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Author George Crile

George Crile is a veteran producer for CBS's 60 Minutes and 60 Minutes II. He's the author of the new book, Charlie Wilson's War: The Extraordinary Story of the Largest Covert Operation in History. It's about the CIA's secret war in Afghanistan in the 1970s and 1980s, and its support of the Afghan Mujahideen against the Soviet Union. Ammunitions and weapons were smuggled across the border and at one point over 300,000 fundamentalist Afghan warriors carried weapons provided by the CIA.


Philip Roth and His 'Everyman,' Revisited

Pulitzer Prize-winning author Philip Roth's twenty-seventh book, Everyman, centers on a successful septuagenarian's response to his physical decline and approaching death.

The man, who's never named, has no religion or philosophy to cling to; reviewer Gail Caldwell of the Boston Globe writes that the book is a "swift, brutal novel about a heartbreakingly ordinary subject, and it is also testament to Roth that the book leaves you a little breathless and not at all bereft."


'Fresh Air' at 20: Jackie Mason

Fresh Air went national in 1987, and we're celebrating that 20th anniversary by revisiting some classic interviews. In this segment: Jackie Mason.

Mason's comic roots are planted firmly in the Borscht Belt, but he's conquered everything from HBO to Broadway. His one-man show The World According to Me earned Mason a Tony Award, an Outer Critics Circle Award, an Ace Award, and an Emmy Award, and it toured the U.S. and Europe for two years.


From Michael Chabon, Noir and Niftorim in the North

Michael Chabon, Pulitzer Prize-winning author of The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier & Clay, has written a new novel that Publishers Weekly describes as a "murder-mystery speculative-history Jewish-identity noir chess thriller."

The Yiddish Policemen's Union is a private-eye novel that takes place in a fictional community of Jewish exiles — "the frozen chosen" — displaced to a temporary settlement in Alaska by World War II.


In Poland, a Jewish Renaissance

Guest host Dave Davies interviews Rabbi Michael Schudrich, chief rabbi of Poland — and a New York native. He moved to Warsaw in 1990 to help rebuild Jewish communities there. It was a homecoming of sorts: Schudrich's grandparents emigrated from Poland before World War II.


Writer Stefan Kanfer on 'Stardust Lost.'

Writer Stefan Kanfer. His new book is “Stardust Lost: The Triumph, Tragedy, and Mishugas of the Yiddish Theater in America.” It’s about the glory days of Yiddish theater in the late 19th and early 20th century. Kanfer was a writer and editor at Time magazine for 20 years and is the author of many books including biographies of Lucille Ball and Groucho Marx.


'Jewface' and Jody Rosen.

Journalist Jody Rosen. He’s put together an album called “Jewface” (Reboot Stereophonic Records). It’s the first anthology of Jewish minstrel songs. Tracks include “Cohen Owes Me 97 Dollars,” “I’m a Yiddish Cowboy” and other long lost hits from the vaudeville stage of the early 20th century. Rosen is the music critic for and also writes for The Nation. He’s the author of the book “White Christmas: The Story of an American Song.”


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