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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.

Reese Witherspoon

Listen to Reese WitherspoonFrustrated by the lack of good leading roles for women, Witherspoon decided to start her own production company. Her new project, 'The Morning Show,' takes on sexual harassment in the broadcast news industry. She spoke with Terry Gross about the #MeToo movement, studying with a vocal coach to play June Carter Cash in 'Walk the Line,' and why 'Wild' was a turning point for her.

Actor Willem Dafoe

Listen to Actor Willem DafoeDafoe has played villains, soldiers, van Gogh and Jesus. He's earned four Oscar nominations and appeared in more than 100 films — including, most recently, 'Motherless Brooklyn' and 'The Lighthouse.' He talks about being a 'good bad guy.'

Also, Ken Tucker reviews DaBaby's new album 'Kirk,' and book critic Maureen Corrigan reviews 'The Great Pretender,' by Susannah Cahalan, author of the best-selling memoir 'Brain on Fire.'

How Online Extremists Are 'Hijacking' The American Conversation

Listen to How Online Extremists Are 'Hijacking' The American Conversation'New Yorker' staff writer Andrew Marantz spent years with far-right online extremists, embedding with them and watching them spread false news by exploiting social media. His new book is 'Antisocial.'

Also, TV critic David Bianculli reviews the new streaming service Disney+.

Judd Apatow On His Mentor, Comic Garry Shandling

Listen to Judd Apatow On His Mentor, Comic Garry ShandlingFilmmaker and producer Judd Apatow (Superbad, Girls, The 40-Year-Old Virgin) talks about his late mentor, stand-up legend Garry Shandling, and the personal trauma that formed him. "Garry was a wounded person. He was a neurotic man," Apatow says. "He was a guy constantly attempting to evolve and heal. I felt like there's so many lessons that people can get from learning about how he lived his life." Apatow explores Shandling's life and legacy in the HBO documentary 'The Zen Diaries of Garry Shandling' and the accompanying book, 'It's Garry Shandling's Book.'

Best Of: Musician Allison Moorer / Writer Saeed Jones

Listen to Best Of: Musician Allison Moorer / Writer Saeed JonesWhen Allison Moorer was 14, her father shot and killed her mother and then took his own life. Moorer, a country singer-songwriter, has a new memoir and accompanying album (both entitled 'Blood') about the incident and her road to healing.

Jazz critic Kevin Whitehead reviews a reissue of early recordings by Nat King Cole.

"It was perilous to be a black gay boy in America," Saeed Jones says of the fear and isolation he experienced growing up in Texas in the 1990s. Jones, a former culture editor and LGBTQ editor at BuzzFeed, talks about his search for identity and being "mad as hell and gay as hell." His new memoir is 'How We Fight for Our Lives.'

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

Listen to The Fugitive Slave Act & The 'Struggle For America's Soul'Historian 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, 'The War Before The War,' is now out in paperback.

Also, film critic Justin Chang reviews 'Marriage Story,' Noah Baumbach's new drama starring Adam Driver and Scarlett Johansson as a couple going through a divorce.

'What Happens When A President And Congress Go To War?'

Listen to 'What Happens When A President And Congress Go To War?'The leaders of the impeachment inquiry in the House have issued subpoenas to several members of the Trump administration—and the White House lawyer has told them not to comply. In our system of checks and balances, what power does Congress have to force them to comply? 'New York Times Magazine' staff writer Emily Bazelon says, "The question is, what it really means to be held in contempt of Congress these days." In the past, "Congress would hold you in contempt; they'd send the Sergeant at Arms to come arrest you and you could be jailed, but we haven't seen Congress take that kind of aggressive enforcement action since 1935."

Writer Saeed Jones On 'How We Fight For Our Lives'

Listen to Writer Saeed Jones On 'How We Fight For Our Lives'"It was perilous to be a black gay boy in America," Jones says of the fear and isolation he experienced growing up in Texas in the 1990s. Jones, a former culture editor and LGBTQ editor at BuzzFeed, talks about his search for identity and being "mad as hell and gay as hell." His new memoir is 'How We Fight for Our Lives.'

Also, classical music critic Lloyd Schwartz reviews two contemporary operas.

Hearing In A Deafening World

Listen to Hearing In A Deafening WorldFrom lawn mowers to rock concerts, our deafening world is hurting our ears. Writer David Owen talks about why it's hard to follow conversation in a loud restaurant, the cause of tinnitus, and breakthroughs in hearing aid technology. His book is 'Volume Control.'

Also, jazz critic Kevin Whitehead reviews a reissue of early recordings by Nat King Cole.

Musician Allison Moorer Finds Healing In 'Blood'

Listen to Musician Allison Moorer Finds Healing In 'Blood'When Moorer was 14, her father shot and killed her mother and then took his own life. Moorer, a country singer-songwriter, has a new memoir and accompanying album (both entitled 'Blood') about the incident and her road to healing. Moorer brought her guitar to the interview.

Best Of: Prince Memoir Co-Writer Dan Piepenbring / 'Mr. Robot' Creator Sam Esmail

Listen to Best Of: Prince Memoir Co-Writer Dan Piepenbring / 'Mr. Robot' Creator Sam EsmailPrince died in 2016, leaving behind an unfinished memoir. Dan Piepenbring, his co-writer, recalls what it was like collaborating with the pop music icon. The book is 'The Beautiful Ones.'

In college, Sam Esmail shied away from parties and instead took refuge in the the computer lab, where he experimented with hacking. He later drew on those experiences to create his USA Network show, 'Mr. Robot,' starring Rami Malek.

Remembering Film Producer Robert Evans / Punk Pioneer Viv Albertine

Listen to Remembering Film Producer Robert Evans / Punk Pioneer Viv AlbertineRobert Evans ran Paramount Studios from the late '60s to early '70s and brought 'Chinatown,' 'Rosemary's Baby,' and 'The Godfather' to the big screen. He talked about making some of those iconic films with Terry Gross in 1994. Evans died Saturday at 89.

TV critic David Bianculli reviews Apple's new streaming service.

Viv Albertine was the guitarist and lyricist for The Slits, one of the first all-women British punk bands. She spoke with Terry Gross last year about her early years in the punk scene, fighting the patriarchy and finding herself onstage. Albertine's memoir, 'To Throw Away Unopened,' is now out in paperback.

The Ukrainian Side Of The Impeachment Drama

Listen to The Ukrainian Side Of The Impeachment Drama'New York Times' reporter Andrew Kramer says impeachment puts Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky in a tough spot: "He may be dealing with a President Biden next year, or he may be dealing with President Trump."

Also, Ken Tucker reviews country musician Jon Pardi's new album 'Heartache Medication,' and film critic Justin Chang reviews Martin Scorsese's new film 'The Irishman,' starring Al Pacino, Joe Pesci and Robert De Niro.

'Mr. Robot' Creator Sam Esmail

Listen to 'Mr. Robot' Creator Sam EsmailIn college, Sam Esmail shied away from parties and instead took refuge in the the computer lab, where he experimented with hacking. He later drew on those experiences to create his USA Network show, 'Mr. Robot,' starring Rami Malek. We'll also talk about growing up Egyptian American, his first job in film (editing amateur porn), and his love of movies.

How Living With Tourette's Inspired 'Nothing To See Here'

Listen to How Living With Tourette's Inspired 'Nothing To See Here'For novelist Kevin Wilson, Tourette's syndrome means living with intrusive thoughts that flash disturbing images without warning. His novel, 'Nothing to See Here,' was inspired by visions of people bursting into flames. Wilson talks about his experience of Tourette's and how writing gives him a reprieve from his tics.

Also, critic John Powers reviews the second season of 'Tom Clancy's Jack Ryan' on Amazon.

Prince's Co-Writer Reflects On Posthumous Memoir

Listen to Prince's Co-Writer Reflects On Posthumous MemoirPrince died in 2016, leaving behind an unfinished memoir. Dan Piepenbring, his co-writer, recalls the moment he knew he could make 'The Beautiful Ones' happen — even in Prince's absence.

Best Of: The Life & Music of Janis Joplin / Kathryn Hahn

Listen to Best Of: The Life & Music of Janis Joplin / Kathryn HahnOnstage, Janis Joplin oozed confidence, sexuality and exuberance, but biographer Holly George-Warren describes the singer as a bookworm who worked hard to create her "blues feelin' mama" persona. Her new biography of the '60s counterculture icon is 'Janis.'

Also, film critic Justin Chang reviews the psychological thriller 'The Lighthouse,' starring Willem Dafoe and Robert Pattinson.

Kathryn Hahn stars in the new HBO series 'Mrs. Fletcher' as a divorced mom grappling with her son going away to college. Hahn is known for her roles in 'Transparent,' 'Parks and Recreation,' 'I Love Dick,' and 'Private Life.'

Writer Tom Perrotta On 'Mrs. Fletcher'

Listen to Writer Tom Perrotta On 'Mrs. Fletcher'Mrs. Fletcher tells the story of Eve, a single mother whose only child, Brendan, has left for college. Perrotta says the book was inspired by the upheaval he experienced when his own kids moved out. The novel has been adapted into an HBO series starring Kathryn Hahn It begins this weekend. Perrotta spoke with Terry Gross last year.

Also, we listen back to our 2007 interview with musician Booker T. Jones. He's the frontman of the soul band Booker T. & the MG's and has a new memoir about his career, 'Time is Tight: My Life, Note by Note.'

Actor Kathryn Hahn

Listen to Actor Kathryn HahnHahn stars in the new HBO series 'Mrs. Fletcher' as a divorced mom grappling with her son going away to college. Hahn is known for her roles in 'Transparent,' 'Parks and Recreation,' 'I Love Dick,' and 'Private Life.' She says her best roles have been in her 40s. "The most complicated and messy roles I've been able to get have been offered through women," she says. "I'm just so buoyed and galvanized that the juiciest part of [my career] has been post-kids."

Also, jazz critic Kevin Whitehead reviews the album 'Good Hope' from the Crosscurrents Trio — Dave Holland, Zakir Hussain and Chris Potter.

Mosul & The Fall of ISIS

Listen to Mosul & The Fall of ISISJournalist James Verini offers a first-hand account of the 2017 battle to drive ISIS from Mosul, the second-largest city in Iraq. The fighting left thousands dead, and the oldest part of the city in ruin: "The west side looked as though some vengeful deity had wiped his hand across the city. It was miles and miles of rubble." His new book is 'They Will Have to Die Now.'

Also, film critic Justin Chang reviews the psychological thriller 'The Lighthouse,' starring Willem Dafoe and Robert Pattinson.