In culling through albums released late last year that I still play with pleasure, Paloma Faith's Fall to Grace was a real keeper. In contrast to my joy, Faith was singing about her agony: her broken heart, her wracked sobs about ruined affairs, her choked goodbyes to lovers who'd left her. She made all this sound tremendously intense and exciting. Not for nothing did she title her previous album Do You Want the Truth or Something Beautiful?
This week brings two new high-profile drama series. One is The Americans, premiering Jan. 30 on the FX network; it's about sleeper KGB agents living in the U.S. during the Reagan era. The other is House of Cards, a new series premiering Feb. 1.
William H. Macy is the first to admit that he has played his fair share of losers. His latest role, as the alcoholic, narcissist Frank Gallagher — the single dad of a dysfunctional six-kid family — on the Showtime series Shameless, adds to the list of hapless characters Macy has portrayed on screen and stage.
In a new book, The Insurgents: David Petraeus and the Plot to Change the American Way of War, journalist and author Fred Kaplan tackles the career of David H. Petraeus and follows the four-star general from Bosnia to his commands in Iraq and Afghanistan.
Central to the story are ideas of counterinsurgency. Kaplan says that while counterinsurgency is not a new kind of warfare, it's a kind of war that Americans do not like to fight.
Visitors take in a re-created scene at the massacre museum at Vietnam's My Lai village. Researcher Nick Turse says atrocities of all kinds were more common in the Vietnam War than most Americans believe.
Credit Hoang Dinh Nam / AFP/Getty Images
Nick Turse is the author of <em>Kill</em> <em>Anything That Moves</em>, about the Vietnam War.
Originally published on Mon January 28, 2013 2:06 pm
On March 16, 1968, between 347 and 504 unarmed Vietnamese civilians were gunned down by members of the U.S. Army in what became known as the My Lai Massacre.
The U.S. government has maintained that atrocities like this were isolated incidents in the conflict. Nick Turse says otherwise. In his new book, Kill Anything That Moves: The Real American War in Vietnam, Turse argues that the intentional killing of civilians was quite common in a war that claimed 2 million civilian lives, with 5.3 million civilians wounded and 11 million refugees.
My favorite item from the growing mountain of Pride and Prejudice bicentennial trivia comes courtesy of an article in something called Regency World Magazine, which is going gaga over the anniversary. The article, "Albert Goes Ape for Austen," describes how a 200-pound orangutan named Albert, living in the Gdansk Zoo in Poland, insists on having 50 pages a night of Pride and Prejudice read to him at bedtime by his keeper or else he refuses to go to sleep.
Originally published on Mon January 28, 2013 1:22 pm
DAVE DAVIES, HOST:
Pulitzer prize-winning journalist and historian Stanley Karnow, whose best-selling book "Vietnam: A History," was the basis of an acclaimed public television documentary series, died Sunday at the age of 87. His work as a foreign correspondent was centered in southeast Asia, where he spent more than three decades, starting in 1959 when he began his reporting from Vietnam.
Fresh Air Weekend highlights some of the best interviews and reviews from past weeks, and new program elements specially paced for weekends. Our weekend show emphasizes interviews with writers, filmmakers, actors and musicians, and often includes excerpts from live in-studio concerts. This week:
'Going Clear': A New Book Delves Into Scientology: Lawrence Wright's Going Clear: Scientology, Hollywood and the Prison of Belief looks at the world of the controversial church and the life of its founder, L. Ron Hubbard, who died in 1986.
"I was worried about being the mouthpiece for anyone and being politicized personally," Tina Fey says about playing Sarah Palin on <em>Saturday Night Live</em>. "It ended up being a lot of fun, but it did permanently politicize me in a way."