Hate in the Homeland

The Fate of Democracy in a Radicalizing World

We live in a destabilizing world where, increasingly, the version of reality that our neighbors and family members perceive is potentially very different from the one we experience: maybe even radically so. And it is radicalism itself—particularly on the political far-right—that has watchdogs and citizens nervous. Societies around the world are rife with extremism and …...

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Wandering Stars with Tommy Orange

Native American Literature and Representation

“I don’t think stories were made to comfort. I believed what my father told me. Stories do more than comfort. They take you away and bring you back better made.” The John Adams Institute is honored to welcome Native American novelist Tommy Orange back to Amsterdam for his highly anticipated second book, Wandering Stars. Orange …...

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Ivo Daalder on 75 years of NATO and the Transatlantic Bond

Brought to you by the John Adams Institute and the Netherlands Atlantic Association

In Washington D.C. this July, NATO cautiously celebrates its 75th anniversary. With war raging on its Eastern front since 2022, and a potential conflict with China in the Indo-Pacific, NATO faces immense challenges. But these tribulations – looming conflict, a polluted global information ecosystem, threats posed by terrorism and even climate change – are also …...

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President’s Night 2024

America Votes

Who will be the next president of the United States? This important question is more relevant than ever at a time when geopolitics are more turbulent than ever. Americans head to the polls on November 5th to determine the course of their deeply divided nation in an increasingly instable world. Which of the two pensionados …...

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USA Trivia Night

brought to you by the Young Minds Network

What is General Sherman, and in which national park could you find it? What American football team does Taylor Swift’s latest boyfriend play for? And what was the role of a conductor in the Underground Railroad? Break out your atlases, history books and encyclopedias! It’s time to dust off your knowledge of American music, popular …...

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Lionel Shriver, American Contrarian

On her latest book 'Mania'

In her latest novel, Mania, iconoclastic author Lionel Shriver investigates the fallout around the fictional 2011 “Mental Parity Movement” in the United States in an alternative yet all too recognizable near past. Dubbed the “last great Civil Rights fight” by its progenitors, Americans now embrace the sacred, universal truth that there is no such thing …...

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American Sonnets for my Past and Future Assassin

Poetics and Politics with Poet Terrance Hayes

I lock you in an American sonnet that is part prison, / Part panic closet, in a little room in a house set aflame … I lock your persona in a dream-inducing sleeper hold / While your better selves watch from the bleachers.  In 70 poems Terrance Hayes explores the meanings of America, of assassin, …...

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Yaël Eisenstat: Democracy’s Cyber Defendant

Polarization, Elections and AI

In 2018, Yaël Eisenstat joined Facebook as the head of Global Elections Integrity for political ads. Six months later, she left, disappointed and disillusioned, exposing how Facebook profits financially from voter manipulation. In her talk at the John Adams Institute, she will be addressing the outsized and worrisome role that social media and artificial intelligence …...

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Jennifer Carlson: Democracy by Bullet?

Merchants of the Right

Gun sellers aren’t just merchants of guns but are also agents of conservative politics and ideals. That’s because gun sales in America aren’t only an economic exchange, but also a cultural one, with serious implications for society at large. In Merchants of the Right: Gun Sellers and the Crisis of American Democracy, Jennifer Carlson’s warning …...

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Back to the Wild West with Kenneth Manusama

Rights, Racism and Religion

On Super Tuesday, the most important day of the American primaries, the John Adams Institute is doing a deep dive into the weaknesses and instabilities of America’s democratic system. As November’s elections loom, legal, racial, and religious controversies are already stretching the country to a breaking point. Yes, of course there will be plenty of …...

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Tiya Miles: All That She Carried

The remarkable history of Ashley’s Sack

“In a display case in the Smithsonian’s National Museum of African American History and Culture sits a rough cotton bag. “Ashley’s Sack” is embroidered with a handful of words that evoke a sweeping family story of loss and love passed down through the generations.”  In South Carolina in the 1850s, an enslaved woman named Rose …...

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Franklin Foer

On Joe Biden’s White House and the Struggle for America’s Future

“On January 20, 2021, standing where two weeks earlier police officers battled right-wing paramilitaries, Joe Biden took his oath of office. Faced with unprecedented crises, he decided not to play defense. Instead, he set out to transform the nation”.  From author and The Atlantic staff writer Franklin Foer comes a gripping biography of Joe Biden, …...

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Stamped from the Beginning

Ibram X. Kendi (the book) and Roger Ross Williams (the film)

“Time and again, racist ideas have not been cooked up from the boiling pot of ignorance and hate. Time and again, powerful and brilliant men and women have produced racist ideas in order to justify the racist policies of their era and redirect the blame onto Black people.” In his book Stamped from the Beginning, …...

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Secretary of the Smithsonian Institution Lonnie G. Bunch III

Living with history: A people’s journey, a nation’s story

“Museums have a social justice role to play. Cultural institutions need to be as much about today and tomorrow as they are about yesterday. This may just be a time of transformation.” Lonnie G. Bunch III is the 14th Secretary of the Smithsonian Institution, the highest position of leadership within the world’s largest museum, education, …...

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Miriam Toews

On Film and Literature

Miriam Toews is the award-winning author of nine books, including Women Talking, which won the Oscar for best adapted screenplay at the 2023 Academy Awards,  and All My Puny Sorrows. Known for her light, oftentimes humorous touch, Toews finds moments of brightness and humanity in even the darkest of narratives. Her latest novel, Fight Night, …...

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Walter Isaacson on Elon Musk

Innovation and the Demons that Drive it

Isaacson’s latest inside story is filled with tales of triumph and turmoil, and addresses the question: are the demons that drive Musk also what it takes to drive innovation and progress? Walter Isaacson is the bestselling biographer of the likes of Steve Jobs, Henry Kissinger, and Jennifer Doudna. Throughout his career he has served as …...

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The Ministry for the Future

Kim Stanley Robinson and the Fight for Planet Earth

“In the twenty-first century it became clear that the planet was incapable of sustaining everyone alive at Western levels, and at that point the richest pulled away into their fortress mansions and bolted their doors to wait it out until some poorly theorized better time… beyond that, après moi le déluge.” Uniting science and politics, …...

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Strangers to Ourselves

Mental Health, Diagnosis & Identity with Rachel Aviv

“The divide between the psychic hinterlands and a setting we might call normal is permeable, a fact that is both haunting and promising. It’s startling to realize how narrowly we avoid, or miss, living radically different lives.” How do we understand ourselves in periods of crisis and distress? Such moments – familiar to any life …...

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Nikole Hannah-Jones: 1619

A New American Origin Story

“In August of 1619, a ship carrying more than 20 enslaved Africans arrived in the English colony of Virginia. America was not yet America, but this was the moment it began.” Pulitzer Prize winning investigative journalist Nikole Hannah-Jones has devoted her career to exposing systemic and institutional racism in the United States. Chief among her …...

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USA Trivia Night

How much do you know about America?

Who was the 6th president of the United States? Who performed the halftime show at the Superbowl this year? And when we speak of the Trail of Tears, what precisely are we referring to? Break out your atlases, history books and encyclopedias! Dust off your knowledge of American music, popular culture, history and current events! …...

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Matthew Desmond

Poverty, by America

“Are we—we the secure, the insured, the housed, the college educated, the lucky—connected to all this needless suffering? This is a book about poverty that is not just about the poor. Instead, it’s a book about how some lives are made small so that others may grow.” Pulitzer Prize winning sociologist Matthew Desmond’s work on …...

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Immigration, Transformation and Society

Theater & Talk

What makes up the immigrant experience? What are its contours, challenges and realities? And what gets lost, altered, or edited in the transition between leaving one’s birth country and arriving in a new one? The John Adams Institute is thrilled to present an evening that weaves arts and academics, traverses national boundaries, and crosses oceans, …...

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New York Burning

John Adams & Fulbright event with Jill Lepore

New York City, 1741: Fires break out throughout the city. Public and private property is set ablaze, and the ruling elite is nervous. There are whispers of a coup, or worse, an outright rebellion. But the perpetrators of the crimes lurk in the shadows, and so, fueled by the paranoia that accompanies hearsay, the authorities …...

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Thank You for Your Servitude

With Mark Leibovich

In his second nonfiction blockbuster Thank You for Your Servitude: Donald Trump’s Washington and the Price of Submission, journalist and political commentator Mark Leibovich sketches the political landscape of Washington during the Trump presidency. Against the backdrop of steak dinners and chants to “drain the swamp”, Leibovich describes the rapid change of the Republican party …...

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An Evening with Lauren Groff

“She rides out of the forest alone. Seventeen years old, in the cold March drizzle, Marie who comes from France.” Rising American literary star Lauren Groff’s most recent novel inhabits the borderlands between myth and history. Set in the early Middle Ages, Matrix is a mystical exploration of the raw power of female creativity in …...

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Bret Easton Ellis

The Shards

“Many years ago, I realized that a book – a novel – asks itself to be written in the same way we fall in love with someone. The book becomes impossible to resist for the author: there’s nothing you can do about it, and you finally give in and succumb, even if your instincts tell you to run the other way because this could be, in the end, a dangerous game.”...

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Roe v. Wade: Past, Present, and Future

Online Event with Susan Matthews

You can join this online event for free. Click HERE for link to the livestream. On 24 June 2022, the Supreme Court made the shocking decision to overturn Roe v. Wade. Responses ranged from despairing to triumphant. For decades, Roe v. Wade had guaranteed the constitutional rights of women to get safe abortions. It was …...

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America’s Last Chance?

2022 US Midterm Election Town Hall

2024 is a year that looms large on any American calendar. But given the political system in the United States, spectators know that November 2022, will be as important for determining the future fate of America as the next presidential election. Join us on November 10th for a town hall in collaboration with the Rode …...

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Andrea Elliott

Invisible Child: Poverty, Survival & Hope in an American City

Dasani Coates, a child with an imagination as soaring as the skyscrapers near her Brooklyn homeless shelter grew up in the shadows of New York’s second “Gilded Age.” Dasani’s story has become emblematic of one of America’s most wicked problems: homelessness. The John Adams Institute is delighted to welcome Pulitzer Prize winner Andrea Elliott, investigative …...

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Surviving Injustice

with Mark Godsey & Rickey Jackson

Rickey Jackson was sentenced to 39 years in prison for crimes he didn’t commit. Innocent, and unjustly convicted of murder and robbery, his is the longest wrongful imprisonment in US history. The John Adams Institute is honored to host Rickey, who will share the lessons he learned about freedom and forgiveness. The sole evidence against …...

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Guns & Votes

Carol Anderson

On paper, every American has the right to vote and – thanks to the Second Amendment – to bear arms. But in reality, says Carol Anderson, both these rights are undermined by the racism which is so deeply rooted in American society. And that, in turn, undermines democracy. Anderson is a professor of African-American studies …...

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Michael Ignatieff

On Consolation

How do we find solace in modern times? The internationally acclaimed Canadian author and historian Michael Ignatieff will visit the John Adams Institute to discuss just that in his new, bestselling book: On Consolation: Finding Solace in Dark Times. Ignatieff was the rector of the Central European University in Budapest, until he was forced to …...

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Bill Browder

Freezing Order

The latest massacres in Bucha and Mariupol have shown that Vladimir Putin has no regard for human life – he only cares about power and money. In Putin’s eyes, money is power, and vice versa. That’s why freezing the assets of Russians tied to Putin’s regime is so important. Between 1996 and 2005, American investor …...

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Yascha Mounk

The Great Experiment

The John Adams institute is delighted to present one of the brightest minds in American political thought today: the refreshingly outspoken German-American political scientist Yascha Mounk. He will join us on April 10th to discuss his new, long-awaited book The Great Experiment: Why Diverse Democracies Fall Apart And How They Can Endure. In his new …...

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William Drozdiak

The Future of Europe

The war between Russia and Ukraine starkly illustrates Europe’s vulnerability in an era of resurgent big-power rivalry. President Emmanuel Macron of France has taken the lead in Europe and has warned that the European Union could find itself trapped, even victimized, by power struggles involving Russia, but also China and the United States. It is …...

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Hanya Yanagihara

To Paradise

This year’s most anticipated new novel is without a doubt Hanya Yanagihara’s To Paradise (published in Dutch as Naar het paradijs by Nieuw Amsterdam). And we are thrilled that Hanya Yanagihara is returning to the John Adams for a conversation about her three-part story across three centuries, centered around New York City. To Paradise is …...

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George Packer

Last Best Hope: America in Crisis and Renewal

Acclaimed National Book Award-winning author George Packer returns to the John Adams to discuss his latest book Last Best Hope: America in Crisis and Renewal. In this thought-provoking book about the decline and fall of self-government of the United States, Packer accepts that there’s a new reality for America: “a failed state”. A state that …...

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The Accessible City

Online event with Chris & Melissa Bruntlett

What was it about life in the Netherlands that Canadian couple Chris and Melissa Bruntlett found so attractive? So attractive that they pulled up stakes and left Vancouver to actually move to Delft with their two children? The answer is: quality of life. A big factor that impacts quality of life is how we move …...

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Cecilia Kang

An Ugly Truth: Inside Facebook's Battle for Domination

For years, fringe ideologues were able to use Facebook undisturbed to promote their extreme ideologies and conspiracies. In An Ugly Truth, published in Dutch as Een smerige waarheid by Atlas Contact, New York Times tech reporters Cecilia Kang and Sheera Frenkel reveal how Facebook’s algorithms sacrificed everything for user engagement and profit, while creating a …...

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The Photograph

Documentary & Doc Talk

In The Photograph, a single photo unleashes a whirlwind of exceptional stories. About New York and its Black inhabitants, about pride and tradition, about the power of photography, and about director Sherman De Jesus’ grandfather. Sherman De Jesus heads to New York with a seemingly clear goal in mind: to find out the story behind …...

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Patrick Radden Keefe

Empire of Pain: The Secret History of the Sackler Dynasty

The name of the Sackler family adorns the walls of many storied institutions – Harvard, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, Oxford, the Louvre. They are one of the richest families in the world, known for their lavish donations to the arts and sciences. The source of the family fortune was vague, however, until it emerged …...

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Russell Shorto

Smalltime: A Story of My Family and the Mob

Could it really be happening? Will there – after more than a year and a half online – be a John Adams event with a real, live speaker?! Yes, in addition to our rich online program we are happy to start welcoming speakers in person again. On September 15, Russell Shorto will take the John …...

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Eliot Brown

The Cult of We: WeWork, Adam Neumann, and the Great Startup Delusion

The Cult of We by Wall Street Journal correspondents Eliot Brown and Maureen Farrell is the definitive inside story of WeWork and its audacious founder Adam Neumann. Neumann transformed himself from a struggling baby clothes salesman into the charismatic, hard-partying CEO of a company worth $47 billion — on paper. Billions poured in, but in …...

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Niall Ferguson

Doom: The Politics of Catastrophe

Might there have been fewer deaths from Covid-19 if governments had been quicker to impose lockdowns and restrict, even ban, air travel? Might its spread have been more quickly controlled if the Chinese authorities had been more open when the first cases were identified? The knowledge about diseases that we have accumulated over the past …...

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Elizabeth Kolbert

Under a White Sky: The Nature of the Future

If we can just get through the 21st century, humanity might have a chance, says Elizabeth Kolbert. We have already intervened in the earth’s system to the extent that we are now living in the ‘Anthropocene’. Maybe we can buy time by intervening even more, with so-called geo-engineering: turning carbon emissions to stone, for example, …...

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Dr. Anthony Fauci

Challenging Corona

The John Adams Institute is happy to welcome Dr. Anthony Fauci, Chief Medical Advisor to the President, for a conversation about our response to the corona virus. If we have to learn to live with the virus, as is now often said, what will the ‘new normal’ look like? Is there indeed light at the …...

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Sharon Zukin

The Urban Innovation Complex

Cities like New York and San Francisco have bloomed thanks to the innovation economy. Can tech save our cities? In her new book The Innovation Complex, professor of urban sociology Sharon Zukin shows how these forces are shaping both the new urban economy and urban space. What happens when big tech enters a city? It brings talent and jobs and new ideas and urban revival, yes, but the ‘innovation complex’ also increases dependence on global capital and enables the rise of a new meritocratic...

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Arun Chaudhary

Campaigning the American Way

The victory of Joe Biden in the US elections was predicted by no one in 2019, and by any reasonable metric, he did not run an innovative or even effective campaign. So why did he win? Arun Chaudhary, who worked on both Barack Obama’s and Bernie Sanders’ presidential campaigns, and is currently a campaign advisor …...

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Rebecca Henderson

Reimagining Capitalism in a World on Fire

Yes, capitalism is the greatest source of prosperity the world has ever seen. But many also blame it for the massive problems that plague the modern world. In Reimagining Capitalism in a World on Fire, Harvard Business School Professor Rebecca Henderson argues that only a new form of capitalism can drive the innovation we need …...

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Martin Luther King vs. The FBI

Documentary & Doc Talk

Captivating and urgent, Martin Luther King vs. The FBI uncovers how during the civil rights movement, the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) utilized every means at its disposal to sabotage the efforts of dr. Martin Luther King and other Black activists. Based on recently discovered and declassified files, the documentary powerfully demonstrates how fear for …...

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The Georgia Runoffs: Battle for the Senate

with Michael Steele & Jonathan Capehart

The presidential election is over, but the race for the US Senate is heating up – and Georgia holds the key. It is here that the last two seats in the Senate are up for grabs, so the stakes are high. Will the Republicans maintain their grip on the Senate? Or will the Democrats create …...

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Art & Activism in America Now

American art today is confronting issues of racism, colonialism and identity head on. What is it like to be a visual artist in America now, where the public debate is dominated by Trumpism on the one hand and Black Lives Matter on the other? The John Adams is joining forces with Kunsthal KAdE to talk …...

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Ian Buruma

The Churchill Complex

What would Churchill do? The Special Relationship between Britain and America has done much to shape the world as we know it, from World War II through to Trump and Brexit. The victors of the war inherited a legacy of leadership and prestige as beacons of freedom and democracy. But what is left of that …...

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The Day After the 2020 Elections

Reflections on the Outcome

On November 4th, the day after the upcoming US Elections 2020, the John Adams Institute is organizing a live online event with several commentators – many of whom you may have seen at the John Adams before – to hear their thoughts and reflections on the undoubtedly turbulent events of the day before. We don’t …...

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The US 2020 Elections

High School Student Webinar

Our 2020 Quincy Club lecture school series on the US Presidential Elections filled up fast. For everyone who missed out or wants to participate again, the John Adams is organizing a live online broadcast on the day before the elections, Monday 2 November at 10.30 am. This broadcast will be presented live by Albertine Bloemendal, …...

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Abhijit Banerjee

Good Economics for Hard Times

The Nobel Prize for Economics 2019 went to Abhijit Banerjee from India and his wife Esther Duflo, from France. Both are economists at MIT where they founded the Poverty Action Lab. They were awarded the Nobel Prize for their groundbreaking work on new, practical ways to fight global poverty. “Economics is too important to be …...

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100 Years of Voting: Women’s Rights and Responsibilities

Liz Cheney & The National Archives on the 19th Amendment

In 1920, the 19th Amendment to the Constitution was ratified, winning women a constitutional guarantee of equal voting rights with men and bringing an end to decades of political disenfranchisement. Hosted by the American Women’s Club of Amsterdam, the U.S. Consulate General in Amsterdam and The John Adams Institute, this free online event will feature …...

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David Frum on the upcoming Presidential Elections

'Trumpocalypse: Restoring American Democracy'

The John Adams is pleased to announce the second speaker in our fall program, in collaboration with De Balie. David Frum, journalist at The Atlantic and author, will be joining us for a free online event to discuss the upcoming presidential elections with moderator Tim Wagemakers. Political commentator David Frum will also discuss his latest …...

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Kim Wehle

How to Read the Constitution - and Why

Super Tuesday! That unique American event marks an important moment at the start of the elections. This year it takes place on Tuesday March 3rd. On that very day, the John Adams will host Kim Wehle, a law professor, constitutional scholar, commentator and author of the book How to Read the Constitution – and Why. …...

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Meg Waite Clayton

The Last Train to London

Next year the Netherlands commemorates 75 years of liberation from Nazi repression. Bestselling author Meg Waite Clayton is coming to the John Adams to discuss her new novel The Last Train to London, which is based on the true story of the Vienna Kindertransports and the heroic woman who led the rescues, Truus Wijsmuller. In …...

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Daniel Ziblatt

How Democracies Die

How do democracies die? Not at the hands of generals, but of elected leaders – presidents or prime ministers who subvert the very process that brought them to power. That is the unsettling conclusion of Harvard professor Daniel Ziblatt’s highly praised book How Democracies Die. He will be speaking about it at the John Adams on …...

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Roger Ross Williams

Documentary 'The Apollo' & Doc Talk

IDFA and the John Adams present the documentary The Apollo by director Roger Ross Williams. After the screening, Williams will take the stage for an interview, along with several experts on soul music. In 2018, the John Adams hosted Roger Ross Williams for a screening of his powerful documentary American Jail. The Apollo Theater on …...

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An evening with John Grisham

in conversation with Twan Huys

We are thrilled to announce that best-selling author John Grisham is coming to the Netherlands for the very first time. After his debut A Time to Kill appeared in 1988, his books have been translated into more than 40 languages and sold over 300 million copies worldwide. Grisham drew his experience from practicing criminal law …...

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Megan Twohey

She Said

The most explosive book of this year is without a doubt She Said: Megan Twohey and Jodi Kantor’s book about their wide-ranging investigation into Harvey Weinstein’s alleged sexual predation. It has already been labeled a “feminist All the President’s Men”. Megan Twohey will take the John Adams stage to discuss her Pulitzer Prize-winning reporting about …...

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George Packer

Our Man: Richard Holbrooke and the End of the American Century

Arrogant, self-absorbed, even brutal – yes. But also sentimental and sometimes compassionate. Endearing? Not so much. Brilliant? Absolutely. Above all, Richard Holbrooke was ambitious – and he embodied much of the character of American foreign policy in the latter half of the 20th century. George Packer, one of America’s most renowned authors and winner of …...

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Dina Nayeri

The Ungrateful Refugee

Eternal gratitude. Is that what is expected from a refugee? How long can you stay grateful, and how do you show your gratitude? And if you do not show your gratitude, will you be sent back to… well, to where? In The Ungrateful Refugee (translated by Susan Ridder into De ondankbare vluchteling for Volt Publishers), …...

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Joseph Stiglitz

People, Power, and Profits

Nobel Prize-winning economist Joseph Stiglitz is returning to the John Adams to discuss his important new book People, Power, and Profits (translated into Winst voor iedereen, by Arian Verheij and Huub Stegeman for Athenaeum), about the dangers of free market fundamentalism and the many economic challenges America is facing. In this book, Stiglitz explains how …...

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Raymond Neutra

My Father and Frank Lloyd Wright

From old-world Vienna to the breezy mid-century Modernism of Southern California: the career of the architect Richard Neutra (1892-1970) spanned continents and epochs. His son Raymond Neutra is coming to Amsterdam for an event co-hosted by Iconic Houses and Museum het Schip, to talk about his father’s work and his relationship to architecture in America. After …...

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Jill Lepore

These Truths

Three truths, no more and no less: political equality, natural rights, and sovereignty of the people. According to Thomas Jefferson, these truths were the foundation on which the American experiment rested. Most Americans recognize his words in the Declaration of Independence: “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal.” How …...

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Jed Emerson

The Purpose of Capital

What is the purpose of your capital? The emergent ‘impact investing’ movement holds out the golden promise that we can make money and do good at the same time. This new financial sector is being embraced not only by family offices and social entrepreneurs, but also by traditional financial strongholds such as by Blackrock, JP Morgan and …...

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Leon Neyfakh

Storytelling in the Digital Age

The podcast. Whether you only have a quick 15 minutes to spare on the bus or train, or an hour-long drive to work, there’s a perfect podcast out there for you. Podcasts can tell real, engaging stories, creating a sense of connection between listener and content, and at the same time making you feel part …...

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Jonathan Safran Foer

We Are the Weather: Saving the Planet Begins at Breakfast

Climate change is the single biggest threat to human survival – and we are dealing with it all wrong, according to bestselling author Jonathan Safran Foer. In his new book We Are the Weather, Foer explores the central dilemma of our time in a creative and urgent new way. We have turned our planet into …...

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Hendrik Meijer

Senator Arthur Vandenberg and the Creation of NATO

In 2020 the Western world will celebrate the founding of NATO 70 years ago. To make the idea of such a transatlantic treaty even possible, the US had to move from a position of isolationism towards a more open and engaged relationship with European countries. This change of direction started with the Vandenberg Resolution, which …...

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Barry Eichengreen

The Populist Temptation

In the last few years, populism – on both the right and the left – has spread like wildfire throughout the world. Economic changes and downturns have left sections of populations worse off. What are these economic grievances that drive populist movements? And how can our welfare systems designed to support them prevent these grievances? …...

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Stephen P. Williams

Blockchain: The Next Everything

What is blockchain? Why does everyone, from tech experts to business moguls, believe it is bound to revolutionize society as significantly as the internet? Join us for an evening that helps us understand what it is, how it works and what the implications are for the future of our world. Journalist and author Stephen Williams, …...

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Kristen Roupenian

You Know You Want This

When Kristen Roupenian’s short story ‘Cat Person’ came out in The New Yorker magazine and online at the end of 2017, it immediately went wildly viral: it became the second-most-emailed page on the New Yorker’s website in that entire year. The story confused readers who mistook it for reportage rather than fiction, given that it …...

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Peter Sellars

The Future of Opera in a Changing World

The John Adams is partnering with the Dutch National Opera for a special 45-minute talk about the future of opera in a changing world, by renowned stage director Peter Sellars. Sellars is best known for staging plays and operas for numerous international theaters in settings wildly different from those suggested by the text. He wrote …...

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Francis Fukuyama

Against Identity Politics

The John Adams Institute, in collaboration with De Balie, is once again hosting the renowned political scientist Francis Fukuyama to discuss his new book Identity: The Demand for Dignity and the Politics of Resentment, translated into Dutch as Identiteit and published by Atlas Contact. In Identity, Fukuyama shows that populist nationalism is not motivated by …...

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Tommy Orange

There There

The author of one of the most galvanizing debut novels of 2018 took the John Adams stage to discuss his story about twelve characters who converge and collide on one fateful day. Tommy Orange’s groundbreaking novel There There – translated for Meulenhoff into Dutch as Er Is Geen Daar Daar – was chosen as one …...

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David Eicher & André Kuipers

Mission Moon: Reliving the Great Space Race

In 1969 a seemingly impossible goal was achieved as Neil Armstrong uttered his immortal line: “That’s one small step for a man, one giant leap for Mankind.” This year celebrates not only 50 years since Apollo 11 and the first human steps on the Moon, but also the achievements of all the Soviet and American …...

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Saskia Coenen-Snyder

Signs and Sounds in Nazi-Occupied Amsterdam

How did residents of the city of Amsterdam experience the Nazi-occupation in the 1940s through their sight, sound, smell, taste, and touch? People’s senses changed dramatically during these years, and learning more about the history of the senses gives us better insight into how people experienced the war. In a co-operation with the Anne Frank …...

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Jennifer Clement

Gun Love

For our first event of 2019, the John Adams will host Jennifer Clement, author of four novels and President of PEN International – the first woman President since the organization was founded in 1921. Clement’s latest novel is Gun Love, which was a finalist for the 2018 National Book Award and was named one of …...

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Michael Pollan

How to Change your Mind

Michael Pollan is returning to the John Adams to discuss his new book How To Change Your Mind with renowned psychiatrist Damiaan Denys. In this new book Pollan has moved on from his research on food to delve into the world of psychedelics and their medical use. In the past decade, there has been renewed …...

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Analyzing the Midterms

With Darius Baxter & Frank Luntz

The 2018 midterm elections, featuring hundreds of congressional, state and local primaries, culminate with the Nov. 6 general election to decide whether Democrats gain control of Congress or if Republicans keep their hold on the legislative branch. On December 6, one month after these elections, two political commentators from opposite sides of the political spectrum …...

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Christiane Amanpour

From the Gulf War to the Trump Presidency

On January 25th, Christiane Amanpour, CNN’s chief international anchor and host of the network’s award-winning global affairs program ‘Amanpour’, will take the stage at the John Adams for the first time. Amanpour will discuss her illustrious career in journalism, spanning three decades, from the Gulf War to the Trump presidency. Amanpour’s  international career began in …...

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The Fourth Estate

An Evening with The New York Times

The John Adams Institute, in collaboration with VPRO Television, is happy to announce a special screening of the documentary series The Fourth Estate, a four-part series in which renowned filmmaker Liz Garbus (‘Bobby Fischer Against The World’) documents the Washington bureau of The New York Times during the tumultuous first year of the Trump administration. …...

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Mac Barnett & Jon Klassen

The Wolf, the Duck and the Mouse

A wish has come true! The John Adams Institute is happy to announce we are hosting an event especially for children, with the award-winning duo author Mac Barnett and illustrator Jon Klassen, who have successfully collaborated on several picturebooks, the trilogy ‘Triangle’, ‘Square’ and ‘Circle’, as well as ‘Extra Yarn’, and ‘Sam & Dave Dig …...

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Andrew Keen

How To Fix The Future

The John Adams Institute is happy to announce our upcoming event with author Andrew Keen, one of the world’s best known and controversial commentators on the digital revolution. In his new book, How to Fix the Future, Keen showcases global solutions for our digital predicament. After the huge changes of the Industrial Revolution, civilized societies remade …...

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1968 – Vietnam Protest

You Say You Want A Revolution

Fifty years ago, from Paris to Mexico-City,  young people, students, factory workers and filmmakers united to protest authority. They did not only carry rocks, but also light, flexible 16mm camera’s. On the fiftieth birthday of the May 1968 Paris events, EYE Film Museum, in their series “1968 – You Say You Want A Revolution”, will show …...

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Jeremy Bailenson

Experience on Demand

Virtual reality is getting better at simulating the real world. Can it also transform education, environmental conservation, health care? And… do we want it to? Yes, says Jeremy Bailenson, founding director of Stanford University’s Virtual Human Interaction Lab. He is speaking at the John Adams Institute on April 24th. Bailenson has spent two decades researching …...

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A.M. Homes

May We Be Forgiven

The John Adams Institute is happy to announce our upcoming event with renowned novelist A.M. Homes, in co-operation with Toneelgroep Amsterdam. Libris Prize shortlisted author Murat Isik will interview A.M. Homes about her work. May We Be Forgiven (now adapted into a play by Toneelgroep Amsterdam) is a darkly comic novel of twenty-first-century domestic life and …...

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Robbert Dijkgraaf & Pia de Jong

An evening on books, academic & family life

The John Adams Institute is happy to announce our upcoming event ‘An Evening with Robbert Dijkgraaf & Pia de Jong’. During this evening Dijkgraaf and De Jong will speak about their work and about academic and family life in the United States. The audience will be given a unique insight in the life and work …...

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Jonathan Taplin

Move Fast and Break Things: How Facebook, Google, and Amazon Cornered Culture and Undermined Democracy

The John Adams is happy to announce a last-minute addition to our program. Jonathan Taplin is the author of Move Fast and Break Things, a bracing account of how the internet has been captured by the big tech companies. Taplin, himself with thirty years’ experience in the music and film industry, tells the story of …...

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Alex Ross

Adventures in Musical Modernism

The John Adams is partnering with the String Quartet Biennale Amsterdam, which will run from 27 January to 3 February 2018 at the Muziekgebouw aan ’t IJ. On the last day of the festival, the renowned music critic of The New Yorker, Alex Ross, will give a talk in which he will reflect on some of the …...

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Jennifer Egan

Manhattan Beach

We are happy to announce that Jennifer Egan, who won the Pulitzer Prize for her last novel A Visit From the Goon Squad, will take the John Adams stage to discuss her new novel Manhattan Beach. The novel is set during the Depression and World War II and tells the story of an Irish family …...

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Russell Shorto

Revolution Song

Bestselling author Russell Shorto returns to the John Adams to discuss his much-anticipated new book Revolution Song. In this narrative, Shorto asks what the American Revolution would have looked like if it were told exclusively through the prism of personal lives. In Revolution Song, Shorto paints an intimate group portrait of six extraordinary figures of …...

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Ryan Lizza

A Year of Trump

November 8 marks the first anniversary of the election of President Trump. It has been a turbulent year and many people are looking for reflection and insight into today’s United States. We are happy to announce that Ryan Lizza, the Washington correspondent for The New Yorker and on-air contributor for CNN, will take the John Adams …...

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Holly Krieger

The Beauty of Symmetry through the eyes of a Mathematician

We are pleased to announce that renowned American mathematician Holly Krieger will visit the John Adams to discuss how mathematics can be used to describe the beauty of symmetry. For centuries, symmetry has fascinated philosophers, astronomers, mathematicians, artists, architects and physicists. It is a prevalent aesthetic theme in the art and architecture of many cultures, …...

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Amsterdam Stories

Rob Rombout and Rogier van Eck

Have the Netherlands left a mark on the US? Come find out on December 11th, when the Belgian filmmakers Rob Rombout and Rogier van Eck show a compilation of their road movie in which they take you all across the continent to visit all the American places named Amsterdam. On their journey through cities, towns, …...

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Colson Whitehead

The Underground Railroad

Colson Whitehead is the biggest literary sensation of this decade. He was the first author since Annie Proulx to win both the Pulitzer Prize and the National Book Award for his novel The Underground Railroad (translated as De Ondergrondse Spoorweg by Atlas Contact). Several prominent figures also declared it their favorite novel, including President Obama. …...

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Dan Brown


Watch the book trailer here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4brbdYz8qu0...

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Happiest Kids in the World

Rina Mae Acosta and Michele Hutchison

Dutch children are the happiest kids in the world, according to UNICEF studies of child well-being in 2007 and 2013. Why is that? Is the Dutch approach to parenting really that different? In their book The Happiest Kids in the World, American writer Rina Mae Acosta and British writer Michele Hutchison – both married to …...

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Mohsin Hamid

Exit West

Mohsin Hamid returned to The John Adams Institute, this time to discuss his new novel Exit West,  also translated and published as Exit West by De Bezige Bij. In a country teetering on the brink of civil war, two young people meet and fall in love. The sensual and fiercely independent Nadia and gentle, restrained Saeed. When …...

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Nicole Krauss

Forest Dark

Bestselling American novelist Nicole Krauss joined the John Adams Institute to discuss her new novel Forest Dark, translated as Donker Woud by Ambo Anthos. The New York Times described Krauss as “one of America’s most important novelists”, and is best known for her novel The History of Love. Forest Dark is a story about the personal …...

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Martin Ford

Rise of the Robots

In his book Rise of the Robots (winner of the FT and McKinsey Business Book of the Year Award), Silicon Valley entrepreneur Martin Ford looks at the impact on labor of robotisation and automation. They have made production so efficient that companies can now produce vast quantities of goods virtually without the help of human …...

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Trump’s First 100 Days

With Thomas Frank, Will Englund and Greg Shapiro

Listen, Liberal – or: Whatever Happened to the Party of the People? is the title of the newest best-selling book by Thomas Frank, political analyst and historian. In his previous book What’s the Matter with Kansas? How Conservatives Won the Heart of America (2004) Frank already explored the rise of populist conservatism in the US, focusing …...

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Amy Webb

The Signals Are Talking: How Today's Fringe Becomes Tomorrow's Mainstream

How do you spot the emerging trends in business, technology and culture so that you can distinguish the trend from the trendy? Futurist Amy Webb, founder of the Future Today Institute, visited the John Adams to discuss her new book The Signals Are Talking – about how to predict which of all the seemingly random …...

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Joby Warrick

Black Flags: The Rise of ISIS

Two time Pulitzer Prize winning journalist Joby Warrick (Washington Post) visited the John Adams to discuss his new book Black Flags: The Rise of ISIS, translated into Dutch by Uitgeverij Q. In this book, Warrick tells the story of Abu Musab Al-Zarqawi, the founding father of the organization that would become the Islamic State. Drawing on unique …...

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