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F. Murray Abraham won the 1985 Best Actor Oscar for Amadeus. Now he co-stars in The White Lotus as Bert, a chauvinistic patriarch on vacation in Italy with his son and grandson. We talk about his career and life, and the lessons he learned along the way.David Bianculli reviews Rian Johnson's new series Poker Face, starring Natasha Lyonne.Author Jeff Guinn has written about cult leaders Charles Manson and Jim Jones. In the book, Waco, he draws on new interviews with federal agents and surviving Branch Davidians to revisit the 1993 confrontation, which left scores of people dead, including more than 20 children.
This month marks the centennial of the birth of Sam Phillips, the record producer who discovered Elvis and produced his first records. We're listening back to our interview with Phillips, who founded Sun Records in Memphis and also launched the careers of Jerry Lee Lewis, Carl Perkins, Johnny Cash and Roy Orbison.Also David Crosby and Graham Nash tell the story of how they met and started making music together as Crosby, Stills, & Nash. Crosby died last week.John Powers reviews the new HBO series The Last of Us.
Washington Post technology reporter Drew Harwell says the unpublished report shows that tech companies didn't respond to employees' warnings about violent rhetoric on their platforms.
Author Jeff Guinn has written about cult leaders Charles Manson and Jim Jones. In the book, Waco, he draws on new interviews with federal agents and surviving Branch Davidians to revisit the 1993 confrontation, which left scores of people dead, including more than 20 children.Also, TV critic David Bianculli reviews the new Peacock series Poker Face, starring Natasha Lyonne.
F. Murray Abraham won the 1985 Best Actor Oscar for Amadeus. Now he co-stars in The White Lotus as Bert, a chauvinistic patriarch on vacation in Italy with his son and grandson. We talk about his career and life, and the lessons he learned along the way.
After Hurricane Katrina in 2006, hundreds of workers from India were promised jobs and green cards in what labor organizer Saket Soni calls "one of the largest cases of forced labor in modern U.S. history." He tells their story in The Great Escape.
We'll talk about the latest developments and strategies in the fight over abortion rights with Mary Ziegler, who has written several books on the law, history and politics of abortion. Her new book, Roe: The History of a National Obsession, is about how abortion has remained at the center of America's culture wars and political battles.Also, we'll hear from writer Jonathan Escoffery. His semi-autobiographical collection of stories, If I Survive You, is on our book critic Maureen Corrigan's list of the best books of 2022. The main character, like Escoffery, is the American-born son of Jamaican immigrants, trying to figure out how race and racism work in America, and where he's supposed to fit. Jazz critic Kevin Whitehead reviews a new solo album from pianist and composer Kenny Baron.
Rachael & Vilray's new album, I Love a Love Song, features them with a jazz ensemble. Most of their songs sound like something you would have heard on the radio in the '30s and '40s. Rachael is also the lead singer of the group Lake Street Dive. They spoke with Sam Briger in 2020. Also, Maureen Corrigan reviews the novel This Other Eden, by Paul Harding, and Justin Chang reviews the new film Women Talking.
Historian Matthew Connelly says government records are marked as "classified" three times every second — and many of them will never be declassified. We talk about what that means for the public and how this might change. His new book is The Declassification Engine.Also, John Powers reviews the French courtroom drama film Saint Omer by Alice Diop.
New York Times congressional correspondent Catie Edmondson says the new Republican-controlled House of Representatives will likely leverage their subpoena power to enact vengeance on the Biden administration. "The next two years is not going to be defined by governing and legislating. It is going to be defined by obstruction and clashes of personalities and investigation," she says.
Legal historian Mary Ziegler has chronicled the legal, political and cultural battles around abortion, and says the debate is far from over: "We're at a moment of almost unprecedented uncertainty in the United States when it comes to abortion," Zielger says. Her book is Roe: The History of a National Obsession.
Princeton African American Studies professor Imani Perry says the South can be seen as an "origin point" for the way the nation operates. Her book, South to America, reflects on the region's history and traces the steps of an enslaved ancestor. "The South in some ways becomes the repository for the nation's sins, right?" she says. "And then it allows the rest of the country to conceive of itself as relatively pristine." South to America won the National Book Award for nonfiction in 2022. Jazz critic Kevin Whitehead reviews pianist Kenny Barron's album The Source.
Equal sports opportunities for women was mandated 50 years ago by title IX legislation. Champion runner Lauren Fleshman explains why getting access to a sports world built by men, for men and boys isn't working for girls and women. Her book, Good For a Girl, is a feminist critique of the sports world and a memoir about her own running career. Also, Taffy Brodesser-Akner, creator, writer and showrunner of FX's series Fleishman Is In Trouble on Hulu talks about divorce, middle age, and dating apps. Justin Chang reviews the critically acclaimed film No Bears by Iranian director Jafar Panahi. Not long after the film was completed, Panahi was sentenced to six years in prison.
We remember novelist Russell Banks, whose working-class background inspired much of his work. His best known novels were adapted into films, including Affliction, The Sweet Hereafter, and Continental Drift. We'll listen back to portions of our interviews with him. Also, we're revisiting our interview with photographer Larry Sultan, whose photographic memoir of growing up in California in the '50s and '60s is the basis of a new Broadway show starring Nathan Lane. Maureen Corrigan reviews the novel Sam by Allegra Goodman. And Justin Chang reviews No Bears, the Iranian film that's been on his year-end best list.
Journalist Anshel Pfeffer says the Israeli prime minister has a "strange detachment" when it comes to social issues — which opens the door for conservative members of his coalition to make changes.
Taffy Brodesser-Akner says the start of middle age hit her "like a truck." As her friends got divorced and began dating again, she was inspired to write a novel — which she's adapted for the screen. Fleishman is in Trouble is on FX/Hulu.Also, Raw Deal author Chloe Sorvino talks about the state of the meat industry.
Champion distance runner Lauren Fleshman says 50 years after Title IX legislation, the sports world is still built for mens' bodies. She's now an activist seeking to change that by addressing important sex-based differences. We'll talk about her famous "Objectify Me" Nike campaign, inclusivity for transgender athletes, and how breasts, hips and menstruation shouldn't be treated as an impediment to athletic performance. Her book is Good for a Girl.
Jonathan Escoffery grew up in Miami, the son of Jamaican immigrants. In a world where identity was linked to race, he says it was often confusing to figure out where he fit in. His new book of stories is If I Survive You.Also, Ken Tucker reviews SZA's new album, SOS.
We talk about the January 6th Committee's work with Luke Broadwater, who covers Congress for the New York Times. He was in the Capitol the day of the assault, and has reported on the Committee's work from the beginning.John Powers reviews Noah Baumbach's film adaptation of Don DeLillo's White Noise.The list of authors Robert Gottlieb has edited include Joseph Heller, Toni Morrison, John Le Carré, Katharine Graham, Bill Clinton, Nora Ephron and Michael Crichton. The documentary Turn Every Page, by his daughter Lizzie Gottlieb, examines his decades-long editing relationship with Power Broker author Robert Caro.
We remember one of the creators of the Philly Sound: songwriter, arranger and producer Thom Bell. He died late last month, at the age of 79. He was a classically trained pianist whose inventive R&B arrangements included horns, strings, oboe, timpani, and more. Among the songs he arranged were "Drowning in the Sea of Love" by Joe Simon, and "Backs Stabbers" by the O'Jays. He also wrote and arranged for the Stylistics, the Spinners, and the Delfonics. John Powers reviews the new film White Noise, directed by Noah Baumbach, now on Netflix.
Comments (439)

Bea Kiddo

The new movie Weird the Weird Al Yankovic movie is great. I enjoyed every minute of it. It’s a silly moc/documentary and if you grew up in the time with weird Al , you’ll love it. Daniel Radcliffe is just great in his role of weird Al. There’s a lot of cameos in it and I laughed my a$$ off thru the whole movie especially the Jim Morrison scene. I have to say it’s one of the best movies of 2022 and if you know who weird Al is, you will love it. Even if you don’t care for his parodies of songs, it’s a damn good movie. #weirdalyankovic

Dec 20th

Blk Blu

nothing like fresh fishing in the dark!

Dec 3rd

Immaculate 101


Nov 30th

John Buckner

if you are a bougie boomer with tons of cash, this episode may be helpful. but if you're in the vast 90% majority of proles who have to work to the grave without the unimaginable luxury of retiring to Spain for a few years, then this episode is truly nauseating. yet another example of why Fresh Air/npr has nothing to offer the working class.

Nov 29th

D.B. Cooper

Why not use proper terminology in podcast episode descriptions, such as "martyr"? Will the writers of the podcast begin to breathe objective fresh air into a topic if they continue to receive funding, or was the show intended to be shallow and stale?

Nov 6th


You guys need to do more research on what people want to hear about. Am now deleting most of your shows without listening to them.

Nov 2nd
Reply (1)

Elizabeth Gorgon

To prevent college from ruining your dream, spend more time on what really brings you pleasure. Study subjects that will benefit you in the future, and routine tasks can always be done for you by services such as this

Oct 29th


Lol T. Gross is off more than she works.

Oct 23rd
Reply (1)


Jesus she was boring.

Oct 15th


Please stop paying that pompous sounding tool giving thoughts on tv shows. I actually like reviews but cannot listen to him so I just stop and delete when I hear him.

Oct 4th
Reply (1)

Dale Anton

I am really satisfied with the approach taken in this interview. It is a well balanced and reasoned approach that does not take a side. I'm certain it would be possible to put your red or blue glasses on and criticize. But, this goes at the problem of how weather, especially extreme weather affects people. Critical thinking is advocated, the solutions will not be simple or easy.

Sep 23rd



Sep 1st


If his book is translated in China it would make populist nationalism of Chinese revel more than CCP can ever dream of lol In what part of Han Chinese history of the last 800 years at least annex any neighboring countries?!

Aug 27th

Peter Chaloner

The hundreds of thousands of British stand-up comedians who performed in music halls from the 1700s onwards never knew that they were plagiarising an essentially American art form. They did not know it because the claim is false.

Aug 25th


So he is a former Republican who is now a centrist dem? That means like the other corporate dems he is good with Americans dying from lack of healthcare. In facts votes to protect the corporates instead of American citizens. Thats the Democratic Party.

Aug 22nd
Reply (1)

Ervin Sharpe

? l MOMn nn k l m8m ,(

Jul 14th

Paz Ibarra-Muñoz

Fox News treats their fact checkers the same way BMW drivers treat their turn signals

Jul 5th


form (ever) follow function. i love terry

Jun 23rd

Deborah Fair

9j p po

May 27th

Paz Ibarra-Muñoz

I had to come here and say how much more I enjoyed this interview after watching Everything Everywhere All at Once

May 26th
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