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Departures Podcast with Serhii Plokhy

Looking back almost 60 years ago when the United States and the Soviet Union came within an inch of destroying the world via all-out nuclear war, we continue to gain new insights into the dramatic events, the changing of thinking and decision-making that went on in both ExComm and the Presidium. This week we’re proud […]

Departures Podcast with Martin Sherwin, author of ‘Gambling with Armageddon’

As Kennedy and Khrushchev just barely navigated their way out of a world-destroying nuclear armageddon, there remain many lessons to be explored with regard to statecraft, diplomacy, and decisionmaking in a crisis. The Pulitzer-winning historian joins the Departures podcast this week to discuss his book, “Gambling with Armageddon: Nuclear Roulette from Hiroshima to the Cuban […]

Special Departures Podcast Episode on Afghanistan featuring Alexander Cooley

The rapid collapse of Kabul in the final weeks of the US withdrawal has forced a reckoning of not only Washington’s failure in the region but broader questions about US foreign policy and what the Biden administration wants (or is actually able) to achieve. This week Departures with Robert Amsterdam is pleased to welcome a […]

Departures Podcast with Robert Draper, author of ‘To Start a War: How the Bush Administration Took America into Iraq’

The chaotic withdrawal of US troops from Afghanistan and rapid fall of Kabul to the Taliban brought back in sharp focus the misguided policies of the George W. Bush administration that led the US into the War on Terror. In “To Start a War: How the Bush Administration Took America into Iraq,” Robert Draper, a […]

Departures Podcast with Shaun Breslin, author of ‘China Risen? Studying Chinese Global Power’

China’s rise on the global stage has sparked both envy and fear across the globe. Much has been written about how China might reshape the international order, but few have taken the time to delve into the myriad Chinese actors and interests that collectively make up China’s newfound global influence rather than viewing Beijing as […]

Departures Podcast with Sarah Berman, author of ‘Don’t Call it a Cult: The Shocking Story of Keith Raniere and the Women of NXIVM’

In “Don’t Call it a Cult,” Vancouver-based investigative journalist Sarah Berman tells the story of the bizarre cult known as NXIVM. Founded by longtime pyramid scheme mastermind Keith Raniere in 1998 who referred to himself in the group as the “Vanguard,” the group roped in many rich and prominent individuals from socialities Buffy and William […]

Departures Podcast with Andrew Bacevich, author of ‘After the Apocalypse: America’s Role in a World Transformed’

By many measures, 2020 was a year to forget. With natural disasters, a climate crisis, a vicious pandemic, a massive economic crisis, a cruel and dishonest president, unprecedented demands for racial justice and its corresponding ugly backlash, US society has been taken to the brink. For Prof. Andrew Bacevich of Boston University, these events represent […]

Departures Podcast with Geoffrey Cain, author of ‘The Perfect Police State: An Undercover Odyssey Into China’s Terrifying Surveillance Dystopia of the Future’

In the Xinjiang region of northwestern China, more than 1.8 million people have been disappeared into a vast network of concentration camps without any clear charges, due process, or fair trial. How are these victims selected? Via state-of-the-art predictive artificial intelligence and surveillance technology systems deployed by Beijing that seek to punish people for political […]

Departures Podcast with John Lough, author of ‘Germany’s Russia Problem: The Struggle for Balance in Europe’

In power since 2005, Angela Merkel’s CDU coalition has managed to govern Germany with an admirable level of success, but at the same time during this period, Vladimir Putin’s Russia has invaded multiple countries, interfered in elections both near and far away, and run amok with jailings and assassinations of dissidents. How is it possible […]

Departures Podcast with Anne Meng, author of ‘Constraining Dictatorship: From Personalized Rule to Institutionalized Regimes’

When we think about dictatorships and authoritarian regimes, we tend to think of extremes. Places like North Korea, with brutal, absolutist rulers vanquishing their opponents with prejudice and limitless power. But that’s really not the reality for most autocratic countries, in fact, there are usually a series of executive constraints, rules, procedures, and structures even […]