This week on Up Close, we look at what it means to build and destroy civil societies.
First, the collapse of the Soviet Union left many with hope for the future of the countries and territories within the Iron Curtain, but under Pres. Vladimir Putin, Russia now has less wealth per person than India, while a band of billionaires and Putin rule the country. Russian expert Karen Dawisha explains how this situation came to be in Putin’s Kleptocracy: Who Owns Russia?.
Then, what would life be like if all of our institutions were destroyed and people were left to fend for themselves? Edan Lepucki imagines such a future in her debut novel, California. She discusses her dystopian vision and the surprising attention she and her book received from “The Colbert Report” some months back.
Finally, the American Jewish community as many of us imagine it to be — mostly comfortable and suburban — was not always that way. Sociologist Deborah Dash Moore explores the impact that cities and urban life had on the Jews of the past and on Judaism as we know it today in Urban Origins of American Judaism.
Watch the complete episode of Up Close on TJC on-demand on cable in the TJC Original Series/Interviews category. You can also watch highlights from the episode in the video above, or listen to the complete audio of this episode at the top of this post or by subscribing to our weekly audio podcast at http://feeds.feedburner.com/tjcupclose or on iTunes at https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/tjcs-up-close/id807702211.
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