Outdoors Information

Review: Russell Shortos The Island At The Center Of The World


Up to now the preponderant view held by many historians is that Dutch contribution to American history and particularly to that of New York has been one of irrelevancy. As we no doubt realize, the winners write history, and unfortunately, whatever the losers may have contributed, it seems to be lost or forgotten in the shuffle.

Fortunately, during the past thirty years and thanks to the translation of many Dutch records that have been recently discovered pertaining to the early colony of New Netherlands, a different picture has emerged. It is this new perspective that author Russell Shorto has vividly and brilliantly captured in his latest gem of a book entitled, The Island at the Center of the World.

Shorto devotes considerable ink in defending his thesis that the success of Manhattan as a commercial center, or New York, as it was renamed after the British takeover, did not begin with the English but rather had very deep roots in the early Dutch community. It was in fact in the late 1640s that the city of New Amsterdam under Dutch rule began its rise to become North American's shipping hub. Furthermore, one of the key actors who played a pivotal role in the community was, up to now, a long forgotten visionary, Adriaen van der Donck, who often found himself, locked in a power- struggle with Peter Stuyvesant. The latter has always been more recognizable than the former, particularly due to the fact that it was he who surrendered the Dutch colony to the British.

What was very little publicized up to now was that van der Donck had being heavily influenced by the more progressive thinking of some of Europe's most enlightened thinkers as Descartes, Grotius, and Spinoza. It is the freedoms espoused by these thinkers that van der Donck believed in. Eventually, they would find root in the Dutch colony, ultimately becoming the foundation of many of the democratic principles forming the basis of the American cultural, economic and sociological psyche. On the other hand, Stuyvesant, who lacked the same formal education as van der Donck, was stuck in his old tyrannical concepts and narrow- minded prejudices, which effect was to stifle the aspirations of the inhabitants of the Dutch colony. It is fortunate for the USA that the theories and beliefs of van der Donck won out.

As a side note and to indicate the extent of the Dutch influence on American culture, Shorto also reveals such interesting tidbits as what settlers emigrating to the Dutch colony would bring along with them, the derivation of words such as cookies, cole slaw and Santa Claus, that can all trace their roots to the Dutch colony of New Netherlands. We also have an overview and some fascinating insights as to what actually transpired between the Dutch and the English at the time the latter took possession of New Nederland.

Shorto's animated characterizations of individuals and events is consistently enlightening entertaining, informative and balanced, all of which make for a powerful analysis of events that have had an unbelievable influence on American culture, political and economic institutions.

The review was contributed by: NORM GOLDMAN EDITOR OF BOOKPLEASURES
_______________________________________________________________

Norm Goldman is editor of the book reviewing site, Bookpleasures.com and is also editor of the travel site, www.Sketchandtravel.com.

Norm is a regular contributor to many book reviewing sites as well as travel sites.

Norm and his wife Lily are a unique couple as they meld words with watercolors focusing on romantic and wedding destinations.

They are always open to invitations to visit romantic and wedding destinations in New England, Florida and New York.


MORE RESOURCES:
This RSS feed URL is deprecated, please update. New URLs can be found in the footers at https://news.google.com/news


Chron.com

Outdoors report: Dec. 16 - Houston Chronicle
Chron.com
Galveston - Guide James Plaag of Silver King Adventures reported a good bite for trout on Bass Assassins before the front. Most of the fish have been in 5 to 12 feet of water. Matagorda - Tides were almost 3 feet below normal. Guide Scott Sparks ...

and more »


WCBD News 2

Hike It Baby gets parents, babies outdoors
WCBD News 2
CHARLESTON, SC (WCBD) – The Lowcountry chapter of Hike It Baby is here to encourage and help parents to get outdoors with their young children. The goal is to raise a generation to love the outdoors. The groups began in Portland, Oregon and now has 300 ...

and more »


Baltimore Sun

Recreation and outdoors calendar (Dec. 17)
Baltimore Sun
Jay Bernstein jigged up this 32-inch rockfish on the Chesapeake Bay recently. He was fishing with Dale Morton and Martin Abel. (Courtesy photo). The Baltimore Sun. Duck season. Through Jan. 27: Last split of duck season. Daily bag limit is six birds ...



Chicago Sun-Times

Ice sketchy, ducks, walleye/sauger and perch: WWW Chicago outdoors
Chicago Sun-Times
Yet ice is sketchy enough that perch fishing remains the lead for this Wild Weekend Wandering around Chicago outdoors. There are other things, such as trying for lakefront lakers along with the perch; sandhill cranes are at a season high at Jasper ...



KHOU

Win tickets to the 2017 Academy Sports + Outdoors Texas Bowl ...
KHOU
The Texas Longhorns will face Missouri in the 2017 Academy Sports + Outdoors Texas Bowl at NRG Stadium. Enter for a chance to win tickets to the big game on Wednesday, December 27, 2017.

and more »


KHOU

Sutherland Springs family sues Academy Sports + Outdoors
KHOU
SUTHERLAND SPRINGS, Texas – A Sutherland Springs family is suing the retailer that sold church shooter Devin Kelley the assault rifle that killed three of their family members. The Webster Law Firm confirmed the Ward family is suing Academy Sports and ...
Sutherland Springs family sues outdoors store where church shooter ...mySanAntonio.com

all 6 news articles »


Naples Daily News

Grandview at Bay Beach residents to enjoy connection with outdoors
Naples Daily News
FORT MYERS BEACH — Residents of Grandview at Bay Beach, an 11-story luxury high-rise to be built by homebuilder and developer London Bay Homes within the gated Waterside neighborhood at Bay Beach on the southern tip of Fort Myers Beach, will enjoy ...

and more »


KTUL

Oklahoma model railroaders take the hobby to the extreme outdoors
KTUL
Oklahoma model railroaders take the hobby to the extreme outdoors. by Tyler Butler. An hour before our arrival, Hugh Keen had begun shoveling coal, stoking the fire and building steam pressure in his real, functioning steam locomotive. (KTUL). 1st.PNG ...



The Denver Post

GOCO awards $14 million to nine communities to get kids playing ...
The Denver Post
Great Outdoors Colorado on Friday awarded more than $14 million to nine Colorado communities as part of the Inspire Initiative,
$1.4 million GOCO grant will give underserved Eagle River Valley ...Vail Daily News

all 2 news articles »


Kokomo Perspective

Outdoors, travel, leisure: PF Hendricks has it all
Kokomo Perspective
“My slogan is outdoor, travel, and leisure,” said Fritts. “A lot of the things in here are really good for travel. You can wad them up in your suitcase, and they'll survive.” Dominating P.F. Hendricks is a display of Yeti merchandise, ranging from full ...


Google News

home | site map | Ocean Photography
© 2006