Fresh Air

Fresh Air

NPR

Arts>Books

50 episodes

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.


  • 31 JUL 2021
    Best Of: Jad Abumrad / Public Health Expert Dr. Leana Wen
    48m 53s

    Abumrad 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, hel...

  • 30 JUL 2021
    Actor Courtney B. Vance / Remembering Bob Moses
    47m 39s

    Vance 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...

  • 29 JUL 2021
    Leaks Reveal Spyware Meant To Track Criminals Targeted Activists Instead
    45m 57s

    '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 underst...

  • 28 JUL 2021
    'Moonlight' Writer Tarell Alvin McCraney
    46m 13s

    After 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...

  • 27 JUL 2021
    Public Health Expert Dr. Leana Wen On COVID & Mandates
    46m 49s

    Dr. 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 th...

  • 26 JUL 2021
    Jad Abumrad
    45m 46s

    Abumrad 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 a...

  • 24 JUL 2021
    Best Of: Questlove / Growing Up In A Utopian Community
    49m 53s

    Ahmir "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 a...

  • 23 JUL 2021
    Hugh Grant On 'The Undoing'
    47m 51s

    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 alarmi...

  • 22 JUL 2021
    How GOP State Legislatures Are Remaking The U.S.
    46m 0s

    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, th...

  • 21 JUL 2021
    Questlove On 'Summer of Soul'
    47m 8s

    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 chao...

  • 20 JUL 2021
    Reopening The Jeffrey Epstein Investigation
    47m 17s

    Long 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...

  • 19 JUL 2021
    Growing Up In A Utopian Community
    46m 12s

    Memoirist 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...

  • 17 JUL 2021
    Best Of: 'Startup Wife' Author Tahmima Anam / MLB Pitcher C.C. Sabathia
    49m 57s

    Tahmima 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 — e...

  • 16 JUL 2021
    Anthony Bourdain, 'Roadrunner'
    46m 57s

    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...

  • 15 JUL 2021
    Our Renewable Energy Future
    46m 51s

    '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 Corrig...

  • 14 JUL 2021
    MLB Pitcher C.C. Sabathia
    46m 44s

    The 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 favori...

  • 13 JUL 2021
    The 'Ugly Truth' About Facebook
    46m 15s

    In 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 Stea...

  • 12 JUL 2021
    'Startup Wife' Author Satirizes Tech Culture & Sexism
    46m 57s

    Tahmima 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...

  • 10 JUL 2021
    Best Of: Writer Ashley C. Ford / Flight Attendant-Turned-Author T.J. Newman
    49m 45s

    Ashley 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 boyf...

  • 09 JUL 2021
    Mindy Kaling On 'Never Have I Ever'
    47m 4s

    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...

  • 08 JUL 2021
    Freeing An Innocent Man From Prison
    46m 58s

    When Yutico Briley was 19 years old, he was sentenced to 60 years in prison for an armed robbery he said he didn't commit. After serving 7 years of his sentence, Briley heard criminal justice reporter Emily Bazelon on 'Fresh Air' and wrote...

  • 07 JUL 2021
    Sex & Censorship In The Gilded Age
    46m 50s

    The Comstock Act, which passed in 1873, virtually outlawed contraception. In 'The Man Who Hated Women,' author Amy Sohn writes about the man behind the law — and the women prosecuted under it. John Powers reviews the detective drama 'Unforg...

  • 06 JUL 2021
    Former Flight Attendant Shares Stories From The Sky
    47m 17s

    T.J. Newman's new book, 'Falling,' is a thriller about a hijacking on a commercial flight. The pilot is told he must crash the plane or his family on the ground will be killed. We talk with Newman about her book and about her 10 years in th...

  • 05 JUL 2021
    Bandleader Jon Batiste
    47m 39s

    Batiste is the bandleader of 'The Late Show with Stephen Colbert.' He joins us from his home piano where he plays music he wrote for the Pixar movie 'Soul' and songs from his album 'We Are.' We'll also hear his rendition of 'The Star Spangl...

  • 03 JUL 2021
    Best Of: Uzo Aduba / Desus & Mero
    50m 5s

    Uzo Aduba's breakout role was as Suzanne "Crazy Eyes" Warren in the Netflix series about a women's prison, 'Orange is the New Black.' Now she stars in the HBO reboot of 'In Treatment,' as therapist Dr. Brooke Taylor. We'll talk about the 18...

  • 02 JUL 2021
    Bruce Springsteen Returns To Broadway
    48m 46s

    "The Boss" spoke with Terry Gross at his New Jersey home studio in 2016 about masculinity, depression, and wishing he was his stage persona. His one-man show, 'Springsteen on Broadway,' returned to Broadway this week. Also, film critic Just...

  • 01 JUL 2021
    How A Former Spy Trained Conservatives To Infiltrate Progressive Groups
    45m 16s

    'NYT' reporter Adam Goldman describes an undercover effort, led by an avid Trump supporter, that trained conservatives in espionage techniques and sent them to dig up dirt on progressives. Some operations were aimed at discrediting perceive...

  • 30 JUN 2021
    Global Sanitation & Transforming The Toilet
    46m 44s

    The United Nations estimates that 4.2 billion people — more than half of the world's population — live without any access to safely managed sanitation. No septic systems. No waste treatment plants. In 'Pipe Dreams,' Chelsea Wald examines th...

  • 29 JUN 2021
    Watergate, The Tapes & The Fall Of The Nixon White House
    46m 9s

    Historian and author Michael Dobbs reconstructs how the scandal gradually engulfed more administration officials, with operatives turning on each other — and eventually the president. We'll talk about what led to Nixon's downfall and why th...

  • 28 JUN 2021
    Uzo Aduba
    45m 43s

    Aduba's breakout role was as Suzanne "Crazy Eyes" Warren in the Netflix series about a women's prison, 'Orange is the New Black.' Now she stars in the HBO reboot of 'In Treatment,' as therapist Dr. Brooke Taylor. We talk about the 180 degre...

  • 26 JUN 2021
    Best Of: Anthony Ramos / Renée Elise Goldsberry
    50m 2s

    Anthony Ramos says Lin-Manuel Miranda's Broadway musical 'In the Heights' filled him with hope about a life on the stage: "I felt like I'm watching my cousins and my aunts and uncles on the stage ... like friends that I grew up with. And th...

  • 25 JUN 2021
    The Early Years Of The CIA
    46m 53s

    In his book, 'The Quiet Americans,' author Scott Anderson profiles four daring and resourceful soldiers who became intelligence agents after World War II, when America was strong and respected after defeating Nazi Germany. The CIA then emba...

  • 24 JUN 2021
    The Battle Over Teaching Critical Race Theory
    45m 48s

    An NBC News analysis finds at least 165 local and national groups are trying to disrupt or block lessons on critical race theory. NBC reporter Tyler Kingkade explores who is waging this fight, and why. "Opponents are using critical race the...

  • 23 JUN 2021
    Megan Rapinoe
    46m 47s

    The USWNT soccer star and activist spoke with Terry Gross last year about her World Cup wins, being one of the first openly gay players on the national team, and taking a knee in solidarity with Black Lives Matter — and the repercussions sh...

  • 22 JUN 2021
    Renée Elise Goldsberry On 'Girls5Eva' & 'Hamilton'
    47m 0s

    The comedy series 'Girls5Eva,' which was just renewed for a second season, follows a 1990s band that reunites after a long stretch of obscurity. Goldsberry was once in a girl group herself. She spoke with Ann Marie Baldonado about women bei...

  • 21 JUN 2021
    Desus & Mero
    46m 29s

    Desus Nice and The Kid Mero started out doing comedy together on Twitter, then created the 'Bodega Boys' podcast. Their comedy series on Showtime is now in its third season. We talk about growing up in the Bronx in the '80s and '90s, graffi...

  • 19 JUN 2021
    Best Of: Julie Lythcott-Haims / How Junk Food Companies Get Us 'Hooked'
    50m 38s

    Former Stanford University undergraduate dean Julie Lythcott-Haims' memoir, 'Real American,' is the story of her coming to terms with her racial identity. Her father was a successful Black physician, her mother a white British woman. She r...

  • 18 JUN 2021
    The 50th Anniversary Of The Pentagon Papers
    47m 38s

    Fifty years ago this week, 'The New York Times' published the first in a series of articles based on a classified Defense Department study that was leaked to the paper by Daniel Ellsberg. This study came to be known as the Pentagon Papers....

  • 17 JUN 2021
    Questions Surrounding The COVID-19 Lab-Leak Theory
    45m 43s

    What are the credible questions related to the theory that COVID-19 leaked from a lab in Wuhan, China? President Biden has asked the intelligence community to investigate, but 'Vanity Fair' reporter Katherine Eban says there have been many...

  • 16 JUN 2021
    Challenging The Myths Of The Alamo
    46m 18s

    Remember the Alamo? According to Texas lore, it's the site in San Antonio where, in 1836, about 180 Texan rebels died defending the state during Texas' war for independence from Mexico. But in a new book, Bryan Burrough (along with co-write...

  • 15 JUN 2021
    Writer Ashley C. Ford On Her Memoir 'Somebody's Daughter'
    47m 36s

    For most of Ashley C. Ford's life, her father was incarcerated for rape. This was especially traumatizing for Ford, as she herself is a survivor of sexual assault. Her new bestselling memoir 'Somebody's Daughter' details her evolving relati...

  • 14 JUN 2021
    Anthony Ramos On 'In The Heights' & 'Hamilton'
    46m 27s

    Anthony Ramos says Lin-Manuel Miranda's Broadway musical 'In the Heights' filled him with hope about a life on the stage: "I felt like I'm watching my cousins and my aunts and uncles on the stage ... like friends that I grew up with. And th...

  • 12 JUN 2021
    Best Of: Rita Moreno / Daisy Hernández
    49m 5s

    Rita Moreno moved to the U.S. mainland from Puerto Rico as a child. She says her 'West Side Story' role is "the only part I ever remember where I represented Hispanics in a dignified and positive way." Moreno is an EGOT, a winner of an Emmy...

  • 11 JUN 2021
    Catching Up With Stephen Colbert / Remembering Clarence Williams III
    47m 47s

    We remember actor Clarence Williams III, best known for playing Linc Hayes, one of three hippie undercover cops on the TV series 'The Mod Squad' from 1968 to 1973. Also, Stephen Colbert begins taping the 'The Late Show' in front of a live a...

  • 10 JUN 2021
    Inside The Ransomware Industry
    46m 6s

    New York Times investigative reporter Michael Schwirtz gained access to the dashboard of DarkSide, a ransomware operation that's pulled in more than $90 million since it began last August. Schwirtz talks about DarkSide's business model, its...

  • 09 JUN 2021
    The Space Race & The Dangerous Early Days Of NASA
    47m 6s

    On the morning of Feb. 20, 1962, about 100,000 spectators gathered in Cape Canaveral, Fla., to witness the launch of the Friendship 7, the United States' first mission to put an astronaut in orbit around the Earth. Historian Jeff Shesol say...

  • 08 JUN 2021
    Race, Sexuality & The Deadly 'Kissing Bug'
    45m 25s

    When Daisy Hernández was 5, her aunt in Colombia came down with a mysterious illness that caused her large intestine to swell. Hernandez details her aunt's story — and her own — in a new memoir.

  • 07 JUN 2021
    Rita Moreno
    45m 45s

    Moreno moved to the U.S. mainland from Puerto Rico as a child. She says her 'West Side Story' role is "the only part I ever remember where I represented Hispanics in a dignified and positive way." We talk about some of the racism and sexism...

  • 05 JUN 2021
    Best Of: Exonerated 5 Member / Reckoning With The Legacy Of Slavery
    50m 11s

    In 1990, Yusef Salaam was one of the five boys wrongly convicted in the so-called Central Park jogger case. Salaam spent nearly seven years behind bars and wasn't exonerated until 2002, when a serial rapist confessed to the crime. Salaam te...

  • 04 JUN 2021
    Producing The Philly Sound
    47m 21s

    We hear from songwriter, arranger and producer Thom Bell. This year marks the 50th anniversary of Philadelphia International Records. Among the songs he arranged were Joe Simon's "Drowning in the Sea of Love," and "Back Stabbers" by The O'...