TV critic David Bianculli and film critic Justin Chang sit down with Terry Gross to share their picks for the best of the year.
‘New Yorker’ reporter Ben Taub says hundreds of thousands of Iraqi civilians, including women and children, are being detained, tortured, killed or cast out for suspected association with ISIS.
Also, rock critic Ken Tucker reflects on the year in music.
Blunt stars as the practical and fantastical nanny in ‘Mary Poppins Returns.’ She spoke with Terry Gross about floating in the sky as Poppins, singing for Stephen Sondheim in ‘Into the Woods,’ and her audition for ‘The Devil Wears Prada.’
Historian David Blight talks about Frederick Douglass’ escape from slavery, his passionate leadership in the abolitionist movement, and his gift as a writer and orator. Blight’s new biography is ‘Frederick Douglass: Prophet of Freedom.’
Also, critic John Powers shares his “Ghost List,” things he wishes he had reviewed earlier in the year.
Richard E. Grant co-stars as the alcoholic sidekick to Melissa McCarthy in ‘Can You Ever Forgive Me?’, which tells the story of a broke writer who makes money by forging literary letters. Grant talks about growing up in Swaziland, witnessing his mother have an affair and narrowly escaping an attack by his own father.
Book critic Maureen Corrigan shares her picks for the best books of the year.
Songwriter JD McPherson pledged he’d never do an album of Christmas songs — but we’re so glad he’s broken that promise. He and his band perform live in-studio from their album ‘Socks.’
“The Boss” spoke with Terry Gross at his New Jersey home studio in 2016, when his memoir came out, about masculinity, depression, and wishing he was his stage persona. His one-man show, ‘Springsteen on Broadway,’ will debut on Netflix Dec. 16.
Also, Justin Chang reviews ‘Moonlight’ director Barry Jenkins’ new film, ‘If Beale Street Could Talk,’ an adaptation of the 1974 novel by James Baldwin.
Grant co-stars with Melissa McCarthy in ‘Can You Ever Forgive Me?’ about Lee Israel, a broke writer who makes money by forging literary letters by famous writers, with the help of her friend Jack. Grant is nominated for a SAG award and a Golden Globe for his performance. He talks with Terry Gross about growing up in Swaziland and witnessing his mother have an affair, narrowly escaping an attack by his own father, and finding refuge in theater.
Keri Blakinger is a criminal justice reporter for the ‘Houston Chronicle,’ but before she reported on prisons, she spent almost 2 years locked up on narcotics charges. Blakinger spoke with Terry Gross about surviving a suicide attempt, solitary confinement, and finishing her degree at Cornell before becoming a reporter. Her reporting has led to prison reform in Texas. “I was so lucky to come out of this and I’ve been so privileged in so many ways to end up with hope and second chances and a happy ending,” Blakinger says.
Also, rock critic Ken Tucker reviews two Christmas albums — one by The Monkees and one by Rodney Crowell.
Songwriter JD McPherson pledged he’d never do an album of Christmas songs — but we’re so glad he’s broken that promise. He and his band perform live in-studio from their album ‘Socks,’ and McPherson talks about his upbringing on a cattle farm in rural Oklahoma.
Autonomous vehicles could be the “most disruptive technology to hit society worldwide since the advent of the motor car,” says former New York City traffic commissioner Sam Schwartz. We talk about what driverless cars could mean for traffic, infrastructure and pedestrians. His book is ‘No One at the Wheel.’
Critic Maureen Corrigan picks her top 10 books of 2018.