The Gist

Shake It Off, Taylor

Is there a person underneath all the celebrity angst?

Taylor Swift at the 2016 Vanity Fair Oscar Party on Feb. 28, 2016, in California.

Pascal Le Segretain/Getty Images

Listen to Episode 818 of Slate’s The Gist:

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Question: What’s the best way to take a vacation in a Communist society? Answer: With utmost utilitarian seriousness, and possibly without your family. On this last week before Labor Day, guest host and Slate writer Leon Neyfakh talks to historian Diane Koenker about how the Soviet Union came to embrace personal holidays and reconcile them with the Communist doctrine. Koenker is the author of Club Red: Vacation Travel and the Soviet Dream.

In the Spiel, the cautionary tale of Taylor Swift’s latest single.

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