Stephen Kotkin explains how Stalin defined the Soviet system

  1. Angela Nagle on identity politics and puritanical internet purges
  2. Nouriel Roubini outlines the 2020 recession risk
  3. Will Davies on populism, data and experts.
  4. Robert Kaplan on jobs, oil and credit
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  57. Richard Ocejo on old jobs in new urban economies
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Alphachat is available on Acast, iTunes and Stitcher.

There is no “socialism with a human face”, as the cliché had it during the Prague Spring, because it already had a human face — and that face was Stalin’s face.

This week’s Alphachat is an interview with Princeton historian Stephen Kotkin about Joseph Stalin.

Kotkin is in the midst of writing a multi-volume biography of the man who defined how communism worked in the real world. The oustanding first volume — Paradoxes of Power — came out three years ago. (Here’s a post we did to give context for this chat, and here’s the FT review.)

We had a chance to talk with Kotkin about Volume 2: Waiting for Hitler, available at the end of this month. (Kotkin thought Halloween would be a “suitably ghoulish” release date.)

The book starts in 1929 and ends on the eve of the German invasion of the Soviet Union in the summer of 1941. Our conversation focused on Soviet economic policy — particularly the forced “collectivisation” of the peasantry — and the purges of 1936-38.

There is an enormous amount of material in this 1000-page epic we didn’t get to discuss, so if you found our conversation interesting you should definitely take the time read the whole book.

Also, be sure to come back on Monday for a post that will cover some of the other interesting material from Volume 2. We’ll publish the full transcript of the chat once it’s available.

  1. Angela Nagle on identity politics and puritanical internet purges
  2. Nouriel Roubini outlines the 2020 recession risk
  3. Will Davies on populism, data and experts.
  4. Robert Kaplan on jobs, oil and credit
  5. Mithril Capital's Ajay Royan on the next growth frontier
  6. Banking culture since the crisis
  7. Weak spots and worries in the global financial system
  8. The most complicated debt restructuring in history
  9. Yanis Varoufakis on “radical Europeanism”, erratic Marxism and... Pamela Anderson
  10. Alphachat on immigration: This time is (mostly) like the others
  11. Our Bond villain technocracy
  12. Is the eurozone fixable?
  13. Could climate change spark the next financial crisis?
  14. Mehrsa Baradaran on “opportunity zones”
  15. The math wizard who became a customer loyalty scheme guru
  16. Alphachat is back! Vol 2.
  17. Alphachat is back! Vol. 1
  18. Jim Millstein discusses the financialisation of America
  19. Alphachat is on hiatus this week
  20. Benn Steil explains the Marshall Plan
  21. Marcel Fratzscher on the dark side of the German economy — now with transcript!!
  22. Marcel Fratzscher explores the dark side of the German economy
  23. Emi Nakamura on calculating inflation
  24. Stephanie Kelton explains how the government budget affects the economy and the mechanics of student debt forgiveness
  25. Jonathan Knee explains 25 years of Wall Street’s evolution
  26. Marcus Noland explains the North Korean economy
  27. Brad Setser explains how corporate tax policy affects the balance of payments
  28. Michele Wucker explains “Gray Rhinos”
  29. Listen - The "gray rhino" theory
  30. James Heckman tells us why IQ is overrated
  31. Mihir Desai explains the wisdom of finance — Now with transcript!
  32. Mihir Desai explains the Wisdom of Finance
  33. Can we avoid another financial crisis?
  34. Hirschmania, the final chapter
  35. The life and speeches of Sadie Alexander
  36. Kim Rueben on the fiscal impact of immigration
  37. A sit down with Adair Turner
  38. Richard Florida on geographic inequality
  39. Further reading
  40. Jeremy Adelman on Albert O Hirschman’s “Exit, Voice & Loyalty”
  41. Dan Drezner on the marketplace of ideas
  42. Robert Lustig on the science behind our addictions
  43. The economic impact of immigration
  44. Further reading
  45. Ricardo Hausmann on the tragedy in Venezuela
  46. Does Amazon present an anti-trust problem?
  47. Mary Waters on the integration of immigrants into the US
  48. Lee Buchheit and Mitu Gulati on Venezuela’s debt
  49. Gabriel Zucman on tax evasion and inequality
  50. Michael Pettis on the mechanics of trade and the Chinese economy
  51. Angus Deaton on his Nobel prize-winning career (encore)
  52. Tim Harford on the lessons of new technologies in economic history
  53. Encore episode — Heidi Williams on gene sequencing, patent design, and innovation incentives
  54. Retail hype vs retail facts
  55. Michael Mandel on the case for productivity optimism
  56. Is Ireland an austerity poster child or a “beautiful freak”?
  57. Richard Ocejo on old jobs in new urban economies
  58. A chat with Alice Rivlin on her career in economic policymaking
  59. The life and ideas of Albert O Hirschman (Part 1)
  60. Jason Furman on economic policymaking
  61. Tyler Cowen’s stubborn philosophical attachments
  62. Anne Case on mortality and morbidity in the 21st Century
  63. An all-media Alphachat episode
  64. Robert Cialdini on how persuasion works in business and politics (transcript)
  65. Adaptive markets, and the lessons of an infamous call to sell
  66. How economics has evolved since the crisis
  67. Erica Grieder on the Texas model
  68. An experiment in Kenya
  69. Sebastian Edwards on why economic populism always disappoints
  70. Newly conceivable ideas in economics
  71. The brief history of Airbnb, and what’s next
  72. Steven Johnson on how play shaped the modern world
  73. Michael Mauboussin reflects on thirty years of markets, cognitive biases, luck vs skill, and more
  74. The social media we deserve
  75. Trading Places and those frozen orange juice futures
  76. Language, truth, and Trump
  77. Keynes vs Hayek — who’s winning now?
  78. Miriam Leiva, Cuban dissident, on the death of Fidel Castro
  79. From the Trump to the Tramp
  80. The Trump economy
  81. The psychology and neuroscience of financial decisions
  82. Comparing the candidates’ tax plans, and a GBP view from the US
  83. Tim Harford on the unheralded virtue of messiness
  84. Ryan Avent on the social capital of firms, development economics, and monetary policy
  85. Dan Drezner on forecasting the next-gen political economy
  86. Alphachat bonus episode: Arlie Russell Hochschild’s guide to Trumpland
  87. The problem with drug pricing
  88. The egregiously protectionist dairy racket in… Canada?
  89. Alphachat’s inaugural film review tackles Tron and Tron Legacy
  90. Heidi Williams and the economics of gene sequencing, patent design, and innovation incentives
  91. Gavyn Davies and Tyler Cowen on the productivity puzzle
  92. Alphachat guide: the tradeoffs of city life, and a new era for the business of mixed martial arts
  93. Vox-pop from Camp Alphaville; “Overrated/Underrated” with Tyler Cowen; and the JPM pay bump
  94. Fact-checking Brexit claims with Tim Harford
  95. ETFs see jolt of volume as global markets gyrate
  96. Alan Taylor on financialisation, business cycles, and crises; and a mid-year review
  97. McDonald’s as community center, the two Americas, and the reputation of Wall Street workers
  98. Merging with our longform podcast; responding to listeners; Heather Boushey on the economics of work and life
  99. Maria Konnikova on social-science methods, cognitive biases, and the psychology of cons
  100. Hedge fund problems, performance and personalities
  101. Guy Debelle on the Fed, China, and FX
  102. Private equity’s mark-to-fantasy problem, and the political economy of gangster states
  103. Oil and savings; and tax havens in… South Dakota?
  104. Behavioural economics at work; positional goods
  105. Under-appreciated moments in economic history; mid-career switches; “The Age of Stagnation”
  106. Alternative data mining, earnings season, and Meb Faber on hedge funds
  107. The psychology and study of expertise; and the future for Disney
  108. CEO humiliation; the future of wearables; and the problems at Valeant and Theranos
  109. The Cuban economy, and Caroline Freund on emerging-market billionaires
  110. Why open-plan offices are terrible; new geopolitical risks; and global female labour force participation
  111. Dodgy corporate jet use, NGDP targeting, and the battle over IEX
  112. Super Tuesday, money in politics, and what happened to the “libertarian moment”?
  113. A new hemp SEF; AI investing; Mohamed El-Erian’s new book
  114. The legacy of China’s one-child policy; and the fall of Theranos
  115. Michael Pettis on the Chinese economy, plus the US election and conservative talk radio
  116. Mauboussin on short-termism; millenials staying put; Perella vs Kramer
  117. Cyber-security, Detroit vs Silicon Valley, and markets mayhem
  118. Whether Davos matters, the end of privacy, and the economics of aging
  119. America’s eBay for guns, the gadgets of CES, and predictions for 2016
  120. The FT’s US newsroom wraps up the year, looks ahead
  121. The life of a dissident Cuban economist; a Mexico-US free travel zone; “Hamilton”!
  122. What happens after rates rise, the shrinking middle class and pay equity
  123. The future of BlackBerry, the renminbi, and George Lucas’s gift to Chicago
  124. The US SUV boom, Jamaica’s IMF success and a chat with Reihan Salam
  125. Robots, artificial intelligence and a sluggish shopping season
  126. The power of talk and mythical startup valuations
  127. Jon Stewart to HBO, Soros bails on Gross, tech for the aging, and our longform suggestions
  128. Pharma madness (Valeant, Pfizer-Allergan), and a few Angus Deaton clips
  129. Bernanke’s book, the TV landscape, and the Canadian election
  130. The podcasting biz; AB InBev to buy SABMiller; and the problem with foolproofing the economy
  131. Vox-pop from the #FTPubQuiz, Jack Dorsey’s return to Twitter, and Martin Wolf on secular stagnation
  132. Anne-Marie Slaughter on gender equality, invisible Xi, and Emily Parker on the Internet in Cuba
  133. FT Alphachat Robert Shiller, Martin Wolf, and a tough week for biotech
  134. Alphachat Youtube stars, a terrible Republican debate, and the Fed holds (sorry)
  135. Alphachat The promise (and the risks) of drones
  136. Alphachat Joe Stiglitz on minimum wage, monetary policy, TPP and more
  137. The Chinese economy, and the dodgy Flibanserin (fine, the “female Viagra”)
  138. The problems of indexed investing, “People’s QE”, and old media invests in new
  139. Reader Q&A, bank analyst destiny, Puerto Rican default and the Canadian elections
  140. Nikkei buys the FT, Gillian Tett’s forthcoming new book, and an Alphavillain returns from Greece
  141. The Fifa scandal, a big week for tech, and Gawker
  142. The artisanal economy, Treasury flash crash (still not) explained, campaign Twitter spats
  143. The podcast moment, and some recommendations
  144. Alphachat Diane Coyle, Tyler Cowen, and the econ books of the year
  145. When bank capital sleeps with the fishes
  146. MF Global nostalgia edition
  147. Those fracking robots edition
  148. Michael Pettis edition (well, the second one)
  149. Alphachat Manmohan Singh on collateral chains
  150. Alphachat Noah Smith on the Japanese economy
  151. Abenomics gets the Alphachat podcast treatment
  152. Lee Buchheit edition, featuring Lee Buchheit
  153. That dang negativity edition
  154. Dragons of Ljubljana edition
  155. The cunning plan edition
  156. Snap Cyprus edition
  157. Alphachat returns
  158. Sal Arnuk on high frequency trading
  159. Podcast bleg: Alphachat returns
  160. Introducing Alphachat, the FT Alphaville podcast
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