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Fresh Air Weekend: The Genesis Of Data-Driven Politics; Novelist Ayad Akhtar

A collection of current and past presidential advertising materials hangs on a wall in the visitor center of the New Hampshire State House in Concord, N.H.
A collection of current and past presidential advertising materials hangs on a wall in the visitor center of the New Hampshire State House in Concord, N.H.

Fresh Air Weekend highlights some of the best interviews and reviews from past weeks, and new program elements specially paced for weekends. Our weekend show emphasizes interviews with writers, filmmakers, actors and musicians, and often includes excerpts from live in-studio concerts. This week:

Collect Data, Influence Votes: 'If Then' Traces The Genesis Of Data-Driven Politics: In If Then,historian Jill Lepore tells the story of Simulmatics. Founded in 1959, the company's "people machine" used a computer program to predict the impact of various political messages.

'Ratched' Gives A First Name — And A Backstory — To The Iconic 'Cuckoo's Nest' Nurse:Violence and humor create a complicated character arc in a Netflix series that serves as a prequel, of sorts, to Ken Kesey's famed novel. Sarah Paulson gives a star turn as Mildred, AKA Nurse Ratched.

'Homeland Elegies' Novelist Reflects On Homesickness And The Immigrant Experience:Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright Ayad Akhtar centers his new novel on a Muslim man who, like Akhtar, is the son of Pakistani immigrants living in Wisconsin.

You can listen to the original interviews and review here:

Collect Data, Influence Votes: 'If Then' Traces The Genesis Of Data-Driven Politics

'Ratched' Gives A First Name — And A Backstory — To The Iconic 'Cuckoo's Nest' Nurse

'Homeland Elegies' Novelist Reflects On Homesickness And The Immigrant Experience

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