Fresh Air with Terry Gross is weekday magazine of contemporary arts and issues with intimate conversations and unusual insights.
Bakersfield, Calif., has become famous for its own brand of country music. It evolved through a music scene that was wild and wide-open during the 1950s and '60s.
"You're never going to be completely comfortable with it," says mortician and author Caitlin Doughty. "But it's an important process." Smoke Gets In Your Eyes is her new memoir.
Eight months before he died of cancer, John Coltrane played a concert at Temple University in Philadelphia that proved too much for some listeners.
In the '50s, four people collaborated to create a pill so women could enjoy sex. They fibbed about their motivations and skirted the law. Jonathan Eig details the history in The Birth of the Pill.
Brian Morton's novel features a 75-year-old woman — an icon of the Second Wave Women's Movement — who's a self-described "difficult woman." It's a witty, nuanced and ultimately moving novel.
In The Innovators, Walter Isaacson explains that Pentagon officials wanted a system the Russians couldn't attack, and 1984 made the public wary of new technology's Big Brother potential.