Author Interviews

1:45pm

Wed October 8, 2014
Author Interviews

A Mortician Talks Openly About Death, And Wants You To, Too

Originally published on Thu October 9, 2014 2:58 pm

Caitlin Doughty is the founder of The Order of the Good Death, a group of funeral industry professionals, academics and artists who focus on the rituals families perform with their dead.
Mara Zehler Courtesy of W.W. Norton & Co. Inc.

Talking about death isn't easy, but mortician Caitlin Doughty is trying to reform how we think about the deaths of loved ones — and prepare for our own.

"My philosophy is honesty," Doughty tells Fresh Air's Terry Gross. "I think that we've been so hidden from death in this culture for such a long time that it's very refreshing and liberating to talk about death in an open, honest manner."

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1:15am

Wed October 8, 2014
Author Interviews

In 'Lila,' A Nomad Finds Solace And Love In The Arms Of A Preacher

Originally published on Wed October 8, 2014 10:22 am

Marilynne Robinson won the 2005 Pulitzer Prize for fiction for her novel Gilead.
Kelly Ruth Winter Farrar, Straus and Giroux

When Marilynne Robinson finished writing her first novel, Housekeeping, she felt like she still had more to say about the characters. She says, "I just decided that I would outlive the impulse, you know. But then, after I finished [her second novel] Gilead, I had the same feeling that the characters were still with me and that there was much more that I knew about them than I had ever articulated to myself. And so I thought, 'Well, let's see what's here.' And two more books have come from that."

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1:17pm

Tue October 7, 2014
Shots - Health News

The Great Bluff That Led To A 'Magical' Pill And A Sexual Revolution

Originally published on Wed October 8, 2014 2:20 pm

The history of how the birth control pill was developed in the 1950s is recounted in Jonathan Eig's new book The Birth of the Pill.
iStockphoto.com

In the 1950s, four people — the founder of the birth control movement, a controversial scientist, a Catholic obstetrician and a wealthy feminist — got together to create a revolutionary little pill the world had never seen before.

They were sneaky about what they were doing — skirting the law, lying to women about the tests they performed and fibbing to the public about their motivations.

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10:04am

Tue October 7, 2014
Author Interviews

Panetta: Fight Against Terrorism Will Be A Long, Sustained War

Leon Panetta says he and other top national security advisers to the president argued to keep some U.S. forces on the ground in Iraq after 2011.
Frederic J. Brown AFP/Getty Images

As a member of the Obama administration, Leon Panetta was involved in many of the major foreign policy decisions of the past six years. He stepped down as secretary of defense last year.

As director of the CIA, Panetta carried out President Obama's decision to end enhanced interrogation of terror suspects, and he oversaw the operation to kill Osama bin Laden.

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2:27pm

Mon October 6, 2014
Author Interviews

Historian: FDR Was The Last Great President. Let's Never Have Another

Originally published on Tue October 7, 2014 12:17 pm

Franklin Delano Roosevelt was our last truly great president, according to scholar Aaron David Miller.
Keystone Getty Images

Who was the last great president of the United States? Well, if you're not on Social Security, you wouldn't be old enough to have seen one, says author Aaron David Miller, a vice president at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars. In his new book, The End of Greatness: Why America Can't Have (and Doesn't Want) Another Great President, Miller concludes that we've had three great leaders:

  • George Washington, who launched the republic.
  • Abraham Lincoln, who held it together and ended slavery.
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