Madison's Notes

A Warning to the West: A Conversation with Sergiu Klainerman

Dec. 2, 2020

Sergiu Klainerman is the Eugene Higgins Professor of Mathematics at Princeton University. Born in communist Romania, he sees disturbing parallels between life in the Soviet Bloc and the "soft totalitarianism" or "pre-totalitarianism" taking root in America. He joins the show to discuss these parallels and reflect on Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn's 1978 speech, "A World Split Apart."

Listen on YouTube (subtitles included): 

(1:24) “Reflections on Solzhenitsyn’s Harvard Address,” Sergiu Klainerman, Quillette, October 24, 2020: 

(45:48) “Princeton’s President Is Wrong. The University Is Not Systemically Racist,” Sergiu Klainerman, Newsweek, September 9, 2020: 

(1:00:11) “How to Fight the Enemies of Academic Freedom,” Sergiu Klainerman, Quillette, August 10, 2020: 


Addresses, lectures, articles, essays, and books by other authors:

(1:24) Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn Harvard address, June 8, 1978 (video and text of address) Prepared speech as written: Speech as delivered (transcribed from live audio of the Russian-to-English interpreter/translator at Harvard): 

(4:29) Darkness at Noon, Arthur Koestler (1940)

(4:34) Animal Farm, George Orwell (1949)

(4:34) 1984, George Orwell (1945)

(19:10) “The Challenge of Marxism,” Yoram Hazony, Quillette, August 16, 2020 

(24:35) Yuval Levin, “Why Institutions Matter: Three Lectures on Breakdown and Renewal,” series of three lectures delivered at the James Madison Program in American Ideals and Institutions, Princeton University, April 30 – May 3, 2018 

(39:09) Live Not by Lies: A Manual for Christian Dissidents, Rod Dreher (2020)

(44:46) “Suicide of the Liberals,” Guy Saul Morson, First Things, October 2020 

(45:05) House of Government: A Saga of the Russian Revolution, Yuri Slezkine (2017)

(54:43) “Live Not by Lies,” Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn (On the day Solzhenitsyn was arrested in the Soviet Union, February, 12, 1974, he released the text of his essay, “Live Not by Lies”; the next day, he was exiled to the West.): neither hosts nor alters podcast files. All content © its respective owners.