The Gist

Pen, Sword, or Rock and Roll

A former Hungarian ambassador to the U.S. on how the Beatles and Jimi Hendrix did more to pierce the Iron Curtain than any politician.

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In the interview, the Iron Curtain couldn’t block radio waves, or, in the ‘50s and ‘60s, a new form of music called rock and roll. András Simonyi, a former Hungarian ambassador to the United States, was electrified by Elvis and the Beatles, and says that “without rock and roll, I don’t think the Soviet Union would have broken up.” Simonyi is the author of Rocking Toward a Free World: When the Stratocaster Beat the Kalashnikov.

In the Spiel, pat them on the back all you want, not every debating Democrat can be a winner.

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Podcast production by Pierre Bienaimé and Daniel Schroeder.