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The Island at the Center of the World: The Epic Story of Dutch Manhattan and the Forgotten Colony that Shaped America

 
 
Author
Russell Shorto.
Publisher Vintage  
Format paperback
Product Dimensions 8 x 5.2 x 0.8 inches
ISBN 9781400078677
Pages/Publication Date 384/2005
Daedalus Item Code 59749
This item is not available.
Description
When the British wrested New Amsterdam from the Dutch in 1664, the truth about its thriving, polyglot society began to disappear into myths about a cartoonish peg-legged governor and an island purchased for $24 in trinkets. But the story of the Dutch colony of New Netherland was merely filed away, not destroyed; 12,000 pages of early records—recently declared a national treasure—have been unearthed and are currently being translated. Delving into this archive, Russell Shorto has created a revisionist narrative of global sweep centered on the wilderness of Manhattan. Much about the Dutch colony seems strikingly familiar; its capital was cosmopolitan and multi-ethnic, and its citizens valued free trade, individual rights, and religious freedom. A new central figure emerges—a progressive young lawyer named Adriaen van der Donck, whose political vision brought him into conflict with Peter Stuyvesant, the autocratic director of the Dutch colony. The struggle between these strong-willed men laid the foundation for New York City and helped to shape American culture.

"Astonishing.... A book that will permanently alter the way we regard our collective past."—NYTimes

"A masterpiece of storytelling and first-rate intellectual history."—The Wall Street Journal

 
 
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