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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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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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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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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Francis Fukuyama

Liberalism and its Discontents

History has not ended. In fact, it is entering yet another phase, where old forms and ideas clash with present realities. The John Adams Institute is excited to welcome Francis Fukuyama back to Amsterdam to discuss his findings in his newest book, Liberalism and Its Discontents. In this rigorous and trim volume, Fukuyama returns to …...

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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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Madeleine Albright

Hell and Other Destinations

Former U.S. Secretary of State Madeleine Albright returned to the John Adams Institute once more, this time for an online interview with Eelco Bosch van Rosenthal about her new book Hell and Other Destinations, a 21st-Century Memoir. As one of the world’s most admired and tireless public servants, Albright reflects on the final stages of …...

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Online Webinar with Samantha Power and Karel van Oosterom

With her book The Education of an Idealist: A Memoir, Samantha Power – Barack Obama’s ambassador to the United Nations from 2013-2017, Pulitzer Prize winner and human rights advocate – has written an intimate, powerful, and galvanizing memoir. The book traces Power’s distinctly American journey from immigrant to war correspondent to presidential Cabinet official during …...

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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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Francis Fukuyama

In Government We Trust

How will the current COVID-19 crisis influence national democracies and international political relations? Will there be a shift in the balance of powers – between countries, but also between democracies and dictatorships? For insight and knowledge on these matters, we can look to the renowned American political scientist Francis Fukuyama. The John Adams Institute and …...

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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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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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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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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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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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American Perspectives on Diversity

Immigration and diversity: they are the biggest, hottest, most painful issues in the Netherlands. America is the land of diversity. What is the secret to America’s approach? It’s a tiny thing: the hyphen. Everyone in the U.S. has a dual identity: Mexican-American, Italian-American, African-American…America tells newcomers: “Become American, join us…but don’t lose your origins!” Can …...

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Mark Danner

A Helpless Giant? America and the Post-Cold War World

The John Adams Institute presented an evening with writer and journalist Mark Danner. He spoke on American Foreign Policy after the Cold War. Danner is a former staff writer for The New Yorker and frequent contributor to The New York Review of Books. Danner specializes in U.S. foreign affairs, war and politics, and has written extensively …...

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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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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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Alice Walker

Writer as Medium

On May 27th, 1990, writer Alice Walker visited the John Adams Institute to lecture on civil rights and civil participation. Alice Walker was born in Georgia. In 1982 she gained world renown with her novel The Color Purple. The novel was awarded the Pulitzer prize, the American Book award and the National Book Critics Circle award. …...

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Timothy Snyder

The Road to Unfreedom

Democracy and the rule of law in Western societies are under threat, according to Timothy Snyder, professor of history at Yale University, due to Vladimir Putin’s efforts to destabilize neighboring governments and to stir up dissent in countries from France to the United States. The John Adams, in a collaboration with De Balie, is happy …...

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The U.S. Midterm Elections: What’s at Stake?

A John Adams & Fulbright Event with Jonathan Capehart

The John Adams and the Fulbright Center are bringing Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Jonathan Capehart to Amsterdam. Capehart is a contributor to MSNBC, host of “America on the Line” on New York Public Radio (WNYC) and a member of The Washington Post editorial board, where he writes about politics and social issues. He will discuss the upcoming US mid-term elections …...

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Madeleine Albright

Fascism: A Warning

We are happy to announce that former U.S. Secretary of State, Madeleine Albright, is returning to the John Adams Institute to discuss her latest book ‘Fascism: A Warning’, which offers a personal and urgent examination of fascism in the twentieth century and how its legacy shapes today’s world. After her talk, Former Secretary Albright will …...

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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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John A. Farrell

Richard Nixon: The Life

With his book Richard Nixon: The Life, John A. Farrell has written the defining biography of this media-hating president driven by paranoia and pursued by scandals. It is a tour de force, an enthralling biography of America’s darkest president, and has been hailed by critics as brilliantly researched, authoritatively crafted, and lively on the page. It is …...

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Branko Milanovic

Global Inequality: A New Approach for the Age of Globalization

Who are the winners and losers of globalization? One of the world’s leading economists of inequality, the former World Bank economist Branko Milanovic, visited the John Adams to explain the income disparities both within countries and between them, as well as how we got here, and whether there’s a way out. In his book Global Inequality: A New …...

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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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Paul Beatty

The Sellout

The Sellout, “a caustic satire on US racial politics that puts him up there with Mark Twain and Jonathan Swift,” according to the Man Booker Prize jury. The Sellout (translated into Dutch as De Verrader by Uitgeverij Prometheus) tells the story of a young black man who tries to reinstate slavery and racial segregation in a …...

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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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Election Night

Presidential Elections 2016

In collaboration with Paradiso we organised an Election Night event on November 8th. The program switched between CNN, NPO, live speakers and presentations about the election and American history. Kees van Minnen (directeur Roosevelt Study Center en Professor of American History at Ghent University) about the timeTheodor Roosevelt’s spoke at Paradiso while visiting the Netherlands. …...

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StandUp Filosophy at Nieuwe Poort

Following the comedy show by Boom Chicago, JAI Director Tracy Metz will be on a panel at De Nieuwe Poort to discuss several themes of the U.S. Presidential Elections. ...

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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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Mark Landler

Alter Egos: Hillary Clinton, Barack Obama, and the twilight struggle over American Power

The deeply reported story of two supremely ambitious figures, Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton—archrivals who became partners for a time, trailblazers who share a common sense of their historic destiny but hold very different beliefs about how to project American power. In Alter Egos, New York Times White House correspondent Mark Landler takes us inside the …...

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How Data Will Determine The Next President

Timothy Prescott & Andy Tanenbaum

As the United States ramped up for the Presidential election, big data and social data to play an increasingly important role. Social data drove the 2008 presidential election and big data drove the 2012 election. Together with data-analyst Timothy Prescott and computer scientist Andy Tanenbaum we discussed the influence of data analytics on the 2016 …...

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Nigel Hamilton

Commander in Chief: FDR's Battle with Churchill, 1943

In the next installment of the “splendid memoir Roosevelt didn’t get to write” (New York Times), bestselling and award-winning biographer Nigel Hamilton tells the astonishing story of FDR’s year-long, defining battle with Churchill, as the war raged in Africa and Italy. Nigel Hamilton’s Mantle of Command, long-listed for the National Book Award, drew on years of archival …...

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Requiem for the American Dream

Kelly Nyks

In Requiem for the American Dream, Noam Chomsky argues that the collapse of American democratic ideals and the rise of the 1% means that the American dream is harder than ever to achieve. Tracing a half-century of policies designed to favor the most wealthy at the expense of the majority, Chomsky lays bare the costly debris left …...

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Kate Andersen Brower

The Residence

“Downton Abbey meets House of Cards”. From the mystique of the glamorous Kennedys to the tumult that surrounded Bill and Hillary Clinton during the president’s impeachment to the historic tenure of Barack and Michelle Obama, each new administration brings a unique set of personalities to the White House – and a new set of challenges …...

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Garry Kasparov

Winter is Coming

The growing rift between Russia and the West represents a conflict between modernity and the past, according to chess grand master-turned human rights activist Garry Kasparov. For over a decade Kasparov has been an outspoken opponent of Vladimir Putin’s growing authoritarianism, but he has also been equally critical of the US and its allies for …...

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Buffy Wicks

Insights to the US Presidential Campaign

What are the odds of Hillary Clinton becoming the next president of the United States, and becoming the most powerful woman in the world? At least she is the favorite candidate in the Democratic primary. But how does the presidential campaign really work? Exactly one year before Election Day, Buffy Wicks, an insider of the …...

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Niall Ferguson

Kissinger the Idealist: 1923-1968

Niall Ferguson, Professor of History at Harvard University and one of the most renowned historians of this age, has returned to the John Adams Institute to discuss part one of his long-awaited biography of Henry Kissinger, former US Secretary of State and foreign policy chief for Presidents Nixon and Ford. Kissinger is widely regarded as …...

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Senator George Mitchell

The Negotiator: Reflections on an American Life

This event was part of our ongoing 2016 Election Series. Previous events in the series were Jennifer Lawless and George Packer. During a political career that spans over four decades, George Mitchell has gained a reputation for his skill in finding compromise and common sense in desperate situations and places. In his aptly-titled memoir The Negotiator, he shares …...

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Bill Browder

Red Notice

Bill Browder, founder and CEO of the hedge fund Hermitage Capital Management, went from being the biggest foreign investor in Russia’s stockmarket to being ‘one of the country’s biggest enemies’, in his own words. His battle against corporate corruption led to the authorities declaring him a “threat to national security” and a prison sentence of …...

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Jennifer Lawless

The US midterm elections: Where do we go from here?

The event was the first in our ongoing 2016 Election Series. Other events in the series are George Packer, Senator George Mitchell, and Buffy Wicks.  The midterm elections revealed the deep divisions within American society. With a Republican majority in both the House of Representatives and the Senate, Obama has a tough last two years ahead …...

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Francis Fukuyama

Political Order and Political Decay

Francis Fukuyama, the renowned professor of political science at Stanford, returns to the John Adams Institute. Three years ago he came to talk about The Origins of Political Order (2011), in which he explained why some societies successfully evolved into fully formed states, while others remain largely governed by tribalism. Now he will discuss its …...

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Ayn Rand

The Fountainhead

Ayn Rand  (1905-1982), the author of the bestsellers Atlas Shrugged and The Fountainhead, is probably one of America’s most controversial political thinkers. With the rise of the Tea Party, her fierce defense of the individual versus the collective is once again at the forefront of American politics. Her opinions have always had less traction in …...

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Glenn Greenwald

No Place to Hide

The journalist Glenn Greenwald broke the biggest news of 2013: in The Guardian he reported on the surveillance by the American National Security Agency brought to light by Edward Snowden’s leaked documents. His stories triggered a fierce debate over national security, the amount of big data government gathers on citizens without their knowledge or consent and the …...

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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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Barbara Kellerman

The End of Leadership

Who will lead? The question has been asked by humans since time began. Alexander, Napoleon, George Washington, Henry Ford, Steve Jobs…history is an endless succession of people who purport to know the way, and of others willing to follow. But things are different now. Barbara Kellerman of Harvard, an expert on leadership, says in The End of …...

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Anne Applebaum

Iron Curtain: The Crushing of Eastern Europe, 1944-1956

What separates Europe’s eastern half from the west? Why did communism take root in the East? How did the Soviet Union dominate there in the aftermath of World War II, and how did societies view the transformation and adapt? Anne Applebaum has mined newly-opened archives to craft a vivid picture of how people believed in …...

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Madeleine Albright

Prague Winter: A Personal Story of Remembrance and War, 1937-1948

The first female Secretary of State in United States history was born Marie Jana Korbelová in Prague in 1937. When she was two years old, her family fled the Nazi threat and escaped to England–for political reasons, she was told. Only later did she learn that she was in fact Jewish. After a stellar career …...

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Shane Jett & Gary Nordlinger

Debate: Obama versus Romney

All-American debate that preceded the 2012 U.S. Presidential Election. For the Republicans: Shane Jett is a former Oklahoma state legislator, a member of the Cherokee Nation, and director of the Citizen Potawatomi Nation’s Community Development Corporation, which provides loans to Native American-owned businesses. For the Democrats: Gary Nordlinger is president of Nordlinger Associates, a political …...

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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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Martha Nussbaum

Creating Capabilities

Martha Nussbaum, professor of law and ethics at the University of Chicago, is one of the world’s foremost philosophers. Her book, the culmination of a career dedicated to social justice issues, highlights one of the conundrums of western societies. As she says, “Leaders of countries often focus on national economic growth alone, but their people, …...

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David Mark

Inside the U.S. Presidential Election: A Discussion with POLITICO editor David Mark

However the Republican race is decided, the fall presidential campaign promises to be extraordinarily combative. Republicans are vehement in their belief that President Obama has used the economic crisis as an excuse to pull the U.S.toward what many of them feel is “socialism.” Democrats believe Obama has done his best to rescue the country from …...

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Deborah Scroggins

Wanted Women: Faith, Lies, and the War on Terror - The Lives of Ayaan Hirsi Ali and Aafia Siddiqui

The Somali-born activist Ayaan Hirsi Ali is lauded in America as a champion of the cause of women within Islam. But the Dutch know her differently. As a member of the Dutch parliament and collaborator of polarizing filmmaker Theo van Gogh, she stirred sharp feelings here. Aafia Siddiqui, a Pakistani neuroscientist and uslim terrorist now …...

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Francis Fukuyama

The Origins of Political Order

One of America’s most distinguished political thinkers took the John Adams Institute stage for the second time to discuss his far-ranging exploration of history and society. Francis Fukuyama’s book is about how states form, but while it goes back into the distant past, its relevance is very up-to-date. How did ancient societies relinquish their tribal …...

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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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Robert D. Kaplan

Monsoon: The Indian Ocean and the Future of Power

Robert Kaplan is one of America’s most provocative and influential writers about power and the future of the world. His books have outlined the threats brought by overpopulation, environmental desecration, and religious fervor. His book, Monsoon: The Indian Ocean and the Future of Power, argues that the Indian Ocean occupies a role that the Mediterranean once did: …...

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David Remnick

The Bridge

As the editor of The New Yorker magazine, David Remnick has been responsible for some of the greatest writing of our time. As an author and journalist, Remnick has also produced transformative bestsellers, beginning with Lenin’s Tomb, about the end of the Soviet Union, and continuing with King of the World, his biography of Muhammad Ali. His book, The Bridge, …...

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Christopher Caldwell

Reflections on the Revolution in Europe

This was the third event in our New America Series, sponsored by the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs. As a senior editor at The Weekly Standard and a contributor to The Financial Times, Christopher Caldwell is a Young Turk (if one can apply the term) in the American conservative movement.  His provocative arguments have covered everything from California’s budget …...

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Saïd Sayrafiezadeh

When Skateboards Will Be Free

Say you grew up in 1970s and 1980s America. Say your father was Iranian and your mother was Jewish.  Say both were radical members of the Socialist Workers Party, who cared more about handing out political leaflets than taking care of you. What would you do?  If you were Saїd Sayrafiezadeh, you would write an …...

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Amy Chua

Day of Empire

The Persian dynasties, the Roman Empire, the Dutch Republic in the 17th century, United States of America: all of these hyperpowers grew to world dominance at a time when they had high concentrations of minorities. Each admitted people who had been persecuted or cast off. And each profited from them. So says Amy Chua in …...

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Shelby Steele

A Bound Man

Barack Obama is the most compelling political figure to come out of the U.S. in at least a generation. At the core of his personality is his biracial background. Shelby Steele -a research fellow at Stanford University and a winner of the National Book Critics’ Circle Award- is also the child of a white mother …...

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Martin Amis

The Second Plane

Britain’s greatest living author came to the John Adams Institute podium on the occasion of the Dutch publication of his new collection of essays about the post-9/11 world, The Second Plane. After spending his early career on the political left, Martin Amis lived for two years in Uruguay and returned to find that, as he later …...

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Paul Auster

Man in the Dark

The John Adams Institute presented an evening with Paul Auster, marking his third visit after his visits in 1990 and 2004. Paul Auster was born in New Jersey, but is most associated with Brooklyn (where he has long lived) and Paris (where he worked as a translator of French literature). He is a writer like no other, …...

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Michael Oreskes

In conversation with Twan Huys

13 May 2008 The intense interest in 2008’s American presidential election has a flipside: the reason all campaigns had the mantra of “change” is that no one was pleased with the country’s recent leadership. The U.S. prides itself on its democracy, and above all on its Constitution. How has the American government strayed so far …...

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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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Madeleine Albright

Memo to the President-Elect

19 February 2008 A one-of-a-kind event with Madeleine Albright: Secretary Albright discussed her book, Memo to the President-Elect, offered her analysis of what the next president must do to restore America’s international standing, and assessed the presidential candidates. This event was a coproduction of the John Adams Institute, the International School for Humanities and Social …...

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Christopher Hitchens

God Is Not Great

13 February 2008 He dismisses Hillary Clinton as “an aging and resentful female” and, regarding Barack Obama, he asks, “why is a man with a white mother considered to be ‘black,’ anyway?” Christopher Hitchens is one of America’s most provocative public intellectuals. In his book, God Is Not Great – a runaway bestseller in the U.S. – …...

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Steve Earle

in conversation with Chris Kijne

Steve Earle -“the hardcore troubadour”- is a legend in rock and country music circles, and nearly as renowned for his politics as for his music. His 2002 album, Jerusalem, was a reaction to President George W. Bush’s “war on terrorism.” The song “John Walker’s Blues,” about the captured American Taliban John Walker Lindh, provoked headlines around …...

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Robert B Reich


President Bill Clinton’s former Secretary of Labor argues in his important book that in the last thirty years capitalism has flourished at the expense of democracy. Robert Reich – one of America’s most renowned economists – says people now see themselves as buyers and sellers first and citizens only later, if at all. The rise …...

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William Easterly

The White Man's Burden

New York University Professor and former World Bank economist William Easterly joined us for a discussion on why the 100 billion USD the rich world yearly dedicates to end poverty in the developing world is for a big part wasted. The Millennium Development Goals, an initiative of the UN directed by Jeffrey Sachs, are the …...

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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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Madeleine Albright

The Mighty and the Almighty

Madeleine Albright returned to the John Adams Institute after her first visit in 2003 to discuss her book The Mighty and the Almighty, translated in Dutch under the title ‘De macht en de almacht’ by Anthos/Manteau. In this book, Madeleine Albright tackles the thorny subject of the role of faith in international relations. Albright rejects …...

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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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Amitai Etzioni

The New Golden Rule

Etzioni was in the Netherlands to launch the Dutch translation of his bestselling book The New Golden Rule: Community and Morality in a Democratic Society (De nieuwe gulden regel) with a preface by Balkenende, who was presented with the first copy in The Hague. A panel of MPs, including Ayaan Hirsi Ali ,Femke Halsema and …...

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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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Jeremy Rifkin

The European Dream

The John Adams Institute hosted an evening with Jeremy Rifkin. As director of the Foundation on Economic Trends in Washington D.C., he is one of the 150 most influential people in the United States capital. He has written seventeen books on the impact of technological changes on the economy and the community. Within his foundation …...

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R. B. Bernstein

John Adams 1780-2005

The first American diplomats in Europe fought an intellectual war for American independence to prove that Americans were intellectual equals deserving the respect of European philosophers. While Benjamin Franklin and Thomas Jefferson exploded the claim that nature and human beings degenerated in the New World, John Adams chose as his battlefield “the divine science of …...

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Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia

A Supreme Court Justice's view on the Netherlands

Having been known for his powerful intellect and unequivocal opinions, Antonin Scalia served 28 years on the U.S. Supreme Court. Having been considered one of the Court’s most conservative justices, he was regarded by George W. Bush as a model for future judicial appointments, which lead to speculation that he could one day occupy the …...

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Walter Russell Mead

Power, Terror, Peace and War: America's Grand Strategy in a World at Risk

The John Adams Institute welcomed Walter Russell Mead, senior fellow in U.S. Foreign Policy at the Council on Foreign Relations, to talk about his latest book: Power, Terror, Peace, and War: America’s Grand Strategy in a World at Risk. Maarten Huygen, commentator for NRC Handelsblad, interviewed Mead and moderated the discussion. Power, Terror, Peace, and War is …...

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Ivo Daalder

America Unbound

The John Adams Institute was proud to present Ivo H. Daalder, senior research fellow at The Brookings Institution in Washington, D.C. and member of the U.S. National Security Council during the Clinton Administration. Publishing house Het Spectrum brought out a Dutch translation of his latest book, America Unbound: The Bush Revolution in Foreign Policy (Amerika ontketend), …...

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Michael Ignatieff

In the Flames

The John Adams Institute welcomed well-known essayist and novelist Michael Ignatieff, who talked about two of his recently published books Charlie Johnson in the Flames and Empire Lite (Charlie Johnsons laatste woord en Afgedwongen vrijheid). Paul Scheffer introduced Michael Ignatieff, conducted the interview as well as moderated questions from the audience. Charlie Johnson in the Flames covers the breakdown of …...

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Madeleine Albright

Madame Secretary: A Memoir

  The John Adams Institute proudly presented an evening with former U.S. Secretary of State Madeleine Albright, who talked about her autobiography Madame Secretary: A Memoir. This autobiography recounts her childhood in the 1930’s as the daughter of a Czechoslovakian diplomat, the family’s flight to London where they spent World War II, their emigration to the …...

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Paul Krugman

Has the Eagle Landed?

Paul Krugman spoke about the latest developments in macro-economics and commented on America’s current economic policy and on the consequences of America being the only superpower in the world. Sweder van Wijnbergen introduceded Paul Krugman and debated with him and the audience on several global and economic issues. Krugman joined The New York Times in …...

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Robert Kagan

Of Paradise and Power: America Vs. Europe in the New World Order

  The Netherlands Atlantic Association together with the John Adams Institute and The Busy Bee Publishing House proudly presented a lecture by Robert Kagan. Kagan’s book Of Paradise and Power had been recently translated into Dutch as Balans van de Macht. Leonard Ornstein, journalist for Netwerk, Dutch National TV, introduced Kagan and interviewed him after his talk. Kagan …...

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Larry Siedentop

The United States and Europe: The European Union Revised

Dr. Larry Siedentrop, political scientist and author, came to the John Adams Insitute to discuss European democracy and the threats to which it is exposed while forming the European Union. He also delved into the differences between the EU and the US. Compared to the US, Europe has an infinitely more difficult task to ‘write …...

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John Mollenkopf

Let's Ask New York: Migration and Immigration in New York and the Netherlands

In cooperation with the Universiteit van Amsterdam, the John Adams Institute held a lecture and panel discussion on migration and integration, and how approaches to this global issue differ in the USA and the Netherlands. John Mollenkopf, Professor at City University of New York, spoke about migration and its social effects. After his lecture, Geert …...

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L. Paul Bremer III

The Changing Threat of International Terrorism

The John Adams Institute presented an evening with L. Paul Bremer III, former U.S. ambassador to the Netherlands. Bremer gave a lecture on the changing threat of international terrorism. According to Bremer, there is a serious need for continued sanctions in states of terror. Bremer is known for leading the occupational authority of Iraq after …...

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Robert D. Kaplan

Eastward to Tartary

The John Adams Institute presented an evening with Robert D. Kaplan, who talked about his book Eastward to Tartary (Oostwaarts, Het Spectrum). Eastward to Tartary is a riveting journey through the wreckage of the old Ottoman empire and into the heart of the oil-rich lands of Central Asia. In the closing years of the nineteenth …...

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Bill Schneider

The Clinton Legacy

The John Adams Institute presented an evening with highly respected journalist and senior CNN political analyst Bill Schneider. Although he guided the United States into a period of exceptional prosperity and global political domination, President Clinton left office as one of the most controversial presidents of the 20th century. He survived a Republican house revolt …...

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Ruth Bader Ginsburg

An Overview of Court Review for Constitutionality in the US

In celebration of 150 years of Dutch constitutional law, the John Adams Institute welcomed the Honorable Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of the United States. During her lecture, Justice Ginsburg discussed the role of the courts in monitoring legislative and executive acts for consistency with the Constitution. Herman Tjeenk Willink …...

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Paul Volcker

The EMU and World Finance

The John Adams Institute was honored to host a lecture by Paul Volcker. After serving as President of the Federal Reserve of New York for many years, Paul Volcker was named Chairman of the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System by President Jimmy Carter in 1979. He held this position until 1987, when …...

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Samuel Huntington

The Clash of Civilizations

To coincide with the Dutch translation of his international bestseller The Clash of Civilizations and the Remaking of World Order, political scientist Samuel Huntington lectured at the John Adams Institute. Huntington wrote The Clash of Civilizations as a result of an article published in Foreign Affairs in 1993, in which he argues that all future …...

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Harry Wu


The John Adams Institute hosted an evening with Chinese-American human rights activist Harry Wu, who introduced his book Troublemaker, written in collaboration with New York Times journalist George Vescey. Wu’s appeal for justice became world news when the United States made his release from detention a condition for First Lady Hillary Clinton’s attendance at the …...

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John Kenneth Galbraith

A Journey Through Economic Time and Where We've Come

The John Adams Institute hosted an evening with legendary American political economist John Kenneth Galbraith, who has become one of the most influential scholars in American politics, not only as professor of economics at Harvard but also as a presidential advisor and political leader. Always unorthodox and controversial, John Kenneth Galbraith has challenged traditional economic …...

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Francis Fukuyama

TRUST: The Social Virtues and the Creation of Prosperty

The John Adams Institute hosted an evening with Francis Fukuyama, former deputy director of the US State Department’s policy staff who started a worldwide debate in 1989 when he published an article which proclaimed the triumph of liberal democracy over all other ideologies and systems of government. ‘The end of history’ became a well-known slogan. …...

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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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Gore Vidal

Author, Politician and Unmatched Maker of Enemies

On February 19th, 1992, writer and politician Gore Vidal visited the John Adams Institute. He was an American writer known for his essays, novels, screenplays, and Broadway plays. A lifelong Democrat, Gore ran for political office twice and was a seasoned political commentator. As well known for his essays as his novels, Vidal wrote for …...

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Bob Shacochis

The Literature of Political Experience

On March 13th, 1991, the John Adams Institute hosted an evening with acclaimed American novelist, short story writer, and literary journalist Bob Shacochis. Moderater Graa Boomsma spoke with Shacochis about politics in literature. Shacochis sees himself as a writer with a political message. He wonders why so many of his fellow American writers shy away …...

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