31 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
    • 4.5, 1K Ratings

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.

    Biological Weapons

    Biological Weapons

    Pandemics are horrifying. But what if one could be unleashed deliberately? How did ancient armies from the Greeks to the Mongol hordes use germ warfare? Why did America conduct tests on unsuspecting people in New York and San Francisco? Can biological weapons be developed to only infect a single person? And why is the US government researching how to use insects as taxis for viruses?
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    Power Corrupts is written and narrated by Brian Klaas. The executive producer and sound editor is George McDonagh.

    • 50 min
    Revolutions

    Revolutions

    When revolutions happen, everything changes. In this episode, we'll look at why one revolution was launched when a rebel leader in southeast Asia started climbing trees; how Teddy Roosevelt's son led a CIA-backed coup in 1953 that contributed to the Iranian revolution; and why one East German guard had a bad day -- and forever changed history as a result.
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    Power Corrupts is written and narrated by Brian Klaas. The executive producer and sound editor is George McDonagh.

    • 54 min
    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

Customer Reviews

4.5 out of 5
1K Ratings

1K Ratings

Girl Listening ,

Podcasting At Its Absolute Best!!

Well researched and perfectly delivered! Professor Klaas, please don’t keep us waiting too long for season 3!

CalvinLovitzGold ,

Great listen

Love this pod, each episode is a great listen, thank you for it all! Keep it up, please!

stephmcc94 ,

Informative and well narrated

I really enjoy this podcast, they offer an informative narrative, and also offer practical solutions as opposed to ending on a bleak note. My only negative comment is that this podcast essentially focuses on how the richest in the world are responsible for many global issues, yet the episode focusing on conspiracy theories boils people who believe in them to holding a mannaquin world view (that other people control things)- which seems a) reductionist and b) contrary to the conclusions most of the other episodes point to. Not a conspiracy theorist myself, but one could say being skeptical of the government and media is “conspiratorial”, which is the point this entire podcast. Would be intrigued by a revisit of that concept. In the meantime, I’d encourage everyone to listen to this and share with friends and family.

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