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'Schmuck' Revisits The Golden Age Of Radio, And A Bygone Manhattan

Ross Klavan's novel follows two radio sidekicks in midcentury New York: golden-voiced straight man Ted Fox, who has an eye for a good-looking dame, and funnyman Jerry Elkin, a veteran of World War II.
WAMU 88.5

Pop Culture And The American Image

As the U.S. has cut its public diplomacy programs, cultural critics say Hollywood -- and the distorted image it exports -– has become the de facto U.S. ambassador. We talk to cultural critic and author Martha Bayles about how our pop culture affects how Americans are perceived in foreign countries, and learn how those on the front lines of public diplomacy can alter that image.


When Loved Ones Return From The Dead

Jason Mott's novel The Returned is now an ABC television series called Resurrection, which premieres this weekend. The plot was inspired by a dream Mott had about his mother.

A New Look At 'The Bright Continent'

Nigerian-American journalist Dayo Olopade talks about finding optimism in Africa and her new book The Bright Continent: Breaking Rules and Making Change in Modern Africa.

Hemingway Doesn't Always Live Up To His Code

What happens when Hemingway the writer meets Hemingway the editing app?

Kevin Young On Blues, Poetry And 'Laughing To Keep From Crying'

The poet describes his new book — about the death of his father and the birth of his son — as having a blues sensibility. "There are moments of humor even in the sorrow," he says.

Fresh Air Remembers Literary Biographer Justin Kaplan

Kaplan died Sunday at 88. His biography of Mark Twain won a National Book Award and a Pulitzer Prize. He also edited two editions of Bartlett's Familiar Quotations. Kaplan spoke to Fresh Air in 1992.

When War-Torn Rubble Met Royal Imagination, 'Paris Became Paris'

The French capital wasn't always beautiful. Author Joan DeJean details the city's transformation in the 17th century, as new bridges and boulevards turned desolate terrain into the City of Light.

What Really Happened The Night Kitty Genovese Was Murdered?

Thirty-eight people witnessed Genovese's murder and didn't do a thing about it, according to news reports from 1964. Fifty years later, a new book tells a different story.

During World War II, Even Filmmakers Reported For Duty

A new book looks at how the military and Hollywood directors teamed up during the war. The films they made helped show Americans what was at stake, and served as evidence during the Nuremberg Trials.