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Used Book in Good Condition.
Imported from USA.
When the British wrested New Amsterdam from the Dutch in 1664,
the truth about its thriving, polyglot society began to disappear
into myths about an island purchased for 24 dollars and a
cartoonish peg-legged governor. But the story of the Dutch colony
of New Netherland was merely lost, not destroyed: 12,000 pages of
its recordsârecently declared a national treasureâare now
being translated. Drawing on this remarkable archive, Russell
Shorto has created a gripping narrativeâa story of global sweep
centered on a wilderness called Manhattanâthat transforms our
understanding of early America.
The Dutch colony pre-dated the âoriginalâ thirteen colonies,
yet it seems strikingly familiar. Its capital was cosmopolitan
and multi-ethnic, and its citizens valued free trade, individual
rights, and religious freedom. Their champion was a progressive,
young lawyer named Adriaen van der Donck, who emerges in these
pages as a forgotten American patriot and whose political vision
brought him into conflict with Peter Stuyvesant, the autocratic
director of the Dutch colony. The struggle between these two
strong-willed men laid the foundation for New York City and
helped shape American culture. The Island at the Center of the
World uncovers a lost world and offers a surprising new
perspective on our own.