BTS 12/4/06: Litvinenko Assassination; Marx and Melville

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On tonight’s BTS we begin with Russia – 15 years after the collapse of the USSR the Russian economy is growing, albeit unevenly, Putin is popular even though he has cracked down on democracy, yet his vocal opponents are being killed, exiled or imprisoned in a way reminiscent of the dark days of the Cold War. Stephen Cohen joins us to look beneath the surface at the Litvinenko affair and Russia today.

In the last half of the hour we have an extended conversation with Loren Goldner, author of a new book on Herman Melville which looks at Melville’s parallels with Marx.

Read more for info on tonight's guests:

1. Stephen F. Cohen, professor of Russian studies at New York University, is the author of several books, including Rethinking the Soviet Experience: Politics and History Since 1917, Buhkarin and the Bolshevik Revolution: A Political Biography, 1888-1938, Voices of Glasnost: Conversations With Gorbachev's Reformers (with Katrina vanden Heuvel) and, most recently, Failed Crusade: America and the Tragedy of Post-Communist Russia (Norton).

2. Loren Goldner is a teacher living in Seoul, South Korea. He is an activist and prolific writer of several essays and books, including his latest, Herman Melville: Between Charlemagne and the Antemosaic Cosmic Man (Queequeg Publications).