Ukraine: Why The War With Russia Has Changed The World: Marci Shore

The people of Ukraine are facing down a military giant. Their unity and bravery in the bloody, cruel year since the Russia invasion are an inspiration to the rest of the world.

Instead of talking about politics or the state of the war, we consider the battlefield of ideas. Above all this show is an attempt to put the war into context: What’s at stake for Western democracy, and what space does Ukraine fit in our history? 

We speak again with Marci Shore, professor of European cultural & intellectual history at Yale University. She first appeared on "How Do We Fix It?" a year ago. In 2018 she received a Guggenheim Fellowship for her current book project, a history of phenomenology in East-Central Europe, tentatively titled “Eyeglasses Floating in Space: Central European Encounters That Came about While Searching for Truth.” Her most recent book is “The Ukrainian Night: An Intimate History of Revolution”. This show is a companion piece to episode #380 with Jacob Mchangama.

We hear a very thoughtful, passionate account of the war. "These are my friends and colleagues who are being slaughtered," Marci Shore tell us."That is first and foremost why the war is so personal for me." She describes the war as "the decisive end of what Francis Fukuyama had called the end of history."

Marci is Jewish, and a well-known scholar of Eastern Europe in the post-Soviet era. As a young child she listened to elderly relatives who had once been victims of Tsarist pogroms— riots aimed at expelling and killing Jews and other members of ethnic or religious groups in a region that includes present-day Ukraine. She tells us why "Ukraine has emerged as a subject and not an object in world consciousness."

In this episode we also discuss the work of The Reckoning Project— a coalition of human rights activists, journalists and archivists who are using the power of story-telling and legal accountability to document truth. The project has uncovered evidence and is conducting first-person interviews about Russian abuses and cruelty in occupied parts of Ukraine. 

Recommendation: Jim is looking at the extraordinary work of photojournalist Lynsey Addario and others who risk their lives to capture vital moments during the wars. Her work photos have been published by The New York Times.

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