1. On Monday, Maureen Corrigan spoke to Fresh Air about her book, So We Read On: How The Great Gatsby Came To Be and Why It Endures.  When Gatsby was published in 1925 it was a flop, but World War II turned that around. In fact, the Atlantic just published an article about the Armed Services Editions—books that were given to soldiers to keep in their uniform pockets so they had something to read to take their mind off of the death and destruction. 
Here’s what Yoni Appelbaum of Atlantic says: 

Some of the selections [for the Armed Services Editions] were idiosyncratic. In 1945, Council picked out an older novel by F. Scott Fitzgerald that had never achieved popular success. It sold just 120 copies the previous year, and another 33 in 1945 before going out of print. The 155,000 copies of The Great Gatsby that they shipped out to the troops dwarfed all its previous print runs combined. Buoyed by that exposure, it would go on to become one of the great publishing successes of the 20th century.

Learn more about Gatsby’s incredible revival here.  View in High-Res

    On Monday, Maureen Corrigan spoke to Fresh Air about her book, So We Read On: How The Great Gatsby Came To Be and Why It Endures.  When Gatsby was published in 1925 it was a flop, but World War II turned that around. In fact, the Atlantic just published an article about the Armed Services Editions—books that were given to soldiers to keep in their uniform pockets so they had something to read to take their mind off of the death and destruction.

    Here’s what Yoni Appelbaum of Atlantic says: 

    Some of the selections [for the Armed Services Editions] were idiosyncratic. In 1945, Council picked out an older novel by F. Scott Fitzgerald that had never achieved popular success. It sold just 120 copies the previous year, and another 33 in 1945 before going out of print. The 155,000 copies of The Great Gatsby that they shipped out to the troops dwarfed all its previous print runs combined. Buoyed by that exposure, it would go on to become one of the great publishing successes of the 20th century.

    Learn more about Gatsby’s incredible revival here

  2. fresh air

    interview

    the great gatsby

    the atlantic

    world war II

    history

  1. Check out Alexis Madrigal's latest article in The Atlantic, How Twitter Has Changed Over the Years in 12 Charts
He’s also the Fresh Air tech contributor. You can read/listen to his pieces here. View in High-Res

    Check out Alexis Madrigal's latest article in The Atlantic, How Twitter Has Changed Over the Years in 12 Charts

    He’s also the Fresh Air tech contributor. You can read/listen to his pieces here.

  2. alexis madrigal

    twitter

    tech

    the atlantic

  1. Today Scott Stossel shares his experience of living with debilitating anxiety and phobias. His book, “My Age of Anxiety: Fear, Hope, Dread and the Search of Peace of Mind" is part memoir and part medical and pharmaceutical history of anxiety. Stossel is high-functioning despite his various afflictions. He is the editor at The Atlantic Magazine. Contrary to his inner distress, his colleagues often describe him as calm. In his interview he explains why that is:

Some people say that in stressful situations I can seem unflappable, and I think that’s partly because I’m always kind of internally flapped. And so … when there’s actually something real to be concerned about, it’s actually less anxiety-provoking than these irrational things. It’s also fairly typical … of certain kinds of anxiety disorder sufferers, particularly people with panic disorder, [they] are exceptionally good at hiding it. They’re able to convey an impression of competence, calmness and confidence, which is maybe substantially real … but there’s an internal fear. … The gap between that and this façade where people see you as competent and effective — you’re always afraid of being exposed, which is in itself anxiety producing.One of my more recent therapists calls this phenomenon, Impression Management. Impression Management is not only a symptom of anxiety, because you’re worried about being exposed, but it’s also a cause because you’re constantly worried that the house of cards that is your outward image … is going to come crashing down.
View in High-Res

    Today Scott Stossel shares his experience of living with debilitating anxiety and phobias. His book, “My Age of Anxiety: Fear, Hope, Dread and the Search of Peace of Mind" is part memoir and part medical and pharmaceutical history of anxiety. Stossel is high-functioning despite his various afflictions. He is the editor at The Atlantic Magazine. Contrary to his inner distress, his colleagues often describe him as calm. In his interview he explains why that is:

    Some people say that in stressful situations I can seem unflappable, and I think that’s partly because I’m always kind of internally flapped. And so … when there’s actually something real to be concerned about, it’s actually less anxiety-provoking than these irrational things. It’s also fairly typical … of certain kinds of anxiety disorder sufferers, particularly people with panic disorder, [they] are exceptionally good at hiding it. They’re able to convey an impression of competence, calmness and confidence, which is maybe substantially real … but there’s an internal fear. … The gap between that and this façade where people see you as competent and effective — you’re always afraid of being exposed, which is in itself anxiety producing.

    One of my more recent therapists calls this phenomenon, Impression Management. Impression Management is not only a symptom of anxiety, because you’re worried about being exposed, but it’s also a cause because you’re constantly worried that the house of cards that is your outward image … is going to come crashing down.

  2. fresh air

    scott stossel

    anxiety

    phobias

    the atlantic

    panic disorder

    mental illness

  1. Our guest MONDAY is Scott Stossel. He has struggled with anxiety and several phobias for most of his life. In his book “‘My Age of Anxiety” he gives a personal, medical, and pharmaceutical history of anxiety. Stossel is also the editor of The Atlantic Magazine. He writes about his afflictions in the most recent issue:

In short, I have, since the age of about 2, been a twitchy bundle of phobias, fears, and neuroses. And I have, since the age of 10, when I was first taken to a mental hospital for evaluation and then referred to a psychiatrist for treatment, tried in various ways to overcome my anxiety.
Here’s what I’ve tried: individual psychotherapy (three decades of it), family therapy, group therapy, cognitive-behavioral therapy, rational emotive behavior therapy, acceptance and commitment therapy, hypnosis, meditation, role-playing, interoceptive exposure therapy, in vivo exposure therapy, self-help workbooks, massage therapy, prayer, acupuncture, yoga, Stoic philosophy, and audiotapes I ordered off a late-night TV infomercial.
And medication. Lots of medication. Thorazine. Imipramine. Desipramine. Chlorpheniramine. Nardil. BuSpar. Prozac. Zoloft. Paxil. Wellbutrin. Effexor. Celexa. Lexapro. Cymbalta. Luvox. Trazodone. Levoxyl. Inderal. Tranxene. Serax. Centrax. St. John’s wort. Zolpidem. Valium. Librium. Ativan. Xanax. Klonopin.
Also: beer, wine, gin, bourbon, vodka, and scotch.
Here’s what’s worked: nothing.
View in High-Res

    Our guest MONDAY is Scott Stossel. He has struggled with anxiety and several phobias for most of his life. In his book “‘My Age of Anxiety” he gives a personal, medical, and pharmaceutical history of anxiety. Stossel is also the editor of The Atlantic Magazine. He writes about his afflictions in the most recent issue:

    In short, I have, since the age of about 2, been a twitchy bundle of phobias, fears, and neuroses. And I have, since the age of 10, when I was first taken to a mental hospital for evaluation and then referred to a psychiatrist for treatment, tried in various ways to overcome my anxiety.

    Here’s what I’ve tried: individual psychotherapy (three decades of it), family therapy, group therapy, cognitive-behavioral therapy, rational emotive behavior therapy, acceptance and commitment therapy, hypnosis, meditation, role-playing, interoceptive exposure therapy, in vivo exposure therapy, self-help workbooks, massage therapy, prayer, acupuncture, yoga, Stoic philosophy, and audiotapes I ordered off a late-night TV infomercial.

    And medication. Lots of medication. Thorazine. Imipramine. Desipramine. Chlorpheniramine. Nardil. BuSpar. Prozac. Zoloft. Paxil. Wellbutrin. Effexor. Celexa. Lexapro. Cymbalta. Luvox. Trazodone. Levoxyl. Inderal. Tranxene. Serax. Centrax. St. John’s wort. Zolpidem. Valium. Librium. Ativan. Xanax. Klonopin.

    Also: beer, wine, gin, bourbon, vodka, and scotch.

    Here’s what’s worked: nothing.

  2. fresh air

    scott stossel

    anxiety

    phobias

    the atlantic

  1. Fresh Air’s tech contributor Alexis Madrigal discusses his research on the many “micro-genres” of Netflix. Here’s an excerpt of his piece:

Now it’s become one of the company’s big selling points. Netflix doesn’t just provide streaming movies and TV shows; it knows you.
Thinking about how specific Netflix could get, I started to wonder, “Just how many micro-genres does Netflix really have?”
A friend pointed out that the web addresses for the categories in the Netflix database were sequentially numbered, and that I could type through each URL, one by one, and figure out all the micro-genres.
The first brought up African-American Crime Documentaries. The second pulled up Scary Cult Movies From The 1980s. The next was Tearjerkers From The 1970s. After a couple more minutes, I tried entry 10,000, just to see if the database was really that big. Japanese Horror Movies From The 1960s was in that slot.
There was no way I could copy and paste tens of thousands of genre titles by hand, so I wrote a simple script, a little piece of code, that would copy the names to a list. I set it up to run and then I waited, as the script kept copying-and-pasting for more than 20 hours.
I found that Netflix has 76,897 separate categories. To my knowledge, no one outside Netflix has ever compiled this mass of data before. And now we can really understand how the system works.
View in High-Res

    Fresh Air’s tech contributor Alexis Madrigal discusses his research on the many “micro-genres” of Netflix. Here’s an excerpt of his piece:

    Now it’s become one of the company’s big selling points. Netflix doesn’t just provide streaming movies and TV shows; it knows you.

    Thinking about how specific Netflix could get, I started to wonder, “Just how many micro-genres does Netflix really have?”

    A friend pointed out that the web addresses for the categories in the Netflix database were sequentially numbered, and that I could type through each URL, one by one, and figure out all the micro-genres.

    The first brought up African-American Crime Documentaries. The second pulled up Scary Cult Movies From The 1980s. The next was Tearjerkers From The 1970s. After a couple more minutes, I tried entry 10,000, just to see if the database was really that big. Japanese Horror Movies From The 1960s was in that slot.

    There was no way I could copy and paste tens of thousands of genre titles by hand, so I wrote a simple script, a little piece of code, that would copy the names to a list. I set it up to run and then I waited, as the script kept copying-and-pasting for more than 20 hours.

    I found that Netflix has 76,897 separate categories. To my knowledge, no one outside Netflix has ever compiled this mass of data before. And now we can really understand how the system works.

  2. fresh air

    netflix

    film

    alexis madrigal

    the atlantic

  1. 
High up in the French Alps, on the top terrace of the Aiguille du Midi mountain peak, sits a new five-sided glass structure called the Chamonix Skywalk. The installation was inspired by the Grand Canyon’s glass skywalk, but it takes the concept to the next level. Instead of looking out over a railing, visitors can hover 1,035 meters (3,396 feet) above the valley in an enclosed transparent box, surrounded on all sides by custom-made 12 mm (1/2 inch) glass. The skywalk will open to the public on December 21, 2013.


via The Atlantic View in High-Res

    High up in the French Alps, on the top terrace of the Aiguille du Midi mountain peak, sits a new five-sided glass structure called the Chamonix Skywalk. The installation was inspired by the Grand Canyon’s glass skywalk, but it takes the concept to the next level. Instead of looking out over a railing, visitors can hover 1,035 meters (3,396 feet) above the valley in an enclosed transparent box, surrounded on all sides by custom-made 12 mm (1/2 inch) glass. The skywalk will open to the public on December 21, 2013.

    via The Atlantic

  2. fresh air

    the atlantic

    chamonix skywalk

    french alps

    aiguille du midi

  1. Just How Much Neighborhood Transformation Can You Get From An Art Project?
(via The Atlantic Cities Blog) 

A new take on urban renewal: Dutch art duo Haas and Hahn do large-scale art projects in the favelas (slums) of Rio de Janeiro in an effort to help revitalize struggling neighborhoods. 

Here they painted the facades of 34 homes in Santa Marta (above). They hope to expand to other favelas, subscribing to the belief that the vibrancy will stimulate the economy and create a sense of neighborhood pride.

Haas and Hahn teamed up with Philadelphia's Mural Arts program and implemented their colorful ideology in North Philly here. 

One of the artists, Dre Urhahn says, “The point is not to change the neighborhood, we don’t bring answers, we have to define questions and to start the conversation.” View in High-Res

    Just How Much Neighborhood Transformation Can You Get From An Art Project?

    (via The Atlantic Cities Blog)

    A new take on urban renewal: Dutch art duo Haas and Hahn do large-scale art projects in the favelas (slums) of Rio de Janeiro in an effort to help revitalize struggling neighborhoods.

    Here they painted the facades of 34 homes in Santa Marta (above). They hope to expand to other favelas, subscribing to the belief that the vibrancy will stimulate the economy and create a sense of neighborhood pride.

    Haas and Hahn teamed up with Philadelphia's Mural Arts program and implemented their colorful ideology in North Philly here.

    One of the artists, Dre Urhahn says, “The point is not to change the neighborhood, we don’t bring answers, we have to define questions and to start the conversation.”

  2. fresh air

    urban planning

    mural arts

    rio

    philly

    favelas

    haas and hahn

    the atlantic

    cities blog

  1. The discussion continues: can women “have it all?” Should women want to “have it all?” What does that really mean?
Today President of Barnard College Debora Spar tackles this question in her book “Wonder Women: Sex, Power, and the Quest for Perfection.”
Spar said that this quest for perfection, “drains the energy out of the broader social goals [of feminism] and it makes women nuts. “

photo via The Atlantic View in High-Res

    The discussion continues: can women “have it all?” Should women want to “have it all?” What does that really mean?

    Today President of Barnard College Debora Spar tackles this question in her book “Wonder Women: Sex, Power, and the Quest for Perfection.”


    Spar said that this quest for perfection, “drains the energy out of the broader social goals [of feminism] and it makes women nuts. “

    photo via The Atlantic

  2. fresh air

    interview

    debora spar

    feminism

    wonder women

    seven sisters

    women's colleges

    barnard college

    the atlantic

  1. The Atlantic’s InFocus Blog:

People ride the Luna Park Swing Ride as the Supermoon rises on Coney Island, on June 22, 2013. 
View in High-Res

    The Atlantic’s InFocus Blog:

    People ride the Luna Park Swing Ride as the Supermoon rises on Coney Island, on June 22, 2013.

  2. afternoon photo break

    The Atlantic

    Supermoon

  1. Matched, as we know from the dating world alone, is a coded word. My spouse and I were matched with birthmothers not once, not twice, not three times, but a total of five times. The most horrible things kept happening: Birthmothers and those posing as birthmothers, birthfathers and those posing as birthfathers lied to us. Birthmothers are doing a very selfless and generous thing when they decide they are unable to parent and place their child with wanting parents. It is a decision made out of big, big love for that child. Adoption, when it is successful, is a wonderful thing. But everyone coming to it is grieving in some way. It would be wrong not to acknowledge this.

    — from "The Dark, Sad Side of Domestic Adoption" by today’s guest, Jennifer Gilmore. Gilmore’s new novel about a couple trying to adopt, The Mothers, is largely autobiographical.

  2. The Atlantic

    Jennifer Gilmore

    Fresh Air

    Adoption

    The Mothers

  1. You know how the names of NPR correspondents and hosts can be kind of amazing and beautiful. Well…

    The Atlantic:

    Of course, hearing a string of uniformly, gorgeously unusual names one after the other can have a different effect. Greg Studley, a stand-up comedian and screenwriter (“so you know, bartender,” he says) listens to a lot of NPR. One day last December, he just couldn’t listen to the news anymore; the journalists’ sign-offs at the end of each piece had begun to take over. At first, he was just distracted — “huh, that’s a unique name,” he thought — but then it became the “elephant in the room” of his NPR experience. Finally, he wrote a song about it. “We didn’t start the pledge drive,” he sings. “There’s a cash uptic when host names are ridic.”

    UPDATE: We preemptively apologize for getting that tune stuck in your head for the rest of the day.

  2. pledge drives

    NPR Name Hall of Fame

    Greg Studley

    The Atlantic

  1. Matthew McConaughey is on the show tomorrow. As The Atlantic pointed out last summer, with Bernie, Magic Mike and Killer Joe on his 2012 resume, the actor had a pretty good run there and in roles that flew in the face of the rom-com stuff he’s become most associated with in the past decade:

Since breaking through in 1993’s Dazed and Confused as hang-about high-school graduate David Wooderson, McConaughey has largely plied his easy charm in rom-coms of no particular distinction. But the new film, directed by William Friedkin from Tracy Letts’s adaptation of his own play (the two previously worked together on 2006’s Bug), caps a banner year for the actor, now indulging in a little character-actor free jazz at 42. He’s reviving comparisons to the late, great Paul Newman—not many of those have come his way since his big-screen breakout nearly two decades ago.

That run of good roles continues with his latest in Jeff Nichols’s Mud. In fact, this role might cement his new real-life role as Matthew McConaughey: Serious Actor with Serious Cred. View in High-Res

    Matthew McConaughey is on the show tomorrow. As The Atlantic pointed out last summer, with Bernie, Magic Mike and Killer Joe on his 2012 resume, the actor had a pretty good run there and in roles that flew in the face of the rom-com stuff he’s become most associated with in the past decade:

    Since breaking through in 1993’s Dazed and Confused as hang-about high-school graduate David Wooderson, McConaughey has largely plied his easy charm in rom-coms of no particular distinction. But the new film, directed by William Friedkin from Tracy Letts’s adaptation of his own play (the two previously worked together on 2006’s Bug), caps a banner year for the actor, now indulging in a little character-actor free jazz at 42. He’s reviving comparisons to the late, great Paul Newman—not many of those have come his way since his big-screen breakout nearly two decades ago.

    That run of good roles continues with his latest in Jeff Nichols’s Mud. In fact, this role might cement his new real-life role as Matthew McConaughey: Serious Actor with Serious Cred.

  2. matthew+mcconaughey

    Fresh Air

    Coming Up

    The Atlantic

    Mud

  1. Over at The Atlantic is an interesting history piece about a never-made Stanley Kubrick film that, had it been made, would have been the part of the Venn diagram where the theme of today’s interview (World War II) and one of Fresh Air's favorite things (No hints. Just click.) overlapped.
"Stanley Kubrick’s Unmade Film About Jazz In the Third Reich":

[I]t’s Kubrick’s interest in jazz-loving Nazis that represents his most fascinating unrealized war film. The book that Kubrick was handed, and one he considered adapting soon after wrapping Full Metal Jacket, was Swing Under the Nazis, published in 1985 and written by Mike Zwerin, a trombonist from Queens who had performed with Miles Davis and Eric Dolphy before turning to journalism.

In related news, John Powers has a review of the new documentary about The Shining — Room 237 — coming soon, AND The Shining is currently streaming on Netflix.

    Over at The Atlantic is an interesting history piece about a never-made Stanley Kubrick film that, had it been made, would have been the part of the Venn diagram where the theme of today’s interview (World War II) and one of Fresh Air's favorite things (No hints. Just click.) overlapped.

    "Stanley Kubrick’s Unmade Film About Jazz In the Third Reich":

    [I]t’s Kubrick’s interest in jazz-loving Nazis that represents his most fascinating unrealized war film. The book that Kubrick was handed, and one he considered adapting soon after wrapping Full Metal Jacket, was Swing Under the Nazis, published in 1985 and written by Mike Zwerin, a trombonist from Queens who had performed with Miles Davis and Eric Dolphy before turning to journalism.

    In related news, John Powers has a review of the new documentary about The ShiningRoom 237 — coming soon, AND The Shining is currently streaming on Netflix.

  2. Things to do with your time

    The Shining

    The Atlantic

    Stanley Kubrick

    JAZZ PLUS JAZZ EQUALS JAZZ

  1. A profile of Ta-Nehisi Coates over at The New York Observer — "Fear of A Black Pundit" — makes clear the point that “the man has arrived.” Coates writes for The Atlantic about race, the Civil War, America, music and a host of other subjects:

For Mr. Coates, the job of the writer, even the pundit, is not to persuade. “The job of the writer should be one of humility, I think, one of being ignorant and learning—not to stand up and pretend to know everything,” he said. “I’m not a consultant or a race expert.”
Indeed, Mr. Coates is particularly anxious about being seen as some kind of black spokesman. And even Stephen Colbert poked fun at this idea when, in January, Mr. Coates appeared on The Colbert Report and the host asked him: “Are you guys still all excited about this first black president thing, or have you gotten over that?”
Mr. Coates says he is uninspired by the emails he receives telling him how his writing has helped someone win an argument. “That ain’t my burden. I don’t write to help others with their racism, and I’m not here to educate you,” he said. “I’m here to be insanely curious.”

Coates talked with Fresh Air in 2009 about his memoir The Beautiful Struggle. Listen here.

Image of Coates via the Brooklyn Book Festival/Flickr

    A profile of Ta-Nehisi Coates over at The New York Observer"Fear of A Black Pundit" — makes clear the point that “the man has arrived.” Coates writes for The Atlantic about race, the Civil War, America, music and a host of other subjects:

    For Mr. Coates, the job of the writer, even the pundit, is not to persuade. “The job of the writer should be one of humility, I think, one of being ignorant and learning—not to stand up and pretend to know everything,” he said. “I’m not a consultant or a race expert.”

    Indeed, Mr. Coates is particularly anxious about being seen as some kind of black spokesman. And even Stephen Colbert poked fun at this idea when, in January, Mr. Coates appeared on The Colbert Report and the host asked him: “Are you guys still all excited about this first black president thing, or have you gotten over that?”

    Mr. Coates says he is uninspired by the emails he receives telling him how his writing has helped someone win an argument. “That ain’t my burden. I don’t write to help others with their racism, and I’m not here to educate you,” he said. “I’m here to be insanely curious.”

    Coates talked with Fresh Air in 2009 about his memoir The Beautiful Struggle. Listen here.

    Image of Coates via the Brooklyn Book Festival/Flickr

  2. Ta-Nehisi Coates

    The Atlantic

    The New York Observer

    Fear Of a Black Pundit

  1. Keeping with the theme of the day, over at The Atlantic, some thoughts on mothers and feminism in country music.:

    Country’s willingness to consider women as mothers in addition to considering them as (sexually available) daughters isn’t always liberating, by any means. But it is, or at least can be, an alternative that isn’t generally explored or exploited in other parts of the pop landscape. At the least, this means that country is sometimes able to see mothers not just as stock characters, but as people whose experiences may in themselves be worth singing about—as in Loretta Lynn’s glorious 1971 ode for harassed parents, “One’s on the Way.”

    That song explicitly distances its narrator from the “girls in New York City [who] all march for women’s lib.” But the ability to see mothers as human beings also makes it possible for country on occasion to have something that starts to look like an honest-to-God feminist vision. “To Daddy,” a hit for Emmylou Harris in 1970, for example, about the emotional aridity and monotony of a stay-at-home mother’s life, sure sounds like songwriter Dolly Parton was channeling Betty Friedan. In any case, it’s hard to imagine Friedan wouldn’t approve of the conclusion.

    Fresh Air interviews with two of these great ladies of country, Loretta Lynn and Dolly Parton.

  2. Loretta Lynn

    The Atlantic

    Dolly Parton

    One's On the Way