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Departures Podcast with Marie Favereau, author of ‘The Horde’

In the 13th and 14th centuries, the Mongol horde exercised control over an unfathomably large empire, spanning thousands of miles from Europe to Russia, Central Asia, and the Middle East. History has often not looked kindly upon these nomadic civilizations, which has led to some major blindspots regarding astonishing achievements, explosive growth in trade, commerce, […]

Departures Podcast with Mahmood Mamdani, author of ‘Neither Settler nor Native: The Making and Unmaking of Permanent Minorities’

This week we are beyond thrilled to have Mahmood Mamdani on the podcast, one of the world’s most highly regarded public intellectuals, author of dozens of books, and a decorated professor at Columbia University. Dr. Mamdani has had diverse life experience, from marching on Birmingham for civil rights to being chased from Kampala by the […]

Departures Podcast with Jack Devine, author of ‘Spymaster’s Prism: The Fight against Russian Aggression’

As competition in the field of cyberwarfare heats up between Russia and the United States, there are few other experts with more experience working inside the Central Intelligence Agency than Jack Devine. For 32 years Devine worked as a US spymaster, serving as Acting Director and Associate Director of CIA’s operations outside the United States […]

Departures Podcast with Nicole Perlroth, author of ‘This Is How They Tell Me the World Ends: The Cyberweapons Arms Race’

When a government wants to break into someone’s iPhone or Android device, there’s a marketplace where that kind of vulnerability hacking service is bought and sold – costing sometimes as much as $2.5 million. The very fact that such a marketplace exists for cyberwarfare is an illustration of the rapidly growing field of threats we […]

Departures Podcast with Gregory Afinogenov, author of ‘Spies and Scholars’

Imagine you are trapped in a far-flung foreign compound with 10 other people, none of them want to be there, but you have a seemingly limitless supply of alcohol. Oh, and you are charged with developing critical intelligence and knowledge for Imperial Russia’s ambitions to gain global power. That’s among the many fascinating stories in […]

Departures Podcast with Timothy Frye

For decades, academics and journalists have struggled to explain Russia by attempting to better explain Vladimir Putin, endlessly debating his background, his personal character, and his thinking. Many of them argue that his personal power is at the heart of decision-making, that his will alone drives events. And we couldn’t be more wrong. Timothy Frye, […]

Departures Podcast with Will Grant

From the first election of Hugo Chavez in Venezuela in 1998 to the death of Fidel Castro in Cuba in 2016, Latin America experienced a vast “pink tide” of left-leaning leaders often described as populist. And while it would be a mistake to consider all these diverse personalities and governments under a single banner, it […]

Special Departures Podcast on the Crisis in Israel featuring Ron Robin

In light of the escalating violence taking place in Israel this week, we reached out to our friend and colleague Ron Robin, a scholar, author, and the President of Haifa University. In this brief interview, which was interrupted at several points by air raid sirens nearby Prof. Robin’s location, we discuss the origins of the […]

Departures Podcast with Michela Wrong

Near the end of this episode, host of the Departures podcast Robert Amsterdam tells his guest, “This is perhaps the best book I’ve ever read on Africa, and I’ve read a lot of books.” Such is the esteem we hold for Michela Wrong, a British journalist who has covered Africa for decades for outlets such […]

Departures Podcast with Drew Hinshaw

In April 2013, in a distant corner of Nigeria, a terrorist group kidnapped some 300 schoolgirls, eventually igniting a global advocacy campaign that brought an unprecedented level of international attention to the country. This global attention, which involved interventions by Western intelligence agencies, military advisors, and a plethora of aid NGOs, has not necessarily always […]