Dave Davies

Copyright 2018 Fresh Air. To see more, visit Fresh Air.

DAVE DAVIES, HOST:

Nick Offerman has made a career out of playing colorful cranks — most notably, Ron Swanson, the hyper-masculine boss on the NBC comedy series Parks and Recreation.

Copyright 2018 Fresh Air. To see more, visit Fresh Air.

DAVE DAVIES, HOST:

Ben Rhodes was 24 years old and working on a city council campaign in Brooklyn on Sept. 11, 2001, when a hijacked plane hit the World Trade Center. He stood on the street, watching with a group of other New Yorkers as a second plane struck and, then, as the first tower collapsed.

"I just remember walking home and thinking, 'My life is going to be different because of this; I feel a need to be a part of whatever happens because of this,'" Rhodes says. "I didn't know exactly what that meant, but I knew that I was in a fork in the road that was going to lead me in a new direction."

Copyright 2018 Fresh Air. To see more, visit Fresh Air.

DAVE DAVIES, HOST:

Copyright 2018 Fresh Air. To see more, visit Fresh Air.

DAVE DAVIES, HOST:

Copyright 2018 Fresh Air. To see more, visit Fresh Air.

TERRY GROSS, HOST:

Copyright 2018 Fresh Air. To see more, visit Fresh Air.

TERRY GROSS, HOST:

This is FRESH AIR. I'm Terry Gross.

(SOUNDBITE OF TV SHOW, "DOWNTON ABBEY")

Copyright 2018 Fresh Air. To see more, visit Fresh Air.

TERRY GROSS, HOST:

This is FRESH AIR. I'm Terry Gross. Here's a couple of memorable moments from the 2012 presidential campaign.

(SOUNDBITE OF ARCHIVED RECORDING)

UNIDENTIFIED MAN: Corporations...

Personal essayist and cartoonist Tim Kreider admits unabashedly that the longest relationship of his adult life was with a stray cat who became his companion for 19 years.

"There's just a certain reservoir of affection we all have that needs to be expressed in the literal sense, and so we will lavish it on pets," Kreider says. "Those are less complicated, less demanding relationships than human relationships."

Copyright 2018 Fresh Air. To see more, visit Fresh Air.

DAVE DAVIES, HOST:

Copyright 2018 Fresh Air. To see more, visit Fresh Air.

DAVE DAVIES, HOST:

Growing up in rural Idaho, Tara Westover had no birth certificate, never saw a doctor and didn't go to school. Her parents were religious fundamentalists who stockpiled food, mistrusted the government and believed in strict gender roles for their seven children.

As a girl, Westover says, "There wasn't ever any question about what my future would look like: I would get married when I was 17 or 18, and I would be given some corner of the farm and my husband would put a house on it and we would have kids."

Copyright 2018 Fresh Air. To see more, visit Fresh Air.

TERRY GROSS, HOST:

Copyright 2018 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

MARY LOUISE KELLY, HOST:

Pages