Podcast / Start Making Sense / Feb 14, 2024

The Families That Made Fortunes Selling Opium, Plus the News from Haiti

On this episode of Start Making Sense, Amitav Ghosh explains what the “China trade” was actually doing, and Amy Wilentz reports on the continuing American disaster in the Caribbean.

The Nation Podcasts
The Nation Podcasts

Here's where to find podcasts from The Nation. Political talk without the boring parts, featuring the writers, activists and artists who shape the news, from a progressive perspective.

The Families that Made Fortunes Selling Opium, plus the News from Haiti | Start Making Sense
byThe Nation Magazine

The blue-blood families that made fortunes in the opium trade: Amitav Ghosh recounts the origins of much of the wealth for the 19th century New England elite on this episode of the Start Making Sense podcast. He wrote the cover story for The Nation's latest print issue. His new book is called Smoke and Ashes.

Also on this episode: The latest US moves in Haiti are framed in democratic rhetoric but are deeply anti-democratic in their effect. Amy Wilentz is on the podcast to explain. She’s written two books about Haiti, most recently the award-winning Farewell Fred Voodoo.

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A messy empty hospital dormitory room after an armed attack forced the closure of Fontaine Hospital in Port-au-Prince, Haiti

An empty hospital dormitory is in chaos after an armed attack forced the closure of Fontaine Hospital in Port-au-Prince, Haiti, November 18, 2023.

(Richard Pierrin / AFP via Getty Images)

The blue-blood families that made fortunes in the opium trade: Amitav Ghosh recounts the origins of much of the wealth for the 19th-century New England elite on this episode of the Start Making Sense podcast. He wrote the cover story for The Nation‘s latest print issue. His new book is called Smoke and Ashes.

Also on this episode: The latest US moves in Haiti are framed in democratic rhetoric but are deeply antidemocratic in their effect. Amy Wilentz is on the podcast to explain. She’s written two books about Haiti, most recently the award-winning Farewell Fred Voodoo.

The Nation Podcasts
The Nation Podcasts

Here's where to find podcasts from The Nation. Political talk without the boring parts, featuring the writers, activists and artists who shape the news, from a progressive perspective.

Trump's Very Bad Week, plus Prestige TV, from The Sympathizer to Shogun | Start Making Sense
byThe Nation Magazine

Donald Trump on Monday became the first president in history to face trial on criminal charges; his polls are down, and the stock price of Trump Media fallen has 60 percent. John Nichols comments – he’s National Affairs Correspondent for The Nation.

Also: TV right now is featuring several prestige historical dramas. John Powers compares and contrasts “The Sympathizer,” centering on a spy for the Communists in Vietnam and then California in the seventies; “Manhunt,” following the search for Lincoln’s assassin; “A Gentleman in Moscow,” portraying a Russian aristocrat after the Bolshevik Revolution, and “Shogun,” about feuding 17th century Japanese warlords. John is critic at large for Fresh Air with Terry Gross

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Jon Wiener

Jon Wiener is a contributing editor of The Nation and co-author (with Mike Davis) of Set the Night on Fire: L.A. in the Sixties.

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