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NPR 4 THE DEAF: We Hear It Even When U Can’t

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FRESH AIR: Four years ago, Eels founder Mark Oliver Everett decided to take a break. After 25 years of making music, he says, “I got to the point where if you do any one thing too much in your life, it catches up to you and makes it clear that you need to do something else.” Everett went on what he calls a project of self-improvement, during which he got married, got divorced and, at the age of 54, had a son. He also spent time reckoning with the losses he’d experienced earlier in life, including his sister’s suicide, his mother’s death from cancer and his father’s fatal heart attack. Now he’s back, with a new album, The Deconstruction: a reflection on both the pain and joy of life. He says the point of the record is that “life is constant motion.” “We spend most of our lives after we’re born slowly building up these defenses and walls around ourselves,” Everett explains. “I just thought, ‘What’s underneath all that? What would happen if you tore down those defenses?'” MORE

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FRESH AIR:
Former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright describes herself as an “optimist who worries a lot.” And lately, it seems, there has been much to worry about. Albright’s new book, Fascism: A Warning, starts by describing how Hitler and Mussolini came to power in the 20th century, then warns about today’s authoritarian rulers in Eastern Europe, North Korea, Turkey and Russia. Albright, who was born in Czechoslovakia and fled with her family after the Nazis occupied the country in 1939, notes that the United States has traditionally been viewed as a nation that opposes authoritarianism and supports democratic principles and human rights, but that perception is changing — in part because of President Trump. While Albright does not call Trump a fascist, she says that he is “the most anti-democratic leader that I have studied in American history.” MORE

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