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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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Errol Morris

Documentary 'American Dharma' & Doc Talk

The John Adams presents, in cooperation with IDFA, the documentary American Dharma about Steve Bannon. The screening will be followed by a discussion between filmmaker Errol Morris and journalist Eelco Bosch van Rosenthal. The movie is an extensive interview by Morris with Steve Bannon, head of the 2016 Trump campaign, former White House Chief Strategist …...

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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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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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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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Obama: Dream & Legacy

Guus Valk and Eelco Bosch van Rosenthal

What have eight years of Barack Obama brought the U.S.? Was the change he promised America for better or worse? Two top Dutch experts on changing American society took the stage at the John Adams Institute to explore topics such as the vanishing middle class, immigration and inequality, the decline of many important American institutions, …...

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Kim Ghattas

The Secretary: A Journey with Hillary Clinton from Beirut to the Heart of American Power

Kim Ghattas, who has covered the U.S. State Department for the BBC since 2008, has written a gracious, nuanced book about Hillary Clinton’s years as Secretary of State. Ghattas logged 300,000 miles as she traveled with Clinton to 40 countries. In that time, she conducted 18 interviews with Clinton. The result is a portrait that …...

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Peter Bergen


Peter Bergen is one of America’s foremost national security experts. His books have all been about Al Qaeda and Osama Bin Laden, whom Bergen interviewed for CNN. Bergen then focused all of that experience into a riveting account of the long hunt for Bin Laden. While the book Manhunt often reads like a thriller, it also …...

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Isabel Wilkerson

The Warmth of Other Suns

The John Adams Institute, in cooperation with the US Embassy in The Hague, proudly presented an evening with journalist and writer Isabel Wilkerson. Almost everything you know about the black American experience relates to one thing: the so-called Great Migration, when millions of people left harsh conditions in the South for a better life in …...

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Kelly Nyks

Split: A Divided America

Dutch politics is all about consensus–which is one reason Dutch people find American politics so bizarre. The shooting in Arizona of Rep. Gabrielle Giffords last month–in which 6 people were murdered–brought new attention to the crisis underlying American politics. A special screening of a documentary that explores the great political divide that threatens to pull …...

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E. Benjamin Skinner

A Crime So Monstrous

There are more slaves in the world now than at any other time in history. E. Benjamin Skinner’s A Crime So Monstrous is an in-depth, ground-level account of slavery today. Skinner’s important book names, takes us down alleys and into buildings where human beings are bought and sold, and exposes the whole trade. Supporters of the book …...

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Reverend Jesse Jackson

Hyphen-Nation: Public keynote address

From the civil rights marches of the 1960s, the Rev. Jesse Jackson has been at the core of the American civil rights movement. He made history as an African American running for president in the 1980s, and the image of him weeping for joy on the night of Barack Obama’s election brought things full circle …...

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Jane Alison

The Sisters Antipodes

The acclaimed American novelist Jane Alison wrote a memoir of her exotic childhood, and did so, in the words of the Boston Globe, “with the insight of a novelist and the language of a poet.” It is a story—involving double spouse-swapping among diplomats, daughters who were mirror images of one another, and ultimately tragedy—that Alison originally …...

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Malcolm Gladwell

Outliers: The Story of Success

What if the Beatles had never gone to Hamburg in 1960? Would they have become a sensation? What if Bill Gates had been born five years later? Would he have revolutionalized the world? Excellence, we often think, comes from practice. But Malcolm Gladwell, staff writer for The New Yorker and bestselling author of The Tipping Point and Blink, took the …...

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Dexter Filkins

The Forever War

In The Forever War, Dexter Filkins – one of America’s top war correspondents – has produced a book of scintillating beauty, if one can apply such a term to the nightmare that has unfolded in Afghanistan and Iraq. How to sort through the lies, the bombs, the billions of dollars, the thousands of deaths? Filkins stays …...

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Steve Coll

The Bin Ladens: An Arabian Family in the American Century

21 April 2008 One of America’ s most renowned international affairs correspondents came to the John Adams Institute podium to discuss his revelatory book on the Bin Laden family. Steve Coll won the Pulitzer Prize in 2004 forGhost Wars, which showed how 9/11 was an outgrowth of the CIA’ s long involvement in Afghanistan. His …...

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Dana Thomas

Deluxe: How Luxury Lost its Lustre

The topic of luxury today is all about globalization, capitalization, class and culture. Dana Thomas explores with a blend of history, culture and investigative journalism the whole of today’s high-end shopping experience. Thomas answers some pressing questions in her book Deluxe: How Luxury Lost its Lustre: What happened to brands like Louis Vuitton, Gucci and Yves Saint …...

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Michelle Goldberg

Kingdom Coming: The Rise of Christian Nationalism

Investigative journalist Michelle Goldberg joined us to discuss her ideas on the influence of Christian Evangelical organizations on politics, the educational system and the legal system. In her book Kingdom Coming, Goldberg traces the financial and ideological ties of these groups with the Republican Party and how educational programs in many states in the US …...

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Marc Chavannes

On the Axis of Good and Evil

Marc Chavannes, former Washington correspondent and journalism professor, joined the John Adams Institute to discuss his new book On the Axis of Good and Evil (Op de As van Goed en Kwaad – Amerika achter de schermen). Chavannes spent five years at the Washington desk reporting for NRC Handelsblad. In his book, he goes behind …...

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Lewis H. Lapham

Power Talk

30 November 2005 A meeting with the influential American essayist Lewis H. Lapham. Co-presented by IDFA, ISHSS/University of Amsterdam, and the John Adams Institute. Lewis H. Lapham editor of Harper’s Magazine, and star and writer in the film The American Ruling Class (which sees its European premiere at IDFA) shared his views on propaganda, the media, …...

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Eric Schlosser

Reefer Madness: Sex, Drugs and Cheap Labor in the American Black Market

06 October 2005 An award-winning journalist, Schlosser’s first book – Fast Food Nation:The Dark Side of the All-American Meal – is a devastating exposé that spent more than a year on the New York Times bestseller list. His publication – Reefer Madness: Sex, Drugs, and Cheap Labor in the American Black Market – delves into three key components of America’s underground …...

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Barbara Ehrenreich

Nickel and Dimed - On (not) getting by in America

Millions of Americans work full time and more, often juggling two jobs, yet still fall below the poverty line. In Nickel and Dimed: On (not) Getting by in America, journalist and social critic Barbara Ehrenreich goes undercover in low-wage America to experience the grinding treadmill of the ‘working poor’, and discover how they keep body, …...

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Mark Hertsgaard

The Eagle's Shadow

The John Adams Institute, in co-operation with Cossee Publishing House and the University of Amsterdam presented an evening with Mark Hertsgaard. Hertsgaard talked about his book, The Eagle’s Shadow: Why America Fascinates and Infuriates the World. Professor Maarten Brands participated in a discussion with Mark Hertsgaard, giving his views on America and America’s relationship with …...

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Naomi Wolf


14 May 2002 The John Adams Institute welcomed best-selling author Naomi Wolf to speak on her work Misconceptions (Valse Verwachtingen, published by De Arbeiderspers). Wolf, author of The Beauty Myth, has written an uncompromising account of the painful truth of motherhood in contemporary America. Beatrijs Smulders, advocate of Dutch-style confinement, obstetric and author of Veilig …...

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David Yallop

How They Stole the Game

March 7, 1999 The John Adams Institute welcomed the British investigative journalist David A. Yallop, who spoke about his work and his book How They Stole the Game, an expose of the world of soccer with its chicanery, commercialization and pursuit of prestige. The tale of corruption that unfolds is an indictment of how the …...

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Peter Arnett

Live from the Battlefield

On April 27th, 1994, the John Adams Institute hosted an evening with CNN journalist Peter Arnett. He spoke about his experiences while broadcasting from the battlefield, and his autobiography titled Live From the Battlefield: From Vietnam to Baghdad. The evening was moderated by historian and journalist Raymond van den Boogaard. Whether writing for print or broadcasting …...

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Jamaica Kincaid

1989 Jamaica Kincaid was born in 1949 as Elaine Potter Richardson on the island of Antigua. She lived with her stepfather, a carpenter, and her mother until 1965 when she was sent to Westchester, New York to work as an au pair. In Antigua, she completed her secondary education under the British system due to …...

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