The Great Debate: Edmund Burke, Thomas Paine, and the Birth of Right and Left

Yuval Levin
William Kristol (moderator)
Tue, March 4th, 2014 | 6:30 pm


For more than two centuries, America’s political culture has been polarized between the left and the right, between a party of progressive ideologies and one of conservative. Two experts explore the roots of American political order through the men who represented each side of the left/right debate at its outset—Edmund Burke and Thomas Paine—and consider how their views continue to shape our current political discourse.

Mr. Smith Goes to Washington (1939)

Robert Post
Linda Greenhouse
Fri, February 21st, 2014 | 7:00 pm


This event is part of the New-York Historical Society's spring 2014 Free Fridays programs, sponsored by Bank of America. Entrance to the film series is free during the Museum's Pay-as-you-wish Friday Nights (6 – 8 pm). No advanced reservations. Tickets are distributed on a first-come, first-served basis beginning at 6 pm. New-York Historical Society members receive priority.

Advise & Consent (1962)

Associate Justice, U.S. Supreme Court, Samuel Alito
Philip C. Bobbitt
Fri, November 15th, 2013 | 7:00 pm


Entrance to the film series is included with Museum Admission during New-York Historical’s Pay-as-you-wish Friday Nights (6 – 8 pm). No advanced reservations. Tickets are distributed on a first-come, first-served basis beginning at 6 pm. New-York Historical Society members receive priority.

Foreign Policy with David Sanger and Richard Haass

David E. Sanger
Richard N. Haass (moderator)
Tue, February 4th, 2014 | 6:30 pm

Note: This event is sold out



Here at home and across the globe, questions regarding U.S. foreign policy and national security are always of critical concern. Focusing on President Obama’s unforeseen foreign policy challenges, David E. Sanger, in conversation with Richard N. Haass, highlights key issues for present and future U.S. foreign policy makers.

Tested by Zion: The Bush Administration and the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict

Elliott Abrams
Tue, March 5th, 2013 | 6:30 pm


How did the Bush Administration’s policies toward the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict evolve in the years following 9/11? Why did the peace negotiations fail? Elliott Abrams, a former White House deputy assistant to the president and deputy national security advisor, provides an insider’s account of the Bush Administration’s crucial role in the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict.

Sophia’s War – Meet the Author Avi

Sun, March 24th, 2013 | 12:30 pm - 1:30 pm

Hear beloved children’s book author and Newbery Medalist, Avi, as he reads from Sophia’s War, talks about digging into the American Revolution, and takes questions from you, the audience! Avi will be available to sign books after the program. This event is a special presentation of the Reading into History family book club

About Sophia's War

Those Angry Days: Roosevelt, Lindbergh, and America’s Fight Over World War II

Lynne Olson
Tom Brokaw (moderator)
Thu, March 28th, 2013 | 6:30 pm

Note: This event is sold out.



At the center of the debate over American intervention in World War II were the two most famous men in America: President Franklin D. Roosevelt and aviator Charles Lindbergh. The stakes could not have been higher; the combatants were larger than life. Join us for a frank discussion of the bitter clash that divided the nation, with the future of democracy and the fate of the free world hanging in the balance.

Making Our Democracy Work: A Judge's View

Stephen Breyer
Tue, May 31st, 2011 | 7:30 pm

How does the Constitution, an 18th-century document, relate to and dictate the laws of a 21st-century society? Through the analysis of past cases, including those concerning slavery, the Cherokee Indians, and detainees at Guantánamo Bay, Justice Stephen Breyer examines the Court’s arduous—and often turbulent—journey to establish its legitimacy as guardian of the Constitution. Having earned the public’s confidence, he expounds how the Court can continue promoting a workable democracy going forward.

Post Elections: The Great Divide

Beverly Gage
Akhil Reed Amar
Jonathan Alter
Christopher Caldwell
Lesley Stahl
Thu, April 28th, 2011 | 7:30 pm

When Barack Obama was elected President, people across the globe anticipated the coming of a new age of American liberalism and bipartisanship. Yet two years after his inauguration, the nation is experiencing a conservative resurgence of dramatic proportions. With Republicans consistently opposing the president’s main platforms and Democrats accusing the president of being too conceding, political disharmony is crippling the legislative process.

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