The University Honors Program, The
Institute for Core Studies and The History Department
Author: Russell Shorto Director, John Adams Institute,
Amsterdam Contributing Writer, New York Times Magazine and
author of The Island at the Center of the World.
Praise for The Island at the Center of the
“Russell Shorto’s dramatic adventure tale about the settling of
Manhattan will transform the way we look at American history. The
Dutch colony, founded just three years after the Puritans landed in
Massachusetts, quickly became the gateway for Germans, Italians,
Jews, Scandinavians, Africans, and others who created the
pluralistic mix that would define a new nation. Shorto’s book
recounts the fascinating struggle between Peter Stuyvesant and the
lesser-known but more influential Adriaen van der Donck, whose
appreciation for individual tolerance laid the foundation for our
Bill of Rights and helped to create our national character. It’s
also the story of the remarkable age of exploration led by Henry
Hudson and others who spread the culture of the European
Renaissance to a distant wilderness. Based on a wealth of documents
that archivist began translating forty years ago, Shorto has
produced both a triumph of scholarship and a rollicking narrative.
The result is an exciting drama about the roots of America’s
freedoms.” —Walter Isaacson, author of Benjamin Franklin: An
Russell Shorto is an American author, historian and journalist,
best known for his book on the Dutch origins of New York City, The
Island at the Center of the World.
Born in Johnstown, Pennsylvania on February 8, 1959, Shorto is a
1981 graduate of George Washington University. He is a contributing
writer for The New York Times Magazine and is the Director of The
John Adams Institute in Amsterdam, where he has lived since
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October 5th, 2011
6:00 pm - 7:15 pm
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