John Adams: Jill Lepore over ‘New York Burning’

Date(s) - 20-apr 2023
20:00 - 22:00

De Duif

On April 20th, Harvard-historian Jill Lepore returns to the John Adams, this time to talk about her book ‘New York Burning’ (2005) that has just been translated into Dutch.

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 find a convenient scapegoat on which to pin the crimes: enslaved Black people and poor white settlers. But after a witch-hunt-like series of trials and vigilante justice, no specific plot was ever uncovered.

In her critically acclaimed book, Harvard historian and New Yorker staff writer Jill Lepore revisits the spring and summer of 1741 to confront a sticky contradiction at the heart of American history and society: the dual relationship between slavery and liberty.

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