Fresh Air

Weekdays at 11:00 a.m. and 8:00 p.m.
  • Hosted by Terry Gross

Opening the window on contemporary arts and issues with guests from worlds as diverse as literature and economics. 

TERRY GROSS, HOST:

This is FRESH AIR. I'm Terry Gross. President Trump and some of his allies have blamed the deep state for trying to undermine his presidency. My guest David Rohde has written a new book titled "In Deep: The FBI, The CIA, And The Truth About America's 'Deep State.'" It examines and discredits Trump's claims about a deep state, traces the history of the expression deep state, looks at how presidential power has changed since Nixon and how President Trump has expanded presidential power while weakening the checks and balances on his own power.

Copyright 2020 Fresh Air. To see more, visit Fresh Air.

TERRY GROSS, HOST:

This is FRESH AIR. These days, many people are watching much more TV. That's certainly true of our TV critic David Bianculli, who has recommendations not only about what to watch and where but how.

Copyright 2020 Fresh Air. To see more, visit Fresh Air.

TERRY GROSS, HOST:

Copyright 2020 Fresh Air. To see more, visit Fresh Air.

TERRY GROSS, HOST:

What kind of movie watcher are you in the age of coronavirus? While sheltering at home, do you seek out joyous Hollywood classics like Singin' in the Rain? Or do you lean into tales of terror, madness and social breakdown, like all those viewers who have made Contagion one of the year's hottest rentals?

There's a black-and-white photo taped on my office door at school — the office I haven't been inside in almost a month. It shows an American soldier stretched out, reading A Tree Grows in Brooklyn, Betty Smith's 1943 novel based on her childhood in Williamsburg, Brooklyn.

COVID-19 attacks indiscriminately: Young or old, rich or poor, it seems like everyone is vulnerable to the virus. But New York Times economics writer Nelson Schwartz says increasing economic inequality in the U.S. means that, as a group, the country's wealthiest one percent are likely to fare better during the pandemic than everyone else.

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:

Copyright 2020 Fresh Air. To see more, visit Fresh Air.

DAVE DAVIES, HOST:

DAVE DAVIES, HOST:

We're remembering songwriter, singer and guitarist John Prine, who died Tuesday from complications of the coronavirus. He was 73. Terry interviewed Prine in 2018 after he recorded his final album, "The Tree Of Forgiveness." They started with the song co-written by Pat McLaughlin. Brandi Carlile sings backup vocals.

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "SUMMER'S END")

Copyright 2020 Fresh Air. To see more, visit Fresh Air.

TERRY GROSS, HOST:

In his 1978 novel The Stand, author Stephen King wrote about a viral pandemic that decimated the world's population. And he gets it when fans say experiencing the COVID-19 outbreak feels like stepping into one of his horror stories.

"I keep having people say, 'Gee, it's like we're living in a Stephen King story,' " he says. "And my only response to that is, 'I'm sorry.' "

Copyright 2020 Fresh Air. To see more, visit Fresh Air.

DAVE DAVIES, HOST:

As billions of people around the world face stay-at-home orders because of COVID-19, family dinners — and breakfasts and lunches — are resurgent. Former New York Times food editor Sam Sifton calls the shift to family meals one of the "precious few good things" happening as a result of the pandemic.

"A lot of us are really experiencing the joys of eating together with family regularly," he says. "For me, it's been kind of joyful amid all the sorrow."

The Russian poet Joseph Brodsky once said that prison is a lack of space counterbalanced by a surplus of time. Our current lockdown can't be compared to being locked up, but with so much surplus time on our hands, many of us are eager for stories that will help us escape endless thoughts of COVID-19. Here are three that did that for me:

Growing up in the Bronx as the only child of an academic and a real estate broker, actor Kerry Washington remembers her family had two cars and a dishwasher in their apartment — which meant, "in my neighborhood, in my context, we were rich."

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:

Copyright 2020 Fresh Air. To see more, visit Fresh Air.

TERRY GROSS, HOST:

This is FRESH AIR. I'm Terry Gross. Today, we're going to remember three people from the music world who died this week of the coronavirus.

Copyright 2020 Fresh Air. To see more, visit Fresh Air.

TERRY GROSS, HOST:

This is FRESH AIR.

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)

Copyright 2020 Fresh Air. To see more, visit Fresh Air.

TERRY GROSS, HOST:

For more than two decades, trauma surgeon David Nott spent several weeks each year volunteering in some of the world's most dangerous conflict zones, including Syria, Afghanistan, Congo, Iraq, Yemen and Sarajevo. Now he's in London, applying some of what he learned in war zones and disaster areas as he treats patients with COVID-19.

Two years ago, science writer Ed Yong wrote an article for The Atlantic in which he warned that a new global pandemic was inevitable — and that the world would be unprepared for it when it arrived.

DAVE DAVIES, HOST:

This is FRESH AIR. I'm Dave Davies filling in today for Terry Gross. As the coronavirus pandemic spreads, Americans and citizens of many countries are getting a new look at their national leaders, evaluating their performance in a moment of crisis. Our guest today, author Erik Larson, has a new book about one of the most renowned leaders of the 20th century, British Prime Minister Winston Churchill, and his leadership during some of the darkest hours of World War II.

"It's hard to focus right now."

I've heard versions of that sentence on the phone, in person (at a distance), on email, Twitter, Facebook and Instagram, on Zoom and Skype and all the other devices and online platforms we're using to stay connected with each other these days.

It's hard to focus right now.

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:

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:

Comedian Marc Maron: We Need 'Groupthink Empathy' During COVID-19 Outbreak: "We [have] to do the right thing to protect those who are vulnerable," Maron says. His new Netflix stand-up special, End Times Fun, was named before the coronavirus pandemic.

TERRY GROSS, HOST:

This is FRESH AIR. I'm Terry Gross. Today we have Part II of our tribute to Stephen Sondheim, who turned 90 last Sunday. We made it a two-parter because we're big fans and because listening to Sondheim and his music seems like a great way to take a break and boost our spirits. Sondheim fans like me always wonder, how did he write those brilliant lyrics? He provided a lot of answers in his book "Finishing The Hat," which collects his lyrics from 1954 to '81 and tells the stories behind the songs.

Copyright 2020 Fresh Air. To see more, visit Fresh Air.

TERRY GROSS, HOST:

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