biography

On this edition of In Black America, producer/host John L. Hanson, Jr. speaks with Joe Henry, co-author of "Furious Cool: Richard Pryor and The World That Made Him."

Richard Pryor was arguably the single most influential performer of the second half of the twentieth century, and was the most successful black actor/comedian ever. Controversial and somewhat enigmatic during his life, Pryor’s performances opened up a whole new world of possibilities, merging fantasy with angry reality in new, unthinkable ways . Now, Henry's groundbreaking book brings him to life again both as a man and as an artist, providing an in-depth exploration of his talent, his lasting influence and an insightful examination of the world he lived in and the myriad influences that shaped both his persona and his art.

Putnam Books

One hundred years ago, a president took office who would set the course of the American century, end an era of isolationism, set the stage for the New Deal and eventually become one of the most controversial and fundamentally misunderstood figures ever to lead the nation.

A new biography corrects a lot of misconceptions about the 28th president, but perhaps more importantly humanizes and brings to life an important figure in the American narrative.