Keegan spent his life studying war, but he never fought in one and described himself as more or less a pacifist. The British military historian, who died last week at age 78, chronicled the history of warfare from Alexander the Great to the U.S. invasion of Iraq.
Author J.G. Ballard died April 19 from cancer. The science fiction writer produced more than 20 novels and short story collections, including Empire of the Sun and Love & Napalm: U.S.A. Fresh Air remembers Ballard with an archival interview.
Jo Stafford was a favorite entertainer of soldiers during World War II. Stafford and her husband, pianist Paul Weston, also performed a bad cabaret act as their alter egos, Jonathan and Darlene Edwards. Stafford died of congestive heart failure Wednesday. She was 90.
Writer Kurt Vonnegut died Wednesday at the age of 84. His most famous book was the anti-war novel Slaughterhouse-Five; based on Vonnegut's own experiences in World War II, the book became a cultural touchstone at the height of popular protest against the war in Vietnam. In this archived interview, he talks to Terry Gross about writing, censorship, and the experience of war. Rebroadcast from May 13, 1986
Bandleader and clarinetist Artie Shaw died Dec. 29 at the age of 94, apparently of natural causes. In the 1930s and '40s, Shaw's band ranked with the Goodman, Dorsey and Miller bands in popularity. But he largely rejected pop tunes and stuck with music by composers like Porter, Gershwin and Berlin. We remember Shaw.
We remember historian Stephen Ambrose who died Sunday at the age of 66. A college professor, Ambrose became a best-selling author late in life with his book D-Day, June 6, 1944: The Climactic Battle of World War II. He wrote several military history volumes including Citizen Soldiers. He was consultant for the film Saving Private Ryan and his book Band of Brothers was the basis of the 2001 HBO mini-series. Ambrose also wrote Undaunted Courage about the Lewis and Clark exploration to the West. This interview first aired Aug. 15, 2001.
We remember British actor Sir Alec Guinness who died Saturday at the age of 86. He’s known to older audiences for his roles in films like “The Bridge on the River Kwai,” and to younger audiences as Obi-Wan Kenobi in Star Wars. (REBROADCAST from 2/27/1986)
Dickey died Sunday at the age of 73 from complications of lung disease. He was the author of the novel "Deliverance" and the screenplay for the movie of the same name. He said he wrote novels to pay the bills, but his first love was poetry. He wrote more than 20 collections of poetry. (REBROADCAST from 9/30/93)