In an account that blends a novelist's grasp of storytelling with cutting-edge scholarship, The Island at the Center of the World strips Manhattan of its asphalt and brings us back to a wilderness island. Manhattan was populated by wolves and bears which became a prize in the global power struggle between the English and the Dutch. Russell Shorto ...Read MoreIn an account that blends a novelist's grasp of storytelling with cutting-edge scholarship, The Island at the Center of the World strips Manhattan of its asphalt and brings us back to a wilderness island. Manhattan was populated by wolves and bears which became a prize in the global power struggle between the English and the Dutch. Russell Shorto shows that America's founding was not the work of English settlers alone, but rather a result of two seventeenth century powers--Amsterdam and England. It was Amsterdam's most liberal city with an unusual policy of tolerance and a polyglot society dedicated to free trade. Manhattan became the model for the city of New Amsterdam. While the Puritans of New England were founding a society based on intolerance, the Dutch created a free-trade, upwardly-mobile melting pot that would help shape not only New York but America. The men and women who played a part in Manhattan's founding range from the philosopher Rene Descartes to James the Duke of York. At the heart of the story is a bitter power struggle between two men: Peter Stuyvesant, the autocratic director fo the Dutch colony, and a forgotten American hero named Adriaen van der Donck, a maverick, liberal-minded lawyer whose brilliant political gamesmanship, commitment to individual freedom, and exuberant love of his new country would have a lasting impact on the history of this nation.Read Less
Fine in Near Fine jacket. Stated First Edition, March 2004. First Printing with full printing number line. FINE in NEAR FINE price intact dust jacket. A fresh, totally unmarked and tightly bound copy. Pages and printed map endpapers clean and fine. Hardcover of ivory paper over boards with maroon spine titled in gilt, is clean and sharp; tiny bumps to bottom edges of boards. Binding and hinges firm, intact and straight. Unclipped color illustrated jacket lightly edge rubbed, tiny scuffs to front corner tips, otherwise fine. Jacket is in a clear archival protector. A thoroughly researched and well-written history of the Dutch colony that shaped America. 6-1/4 x 9-1/2". xiv + 384 text pages plus 16 pages of black and white illustrations.
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