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Prison and Politics in Russia, Poker, and Poverty

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Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Greenpeace International activist, one of the 'Arctic 30,' Ana Paula Alminhana Maciel Greenpeace International activist, one of the 'Arctic 30,' Ana Paula Alminhana Maciel from Brazil, holds a poster in a defendant cage in a court in Saint Petersburg, Russia, November 18, 2013. (OLGA MALTSEVA/AFP/Getty Images/Getty)

Masha Gessen discusses the brutality and corruption of Russia’s prison system  and the case of the Arctic 30, a group of Greenpeace activists arrested and jailed by Vladimir Putin and charged with piracy. Adelle Waldman will be here for the Leonard Lopate Show Book Club! She’ll be talking about her novel The Love Affairs of Nathaniel P. Colson Whitehead tells us about playing in the World Series of Poker and what his experience at high-stakes card tables taught him about the human condition. Plus, economist William Easterly looks at the global effort to eradicate poverty, and argues that traditional approaches usually trample the rights and freedoms of the poor.

Don't Get Between Vladimir Putin and the Arctic

It's another area Putin wants Russia to dominate. 30 Greenpeace activists who disagreed were jailed and charged with piracy. Masha Gessen says their experience was an education in the brutality and corruption of Russia’s prison system.

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Adelle Waldman's The Love Affairs of Nathaniel P.

Adelle Waldman's debut novel made a big impression when it was published last year—it was named one of the best books of the year by The New Yorker, Slate, NPR, and The New York Times. The Love Affairs of Nathaniel P. follows writer Nate Piven, a young rising star in New York's literary world who can’t quite figure out his romantic life. It’s a portrait of a flawed and sometimes infuriating modern man searching for happiness, and it’s an honest look at how Nate thinks about women, sex, and love.

Leave your comments and questions about the book!

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'Eat, Pray, Love' for Depressed Shut-ins

That's how Colson Whitehead describes his new book, in which he searches for meaning at high-stakes poker tables.

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Economists, Dictators, and the Rights of the Poor

Solutions for global poverty often fail to address the systemic political factors that create poverty.

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Video: Jane Austen and George Eliot Changed Adelle Waldman's Life

When Adelle Waldman, author of The Love Affairs of Nathaniel P., talked about some favorite books and why Philip Roth's Sabbath's Theater blew her away.

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