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Rachel Maddow: The Fresh Air Interview

The popular MSNBC host talks about her start in broadcasting, her life and her new book Drift: The Unmooring of American Military Power, in which she argues that America's national defense has become disconnected from public oversight.


How the Military Has Purged Gay Personnel

Journalist Randy Shilts is the national correspondent for the San Francisco Chronicle. His book, "And the Band Played On," was one of the earliest written about the AIDS epidemic and it's impact on the gay community. Shilts' new book is about gay life in the military, called "Conduct Unbecoming." He started the it in 1988, before the current debate about gays in the military.


Director Tom Kalin's New Film on the Leopold-Loeb Murder

Kalin wrote, directed and co-produced the new movie,"Swoon." It explores the lives of "thrill killers" Nathan Leopold and Richard Loeb. They were Jewish and homosexual; the film looks at how anti-semitism and homophobia figured into their 1920s trial. "Swoon" is Kalin's first feature film. He worked for three years as a producer for AIDSFILMS and is a founding member of the AIDS activist collective Gran Fury.


Republican Party Insider Marvin Liebman on "Coming Out Conservative"

Liebman shocked his political associates and friends when he announced in 1990 that he was gay. His new autobiography is "Coming Out Conservative." Liebman joins Fresh Air to talk about his frustration with his party's family values platform, which he says is just a code word for homophobia.


Poet Minnie Bruce Pratt on Writing the Lesbian Experience

Pratt's book of poetry, "Crime Against Nature," was chosen by the Academy of American Poets as the 1989 Lamont Poetry Selection. Many of her poems are about being a lesbian, and losing custody of her two sons when she came out. Pratt just won the Hammett/Hellman Award, given by the Fund for Free Expression.


Inside Roy Cohn's Skin.

Book Critic John Leonard reviews two new biographies of Roy Cohn, the counsel for the Senate committee conducting the McCarthy trials, and McCarthy's aide and confidante.

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