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A Classic Film Captures a Bygone Era

Critic Ken Tucker reviews the home video release The Sweet Smell of Success, which he says features gorgeous shots of 1950s New York City, and an unrelenting narrative intensity.


Lowered Expectations Makes "Fletch Lives" More Enjoyable

Stephen Schiff says that the sequel to Fletch is a bad movie that viewers can still enjoy once they acclimate to its pacing. Star Chevy Chase also delivers a better performance this time around, in part because he finally embraces his strengths as a character actor.


The Rise and Fall of Oliver North

Political editor for the Boston Globe Ben Bradlee, Jr. has a new book about the National Security official, called Guts and Glory. He joins Fresh Air to discuss North's early life and his forthcoming trial for his involvement in the Iran-Contra affair.


How Campaigns and the Media Surrounding Them are Changing.

Political writers Jack Germond and Jules Witcover. Their new book, Whose Broad Stripes and Bright Stars? is an examination of last year's Presidential election. In particular, the book focuses on the degree to which behind-the-scenes `handlers' determined the election's tone and outcome. The book also explores how the process of picking a president has changed in the 30 years that they have covered national politics. Germond and Witcover write the only nationally syndicated daily column devoted to politics.


Russell Baker Discusses His "Good Times."

Writer Russell Baker. Since 1962, Baker has written the twice-weekly "Observer" column for "The New York Times." For satire and parody on short notice, Baker has few equals in journalism. His 1982 memoir, "Growing Up," told of how his widowed mother guided Baker and his sister through the Depression with fervent exhortations about the value of hard work. "Growing Up" earned Baker the Pulitzer Prize and remained on the best-seller lists for a year. His second book of memoirs, titled "The Good Times," has just been published.


Valdimir Pozner Reacts to Being Called "Moscow's Mouthpiece."

Soviet commentator Vladimir Pozner (poez-ner, not pahs-ner). Pozner is a fixture on American talk intelligent, affable, understandable interpreter of Soviet events and policies. Pozner was born in France, grew up in Brooklyn, and moved to the Soviet Union at age 19. In his new book, "Parting With Illusions," Pozner looks back on his life, talks about the Soviet Union under leaders from Stalin to Gorbechev, and discusses the recent "ending" of the cold war. (The book's published by the Atlantic Monthly Press).


A Good T.V. Newspaper Show.

Television critic David Bianculli previews "Capital News," starring Lloyd Bridges as the head of a Washington DC newspaper. It premieres this week on ABC.


Writer Michael Herr.

Michael Herr. He wrote what's considered the definitive Vietnam book, "Dispatches." His new book is a novel based on the life of Walter Winchell.


The "Scoop" on a New Evelyn Waugh Adaptation

Television critic David Bianculli reviews the new Masterpiece Theatre series, "Scoop," based on the Evelyn Waugh novel of the same name. It's about a young, inexperienced foreign correspondent in 1935.

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