29 episodes

Does power corrupt? Absolutely. This is the podcast about the hidden—and often nefarious—forces that shape our world. Election rigging. Smuggling. Narcopolitics. Ransom. Conspiracy Theories. North Korean bank heists. Cults. Drug Lords. Voodoo. Money laundering. Assassinations. Unhinged conspiracy theories. Unbelievable stories. Stitched together with the help of world-leading experts. Created and narrated by Dr. Brian Klaas, a political scientist and columnist for The Washington Post.

Power Corrupts Brian Klaas

    • Politics

Does power corrupt? Absolutely. This is the podcast about the hidden—and often nefarious—forces that shape our world. Election rigging. Smuggling. Narcopolitics. Ransom. Conspiracy Theories. North Korean bank heists. Cults. Drug Lords. Voodoo. Money laundering. Assassinations. Unhinged conspiracy theories. Unbelievable stories. Stitched together with the help of world-leading experts. Created and narrated by Dr. Brian Klaas, a political scientist and columnist for The Washington Post.

    Pandemics

    Pandemics

    Pandemics are as old as human civilisation, but there's a lot you probably don't know about them. Why did "dancing plagues" erupt repeatedly in Medieval Europe as a result of "hot blood"? Why is calling it the "Spanish Flu" an egregious historical injustice? And how do mathematical modellers incorporate Italian vs. American culture into their forecasting and predictions?

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    Power Corrupts is written and narrated by Brian Klaas. The executive producer and sound editor is George McDonagh.

    • 51 min
    Catastrophic Miscalculation

    Catastrophic Miscalculation

    What if your mistakes could cause an empire to fall, a war to start, or thirty million people to starve to death? Whether it's Mao's campaign to murder sparrows leading to a deadly famine; or an emperor who really, really should have bought a cannon, such mistakes define our past, present, and future. Don't make the mistake of not listening.

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    Power Corrupts is written and narrated by Brian Klaas. The executive producer and sound editor is George McDonagh.

    • 59 min
    Corruption in Plain Sight

    Corruption in Plain Sight

    Corruption is usually hidden. But sometimes, it’s out in the open. In this episode, we explore some unexpected hotspots of corruption and kleptocracy. How does a fugitive Malaysian playboy who allegedly stole billions still legally own a mansion in London? Why did a small town Massachusetts mayor try to accept big wads of dirty cash in a shed behind his house?

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    Power Corrupts is written and narrated by Brian Klaas. The executive producer and sound editor is George McDonagh.

    • 51 min
    The Godfather of Fake News

    The Godfather of Fake News

    Christopher Blair has been called the Godfather of Fake News. He's an American troll. And whether you realized it or not, you've probably unknowingly read a fake news article that he's written. So we traveled to meet him, to understand how one man makes a living by deceiving gullible people on Facebook — and the effect that his trolling has on democracy.

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    Power Corrupts is written and narrated by Brian Klaas. The executive producer and sound editor is George McDonagh.

    • 52 min
    The Unthinkable Olive Branch

    The Unthinkable Olive Branch

    When a dictatorship collapses, there's a big problem: everyone who knows how to run the government is someone who helped the dictator. Do we need Saddam Hussein's henchmen to keep the electricity on? We'll speak to Ambassador Paul Bremer, who ran Iraq from 2003-2004. And we'll talk to a torture victim who extended an unthinkable olive branch to those who ordered his torture.

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    Power Corrupts is written and narrated by Brian Klaas. The executive producer and sound editor is George McDonagh.

    • 58 min
    How to be a Dictator

    How to be a Dictator

    If you're trying to consolidate power as a dictator, what's the best way to go about it? We'll speak to Garry Kasparov, former world chess champion who now plots his moves against Vladimir Putin. And we'll travel to Thailand to speak to a journalist who got kidnapped by a military junta in a surreal attempt to give him Stockholm Syndrome for his dictatorial captors.

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    Power Corrupts is written and narrated by Brian Klaas. The executive producer and sound editor is George McDonagh.

    • 57 min

Customer Reviews

Brandonwc1 ,

Stellar!

Absolutely fascinating and informative

Lyd4u ,

A must!

Knowlegde + informative information about various forms of corruption around the world. It’s really a must listen in the times we are in. We can no longer look away. And as Sarah Kendzior says time and again, an informed and educated public is a POWERFUL public.

Fuzzy688 ,

Among the Best

Riveting, relevant, revelatory

Dr. Klaas is brilliant and brings in appropriate and fascinating primary source guests and experts on his episodes. The stories are captivating and are presented almost cinematically, thanks to great writing, production, and editing by Brian and his partner on the show George

The best episodes in my humble opinion are the Children of Monsters, guns for hire, and Narcopolitics.

And Mary from Rwanda was incredibly moving and her poise and bravery in presenting her story was awe inspiring.

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