What began as little more than a glorified metronome has worked its way into bedroom studios and state-of-the-art recording facilities alike. A new book chronicles the history and influence of the drum machine in all its wood- and plastic-paneled glory.
Gabriel Sherman traces the beginning of Fox News' success back to its wall-to-wall coverage of Monica Lewinsky. He says, "Ratings during the Lewinsky scandal exploded more than 400 percent, so you saw instantly that there was a market for this type of ... television." Sherman's book is called The Loudest Voice In The Room.
Pulitzer Prize-winning author Taylor Branch argues that while we invoke Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.'s name frequently, few understand the principles he championed or the history of race relations in America.
Modern black barber shops are civic, cultural and business institutions in many major cities. Their history, however, is complicated, shifting from places where only white men were served to the democratic social spaces of today in just over a century. We consider the political and social movements brought that change about and the role these shops play in communities now.
Lee is acclaimed for his realistic and historical fiction, but he's made a foray into the futuristic sci-fi genre with a new novel called On Such a Full Sea. Fresh Air book critic Maureen Corrigan says sometimes it's better for writers to stick closer to familiar shores.
Security questions such as, "What's your mother's maiden name?" are easy to look up online. So for an extra layer of protection, author P.W. Singer advises making the answer something counterintuitive, like pizza.
The Supreme Court justice tells Fresh Air's Terry Gross, "In every position that I've been in, there have been naysayers who don't believe I'm qualified or who don't believe I can do the work." She has committed herself to proving those people wrong.
Steve Inskeep continues his conversation with former Secretary of Defense Robert Gates about his new memoir, Duty. Gates discusses his personal relationship with the armed forces and the intense emotional toll of being secretary of defense at a time when the nation is conducting two wars.
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