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Why we’re still mesmerized by the myth of Rasputin

Photographic portrait of Grigori Rasputin (1869-1916) a Russian mystic and self-proclaimed holy man who befriended the family of Tsar Nicholas II and gained considerable influence in late imperial Russia. Dated 20th century.
Universal History Archive/Universal Images Group via Getty
Universal Images Group Editorial
Grigori Rasputin (1869–1916).

In the century since Russia’s “Mad Monk” was poisoned, we’ve come to believe a lot of things: he was mystical, he was evil, he was the world’s greatest lover.

This hour: Rasputin — the all-too-human peasant who found his way to friendship with the Romanovs and the comical, absurd version of him that just won’t die.


The Colin McEnroe Show is available as a podcast on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Google Podcasts, Stitcher, or wherever you get your podcasts. Subscribe and never miss an episode!

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Colin McEnroe, Jonathan McNicol, Cat Pastor, Dylan Reyes, and Lily Tyson contributed to this show, which originally aired May 3, 2022.

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Julia Pistell is a freelance producer for Connecticut Public Radio, the host of the podcast 'Literary Disco,' and the Managing Director of Sea Tea Improv. She also worked on Connecticut Public Radio's 'The Radius Project,' an exploration of history and culture in Hartford's neighborhoods.
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