Friday, May 17

Harvard Book Store Presents (Past Events)Special Events Archive

Adam Gopnik

Adam Gopnik


A Thousand Small Sanities:
The Moral Adventure of Liberalism

Tickets on sale now

This event includes a book signing

Harvard Book Store welcomes celebrated author, critic, and lecturer ADAM GOPNIK—author of Paris to the Moon, At the Stranger’s Gate and more—for a one-man show based on his latest book, A Thousand Small Sanities: The Moral Adventures of Liberalism. This event is co-sponsored by Mass Humanities.

About the Performance

On election night 2016, Adam Gopnik tried—and failed—to reinspire his seventeen year old daughter Olivia with faith in liberal humanism during a long walk around their neighborhood. In this one hour performance, Adam tries to make up for his failure by taking her again, in imagination, on a long tour among the great and sometimes improbable people and places of the liberal vision.  From John Stuart Mill and Harriet Taylor meeting secretly by the rhino’s cage at the London Zoo to plot the emancipation of women, to Bayard Rustin laboring away with a team of students on W.137th Street to make the March on Washington happen, the great enterprising figures of liberalism are introduced and celebrated.  “It’s sort of a ride—kind of Liberal Pirates of the Caribbean,” he announces—”a ride that ends with the surprising truth that the story of liberalism is a story of connection and community, not of isolation and the individual.”

Praise for A Thousand Small Sanities

“Adam Gopnik is one of the greatest thinkers and wordsmiths of our age, and this book may be his most masterful, meaningful, and enjoyable yet. He turns his sweeping intellectual imagination into a conversation with a cross-partisan American longing for a renewal of common life that scarcely knows how to name itself. In an age in which we’ve connected ourselves with scale but without quality, and fractured communal cohesion in part by forgetting our shared liberal inheritance, this book is essential, redemptive reading.” ―Krista Tippett, host, On Being

“Written with Adam Gopnik’s signature wit and charm, A Thousand Small Sanities is also a clarion call at a moment of great danger. This fierce, capacious, and startlingly intelligent defense of a whole political, social, and moral order is essential reading for our time.” ―Stephen Greenblatt, author of The Swerve: How the World Became Modern

Co-Sponsored by Mass Humanities

Mass Humanities

Mass Humanities conducts and supports programs that use history, literature, philosophy, and the other humanities disciplines to enhance and improve civic life in Massachusetts. Learn more at

Purchase the Book
Featured event books will be for sale at the event. Thank you for supporting this author series with your purchases.

Adam Gopnik

Adam Gopnik has been writing for The New Yorker since 1986. He is a three-time winner of the National Magazine Award for Essays and for Criticism and the George Polk Award for Magazine Reporting, and in March of 2013, Gopnik was awarded the medal of Chevalier of the Order of Arts and Letters by the French Republic. The author of numerous bestselling books, including Paris to the Moon, he lives in New York City.

Photo credit: Brigitte Lacombe