On the day of Donald Trump’s election, I happened to be in Amsterdam. That night, while people in the U.S. were still going to the polls, I found myself sitting in front of a room full of nervous-looking Europeans at Paradiso, which is normally a music venue, taking part in a public panel discussion about what was happening across the ocean… Continue to my newyorker.com piece.
Just sent my new manuscript to the publisher. It’ll be at a bookstore near you in fall 2017. It tells the story of the intertwined lives of six people from the era of the American Revolution, and along the way tells the story of the fight for American freedom. Alas, it has much more present-day relevance than I thought it would when I started!
Seventy years ago, John Hersey’s “Hiroshima” took up the entire issue of The New Yorker. It was arguably the most important piece of journalism ever published. My interview with his son, Baird Hersey, appears today on newyorker.com.
This year we decided to take our summer vacation in Amsterdam. For my family, Amsterdam is not just any destination. I lived in the city for seven years and wrote a book about it. My partner, Pamela, lived there for 23 years. We met in Amsterdam. Our son was born in the city. We have friends, family, colleagues, memories and roots there. It is, logically and in our hearts, our second home. And yet, three years after returning to the United States, we realized that it had become shockingly remote in our lives. So while the trip would be a vacation, the real motive was to spend a couple of weeks reclaiming Amsterdam…….
I was born in Johnstown, Pennsylvania. I have three children (Anna, Eva and Anthony) and three step-children (Reinier, Hector and Benjamin). I write books of narrative history; I believe history is most meaningful to us when it manifests itself through individuals in conflict. My books have been published in fourteen languages and have won numerous awards. I am senior scholar at the New Netherland Institute and a contributing writer at the New York Times Magazine. My interests include the past, the present and the future, not necessarily in that order.