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Ian Frazier’s Siberian Travels

The New Yorker writer travels across vast Siberia to bring back cold tales of the new Russia.

Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin in the foothills of Karatash, near Abakan, the capital of the Khakassia region in Siberia, 2010 (AP)

Siberia is so big, it’s almost more an idea than a place. Eight times zones. Desperate winters. Brutal history. Gulags. In Russia even now, says writer Ian Frazier, Siberia is as much a threat as a destination.

Frazier is a celebrated humorist and writer for The New Yorker. He’s written seriously about other big places — Indian reservation country, the Great Plains.

Now he’s taking on Siberia, in all its grand scale and grubby reality. Kamchatcka. Vladivostok. Ikutsk. Yakutsk.

We head to Siberia with New Yorker writer Ian Frazier.

-Tom Ashbrook

Guest:

Ian Frazier, staff writer for The New Yorker and author of the new book “Travels in Siberia.” You can read an excerpt in PDF format here or at Amazon.com.

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Rescue workers work on debris of the Germanwings jet at the crash site near Seyne-les-Alpes, France, Thursday, March 26, 2015. The co-pilot of the Germanwings jet barricaded himself in the cockpit and “intentionally” rammed the plane full speed into the French Alps, ignoring the captain’s frantic pounding on the cockpit door and the screams of terror from passengers, a prosecutor said Thursday. (AP)

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