Rachel Martin

Rachel Martin is a host of Morning Edition, as well as NPR's morning news podcast Up First.

Before taking on this role in December 2016, Martin was the host of Weekend Edition Sunday for four years. Martin also served as National Security Correspondent for NPR, where she covered both defense and intelligence issues. She traveled regularly to Iraq and Afghanistan with the Secretary of Defense, reporting on the U.S. wars and the effectiveness of the Pentagon's counterinsurgency strategy. Martin also reported extensively on the changing demographic of the U.S. military – from the debate over whether to allow women to fight in combat units – to the repeal of Don't Ask Don't Tell. Her reporting on how the military is changing also took her to a U.S. Air Force base in New Mexico for a rare look at how the military trains drone pilots.

Martin was part of the team that launched NPR's experimental morning news show, The Bryant Park Project, based in New York — a two-hour daily multimedia program that she co-hosted with Alison Stewart and Mike Pesca.

In 2006-2007, Martin served as NPR's religion correspondent. Her piece on Islam in America was awarded "Best Radio Feature" by the Religion News Writers Association in 2007. As one of NPR's reporters assigned to cover the Virginia Tech massacre that same year, she was on the school's campus within hours of the shooting and on the ground in Blacksburg, Va., covering the investigation and emotional aftermath in the following days.

Based in Berlin, Germany, Martin worked as a NPR foreign correspondent from 2005-2006. During her time in Europe, she covered the London terrorist attacks, the federal elections in Germany, the 2006 World Cup and issues surrounding immigration and shifting cultural identities in Europe.

Her foreign reporting experience extends beyond Europe. Martin has also worked extensively in Afghanistan. She began reporting from there as a freelancer during the summer of 2003, covering the reconstruction effort in the wake of the U.S. invasion. In fall 2004, Martin returned for several months to cover Afghanistan's first democratic presidential election. She has reported widely on women's issues in Afghanistan, the fledgling political and governance system and the U.S.-NATO fight against the insurgency. She has also reported from Iraq, where she covered U.S. military operations and the strategic alliance between Sunni sheiks and the U.S. military in Anbar province.

Martin started her career at public radio station KQED in San Francisco, as a producer and reporter.

She holds an undergraduate degree in political science from the University of Puget Sound in Tacoma, Washington, and a Master's degree in International Affairs from Columbia University.

As a third-generation Jehovah's Witness, Amber Scorah believed she had the answer to life's biggest questions. The answer was Armageddon, and it predetermined everything.

"If the world is ending, why would you go to college?" Scorah says in an interview. "Why would you get a career?"

So, she didn't. Instead, like every other member of the church, she dedicated her life to spreading the word.

Washington Gov. Jay Inslee has not been shy about framing his candidacy to become the 2020 Democratic nominee for president around global climate change.

In his policy proposal he says that defeating climate change is the "defining challenge of our time," and that it is incumbent upon the next president of the United States to make that challenge a priority.

Amy Poehler's newest film is based on an actual girls' trip with her friends to California wine country. Except her friends — both in the movie and in real life — are fellow Saturday Night Live alumni such as Maya Rudolph, Ana Gasteyer, Tina Fey, Rachel Dratch, Paula Pell and Emily Spivey.

"I'm lucky to have some of the funniest people in the world be my actual friends," Poehler says in an interview. "And so I tried to quickly exploit that as fast as I could."

National attention is turning to issues that have been central to Kirsten Gillibrand's years of public service: equality and reproductive rights.

Ani DiFranco grew up in a house with no walls. "It was like a brick carriage house there. Inside there was just one room on the first floor and one room on the second floor. So it was an intimate house for a non-intimate family."

DiFranco's deep craving for intimacy led her to writing music. And the things DiFranco wanted to write were exactly what a generation of women coming of age in the '90s wanted to hear. DiFranco relives those early years in her new memoir, No Walls and the Recurring Dream.

Workers with a steady paycheck already know that wages have been stubbornly slow to rise. Meanwhile, those who get health insurance through a job have seen their deductibles shoot up. In fact, says Noam Levey, a health care reporter for the Los Angeles Times, deductibles have, on average, quadrupled over the last dozen years. As a result, even some people who have health insurance are having trouble affording medical care.

Sixty years ago, this month, Miles Davis finished recording Kind of Blue, perhaps his greatest masterpiece and still jazz's bestselling album. But it was not the only milestone recorded that year.

Rock fans fell in love with The Cranberries in the early '90s, thanks, in large part, to the haunting, Celtic-inspired voice of the Irish rock band's lead singer, Dolores O'Riordan. The Cranberries, made up of O'Riordan on lead vocal, guitarist Noel Hogan, bassist Mike Hogan and Fergal Lawler on drums, created an intoxicating juxtaposition of grunge and alternative pop, with O'Riordan's lilting lyrics searing through right in.

In her latest film, Elisabeth Moss felt that the only mistake she could make "was not going far enough."

Written and directed by Alex Ross Perry, Her Smell imagines the chaotic personal life of a musician addicted to drugs. Becky Something is the head of a fictitious all-female rock group from the '90s.

"Becky Something is enigmatic, funny and entertaining," Moss explains. But she's also toxic. "[She] will envelop you in her vortex, and then, when she's done with you, spit you out or destroy you."


Megan Stack, a former foreign correspondent for the Los Angeles Times, gave up a life of covering war and natural disasters when she had her first child in Beijing.

She quickly hired a nanny and soon realized how dependent she was on this woman — something she writes about in her book Women's Work: A Reckoning with Work and Home.

Stack spoke with NPR about the book — and the difficult decision to write about her own family.

If you ask Aisha Dee to describe her show The Bold Type, she says it's like drinking a glass of rosé while reading a Cosmo. It's "real world" but it's also "wish fulfillment," she says.

Dee, Katie Stevens and Meghann Fahy star as Kat, Jane and Sutton — three best friends living in New York and working together at Scarlet magazine, a fictional outlet inspired by Cosmopolitan. The Freeform comedy series begins its third season Tuesday night.

When an artist finds their song climbing up the Billboard charts for the first time, it's usually a cause for celebration. But in the case of 19-year-old rapper Lil Nas X and his viral hit, "Old Town Road (I Got Horses in the Back)," it's also been a cause of controversy.

From 1991 to 1994, Nirvana was one of the biggest bands in the world with a look and sound that would come to define the decade's music. At the height of this fame, though, bandleader Kurt Cobain sometimes seemed to be an unwilling participant who had just been swept up and carried away by Nirvana's success. Then, after less than four years of meteoric fame, Cobain died of suicide on April 5, 1994. He was 27.

In 12 days, there will be a parade to celebrate a road unifying two regions of a country torn apart by a decades-long civil war. That is, if two contractors are able to construct the road in time.

That's the premise of Dave Eggers' new novel The Parade, a slim meditation on the difficulties of global development and aid work. The story follows two men — we know them only as Four and Nine — who work for a faceless corporation, tasked with paving this highway while making as few waves as possible.

Jada Pinkett-Smith has been on a lot of screens.

She's been a steady presence on television since the early '90s: Think A Different World or Gotham. Her movie roles have varied widely: Set It Off, or the Matrix sequels, or Girls Trip. She has produced a new film, Hala, set to premiere this weekend at the Sundance Film Festival.

She's also on the screen of your laptop or smartphone.

So far, Maggie Rogers has spent a healthy dose of her professional career as an online sensation. That may not sound strange given the Internet age, but in Rogers' case, it was entirely accidental.

For 24 years, literary scholar Robert Alter has been working on a new translation of the Hebrew Bible and — "this may shock some of your listeners," he warns — he's been working on it by hand.

"I'm very particular — I write on narrow-lined paper and I have a Cross mechanical pencil," he says.

The result is a three-volume set — a translation with commentary — that runs over 3,000 pages.

Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg is having a moment. For the past couple of years, she's transcended her role on the Court, becoming a liberal pop culture icon.

CNN made a much-hailed documentary about her life, titled RBG. There have been several biographies. She wrote her own memoir in 2016. There's even a coloring book.

Julia Roberts stars in Ben Is Back, a new film about a mother and son.

The latter is facing his addiction to opioids. Ben (Lucas Hedges) has been in treatment and shows up unexpectedly at his family's home on Christmas Eve.

Roberts says the film, directed by Lucas' father Peter Hedges, shows a complicated picture of addiction.

Rachel Martin talks to Geoff Edgers of The Washington Post about a lawsuit brought against the Boston Symphony Orchestra that has put a spotlight on the gender pay gap in the classical music world.

Keeping with Morning Edition's longstanding Thanksgiving Day tradition, classical music commentator Miles Hoffman stops by to give listeners a sample of music that speak to the themes of the holiday. This year's music selection serves as a lesson on famous references to musical fowl throughout history.

It's interesting to read how the members of Beastie Boys came to know each other as teenagers and create the trio's sound. But if the new music memoir Beastie Boys Book aims to answer anything, it's this: Have the Beastie Boys grown up? The answer is sort of.

Jonah Hill grew up in the age of irony: the 1990s.

What was cool was to not care — about anything really. If you did, you were mocked endlessly. Caring didn't just mean you weren't cool — it meant you weren't masculine.

But when it comes to his newest project Mid90s — the first film that he has directed — Hill cares deeply. He wanted to tell a story that mattered to him personally.

Mid90s isn't a story about his life per se. It's about the universal longing of a teenage kid who just wants to fit in.

Growing up, Joan Marie Larkin had big dreams. She considered becoming an archaeologist or an astronaut, and she wasn't going to let society tell her what a girl could or couldn't do. She eventually turned to music and went on to be one of the most celebrated women in rock: Joan Jett. Bad Reputation, a new documentary out now, traces her hard-fought rise to rock and roll fame.

Elliot Ackerman served five tours of duty in Iraq and Afghanistan. He's now a journalist and author, sometimes drawing on his own experiences as a U.S. Marine to inspire his fiction.

His new novel, Waiting for Eden, explores the point where life is no longer worth living. Its main character, Eden, is a soldier who has been hospitalized, severely burned and unconscious, for three years. For the first time in those three years, his wife, Mary, leaves his side to spend Christmas with their young daughter, and that departure causes Eden to suffer a stroke.

Piano & a Microphone 1983, is the first posthumous album released by the Prince Estate since the superstar's death two years ago. It's an intimate recording of the artist before he was a giant, international star working through songs in a home studio — just Prince and his piano.

Khaled Hosseini is known for his books about Afghanistan: The Kite Runner, A Thousand Splendid Suns, And The Mountains Echoed.

His latest work Sea Prayer is a departure from those best-selling novels — it's a short work of fiction that captures the heartbreak of the Syrian refugee crisis. It's told as a poetic letter, from a father to a son as they prepare to embark on a journey across the sea, and features the illustrations of Dan Williams.

Reese Witherspoon says that if there's one misconception about Southern women it's that when they say "Oh, bless your heart" they don't really mean it. They do mean it, she insists ... or at least, usually they do.

Witherspoon, who was raised in Nashville, celebrates her Southern upbringing in a new book called Whiskey in a Teacup: What Growing Up in the South Taught Me About Life, Love, and Baking Biscuits. The book is full of memories, recipes, design ideas and cheerful photographs, celebrating small moments with family and friends.

Bradley Cooper has had a story to tell for a long time — about fame, addiction, his relationship with his dad.

The stars aligned when he was given the chance to direct his first film: a new take on A Star Is Born.

In Cooper's movie, the main architecture of the narrative is still there. A famous musician falls for a regular girl with a magical voice and makes her a star, while his own troubles come to the surface. The most famous version is the 1976 movie with Barbra Streisand and Kris Kristofferson.

Author Katherine Marsh wrote the young adult novel Nowhere Boy — about a teenage Syrian refugee whose father dies on the journey to Europe — in part to help her kids make sense of big, complex topics like immigrant integration, terrorism and the refugee crisis.

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