In this interview, Professor Cohen reflects on US-Russian relations, his interest in Russian history, his friendships with Robert C. Tucker, Mikhail Gorbachev, and Anna Larina, his meeting with Svetlana Alliluyeva, and his (and his wife, Katrina vanden Heuvel‘s) long-time association with the Russian newspaper Novaya Gazeta.
Since I began my podcast in April 2015 at the University of Michigan, I have interviewed a diverse array of experts from Sergey Markedonov to Ellendea Proffer Teasley to Jack Matlock. Unfortunately, due to an increased workload over the next few years, I will no longer be updating this podcast on a regular basis. However, I thank both my guests and my listeners for many incredible experiences.
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.
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.
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.
The tenth installment of the Reconsidering Russia podcast series features Dr. Ellendea Proffer Teasley, author, translator, publisher of Russian literature, and co-founder of Ardis Publishers. She holds a PhD in Russian literature from Indiana University.
In this podcast, Dr. Proffer Teasley discusses her new book Brodsky Among Us (Academic Studies Press, 2017). The book was a bestseller in Russia and was just published in its original English language edition in April. She also discusses her late husband Carl Proffer, the founding of Ardis Publishers, the origin of the Ardis name, and her personal experiences with Russian literary giants Joseph Brodsky, Vladimir Nabokov, Nadezhda Mandelstam, Elena Bulgakova, and Lily Brik, among others.
The ninth installment of the Reconsidering Russia podcast series features Dr. Paul Robinson, professor of Russian and military history at the University of Ottawa.
In this podcast, Dr. Robinson discusses US-Russian relations, Canadian-Russian relations, Boris Johnson, Aleksei Navalny, Russian conservatism, Russian Eurasianism, Russian Orientalism, avant-garde Soviet science fiction, and the origin of the name of his blog Irrussianality.
Dr. Robinson holds a DPhil in history from the University of Oxford and an MA in Russian and Eastern European Studies from the University of Toronto.
The eighth installment of the Reconsidering Russia podcast series features Siranush Galstyan, lecturer at the Yerevan State Institute of Theatre and Cinema and the author of the book Cinema of Armenia (Mazda, 2016).