Fresh Air

Weekdays, 10:00 a.m. - 11:00 a.m.

Fresh Air opens the window on contemporary arts and issues with guests from worlds as diverse as literature and economics. Terry Gross hosts this multi-award-winning daily interview and features program. The veteran public radio interviewer is known for her extraordinary ability to engage guests of all dispositions. Every weekday she delights intelligent and curious listeners with revelations on contemporary societal concerns.

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10:31am

Fri September 30, 2011
Books We Like

'Freedom': Franzen's Novel Earns High Praise

Jonathan Franzen is also the author of The Corrections: A Novel, and The Discomfort Zone, a memoir. He is pictured above at The New Yorker Festival Fiction Night in New York City in 2009.
Joe Kohen Getty Images

This review was originally broadcast on September 9, 2010. Freedom is now available in paperback.

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8:03am

Fri September 30, 2011
Books

How The Financial Crisis Created A 'New Third World'

Boomerang looks at Greece and four other places affected by the financial crisis.

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After adopting the euro, Greece borrowed huge sums of money. The country is now on the brink of a major default. "They're going to default...it's now a question of how messy it will be," says writer Michael Lewis. His new book Boomerang looks at Greece and four other places affected by the financial crisis.

iStockphoto.com

Hedge fund manager Kyle Bass had made a fortune betting against the subprime mortgage market when it collapsed in 2008. And now Bass is set to make lots more — from a Greek default.

Bass' story is chronicled in Michael Lewis' latest book, Boomerang: The Meltdown Tour, which tells the stories of the fiscal recklessness in both Europe and the U.S. that led to the current debt crisis.

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12:56am

Fri September 30, 2011
Fresh Air Weekend

Fresh Air Weekend: 'Breaking Bad' And '50/50'

Aaron Paul plays Jesse Pinkman on Breaking Bad.
Ursula Coyote AMC

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:

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4:34pm

Thu September 29, 2011
Movie Reviews

An Atmospheric 'Shelter' For Era Full Of Foreboding

Dark Skies: Jeff Nichols' haunting Take Shelter centers on an Ohio man (Michael Shannon, with Tova Stewart) plagued with nightmares about a coming apocalypse.
Sony Pictures Classics

It's easy to giggle at the hero of Jeff Nichols' second feature, Take Shelter. Michael Shannon is Curtis, a crew chief for an Ohio sand-mining company who's ravaged by apocalyptic visions and nightmares. He's wiggy to start with and increasingly more unhinged, on a switchback track to madness that threatens to devastate his family. Curtis sees funnel clouds, locusts, even people staggering through the night like zombies. He knows it might all be in his head: His mother was diagnosed with schizophrenia at about the same age he is now. But in the end, he follows his dreams.

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9:08am

Wed September 28, 2011
Opinion

Unlike Most Marxist Jargon, 'Class Warfare' Persists

Geoff Nunberg, the linguist contributor on NPR's Fresh Air with Terry Gross, is the author of the book The Years of Talking Dangerously.

"Class warfare" was a dodgy phrase from the outset. In one of the most famous sentences in the history of political thought, Marx and Engels wrote in their 1848 Communist Manifesto: "The history of all society up to now is the history of..."

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8:47am

Wed September 28, 2011
Music Interviews

Gordon-Levitt, Reiser Tackle '50/50' Odds

In 50/50, Joseph Gordon-Levitt plays Adam, a public radio host stricken with cancer who enlists his best friend, played by Seth Rogen, for moral and physical support.
Chris Helcermanas-Benge Summit Publicity

When screenwriter Will Reiser was 24 and diagnosed with a rare form of spinal cancer, he coped by thinking up ideas for cancer comedies with his best friend, actor Seth Rogen.

"We wanted to do a parody of The Bucket List where you do really absurd and ridiculous things," he tells Fresh Air's Terry Gross. "Like skydiving with hookers and things that were completely outlandish. But it was a joke and it was sort of a coping mechanism for me at the time."

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3:10pm

Mon September 26, 2011
Book Reviews

'Lost Memory Of Skin' Goes Where Most Fiction Won't

Originally published on Wed October 12, 2011 10:01 am

You've got to hand it to Russell Banks: He's certainly not writing with an eye to please readers or to be taken up by book clubs across the land. Lost Memory of Skin is not aiming to be a "crossover" literary stealth hit. If you're going to read it, you're the one who will have to "cross over" to Banks' world, and it ain't very pretty on his side of the social divide.

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10:11am

Mon September 26, 2011
Music Reviews

The Bangles Are Back, And Still Clever As Ever

Courtesy of the artist

When they started out at the beginning of the 1980s, The Bangles' members were never part of the Los Angeles punk scene that slightly predated them, with bands such as X, the Germs and the other significant all-girl bands of that era, The Runaways and The Go-Gos. The Bangles were always more interested in jangling guitar sounds, plaintive harmonies, catchy choruses and wistful melancholy.

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6:49am

Sat September 24, 2011
NPR Story

Fresh Air Weekend: Brad Pitt, Maurice Sendak

A Still from Bumble-Ardy
courtesy of Maurice Sendak

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:

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10:26am

Fri September 23, 2011
Author Interviews

'Moneyball': Tracking Down How Stats Win Games

This interview was originally broadcast on May 28, 2003. The film Moneyball, which is based on Michael Lewis' book, opens on Friday.

When Michael Lewis started researching his book, Moneyball, he had a simply question: How did the Oakland A's, a motley collection of baseball misfits and utility players with the second-lowest payroll in all of baseball, win so many games?

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6:23am

Fri September 23, 2011
Movie Reviews

'Moneyball': A 'Bad News Bears' For MBAs

Brad Pitt plays the former Oakland A's General Manager Billy Beane who revolutionized the recruiting analysis in major league baseball.
Melinda Sue Gordon ASSOCIATED PRESS

The film of Michael Lewis's game-changing nonfiction bestseller Moneyball is inside baseball, literally, but it wouldn't be so rousing if that were all it was. The book tells the story of Billy Beane, the General Manager of a small-market ball team, the Oakland Athletics. Heading into the 2002 season, he has a quarter the amount of money to pay players as the near-perennial champions the Yankees.

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10:28am

Thu September 22, 2011
Author Interviews

In 'Arabia,' Writing Life As You Wish You'd Lived It

Dana Spiotta's novel Eat the Document was a finalist for the 2006 National Book Award.
Jessica Marx

The career of guitarist Nik Worth never really took off. For four decades, he played in a few bands, almost got a few record deals and bartended part-time to pay the bills. His biggest fan and No. 1 groupie was his sister Denise, who grew up worshiping him and who always made sure he had an audience — and enough to eat.

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9:55am

Thu September 22, 2011
Movie Interviews

Brad Pitt: 'Moneyball,' Life And 'The Stalkerazzi'

Brad Pitt, left, plays Billy Beane, the general manager of the Oakland A's, in the movie Moneyball. His assistant Peter Brand is played by Jonah Hill.
Melinda Sue Gordon Sony Pictures

Brad Pitt is aware that his portrayal of a baseball-team manager in the new film Moneyball is somewhat different from his previous roles. After all, the actor has played a Nazi-hunter, a vampire, a cowboy hitchhiker, a detective on the trail of a serial killer, the Greek warrior Achilles, a terrorist, an assassin and the outlaw Jesse James. He's ridden on horseback and dodged both flying glass and flying fists for physical roles in movies like Troy, Mr. and Mrs. Smith and Fight Club.

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9:36am

Thu September 22, 2011
Television

Some Familiar Faces Return To Fall TV Lineup

Ted Danson and Marg Helgenberger search for clues on the CBS drama CSI.
Sonja Flemming CBS

I'm well aware that most of the buzz this time of year goes to the new fall TV shows – and one of the passably watchable ones, ABC's Pan Am premieres this Sunday. But for the most part this fall, broadcast TV has been more interesting because of the older, more familiar elements – especially familiar faces who are returning to TV in new roles.

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9:58am

Wed September 21, 2011
Books

Love Longitude? 'Maphead' Locates Geography Buffs

A schoolgirl in Texas stands in front of a map in 1943.
The Library of Congress

Do you ever read an atlas for pleasure? If you go to a new city, can you imagine not knowing which way is north? Is it hard for you to imagine life without a map?

Then you might be a maphead, says trivia buff Ken Jennings.

"If there's a map on the wall of the room, people like us just cannot turn away," he tells Fresh Air's Dave Davies. "There's just something hypnotic about maps."

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9:43am

Wed September 21, 2011
Book Reviews

Roger Ebert: A Critic Reflects On 'Life Itself'

Pulitzer Prize-winning movie critic Roger Ebert works in his office at the WTTW-TV studios in Chicago in January 2011.
Charles Rex Arbogast AP Photo

You can divide famous people into two broad categories. Those who find fame a burden and those who take it like a tonic. Roger Ebert is one of the latter. That rarest of creatures — a film critic everyone knows — he really enjoys being Roger Ebert.

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6:00am

Wed September 21, 2011
Your Health

Becoming Mindful Of Medical Decision Making

Sean Locke iStockphoto.com

Whether making life-or-death decisions — or simply choosing a drug — we're flooded with information and conflicting advice. Doctors, the media, statistics, guidelines, family members and Internet strangers can all weigh in on the best medications to take or the most effective treatment options.

So how do you pick the best one?

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10:13am

Tue September 20, 2011
Book Reviews

'The Swerve': Ideas That Rooted The Renaissance

The Swerve by Stephen Greenblatt.

The latest distress signal being sounded on the chat sites I share with my bookish friends is that IKEA is about to introduce an updated version of its classic BILLY bookcase — some 10 of which totter to overflowing in my own basement. Anticipating "the death of the book," IKEA has redesigned the good old BILLY with deeper shelves and glass doors, thus transforming it from a bookcase into a tchotchke cabinet.

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10:09am

Tue September 20, 2011
Author Interviews

'Confidence Men': Ron Suskind On White House Woes

Originally published on Tue September 20, 2011 9:00 am

President Obama meets with advisers at an economic meeting in the Roosevelt Room of the White House, March 15, 2009. Participants include National Economic Council Director Larry Summers, Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner, Council of Economic Advisers Chairwoman Christina Romer, senior adviser David Axelrod, Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel and adviser Gene Sperling.
Pete Souza White House

A new book by Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Ron Suskind paints an unflattering picture of rivalries and dysfunction within President Obama's first economic team — rivalries that Suskind says then slowed the administration's response to the financial crisis.

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9:55am

Tue September 20, 2011
Author Interviews

This Pig Wants To Party: Maurice Sendak's Latest

Originally published on Wed May 23, 2012 9:24 am

Bumble-ardy, the latest from author and illustrator Maurice Sendak, is dark and deeply imaginative, much like his classic works Where the Wild Things Are and In The Night Kitchen.

Bumble-ardy is an orphaned pig, who has reached the age of 9 without ever having a birthday party. He tells his Aunt Adeline that he would like to have a party for his ninth birthday, so Aunt Adeline plans a quiet birthday dinner for two. But Bumble-ardy instead decides to throw a large costume party for himself after his aunt leaves for work — and mayhem ensues.

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