Andrea Bernstein on ‘American Oligarchs’

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The investigative journalist Andrea Bernstein’s first book, “American Oligarchs: The Kushners, the Trumps and the Marriage of Money and Power,” traces the origin of the myths about the two families. On this week’s podcast, she talks about her work, including why she thinks influence in government exists in ways we haven’t seen since the Gilded Age.

“What’s different now is that there’s a president who’s profiting from his family business while being president, and that also really cares about people paying him,” Bernstein says. “So he pays attention to who books rooms at his hotel, he pays attention to who’s a member of Mar-a-Lago. And that means that people understand: If they want to get him and influence him, they need to pay him — the more the better. And that’s a situation where we really are on the brink of oligarchy.”

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David Zucchino visits the podcast to discuss his new book, “Wilmington’s Lie,” about the brutal overthrow of the multiracial government of Wilmington, N.C., in 1898.

“I went to high school and college in North Carolina, and I had never heard about this. No professor ever mentioned it, it wasn’t in any history book I ever read,” Zucchino says. “We really do have to confront the ugliest and most shameful episodes of our history, especially ones like this that aren’t well known.”

Also on this week’s episode, Lauren Christensen, Gregory Cowles and John Williams talk about what people are reading. Pamela Paul is the host.

Here are the books discussed in this week’s “What We’re Reading”:

We would love to hear your thoughts about this episode, and about the Book Review’s podcast in general. You can send them to books@nytimes.com.



The article was originally published by Newyorktimes

https://www.nytimes.com/2020/01/24/books/review/podcast-american-oligarchs-andrea-bernstein-wilmingtons-lie-david-zucchino.html

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