Ten-episode docuseries “Whirlwind” offers deep look at how Russia is winning the new cold war, explores President Trump’s role as a Russian agent of influence, features top American spymasters and spycatchers, provides warning of the perils to our democracy.
Cadence13, a leading premium podcast company and part of Entercom’s Podcast Network, today announced that it will partner with Pulitzer Prize-winning and New York Times bestselling author Tim Weiner, Jigsaw Productions and Prologue Projects for Whirlwind, a ten-part original documentary podcast franchise that tells the story of the 75-year battle between the US and Russia that led to the election and impeachment of an American president.
On the eve of the most crucial election in our country’s history, and in its immediate aftermath, Whirlwind will provide a penetrating look at the decisions, mistakes, and deceptions that brought us to this point. Building off of Weiner’s new book THE FOLLY AND THE GLORY: America, Russia, and Political Warfare: 1945-2020, Whirlwind will offer a deep dive into a world of secrets, brought to life through focused, intimate interviews with people who have operated inside of it.
Over the course of ten episodes, Weiner will be joined by the world’s leading experts—CIA chiefs, spies, defense secretaries, former presidents, scholars, and seasoned journalists—to trace the roots of political warfare between America and Russia – a conflict that has been waged through espionage, sabotage, and disinformation. Weiner and guests will take listeners behind closed doors, illuminating Russian and American intelligence operations and their consequences. To get to the heart of what is at stake and find potential solutions, Weiner will examine long-running 20th century CIA operations, the global political machinations of the Soviet KGB around the world, the erosion of American political warfare after the Cold War, and how 21st century Russia has kept the cold war alive.
Presented by Cadence13, written and narrated by Tim Weiner, Executive Produced by Chris Corcoran, Chief Content Officer of Cadence13, and Steven Fisher of Underground, Produced by Leon Neyfakh, Andrew Parsons, and Noam Osband of Prologue Projects, and in association with Jigsaw Productions, Season One of Whirlwind will launch on September 23, 2020 on Apple Podcasts, RADIO.COM, Spotify, and everywhere podcasts are available. New episodes will be available on Wednesdays throughout the season.
Weiner will be joined on Whirlwind by a parade of hard-hitting guests, including: former CIA directors Robert Gates, John Brennan and Leon Panetta, former FBI counterintelligence agents Pete Strzok and Asha Rangappa; former KGB officers Alexander Vassiliev and Oleg Kalugin; top CIA Russian operatives and station chiefs John Sipher, Rolf Mowatt-Larsen, Doug Wise and Steve Hall; veterans of the State Department, Army Special Operations Forces and the National Security Council; Pulitzer Prize-winner New York Times reporters David Sanger and Michael Schmidt; National Book Award winner author and journalist Masha Gessen.
“American democracy is on the line,” said Tim Weiner. “Russian political warfare has brought us to the brink. We won the battle in the 20th century – and that brought down the Soviet Union. But Russia’s winning today. Their intelligence services helped elect President Trump. They’re working to re-elect him today. And that will be a crucial test for the American people. We need to know how political warfare works if we’re going to make it through the days to come, and I’m proud to be working with partners like Cadence13, Prologue Projects and Jigsaw Productions.”
“Whirlwind answers a question I have been waking up with for a while now: How did we get here?” said Leon Neyfakh of Prologue Projects. “It’s a disturbing but often dazzling story of a secret war between two of the most powerful governments in world history – a war that is still going on today, even if no one involved will admit it publicly. Together with Tim Weiner, Cadence13 and Jigsaw Productions, we’re unraveling a far-reaching and relentlessly surprising power struggle that has been going on for decades, and continues to this day.”
“Tim Weiner and Leon Neyfakh are master storytellers and brilliant journalists, and we are pleased to work with them and Cadence13 to bring this story to light,” said Alex Gibney of Jigsaw Productions.
“This is a story that needs to be told, and it’s coming from Tim Weiner, one of the most credible and knowledgeable journalists on the subject. Period,” said Chris Corcoran, Chief Content Officer, Cadence13. “We are honored and proud to partner with this incredible group of exceptionally talented writers and producers on a documentary that fits into the powerful and impactful stories we’re looking to share with the world here at Cadence13.”
Tim Weiner has won the Pulitzer Prize and the National Book Award for his reporting and writing on national security and intelligence. He covered the CIA, the war on Afghanistan, and crises and conflicts in fourteen nations for The New York Times. Weiner has taught history and writing at Princeton and Columbia. The FOLLY AND THE GLORY (Henry Holt & Co.) is his sixth book.
Leon Neyfakh is the co-creator of Slow Burn and Fiasco and the founder of Prologue Projects, an independent podcast studio in Brooklyn. Andrew Parsons is the executive producer at Prologue Projects, where he oversees Fiasco, The Trevor Noah Podcast, 5-4, and The Edge. Noam Osband is an independent producer who has previously contributed to Freakonomics Radio, Criminal, and Love + Radio.