Thursday, we’re talking about what happened to Russia. The fall of the USSR was followed by a period of liberalization, and the country appeared to be on the path towards democracy. Then Vladimir Putin rose to power. He invaded neighboring countries. He led a crackdown on political opposition. He’s waging war on the concept of Western democracy. But where has his regime left Russia and its people? Journalist Masha Gessen joins us Tuesday to share what she’s learned about how totalitarianism reclaimed Russia.
The journalist Sam Quinones has called opiate addiction “the closest thing to enslavement that we have in America today.” It’s a scourge fueled by pharmaceutical companies and drug cartels, and it takes advantage of some heavy cultural baggage on either side of the border. Poor people in Mexico are looking for a leg up, while disaffected people in the world’s richest country just want to check out. Quinones joins us to discuss the culture of the opiate epidemic. (Rebroadcast)