Author: Russell Shorto
Release Date: 2005
A history of the Dutch role in the establishment of Manhattan discusses the rivalry between England and the Dutch Republic, focusing on the power struggle between Holland governor Peter Stuyvesant and politician Adriaen van der Donck that shaped New York's culture and social freedoms. Reprint. 50,000 first printing.
Author: Russell Shorto
Release Date: 2005-04-12
A gripping narrative of New Netherland–a story of global sweep centered on a wilderness called Manhattan–that transforms our understanding of early America. When the British wrested New Amsterdam from the Dutch in 1664, the truth about its thriving, polyglot society began to disappear into myths about an island purchased for 24 dollars and a cartoonish peg-legged governor. But the story of the Dutch colony of New Netherland was merely lost, not destroyed: 12,000 pages of its records–recently declared a national treasure–are now being translated. Russell Shorto draws on this remarkable archive in The Island at the Center of the World, which has been hailed by The New York Times as “a book that will permanently alter the way we regard our collective past.” The Dutch colony pre-dated the “original” thirteen colonies, yet it seems strikingly familiar. Its capital was cosmopolitan and multi-ethnic, and its citizens valued free trade, individual rights, and religious freedom. Their champion was a progressive, young lawyer named Adriaen van der Donck, who emerges in these pages as a forgotten American patriot and whose political vision brought him into conflict with Peter Stuyvesant, the autocratic director of the Dutch colony. The struggle between these two strong-willed men laid the foundation for New York City and helped shape American culture. The Island at the Center of the World uncovers a lost world and offers a surprising new perspective on our own.
Author: Russell Shorto
Publisher: Hachette UK
Release Date: 2013-11-01
When the British wrested New Amsterdam from the Dutch in 1664, the truth about its thriving, polyglot society began to disappear into myths about an island purchased for 24 dollars and a cartoonish peg-legged governor. But the story of the Dutch colony of New Netherland was merely lost, not destroyed. Drawing on the archives of the New Netherland Project, Russell Shorto has created a gripping narrative that transforms our understanding of early America. The Dutch colony pre-dated the 'original' thirteen colonies, yet it seems strikingly familiar. Its capital was cosmopolitan and multi-ethnic, and its citizens valued free trade, individual rights, and religious freedom. Their champion was a progressive, young lawyer named Adriaen van der Donck, who emerges in these pages as a forgotten American patriot and whose political vision brought him into conflict with Peter Stuyvesant, the autocratic director of the Dutch colony. The struggle between these two strong-willed men laid the foundation for New York City and helped shape American culture. The Island at the Center of the World uncovers a lost world and offers a surprising new perspective on our own.
This comprehensive guide to touring important sites of Dutch history also serves as an engrossing cultural and historical reference. A variety of internationally renowned scholars explore such topics as Dutch art and architecture, Dutch cooking, immigration in the 19th and 20th centuries, furniture and antiques, and much more. Color photographs and maps throughout. "An expansive guidebook." — The New York Times.
Author: Russell Shorto
Release Date: 2008-10-14
Sixteen years after René Descartes' death in Stockholm in 1650, a pious French ambassador exhumed the remains of the controversial philosopher to transport them back to Paris. Thus began a 350-year saga that saw Descartes' bones traverse a continent, passing between kings, philosophers, poets, and painters. But as Russell Shorto shows in this deeply engaging book, Descartes' bones also played a role in some of the most momentous episodes in history, which are also part of the philosopher's metaphorical remains: the birth of science, the rise of democracy, and the earliest debates between reason and faith. Descartes' Bones is a flesh-and-blood story about the battle between religion and rationalism that rages to this day. A New York Times Notable Book
Author: Russell Shorto
Publisher: Vintage Books
Release Date: 2014-08
A historical portrait of the Netherlands capital and the ideas that make it unique explores the ongoing efforts of its citizens to navigate its seaside challenges and democratic philosophies, revealing how the liberal ideals that evolved there throughout time have had a profound influence and are being compromised in today's world.
Pulitzer Prize Finalist and Anisfield-Wolf Award Winner In New York Burning, Bancroft Prize-winning historian Jill Lepore recounts these dramatic events of 1741, when ten fires blazed across Manhattan and panicked whites suspecting it to be the work a slave uprising went on a rampage. In the end, thirteen black men were burned at the stake, seventeen were hanged and more than one hundred black men and women were thrown into a dungeon beneath City Hall. Even back in the seventeenth century, the city was a rich mosaic of cultures, communities and colors, with slaves making up a full one-fifth of the population. Exploring the political and social climate of the times, Lepore dramatically shows how, in a city rife with state intrigue and terror, the threat of black rebellion united the white political pluralities in a frenzy of racial fear and violence.
Author: Russell Shorto
Publisher: W. W. Norton
Release Date: 2017-11-07
With America's founding principles being debated today as never before, Russell Shorto looks back to the era in which those principles were forged. Drawing on new sources, he weaves the lives of six people into a seamless narrative that casts fresh light on the range of experience in colonial America on the cusp of revolution. While some of the protagonists--a Native American warrior, a British aristocrat, George Washington--play major roles on the field of battle, others--a woman, a slave, and a laborer--struggle no less valiantly to realize freedom for themselves. Through these lives we understand that the Revolution was, indeed, fought over the meaning of individual freedom, a philosophical idea that became a force for violent change. A powerful narrative and a brilliant defense of American values, Revolution Song makes the compelling case that the American Revolution is still being fought today and that its ideals are worth defending.
Author: Russell Shorto
Publisher: Open Road Media
Release Date: 2012-09-04
Russell Shorto meticulously investigates Christian history and the Bible’s New Testament to reveal the true, historical Jesus Christ. For roughly two thousand years, the world has known only the biblical depiction of Jesus: the virgin birth, miraculous life, and resurrection. Recently, scholars have pursued the historical Jesus Christ by poring through texts, examining ancient documents, and even holding votes. They make a fresh attempt to answer some of history’s greatest questions: Who was he? Where did he live? What did he think? And was the Bible’s account true? In Gospel Truth, bestselling author Russell Shorto (The Island at the Center of the World) brings a journalist’s eye to the life of Jesus Christ. Shorto looks into the Jesus Seminar, where historians seek and analyze evidence of the world’s most famous carpenter’s son. He compiles their research and ideas to create a composite biographical portrait of Yeshu, a man of ordinary beginnings who changed the world in extraordinary ways. A skillfully compiled biblical interpretation, Shorto shows “a Jesus stripped of the unhistorical” (Library Journal). The result will fascinate believers and nonbelievers alike.
Author: Charles River Charles River Editors
Release Date: 2017-01-26
*Includes pictures *Includes accounts of Henry Hudson's expedition around Manhattan and relations with the Lenape natives *Includes accounts of trade and warfare between the Europeans and natives around New Amsterdam *Includes online resources and a bibliography for further reading *Includes a table of contents Manhattan has long been part of a bustling community, even before it formed the backbone of New York City. Centuries before New York City became a shining city of steel that enthralled millions of immigrants, Lenni-Lenape Indians, an Algonquin-speaking tribe whose name means "the People," lived in what would become New York, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania. They had lived there for at least 1,500 years and were mainly hunters and gatherers who would use well-worn paths that would one day bear the names of Flatbush Avenue, King's Highway, and Broadway. The first known European sightings of the island and its inhabitants were made by the Italian explorer Giovanni da Verrazzano in 1524 and by the black Portuguese explorer Estaban Gomez in 1526. After the Englishman Henry Hudson, under the aegis of the Dutch East India Company, sailed by Manhattan in 1609, he returned home with good news and bad news. Like the other explorers before him, he hadn't been able to find a water route to the Orient. He had, however, returned with maps (confiscated by the British) and beaver pelts. With that, it became clear that the region around the bay that would take Hudson's name was a very promising new territory for trade and settlement, which would become a serious bone of contention between the Dutch and the British for the rest of the century. 1626 was also the year that the famous "purchase" of Manhattan took place, a transaction for which no record has survived. Peter Minuit, the Director-General of New Amsterdam, paid out sixty guilders' worth of trade goods like cloth, kettles, tools, and wampum-an amount that's come down in history as being worth $24. While that sounds perversely low today, accountant types like to speculate with this amount, if the Lenni-Lenapes had invested it at a 10% interest rate over the centuries, it would today be worth $117 quadrillion-enough to buy present-day Manhattan many, many times over. Many such purchases took place, but because Native Americans and Europeans had very different concepts of what it meant to "own" or "sell" land, misunderstandings-and violence-would frequently break out on both sides. Minor (and often unsubstantiated) thefts of property could ignite the colonists' wrath, resulting in such bloody skirmishes as the Pig War (1640) and the Peach Tree War (1655), named for the items allegedly stolen. When the West India Company, which presided over Dutch trade in the Americas, was created in 1621, the little settlement at the tip of Manhattan began to both grow and falter. When Willem Kieft arrived as director in 1638, it was already a sort of den of iniquity, full of "mischief and perversity," where residents were given over to smoking and drinking grog and beer. Under Kieft's reign, more land was acquired mostly through bloody, all-but-exterminating wars with the Native American population, whose numbers also dwindled at the hands of European-borne diseases. Ultimately, of course, conflict between England and the Netherlands across the Atlantic brought about changes that affected the New World and led to the English taking over New Amsterdam and renaming it New York City. Indeed, Dutch possessions in North America only lasted about 50 years, but by then, they had paved a path for New York to become a diverse financial center. New Amsterdam: The History of the Dutch Settlement Before It Became New York City chronicles the origins of the settlement and profiles the indigenous people who were there. Along with pictures of important people, places, and events, you will learn about New Amsterdam like never before, in no time at all.
In this hugely appealing book, a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize, acclaimed author and journalist Daniel Okrent weaves together themes of money, politics, art, architecture, business, and society to tell the story of the majestic suite of buildings that came to dominate the heart of midtown Manhattan and with it, for a time, the heart of the world. At the center of Okrent?s riveting story are four remarkable individuals?tycoon John D. Rockefeller, his ambitious son Nelson Rockefeller, real estate genius John R. Todd, and visionary skyscraper architect Raymond Hood. In the tradition of David McCullough?s The Great Bridge, Ron Chernow?s Titan, and Robert Caro?s The Power Broker, Great Fortune is a stunning tribute to an American landmark that captures the heart and spirit of New York at its apotheosis.
"The story of New Netherland is told in a highly readable fashion suitable for anyone unfamiliar with this important chapter in U.S. colonial history. From the exploration of Henry Hudson in 1609 to the final transfer of the Dutch colony to the English in 1674,this book introduces key aspects of New Netherland: the multicultural makeup of the population, the privatization of colonization, the ability to survive with meager means against overwhelming odds, and the transfer of distinctive Dutch traits, such as toleration, free trade, and social mobility, all of which persisted long after New Netherland became New York, New Jersey, Delaware, and parts of Connecticut and Pennsylvania. New Netherland in a Nutshell will satisfy the questions: who were the Dutch, why did they come here, and what did they do once they got here?" -- Publisher's description.