Dave Davies

TERRY GROSS, HOST:

And if that enthusiastic review got you interested in the novel, stick around because we're going to hear from the author. FRESH AIR's Dave Davies just recorded this interview with Colson Whitehead.

DAVE DAVIES, HOST:

This is FRESH AIR. I'm Dave Davies, in for Terry Gross.

You might know our guest Keith Hernandez as a big-league ballplayer or as a memorable guest on two episodes of "Seinfeld." And if you're a New York Mets fan, you'll know him as a color analyst for the team's TV broadcasts. In 17 seasons in the big leagues, Hernandez was known for hitting wicked blind drives and for dazzling defensive plays at first base. He won Gold Glove Awards, a batting title, a Most Valuable Player Award and two World Series rings.

DAVE DAVIES, HOST:

This is FRESH AIR. I'm Dave Davies, in for Terry Gross. Although President Trump was forced by the courts a year ago to end his administration's policy of separating migrant children from their parents at the U.S.-Mexico border, recent reports from the border have described hundreds of children, teens and toddlers being held in squalid conditions at a Border Patrol station in Clint, Texas.

TERRY GROSS, HOST:

This is FRESH AIR. I'm Terry Gross. In the days following the 1986 explosion in the Chernobyl nuclear reactor, a military officer working to manage the response from an abandoned hotel nearby noticed a mysterious black carpet in the empty dining hall. When he got closer, he realized it was not a carpet; it was thousands of flies, alive but immobilized by the radiation in the air. That's one of the details you'll find in the book "Midnight In Chernobyl" by our guest, journalist Adam Higginbotham.

In the 1980s, Tracy Edwards dreamed of racing a sailboat around the world. But at the time, open ocean sailboat racing was a male-dominated sport. She was only able to sign on as a cook for an all-male team in the 1985-86 Whitbread Round the World Race, a grueling 33,000 mile endeavor.

Afterward, when she still wasn't able to crew, she decided to take matters into her own hands: "My mom always told me, 'If you don't like the way the world looks, change it,'" she says. "So I thought, OK, I will."

TERRY GROSS, HOST:

This is FRESH AIR. I'm Terry Gross. Fifty years before Jackie Robinson broke the color barrier in baseball, one of the most famous athletes in America was an African American who had set countless records in a sport that had long shunned people of color. Major Taylor was a championship bicycle racer around the turn of the century, when cycling was America's most popular sport.

DAVE DAVIES, HOST:

This is FRESH AIR. I'm Dave Davies, in for Terry Gross, who's off this week. Today, we'll listen to the interview I recorded last year with cartoonist and essayist Tim Kreider. His collection of personal essays, called "I Wrote This Book Because I Love You," is now out in paperback.

Copyright 2019 Fresh Air. To see more, visit Fresh Air.

DAVE DAVIES, HOST:

In 1961, when President John F. Kennedy announced a goal of "landing a man on the moon and returning him safely to the earth" before the end of the decade, the mission seemed all but impossible.

"[The U.S.] didn't have a spaceship that could fly to the moon," journalist Charles Fishman notes. "We didn't have a rocket that could launch to the moon. We didn't have a computer small enough or powerful enough to do the navigation necessary to get people to the moon. We didn't have space food."

DAVE DAVIES, HOST:

This is FRESH AIR. I'm Dave Davies in for Terry Gross, who's off this week.

As the cost of prescription medication soars, consumers are increasingly taking generic drugs: low-cost alternatives to brand-name medicines. Often health insurance plans require patients to switch to generics as a way of controlling costs. But journalist Katherine Eban warns that some of these medications might not be as safe, or effective, as we think.

Copyright 2019 Fresh Air. To see more, visit Fresh Air.

TERRY GROSS, HOST:

Copyright 2019 Fresh Air. To see more, visit Fresh Air.

TERRY GROSS, HOST:

DAVE DAVIES, HOST:

This is FRESH AIR. I'm Dave Davies in for Terry Gross. In the early morning darkness of June 17, 2017, the Navy destroyer USS Fitzgerald collided with a cargo ship in the South China Sea. The much larger cargo vessel ripped a huge hole in the Fitzgerald, killing seven sailors. Two months later, another destroyer, the USS John S. McCain, collided with another cargo ship leaving 10 more sailors dead.

DAVE DAVIES, HOST:

This is FRESH AIR. I'm Dave Davies in for Terry Gross, who's off this week. The Pulitzer Prize for History was awarded this week to historian David Blight for his book about 19th century abolitionist Frederick Douglass. Frederick Douglass is probably best known for his compelling autobiographies in which he described his experiences as a slave and his escape to freedom.

DAVE DAVIES, HOST:

This is FRESH AIR. I'm Dave Davies in for Terry Gross, who's off this week. Spring's here, and baseball's back. It's a comforting tradition for a lot of us, but big-league baseball evolves over time. And our guest, New York Times national baseball writer Tyler Kepner, keeps track of that. He notes, for example, that for the first time ever last year there were more strikeouts than hits in the majors, which he thinks is connected to the widely shared complaint that the game moves too slowly and takes too long.

DAVE DAVIES, HOST:

This is FRESH AIR. On the last hole of the Masters Golf Tournament Sunday, Tiger Woods made sports history when he stood over a two-foot putt on the 18th green.

(SOUNDBITE OF ARCHIVED RECORDING)

JIM NANTZ: Many doubted we'd ever see it, but here it is.

(CHEERING)

NANTZ: The return to glory.

(CHEERING)

Copyright 2019 Fresh Air. To see more, visit Fresh Air.

DAVE DAVIES, HOST:

DAVE DAVIES, HOST:

This is FRESH AIR. I'm Dave Davies, in for Terry Gross, who's off this week. If you want to hear some alarming facts about climate change, Bill McKibben has them. He writes in his new book that as the Earth warms, we're now seeing lethal heatwaves in some parts of the world and that the largest physical structures on our planet - the ice caps, coral reefs and rainforests - are disappearing before our eyes.

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