This week on the Big Show®, we’ve got former U.S. Ambassador to Russia Michael McFaul (pre-order his new book From Cold War to Hot Peace: An American Ambassador in Putin’s Russia) on the new warming relations with North Korea, what to do about Syria, and yes, that pesky President Putin. Then Commentary’s associate editor Noah Rothman (yes, he’s one of the stars of the world famous Commentary Podcast) stops by to talk about Starbucks, Paul Ryan, and the diminishing chances of a Democratic wave this fall. Also, we remember First Lady Barbara Bush.

Music from this week’s podcast: Waiting On a Friend by The Rolling Stones

Michael McFaul is one of the outstanding Russianists in America. A boy from Montana, he made Russia his life’s occupation, and preoccupation. He is a professor at Stanford. And he was U.S. ambassador to Russia.

With Jay, he talks about being a student in the Soviet Union. And developments thereafter (personal, national, and international). He talks about Putin and his rule. About NATO and the West. And other critical questions.