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Best Of: Roxane Gay / Sherman Alexie

Jun 24, 2017 - 00:50:02

Roxane Gay has finally written the book that she "wanted to write the least." Gay's new memoir, 'Hunger,' is about being hundreds of pounds overweight, and how she first started gaining weight after being sexually assaulted when she was 12. Also, Sherman Alexie discusses his new memoir about growing up on the Spokane Indian Reservation in Washington, where poverty and violence were routine. His new book is 'You Don't Have To Say You Love Me.'

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NPR
Wilco Guitarist Nels Cline

Sep 8, 2016 - 00:47:58

Known for the avant-garde sound he brings to Wilco, Cline turns to ballads and jazz standards on his new album, 'Lovers.' He describes it as a "mood-music record" that isn't cheesy. Book critic Maureen Corrigan reviews Jonathan Safran Foer's third novel, 'Here I Am.'

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NPR
How Russia Might Be Using Ukraine As A Cyberwar Testing Ground

Jun 22, 2017 - 00:47:37

'Wired' journalist Andy Greenberg says Ukraine has been the victim of a "cyber-assault unlike any the world has ever seen." Cybersecurity experts think Russia is perfecting attacks that could be used on the U.S. TV critic David Bianculli reviews 'GLOW' and 'Prime Suspect.'

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NPR
The U.S. Gov't's Secret Plan To Save Itself (While The Rest Of Us Die)

Jun 21, 2017 - 00:48:46

In 'Raven Rock,' Garrett Graff describes the bunkers designed to protect U.S. leaders in the event of a catastrophe. One Cold War-era plan put the post office in charge of cataloging the dead. Also, film critic Justin Chang reviews 'The Big Sick,' starring comic Kumail Nanjiani.

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NPR
Sherman Alexie

Jun 20, 2017 - 00:48:55

Alexie's new memoir, 'You Don't Have to Say You Love Me,' is about his traumatic childhood on the Spokane Indian Reservation in Washington, his difficult relationship with his parents, and how brain surgery has changed him.

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NPR
Roxane Gay

Jun 19, 2017 - 00:48:34

Gay has finally written the book that she "wanted to write the least." The moment she realized she "never want to write about fatness" was the same moment she knew this was a memoir she had to write. Her new book is 'Hunger: A Memoir of (My) Body.'

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NPR
Best Of: Seth Meyers / Former VP Joe Biden

Jun 17, 2017 - 00:50:30

Before taking over the reins at 'Late Night,' Seth Meyers spent spent 13 years at 'Saturday Night Live,' first as a performer, then as head writer and the co-host of 'Weekend Update.' He talks about political satire in the Trump era and being a comedian without demons. Linguist Geoff Nunberg says people have been complaining about the overuse of the exclamation since Victorian times, but he thinks the exclamation point gets a bad rap. Former Vice President Joe Biden speaks with Terry Gross about President Trump's tweets, and the effect racism had on the Obama administration.

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NPR
Jay Z

Jun 16, 2017 - 00:49:05

Last night Jay Z became the first hip-hop artist to be inducted into the Songwriters Hall of Fame. He spoke with Terry Gross in 2010 about growing up in a housing project in Brooklyn, finding his identity in the recording studio, and misogyny in rap lyrics. Also, film critic David Edelstein reviews 'The Mummy.'

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NPR
Former Vice President Joe Biden

Jun 15, 2017 - 00:49:00

Former Vice President Joe Biden has figured something out: "I learned how to become one of the most popular politicians in America," he says. "Announce that you are not running for president, and be authentic." In front of a live audience at WHYY studios, Joe Biden talks with Terry Gross about Donald Trump, his Catholic faith, and his plans on returning to electoral politics. Maureen Corrigan reviews 'Do Not Become Alarmed,' the new novel by Maile Meloy.

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NPR
Live With 'Late Night' Host Seth Meyers

Jun 14, 2017 - 00:48:45

When it comes to comedy, 'Late Night' host Seth Meyers is clear about what drew him to the field: "I got into it because it looked like the most fun job in the world," he says. "And it has not led me astray." Before taking over the reins at 'Late Night,' he spent spent 13 years at 'Saturday Night Live,' first as a performer, then as head writer and the co-host, alongside Amy Poehler, of the show's 'Weekend Update' segment. This interview was recorded in front of a live audience on June 9, 2017 at Verizon Hall in Philadelphia to celebrate Fresh Air's 30th anniversary as a daily national program.

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NPR
'Behind The Lines Of Jihad' To Interview The World's Most Wanted

Jun 13, 2017 - 00:48:46

When 'Washington Post' correspondent Souad Mekhennet chooses to go and conduct an interview, it can be a life or death decision. She's spent much of the past 15 years reporting on Islamic extremist groups, and she's interviewed leaders of Al Qaeda, the Taliban and ISIS. Mekhennet was raised as a Muslim in Germany. Her new memoir is 'I Was Told to Come Alone.' Linguist Geoff Nunberg says people have been complaining about the overuse of the exclamation since Victorian times, but he thinks the exclamation point gets a bad rap.

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NPR
An American 'Turning Point' In The War In Vietnam

Jun 12, 2017 - 00:47:39

Mark Bowden, author of 'Black Hawk Down,' talks about a turning point in the Vietnam War, the ferocious battle for the old imperial capital of Hue. He says "it was the bloodiest battle of its kind in the war." Communist forces took the city as part of the Tet Offensive of 1968, a coordinated set of attacks that soured many Americans on the conflict, and undermined the story US military leaders were telling the public and themselves about the war. Bowden interviewed dozens of participants in the battle as well as civilians who suffered terribly in the fighting. His new book is 'Hue 1968.'

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NPR
Best Of: Giancarlo Esposito / Polar Photographer Paul Nicklen

Jun 10, 2017 - 00:49:10

Six years after the demise of his 'Breaking Bad' character, Giancarlo Esposito is back on TV as the vicious drug lord Gus Fring in 'Better Call Saul.' He likens his current work to taking the character "back in time." Book critic Maureen Corrigan shares her early summer reading list. Photographer Paul Nicklen gets as close as possible to the animals he photographs. Once he found himself staring down the throat of an leopard seal in Antarctica: "Her head [was] twice as big as a grizzly bear."

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NPR
The Secret History Of Wonder Woman

Jun 9, 2017 - 00:47:55

Author Jill Lepore uncovers the political history behind Wonder Woman. The comic book icon's creator, William Moulten Marston, was inspired by both the women's suffrage movement and erotic pin-up art. Marston also had a secret life: He had a wife and a mistress and fathered children with both of them. Critic-at-large John Powers reviews the documentary 'Becoming Cary Grant.' Film critic David Edelstein reviews 'My Cousin Rachel.'

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NPR
The Saudi Woman Who Led A Movement By 'Daring To Drive'

Jun 8, 2017 - 00:47:22

In protest of Saudi Arabia's de facto ban on women driving, Manal al-Sharif filmed herself driving and posted it on YouTube. She was arrested, but after expressions of outrage from around the world, she was eventually released. Her new memoir 'Daring to Drive' is about how she became a women's rights activist after growing up in Mecca, and adhering to a fundamentalist interpretation of Islam. Also, film critic Justin Chang reviews 'Beatriz at Dinner,' starring Salma Hayek.

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NPR
Giancarlo Esposito Of 'Better Call Saul'

Jun 7, 2017 - 00:47:49

Six years after the demise of his 'Breaking Bad' character, Giancarlo Esposito is back on TV as the vicious drug lord Gus Fring. He likens his current work to taking the character "back in time."

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NPR
Nature Photographer Paul Nicklen

Jun 6, 2017 - 00:47:40

Nicklen gets as close as possible to the animals he photographs. Once he found himself staring down the throat of an leopard seal in Antarctica: "Her head [was] twice as big as a grizzly bear."

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NPR
Interracial Marriage & The 'Threat To White Supremacy'

Jun 5, 2017 - 00:46:37

Law professor Sheryll Cashin's new book 'Loving' chronicles the landmark SCOTUS case Loving v. Virginia, which overturned state laws prohibiting interracial marriage. Next week marks 50 years since the decision. Cashin also talks about growing up as the daughter of civil rights activists, and how her family integrated neighborhoods and schools in Alabama.

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NPR
Best Of: Sen. Al Franken / David Sedaris

Jun 3, 2017 - 00:48:19

As a former 'SNL' cast member and writer, Franken tends to see humor in politics. Despite this, he says his gut reaction to the Trump administration isn't levity: "This guy is outside the norm in many ways." Also, humorist David Sedaris pulls from his decades-old diaries in his latest book, 'Theft by Finding.' In it, he revisits major turning points, such as the death of his mother, as well as more prosaic, everyday moments.

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NPR
Paul McCartney / Ringo Starr

Jun 2, 2017 - 00:48:46

To mark the 50th anniversary of the U.S. release of 'Sgt Pepper,' we listen back to Terry Gross' 1995 interview with Ringo Starr, as well as her 2001 and 2012 interviews with Paul McCartney. David Edelstein reviews 'Wonder Woman.'

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NPR
'Sgt. Pepper' At 50

Jun 1, 2017 - 00:48:29

Producer Giles Martin says he included the Beatles' outtakes and raw performances in the new box set to show "how human the making of Sgt. Pepper was." The original album was produced by Martin's father, George, 50 years ago.

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NPR
David Sedaris

May 31, 2017 - 00:53:25

Sedaris pulls from his decades-old diaries in his latest book, 'Theft by Finding.' In it, he revisits major turning points, such as the death of his mother, as well as more prosaic, everyday moments. Sedaris talks with Terry Gross about how his writing has changed, leaving Raleigh for the Art Institute of Chicago, and why he stopped drinking.

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NPR
Senator Al Franken

May 30, 2017 - 00:47:17

As a former 'SNL' cast member and writer, Franken tends to see humor in politics. Despite this, he says his gut reaction to the Trump administration isn't levity: "This guy is outside the norm in many ways."

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NPR
Doo-Wop Singer Dion

May 29, 2017 - 00:49:35

Dion Francis DiMucci brought his guitar to the studio and performed old songs, new songs, and songs by performers who influenced him. He's spoke with Terry Gross in 2000. Also, critic John Powers reviews the best-selling French novel 'The End of Eddy.'

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NPR
Best Of: Aziz Ansari / NYT Book Review Editor Pamela Paul

May 27, 2017 - 00:49:33

Ansari talks about his award-winning Netflix series 'Master of None,' acting alongside his real-life parents, and hosting 'SNL' the day after Trump's inauguration. Rock critic Ken Tucker reviews two solo albums from Harry Styles and Dan Auerbach. Also, Pamela Paul of 'The New York Times' talks to 'Fresh Air' producer Sam Briger about her "book of books," a list of every book she's read since she was 17 years old.

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NPR
'Chappelle's Show' Co-Creator Moves Into The Limelight

Feb 23, 2017 - 00:46:57

After working mostly as a behind-the-scenes guy on 'Chappelle's Show' and 'Inside Amy Schumer,' comic Neal Brennan is stepping out as a performer with his new Netflix special, '3 Mics.' Brennan says he didn't get serious about stand-up until 'Chappelle's Show,' which he co-created and co-wrote, ended abruptly after Chappelle left the country. He talks with Terry about his friendship with Dave Chappelle, his family, and growing up with an alcoholic father.

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NPR
How Gen. Flynn Became Central To The Russia Hacking Scandal

May 25, 2017 - 00:58:00

Matthew Rosenberg of the 'The New York Times' began writing about General Flynn in 2009 in Afghanistan; now he's investigating Flynn's role in Russia's interference in the U.S. election.

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Aziz Ansari On 'Master Of None'

May 24, 2017 - 00:48:15

Ansari talks about his award-winning Netflix series, acting alongside his real-life parents, and hosting 'SNL' the day after Trump's inauguration. Also, book critic Maureen Corrigan shares her early summer reading list.

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NPR
The History Of Dentistry / NYT Book Review Editor Pamela Paul

May 23, 2017 - 00:48:26

Medical historian Richard Barnett traces the history of dentistry in his new book. He says that prior to the 18th century, the profession was often practices by charlatans with "big muscles." His book is 'The Smile Stealers.' Also, Pamela Paul of 'The New York Times' talks to 'Fresh Air' producer Sam Briger about her "book of books," a list of every book she's read since she was 17 years old. Rock critic Ken Tucker reviews two solo albums from Harry Styles and Dan Auerbach.

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NPR
Churchill, Orwell And The Fight Against Totalitarianism

May 22, 2017 - 00:48:45

Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Tom Ricks discuses how Winston Churchill and George Orwell stood up against totalitarianism from the far right and left. Ricks covered the Pentagon for the 'Washington Post' and wrote five books about the military and America's wars. He'll also talk about generals in Trump's administration. TV critic David Bianculli offers his first impressions of the new 'Twin Peaks.'

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Best Of: Comic Hasan Minhaj / Jill Soloway

May 20, 2017 - 00:50:09

'Daily Show' correspondent Hasan Minhaj describes himself as a "third-culture kid" who doesn't fully belong in either the world of his parents or that of his hometown of Davis, Calif. His new Netflix special is 'Homecoming King.' Milo Miles reviews 'Synthesize the Soul,' a collection of dance music from Cape Verde. Also, 'Transparent' creator Jill Soloway talks about their new new Amazon series 'I Love Dick.' It tackles themes of gender, sexual obsession and artistic insecurity.

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NPR
A Tribute To 'The Simpsons'

May 19, 2017 - 00:50:00

Thirty years ago 'The Simpsons' debuted on 'The Tracey Ullman Show.' To celebrate this milestone, we listen back to Terry's interviews with creator Matt Groening, Nancy Cartwright (Bart), Julie Kavner (Marge), Hank Azaria (Homer and others), producers and writers Al Jean and Mike Reiss, and composer Alf Clausen. Also, film critic David Edelstein reviews 'Alien: Covenant.'

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NPR
Comic Hasan Minhaj

May 18, 2017 - 00:48:39

The 'Daily Show' correspondent describes himself as a "third-culture kid" who doesn't fully belong in either the world of his parents or that of his hometown of Davis, Calif. His new Netflix special is 'Homecoming King.'

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Voting Rights & Trump's Election Integrity Commission

May 17, 2017 - 00:47:32

Ari Berman, author of 'Give Us the Ballot,' says the new commission will keep alive the idea that voter fraud is rampant — despite the fact that "all the studies show the opposite." Also, Ken Tucker reviews Angaleena Presley's album 'Wrangled.'

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NPR
Former Inmate Leads Women From Prison To Recovery

May 16, 2017 - 00:48:08

For Susan Burton, getting on track after being released from prison was a daunting experience. Now she's determined to help other women follow in her footsteps. Her new memoir is 'Becoming Ms. Burton.' Also, Milo Miles reviews 'Synthesize the Soul,' a collection of dance music from Cape Verde.

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NPR
'Fargo' TV Series Creator Noah Hawley

May 15, 2017 - 00:49:20

Hawley says his FX series, now in its third season, explores "the things people do for money." He also created the series 'Legion.' Kevin Whitehead reviews a book about jazz band Art Ensemble of Chicago. Linguist Geoff Nunberg comments on the common misattribution of famous quotes on social media

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Best Of: Gabourey Sidibe / Rhiannon Giddens

May 13, 2017 - 00:49:53

Sidibe's break-out role was in 'Precious,' Lee Daniels' 2009 film about a girl who is sexually abused by her father and physically abused by her mother. She speaks with Terry Gross about landing the title role despite the fact she didn't have acting experience, overcoming anxiety and depression as a kid, and how working for a phone sex hotline prepared her for acting (and interviews). Maureen Corrigan reviews the novel 'No One Can Pronounce My Name,' by Rakesh Satyal. Rhiannon Giddens sings songs from her new album, 'Freedom Highway.' She co-founded the Carolina Chocolate Drops, which plays string band music from the African American tradition.

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NPR
The Power Of Genes

May 12, 2017 - 00:49:05

Dr. Siddhartha Mukherjee says genetics play a significant role in identity, temperament, sexual orientation, and disease risk — but that environment also matters. His book 'The Gene,' is now out in paperback. Also, David Edelstein reviews 'Last Men In Aleppo,' and David Bianculli reviews Amazon's 'I Love Dick' and Netflix's 'Anne with an E.'

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NPR
Rhiannon Giddens / 'Fresh Air' Celebrates 30 Years Nationwide

May 11, 2017 - 00:49:07

Giddens sings songs from her new album, 'Freedom Highway.' She co-founded the Carolina Chocolate Drops, which plays string band music from the African American tradition. Also, we celebrate Fresh Air's debut as a national, daily program on NPR, 30 years ago today. Join the conversation with #FreshAir30.

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NPR
'Transparent' Creator Jill Soloway On 'I Love Dick'

May 10, 2017 - 00:49:18

'I Love Dick' tackles themes of gender, sexual obsession and artistic insecurity. "'Transparent' was my origin story. This is my story about finding my voice," Soloway says. Maureen Corrigan reviews the novel 'No One Can Pronounce My Name,' by Rakesh Satyal. And Kevin Whitehead reviews South African jazz pianist Abdullah Ibrahim's reissue of 'Ancient Africa.'

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NPR
Writer Mary Gaitskill / Cookbook Author Julia Turshen

May 9, 2017 - 00:48:44

Before she turned to writing, Gaitskill ran away from home and worked as a stripper. Her new collection of personal essays is 'Somebody with a Little Hammer.' Also, Julia Turshen speaks with 'Fresh Air' producer Sam Briger about her new cookbook 'Small Victories.'

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NPR
Gabourey Sidibe

May 8, 2017 - 00:47:46

Sidibe's break-out role was in 'Precious,' Lee Daniels' 2009 film about a girl who is sexually abused by her father and physically abused by her mother. She speaks with Terry Gross about landing the title role despite the fact she didn't have acting experience, overcoming anxiety and depression as a kid, and how working for a phone sex hotline prepared her for acting (and interviews).

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Best Of: W. Kamau Bell / The Dying Art Of Writing Obituaries

May 6, 2017 - 00:49:40

Bell talks with Terry Gross about interviewing white nationalist Richard Spencer for his CNN series 'United Shades of America' and doing stand-up in black comedy rooms. He has a new memoir. Also, Ken Tucker reviews Kendrick Lamar's album 'Damn.' Bruce Weber and Margalit Fox have written obituaries for thousands of people, ranging from heads of state to the inventor of the Etch-a-Sketch. They are featured in the new documentary 'Obit.'

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Chef Michael Solomonov / Comic Chris Gethard

May 5, 2017 - 00:48:59

The Philly-based chef talks about his Israeli roots, and the secret to his award-winning hummus. He is the recipient of a 2017 James Beard award for outstanding chef. John Powers reviews 'Risk,' the new Laura Poitras documentary about Julian Assange. Also, comic Chris Gethard talks about his one man show 'Career Suicide,' which premieres on HBO on Saturday. And David Edelstein reviews 'Guardians of the Galaxy 2.'

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'How President Trump Could Get Fired'

May 4, 2017 - 00:46:54

'New Yorker' staff writer Evan Osnos discusses the likelihood that impeachment or the 25th Amendment will be used to remove President Donald Trump from office.

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A Forgotten History Of How Our Government Segregated America

May 3, 2017 - 00:48:53

Author Richard Rothstein says the housing programs begun under the New Deal were tantamount to a "state-sponsored system of segregation," in which people of color were purposely excluded from suburbs. His new book is 'The Color of Law.' Critic David Bianculli shares an appreciation of late director Jonathan Demme's 'Who Am I This Time?' which was made for TV.

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For Richard Ford, Memoir Is A Chance To 'Tell The Unthinkable'

May 2, 2017 - 00:48:26

The Pulitzer Prize-winning novelist revisits the lives and deaths of his parents in his new memoir, 'Between Them.' "As much as they loved me, an only child, they loved each other more," he says. Also, Maureen Corrigan reviews 'Anything is Possible' by Elizabeth Strout.

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Comic W. Kamau Bell

May 1, 2017 - 00:49:30

Bell talks with Terry Gross about interviewing white nationalist Richard Spencer for his CNN series 'United Shades of America,' doing stand-up in black comedy rooms, and how being an asthmatic "indoor kid" affected him. His new memoir is 'The Awkward Thoughts Of W. Kamau Bell.'

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Best Of: 'Veep' Producer Frank Rich / MLB Pitcher Rick Ankiel

Apr 29, 2017 - 00:49:46

Rich says the HBO series is about the "craven desire for power." He also writes a column for 'New York' magazine about the intersection of politics and pop culture. Maureen Corrigan reviews the book 'Hourglass' by Dani Shapiro. Rick Ankiel entered the major leagues in 1999 as an extremely gifted pitcher, then one day he suddenly lost it. His new memoir, 'The Phenomenon,' describes his struggle with an anxiety condition called "the Yips," as we'll as his unlikely comeback.

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NPR
The Wild Saga Of The Kidnapping, Crimes & Trial Of Patty Hearst

Apr 28, 2017 - 00:48:41

Hearst was abducted in 1974 and then declared allegiance to her captors. Legal expert Jeffrey Toobin does not believe Hearst was brainwashed, but rather, "responded rationally to the circumstances." His book 'American Heiress' is now out in paperback. Also, film critic David Edelstein reviews 'The Circle,' starring Tom Hanks.

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THE JOE ROGAN EXPERIENCE
#606 - Randall Carlson

Feb 4, 2015 - 3:09:16

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