The Takeaway
The Takeaway

World on Edge: Russia, The U.S. and History’s Greatest Geopolitical Chess Match

March 2, 201748 min
Is the world seeing the dawn of a new Cold War between the United States and Russia? As questions continue to swirl about the Kremlin’s involvement in the 2016 presidential election, a familiar pattern seems to be emerging. In this special episode, we explore how the nation of about 143 million has changed since the Russian Revolution of 1917, and how the history between the U.S. and Russia is influencing the geopolitical landscape today.  Here’s what you’ll find in this special episode: A giant chunk of 20th century history has come crashing into the chaotic first weeks of the Trump Administration. David Foglesong, a history professor at Rutgers University and author of "The American Mission and the Evil Empire,” says that in order to understand the current news cycle, you have to go back to 1903. Helen Rappaport, author of “Caught in the Revolution: Petrograd, Russia, 1917 - A World on the Edge,” looks back at 1917, the year that upended tsarist Russia. She explores the causes of the revolution, and what life was like in Petrograd as Tsarist Russia fell. Graphic novelist Victoria Lomasko, the author of “Other Russias,” has spent nearly a decade documenting and drawing the lives of ordinary Russians throughout the country. The stories she tells from regular people offers a sharp contrast to the messages being put out of the Kremlin all over the vast land of Mother Russia. On Capitol Hill, the latest chapter in our relationship with Russia is being written by the hour. On Thursday, Attorney General Jeff Sessions recused himself from any investigation of Russian meddling in the 2016 election after revelations surfaced that he met twice last year with Russia's U.S. ambassador. Takeaway Washington Correspondent Todd Zwillich brings us the latest. 100 years after the Russian Revolution, what is the modern political scene like in Russia today? Keith Gessen is founding editor of the literature, culture, and politics journal n+1, and a professor at the Columbia Journalism School. Gessen says the Kremlinology of the past has been replaced with what he has coined Putinology — the study of America’s favorite Russian bad guy. Anya von Bremzen is a two-time James Beard Award winning food writer, and the author of "Mastering the Art of Soviet Cooking." She cracks the riddle of Russian nostalgia through the doorway of food. Mikhail Zygar, a Russian journalist who started the country’s first independent TV station, is now working on the project, “1917: Free History,” which chronicles the letters, memoirs, and diaries of the Russian Revolution. His project is intended to remind Russians that they may be freer than they think.

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