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.

American Origins of the Israel – Palestine Conflict, plus Climate Hope | Start Making Sense
byThe Nation Magazine

The most important event in the history of Israel and Palestine was not the 1948 founding of Israel and the Nakba, or Israel’s 1967 occupation of Palestinian territories. It was the outlawing of immigration of Jews (and others) to the US from Russia, Poland, and Eastern and Southern Europe. That was the purpose of the immigration restriction act passed by Congress in May, 1924, 100 years ago this month. Without that, the Jews of Europe would never have moved to Palestine, Harold Meyerson argues.

Also: The New Yorker’s award-winning climate writer Elizabeth Kolbert talks about her fascinating new book, “H is for Hope: Climate Change from A to Z.’”

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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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