ABOUT THIS EPISODE

What sort of country would compel you to flee it, draw you back ten years later, then force you away yet again after two decades? Masha Gessen knows the answer all too well, having dedicated her career to writing and reporting about Russian society from both within and outside her native country. A true polymath, Gessen’s wide-ranging books and articles cover mathematics, history, human rights, counterterrorism, and much more.

Masha joined Tyler in New York City to answer his many questions about Russia: why was Soviet mathematics so good? What was it like meeting with Putin? Why is Russian friendship so intense? Are Russian women as strong as the stereotype suggests — and why do they all have the same few names? Is Russia more hostile to LGBT rights than other autocracies? Why did Garry Kasparov fail to make a dent in Russian politics? What did The Americans get right that Chernobyl missed? And what’s a good place to eat Russian food in Manhattan?

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