Fresh Air with Terry Gross

Weekdays at 9am & 6pm

Interviews & reviews from contemporary culture and newsmakers. Plus, Garrison Keillor's "Writer's Almanac" at 9:01.

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11:47am

Thu December 13, 2012
Books

'World On A String': John Pizzarelli Jazzes It Up

Originally published on Fri December 14, 2012 10:13 am

In a new memoir, jazz guitarist and son of jazz legend Bucky Pizzarelli tells stories from growing up in a musical household and making a name for himself as a musician.
Goldberg McDuffie Communications

Brothers John and Martin Pizzarelli were born into a family of musicians. Their father is the famed jazz guitarist, Bucky Pizzarelli, who, during the 1960s, performed in the Tonight Show Band and who worked as a session player for rock acts such as Dion and the Belmonts. Musical greats, too, were in and out of the Pizzarelli house in Paterson, New Jersey, as John and Martin were growing up. It makes perfect sense then that, eventually, Martin picked up the upright bass professionally and John found his calling with jazz guitar, singing and songwriting.

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10:06am

Thu December 13, 2012
Best Books Of 2012

10 Books To Help You Recover From A Tense 2012

Originally published on Thu December 13, 2012 11:48 am

Nishant Choksi

2012 has been a very jittery year — what with the presidential election, extreme weather events and the looming "fiscal cliff." In response to these tense times, some readers seek out escape; others look to literature that directly confronts the atmospheric uncertainty of the age. I guess I'm in the latter camp, because many of my favorite books this year told stories, imagined and real, about ordinary people who felt like they didn't have a clue what hit 'em.

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10:22am

Wed December 12, 2012
Music Reviews

A 'Warrior' Looking For Legitimacy

Originally published on Wed December 12, 2012 1:53 pm

Ke$ha's new album is titled Warrior.
Yu Tsai Courtesy of the artist

Ke$ha uses a dollar-sign instead of an "s" in the middle of her stage name. It's one of those gestures that's meant to bait her detractors — suggesting before anyone else does that she's only in it for the money. It turns out, though, that like pop stars ranging from Madonna on back to Chuck Berry, Ke$ha wants it both ways: mass-audience success and artistic acknowledgment. For Ke$ha, that's what her album title Warrior means: She's fighting a war on multiple fronts.

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10:13am

Wed December 12, 2012
Author Interviews

Joseph Kennedy, 'Patriarch' Of An American Dynasty

Originally published on Wed December 12, 2012 1:03 pm

By the time he turned 40, Joseph Kennedy was a millionaire many times over and the head of what would soon become one of America's greatest political dynasties. In his new biography of the senior Kennedy, The Patriarch: The Remarkable Life and Turbulent Times of Joseph P. Kennedy, David Nasaw charts Kennedy's life and trajectory from Boston society boy to Hollywood bigwig to controversial ambassador to Great Britain as World War II unfolded on the European stage.

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10:13am

Tue December 11, 2012
Around the Nation

'Operation Delirium:' Psychochemicals And Cold War

These gas masks were reconditioned at the Edgewood Arsenal for civilian defense use during World War II. Later, in the 1950s and '60s, the arsenal near the Chesapeake Bay was used for secret chemical weapons testing run by the U.S. Army.
Jack Delano Library of Congress

In the latest issue of The New Yorker, journalist Raffi Khatchadourian writes about a secret chemical weapons testing program run by the U.S. Army during the Cold War.

Throughout the 1950s and '60s, at the now-crumbling Edgewood Arsenal by the Chesapeake Bay in Maryland, military doctors tested the effects of nerve gas, LSD and other drugs on 5,000 U.S. soldiers to gauge the effects on their brain and behavior.

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