Island at the Center of the World

Type: Publications
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The Epic Story of Dutch Manhattan, and the Founding Colony that Shaped America


The Island at the Center of the World is a narrative history of Manhattan’s founding. The argument is that the Dutch founding of Manhattan—and of the colony of New Netherland, which extended across the whole Middle Atlantic region—seeded not only New York’s immigrant culture, but America’s melting pot. I’m a strong believer in the idea that meaning is best conveyed via narrative, which means focusing on individuals and their struggles, and the story I tell centers on two men and their very different ideas about what the wilderness island called Manhattan might become. (Hint on the outcome: neither man got his wish, but both ended up influencing American history in startling and profound ways.) - Author Russell Shorto


The author will be speaking at the NYG&B annual benefit luncheon on Friday, October 26 at 12:30 p.m., and will be signing copies of this and his latest book Revolution Song. To learn more about the event and how to purchase tickets, click here.

Neon CRM by Neon One