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Episode 111
Featuring Stephen Cohen
In Episode 111, Demetri Kofinas speaks with Stephen Cohen, one of the world’s foremost Russia experts about why he believes the United States bears much of the responsibility for its fractured relationship with Putin’s Russia and the serious prospects of nuclear war in the 21st century.

In this week’s episode of Hidden Forces, Demetri Kofinas speaks with Stephen Cohen, professor emeritus of Politics at Princeton University and of Russian Studies and History at NYU. Dr. Cohen has received several scholarly honors over his lengthy career, including two Guggenheim fellowships and a National Book Award nomination, and was, for many years, a consultant and on-air commentator on Russian affairs for CBS News. Former CBS evening news anchor Dan Rather has referred to Stephen Cohen as “one of, if not the premier expert on the old Soviet Union, Russia, and Russian history in al of what we call Western civilization.”

We live in dangerous times, not only in international relations but also in domestic affairs. Russian fear-mongering and gratuitous insults leveled at Russian President, Vladimir Putin serve as powerful political litmus tests in contemporary America. Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard, a presidential candidate for the Democratic party, was recently accused by former Secretary of State and two-time presidential candidate Hillary Clinton of being a “Russian Asset.” Meanwhile, Donald Trump is consistently chided for what his critics assert is “the conspicuous absence of any criticism of Vladimir Putin.” 

In the years since Russia’s occupation and annexation of Crimea, Stephen Cohen has become, in the words of one writer, “the most controversial Russia expert in America.” He’s been openly critical of NATO expansion since the idea was first proposed in the early-to-mid 90’s, and though this criticism puts him in good company, his views on Ukraine and what he sees as America’s role in inciting Russian aggression have left him marginalized and often times disparaged as a “Russian apologist.” 

Nonetheless, it is Stephen Cohen’s contention that American is now dangerously close to “War with Russia,” the title that he has chosen for his most recent book, which consists of a series of commentaries on current affairs originally published at The Nation Magazine. He views American foreign policy towards the post-Soviet Union as not only needlessly antagonistic but recklessly endangering of American national security, putting us at the greatest risk of nuclear war since the Cuban Missile Crisis.

You can access this week’s overtime segment (an early release of Demetri’s conversation with physicist Sean Carroll), transcript, and rundown through the Hidden Forces Patreon Page. All subscribers also gain access to our overtime RSS feed, which can be easily be added to your favorite podcast application. 

Producer & Host: Demetri Kofinas

Editor & Engineer: Stylianos Nicolaou

Subscribe & Support the Podcast at http://patreon.com/hiddenforces

Join the conversation on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter at @hiddenforcespod

Stephen F. Cohen is Professor Emeritus of Politics at Princeton University, where for many years he was also director of the Russian Studies Program and Professor Emeritus of Russian Studies and History at New York University. He grew up in Owensboro, Kentucky, received his undergraduate and master’s degrees at Indiana University, and his Ph.D. at Columbia University.

He is the recent author of War with Russia, which consists of a series of commentaries on current affairs originally published at The Nation Magazine. Cohen’s other books include Bukharin and the Bolshevik Revolution: A Political Biography; Rethinking the Soviet Experience: Politics and History Since 1917; Sovieticus: American Perceptions and Soviet Realities; (with Katrina vanden Heuvel) Voices of Glasnost: Interviews With Gorbachev’s Reformers; Failed Crusade: America and the Tragedy of Post-Communist Russia; Soviet Fates and Lost Alternatives: From Stalinism to the New Cold War; and The Victims Return: Survivors of the Gulag After Stalin.

For his scholarly work, Cohen has received several honors, including two Guggenheim fellowships and a National Book Award nomination.

Over the years, he has also been a frequent contributor to newspapers, magazines, television, and radio. His “Sovieticus” column for The Nation won a 1985 Newspaper Guild Page One Award and for another Nation article a 1989 Olive Branch Award. For many years, Cohen was a consultant and on-air commentator on Russian affairs for CBS News. With the producer Rosemary Reed, he was also project adviser and correspondent for three PBS documentary films about Russia: Conversations With Gorbachev; Russia Betrayed?; and Widow of the Revolution.

Cohen has visited and lived in Soviet and Post-Soviet Russia regularly for more than forty years.

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