Several followers of this blog have inquired in recent months about future episodes of the Reconsidering Russia podcast. Unfortunately, due to an exceptionally high work load this semester at Ohio State and an upcoming research trip in Yerevan this summer, I will be taking an extensive hiatus from my podcast and blog until August 2018. Upon my return, I promise more insightful interviews on Russia and Eurasia. Until then, please stay tuned! До свидания!
The sixteenth installment of the Reconsidering Russia podcast series features Dr. Ronald Grigor Suny, William H. Sewell Jr. Distinguished University Professor of History at the University of Michigan at Ann Arbor.
He is the author of numerous books on Russia, Armenia, Georgia and the former Soviet region, including The Baku Commune, The Making of the Georgian Nation, Looking Toward Ararat, The Soviet Experiment, and the forthcoming Red Flag Unfurled, to name a few. He was also the MA advisor for the host of this podcast at the University of Michigan.
In this interview, Dr. Suny discusses the history of his grandfather – the composer Grikor Suni – and his experience of the Russian Revolution, the Revolution in Transcaucasia, Stepan Shahumyan and the Baku Commune, and the issue of class and nationality in the Russian Revolution. This interview also includes discussions of Dr. Suny’s work with Leopold Haimson at Columbia, his close friendship with Moshe Lewin, Revisionism vs. Authoritarianism in Soviet and Russian historiography, and the recent push for “de-communization” in Armenia.
The fifteenth installment of the Reconsidering Russia podcast series features celebrated American Ambassador Jack F. Matlock, Jr.
In this wide-ranging interview, Ambassador Matlock discusses his life and career. It encompasses discussions of his interest in Russia, his first meeting with his wife Rebecca, his first assignment in Moscow in 1961, his diplomatic work in Africa, his time as Director of Soviet Affairs in the State Department in the 1970s, his work for Presidents Reagan and Bush, Sr. as the American ambassador to the Soviet Union from 1987 to 1991, and his first impressions of, and meetings with, Soviet President Mikhail Gorbachev. Ambassador Matlock also reflects on the folly of NATO expansion and an interventionist American foreign policy.
In addition to Ambassador Matlock’s illustrious diplomatic career, he also holds a PhD in Slavic languages and literatures from Columbia University. He is the author of three books: Autopsy of an Empire (1995), Reagan and Gorbachev (2004), and Superpower Illusions (2010).
You say you want a revolution? The fourteenth installment of the Reconsidering Russia podcast series features Dr. Alexander Rabinowitch, Professor Emeritus of Russian History at Indiana University in Bloomington.
Dr. Rabinowitch is best known for his three-part book series chronicling the history of the October Revolution, particularly his classic work The Bolsheviks Come to Power: The Revolution of 1917 in Petrograd. He is currently writing a fourth volume entitled The Bolsheviks Survive: Government and Crises in Civil War Petrograd, including new research from previously little-used Petersburg historical archives.
This interview includes discussions with Dr. Rabinowitch on the history and historiography of the Russian Revolution, the forthcoming centenary, his Russian émigré family background, the role of the Russian émigrés in the formation of Russian Studies in the US. and his meetings with Aleksandr Kerensky, Vladimir Nabokov, Irakli Tsereteli, and Boris Nicolaevsky.
The thirteenth installment of the Reconsidering Russia podcast series features prominent Russian biologist and writer Dr. Zhores Medvedev.
In this exhaustive interview, Dr. Medvedev discusses his life and career. It encompasses his scientific research, his youth in 1920s-1930s Leningrad, his father’s arrest during Stalin’s Terror in the 1930s, his military service in the Red Army during World War II, his dissent, and the dissent of his twin brother Roy Medvedev. He also recounts how he met his wife, Margarita, to whom he has been married for 66 years. In addition, this interview includes lengthy discussions of Dr. Medvedev’s relationship with his birthplace Georgia, his experience of Khrushchev’s Secret Speech, the Gorbachev years, contemporary Russia, and US-Russian relations today.
The twelfth installment of the Reconsidering Russia podcast series features Volodymyr Ishchenko, Senior Lecturer at the Sociology Department at the Kiev Polytechnic Institute in Kiev, Ukraine.
In this interview, Dr. Ishchenko discusses Ukrainian politics. Topics include the privatization in Ukraine in the 1990s, the Orange Revolution, the Maidan, Crimea, the rise of the far-right, the fortunes of the Ukrainian Communist Party, the state of the Ukrainian left in general, the state of the Ukrainian economy, and the prospects for socialist democracy in Ukraine, Russia, and the former USSR.
Dr. Ishchenko is also the Deputy Director at the Center for Social and Labor Research in Ukraine and an editor at the Commons Journal and the magazine September.
The eleventh installment of the Reconsidering Russia podcast series features celebrated journalist Vladimir Pozner.
In this wide-ranging interview, Mr. Pozner discusses his life and career. It encompasses discussions of Mr. Pozner’s parents’ activities in the French Resistance in World War II, the Pozner family’s emigration to the USSR, the Khrushchev Thaw, the reaction of Soviet society to the Cuban Missile Crisis, Mikhail Gorbachev’s glasnost and perestroika, space bridges between American and Soviet societies, the Yeltsin years, the current state of US-Russian relations, and Russian society today.
This interview also includes lengthy discussions of Mr. Pozner’s prolific journalistic career of over 50 years, including his work presenting the “Soviet side” of the story on Ted Koppel’s Nightline and other programs, his partnership with Phil Donahue, his television career in contemporary Russia, and depictions of Russia in the American press today.