Rephrase my Simon Shuster is a staff writer for Time magazine who covers politics in Ukraine and Russia. His new book is called The Showman: Inside the Invasion That Shook the World and Made a Leader of Volodymyr Zelensky.
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I think his heart is in the right place. I’ve talked to him about these things. He’s very sensitive to the judgment of history. He knows that. Ukraine has been fighting since long before he became president to be an independent sovereign democracy with freedom of speech.
Introduction – 0:20
The Early Zelensky – 3:30
Wartime President – 19:16
Politics in Wartime Ukraine – 33:59
Democracy in Ukraine – 36:18
It’s hard to believe that it’s been almost two years since Russia launched its full-scale invasion of Ukraine. At that time, most of us knew very little about Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelensky. But these days he is among the most recognizable leaders on the planet. Those of us who have followed the war closely know his basic biography pretty well.
But we still don’t really know the real Zelensky. Most of us also realize there is a lot happening behind the scenes in the war that we still don’t know about. Now Simon Shuster has a new book that offers a glimpse behind the scenes to better understand Zelensky and Ukraine’s politics during the war. Simon is a staff writer for Time magazine who covers politics in Ukraine and Russia. His new book is called The Showman: Inside the Invasion That Shook the World and Made a Leader of Volodymyr Zelensky.
Simon had direct access to Zelensky during the first year of the war. It gave him a front-row seat into Zelensky’s transformation from an entertainer into a wartime leader. So, our conversation focuses on Zelensky as a person and as a leader. We also talk about some of the decisions made during the war and what they say about politics in Ukraine. I’ve had many conversations about Ukraine on this podcast, but I think this is one of the most informative talks I have had so far. Hopefully, you will feel the same way.
The Democracy Paradox is sponsored by the Kellogg Institute for International Studies, part of the Keough School of Global Affairs at the University of Notre Dame. The Kellogg Institute was founded by Guillermo O’Donnell, one of the giants of democratic thought, more than 40 years ago. It continues to sponsor research on democracy and human development. Check them out at Kellogg.nd.edu. You’ll find a link in the show notes to their website. If you’re interested in becoming a sponsor of the podcast, please send me an email to email@example.com.
But for now… This is my conversation with Simon Shuster…
Simon Shuster, welcome to for better SEO.