More than a century before Steven Spielberg's film Lincoln offered an intimate portrait of the 16th president and his family, a memoir from the first lady's dressmaker offered a glimpse into the Lincoln White House.
Elizabeth Keckley, Mary Todd Lincoln's seamstress and maybe her closest friend, told her story of slavery and self-emancipation, and her relationship with the Lincolns in a tell-all memoir called Behind The Scenes.
As a film critic for The Boston Globe, Ty Burr has met a lot of movie stars and is often asked what they're really like. What he has realized is that often, the actor's image has little to do with their actual personality, but that's not what interests him; Burr is more curious about why we ask that question to begin with. Burr wants to know "why we respond to these people who we think are larger than life [and] that are — especially in the classic days — manufactured and all their irregularities sanded off and presented to us as some kind of perfection."
To remember Chinua Achebe who died last Thursday, Fresh Air listens back to an interview with the great African writer that originally aired on May 10, 1988. In it, Achebe talks about the literary trope of the white explorer or missionary living amongst the savages, and the importance of struggle.
I'm Michel Martin and this is TELL ME MORE from NPR News. Later in the program, we will talk about Passover, which begins at sundown tonight. It commemorates the Jewish people's escape from slavery in Egypt to freedom.
We were wondering what it's like to observe when you are not free, so we'll speak with the former lobbyist, Jack Abramoff, about that. You might remember that he served more than three years in prison for fraud and tax evasion. He'll be with us in just a few minutes.
Switching gears now, you probably know that Passover begins today at sundown. The holiday, one of the most important in the Jewish calendar, commemorates the story of Moses and how he led the Israelites out of slavery in Egypt. But the holiday resonates beyond Judaism because it is also a celebration of freedom, and that caused us to wonder how the celebration of Passover is complicated by those who are unfree, those who are in prison, for example.
This is TMM from NPR News. I'm Michel Martin. Later in this hour we'll talk about why gender matters in matters of health and issues such as drug effectiveness and even how your eyes work. We'll speak with the head of Women's Health Research at the National Institutes of Health in just a minute. That's part of our coverage of Women's History Month.
Secretary of State John Kerry is putting his diplomatic skills to the test this week. He is dealing with some difficult partners and trying to revive Israeli/Palestinian peace talks. Kerry spent the day yesterday in Baghdad and today he made an announced trip to Afghanistan to try to smooth over the latest disputes with President Hamid Karzai. NPR's Michele Kelemen is traveling with the secretary and joins us now from Kabul. Hey, Michele.
Good morning. I'm Renee Montagne. We've been hearing a lot of stories of the new pope's modesty, and now this. The pope called a Buenos Aires newspaper kiosk to cancel his own subscription. The shocked kiosk owner thought it was a joke until his holiest customer said, seriously, I'm calling you from Rome. The news vendor told an Argentine daily of another humble habit. The then-cardinal always collected and once a month returned the rubber bands from his newspapers. It's MORNING EDITION. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.