied on the public health system while she had severe asthma. She talks about her new memoir called 'Lifelines.'

Actor Courtney B. Vance / Remembering Bob Moses

Listen to Actor Courtney B. Vance / Remembering Bob MosesVance is nominated for an Emmy for his guest appearance in the HBO series 'Lovecraft Country.' He played the charismatic and show-stopping attorney Johnnie Cochran in 'The People v. O.J. Simpson.' More recently, he played Aretha Franklin's father, Rev. C.L Franklin, in 'Genius: Aretha.'

Also, John Powers reviews a new edition of a 1963 novel by black reporter William Gardner Smith.

Then, we remember pioneering civil rights activist Bob Moses. He died Sunday at age 86.

Finally, Kevin Whitehead reviews two very different new albums by outstanding tenor saxophonists.

Leaks Reveal Spyware Meant To Track Criminals Targeted Activists Instead

Listen to Leaks Reveal Spyware Meant To Track Criminals Targeted Activists Instead'Washington Post' reporter Craig Timberg explains how military-grade spyware licensed to governments and police departments has infiltrated the iPhones of journalists, activists and others. "It takes a story like this to help people understand how deeply enmeshed these tiny little computers have gotten into our lives," Timberg says. "I still carry my iPhone everywhere I go ... And the reality of that is that every time I do that, I'm exposing not just myself, but everyone I deal with to the possibility of spying by governments all over the world."

Also, Justin Chang reviews 'The Green Knight' starring Dev Patel.

'Moonlight' Writer Tarell Alvin McCraney

Listen to 'Moonlight' Writer Tarell Alvin McCraneyAfter winning an Oscar for co-writing the film 'Moonlight,' McCraney says he received a lot of opportunities, many of which he turned down. "Some of it had to do with waiting for the other shoe to drop," he says. He's now the creator of the TV series 'David Makes Man,' which is in its second season on OWN. The series begins with a Miami boy whose mother struggles with addiction — and has echoes of McCraney's own childhood.

Public Health Expert Dr. Leana Wen On COVID & Mandates

Listen to Public Health Expert Dr. Leana Wen On COVID & MandatesDr. 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 severe asthma. She has a new memoir called 'Lifelines.'

Also, Maureen Corrigan reviews the novel 'Wayward' by Dana Spiotta.

Jad Abumrad

Listen to Jad AbumradAbumrad 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 — and then kind of disappeared. Abumrad also co-reported the podcast miniseries 'Dolly Parton's America,' which uses her life and music to examine larger issues like America's cultural divide.

Best Of: Questlove / Growing Up In A Utopian Community

Listen to Best Of: Questlove / Growing Up In A Utopian CommunityAhmir "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 Osborne, who were born 100 years ago.

Writer Akash Kapur reflects on growing up in a Utopian community founded in India 1968. While living in the U.S., he connected with a woman who also grew up in that community. They married and returned there, to better understand the social tumult of their childhood, and to learn more about the mysterious circumstances surrounding her parents' deaths. His book is 'Better to Have Gone.'

Hugh Grant On 'The Undoing'

Listen to Hugh Grant On 'The Undoing'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. Nice Guy for so many years," he says.

Ken Tucker reviews two new albums from Australia and David Bianculli reviews the second season of 'Ted Lasso' on Apple TV+.

How GOP State Legislatures Are Remaking The U.S.

Listen to How GOP State Legislatures Are Remaking The U.S.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 political analyst at CNN. His latest book is called 'Rock Me on the Water: 1974 - The Year Los Angeles Transformed Movies, Music, Television and Politics.'

Justin Chang reviews the South Korean film 'The Woman Who Ran.'

Questlove On 'Summer of Soul'

Listen to Questlove On 'Summer of Soul'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 debut with the documentary 'Summer of Soul,' which tells the story of the 1969 Harlem Cultural Festival, known as the "Black Woodstock."

Reopening The Jeffrey Epstein Investigation

Listen to Reopening The Jeffrey Epstein InvestigationLong 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.'

Growing Up In A Utopian Community

Listen to Growing Up  In A Utopian CommunityMemoirist 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, Death, and the Quest for Utopia in Auroville.'

Kevin Whitehead reviews a new Bill Evans anthology.

Best Of: 'Startup Wife' Author Tahmima Anam / MLB Pitcher C.C. Sabathia

Listen to Best Of: 'Startup Wife' Author Tahmima Anam / MLB Pitcher C.C. SabathiaTahmima 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 'Schmigadoon!'

Six-time All Star C.C. Sabathia 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.'

Anthony Bourdain, 'Roadrunner'

Listen to Anthony Bourdain, 'Roadrunner'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 tragic death, is now in theaters.

TV critic David Bianculli reviews 'Schmigadoon!' starring Cecily Strong of 'SNL.'

Our Renewable Energy Future

Listen to Our Renewable Energy Future'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.'

MLB Pitcher C.C. Sabathia

Listen to MLB Pitcher C.C. SabathiaThe 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 Osborne.

The 'Ugly Truth' About Facebook

Listen to The 'Ugly Truth' About FacebookIn 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 6]," Kang says.

'Startup Wife' Author Satirizes Tech Culture & Sexism

Listen to 'Startup Wife' Author Satirizes Tech Culture & SexismTahmima 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, and her childhood growing up in many different countries.

Best Of: Writer Ashley C. Ford / Flight Attendant-Turned-Author T.J. Newman

Listen to Best Of: Writer Ashley C. Ford / Flight Attendant-Turned-Author T.J. NewmanAshley 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 1969 Sarah Vaughan concert.

Also, we'll hear from former flight attendant T.J. Newman. Her 10 years working crowded cabins informed her debut novel, 'Falling.' It's a thriller about a flight from LA to New York, in which the pilot learns a terrorist plans to kill his family unless he crashes his plane.

Mindy Kaling On 'Never Have I Ever'

Listen to Mindy Kaling On 'Never Have I Ever'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 documentaries 'Summer of Soul' and 'McCartney 3-2-1.'