'Putinophilia' - how America's radical right fell for a Kremlin strongman, a conversation with Anne Applebaum

Episode 28: 'Putinophilia' - how America's radical right fell for a Kremlin strongman, a conversation with Anne Applebaum

Show notes

One year on from Russia's Invasion of Ukraine, host Rafael Behr talks to Anne Applebaum about why so many US Republicans and conservatives are still seduced by Putin’s anti-West rhetoric and tropes.

Anne, a Pullitzer-prize winning historian, is particularly well positioned to discuss this, and associated issues, given that her most recent book Twilight of Democracy: The Seductive Lure of Authoritarianism looked at why some of her contemporaries had abandoned liberal democratic ideals in favor of strongman cults, nationalist movements, or one-party states.

Anne Applebaum

Anne Applebaum is a staff writer for The Atlantic and a Pulitzer-prize winning historian.

She is also a Senior Fellow at the Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies and the Agora Institute, where she co-directs Arena, a program on disinformation and 21st century propaganda.

A Washington Post columnist for fifteen years and a former member of the editorial board, she has also worked as the Foreign and Deputy Editor of the Spectator magazine in London, as the Political Editor of the Evening Standard, and as a columnist at Slate as well as the Daily and Sunday Telegraphs.

From 1988-1991 she covered the collapse of communism as the Warsaw correspondent of the Economist magazine and the Independent newspaper.

She has lectured at Yale, Harvard, Stanford and Columbia Universities, as well as Oxford, Cambridge, London, Heidelberg, Maastricht, Zurich, Humboldt, Texas A&M, Houston and many others.

In 2012-13 she held the Phillipe Roman Chair of History and International Relations at the London School of Economics.

She received honorary doctorates from the Georgetown School of Foreign Service and Kyiv-Mohyla University.

Anne Applebaum was born in Washington, DC in 1964. After graduating from Yale University, she was a Marshall Scholar at the LSE and St. Antony’s College, Oxford.

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Rafael Behr

Rafael Behr

Rafael Behr is a political columnist for the Guardian. He is a former Political Editor for the New Statesman, Chief Leader Writer and Online Editor for The Observer, a business news reporter for BBC online and a foreign correspondent for the Financial Times, based in the Baltic region and Russia. Rafael is a regular contributor to Prospect Magazine, a guest on BBC and Sky News and a speaker at UK think tanks. His book, Politics, A Survivor’s Guide, is published by Atlantic. He hosts the Politics on the Couch podcast. Before becoming a journalist, Rafael was a political risk analyst covering countries of Eastern Europe and the former Soviet Union. He studied modern languages Merton College, Oxford and took a Master’s degree in Russian Studies at the School for Slavonic and East European Studies, University College London. He lives in Brighton with his family. He plays the guitar and harmonica, sometimes simultaneously, not always melodiously.

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Anne Applebaum

Anne Applebaum


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