Before there were 13 colonies, there was New Netherland. Founded by the Dutch, this tiny community on the edge of the wilderness supported a staggering array of peoples: Norwegians, Germans, Italians, free and slave Africans, Jews, Bohemians, Mohawk Indians, and more. Surrounded by intolerant Puritans, New Netherland took its cues from Amsterdam, Europe's most liberal city. Inevitably the Dutch and the English clashed, and a new nation was born.
With an extraordinary cast of real-life characters, including Rene Descartes and James, the Duke of York, The Island at the Center of the World is a riveting narrative and a landmark in the chronicles of American history.
©2004 Russell Shorto; (P)2004 Recorded Books, LLC
"An important work." (Booklist)
"New York history buffs will be captivated by Shorto's descriptions of Manhattan in its primordial state, of bays full of salmon and oysters, and blue plums and fields of wild strawberries in what is now Midtown." (The New York Times Book Review)
"Shorto reconstructs, in fascinating detail, the little-told story behind the Dutch settlement and its capital, Manhattan....It's hard to imagine any narrator's voice remaining fresh and compelling through 15 hours of sweeping historical narrative, but Ganser comes close." (Publishers Weekly)
Yes as it replaces fiction with facts.
No one in particular.
No, too long and complex.
I like L.J. Gansers voice and style of narrating but I don't appreciate his butchering of Dutch names and words. This was especially bad when he called one of the greatest seafaring man Michelle the Ritter. The name is Michiel de Ruyter.
In the top 20%
It is interesting to see how events and personalities change the course of history, sometimes for the good sometimes not.
I seldom have that luxury of time.
If you are the type that is curious about how things came to be , this could be a good listen for you.
The forgotten history about the roots of the US/Dutch versus the British history taught to all kids
Learning about the Dutch constitution, etc
Recommend this to all people to learn about liberty and how the US really got started.
My all time favorite. The author has taken dry history and made it sound like a present day novel with drama, suspense and human connection.
The intimate small individual human stories make it easier to relate to real people that lived over 300 years ago.
As someone who has roots that trace back to the Dutch in New York but admits to knowing nothing other than the names of these long ago dead relatives, this is a great and very readable story about the lives of those who lived in that area during this surprisingly dynamic time period.
Have not finished this book yet (about 1/2 way thru), but I am enjoying it. It is a very comprehensive and detailed account of the founding of colonies at Manhattan and Albany. Lots of background information on the key figures and what roles they played in the formation of New York. Highly recommend it to colonial America history buffs.
I really enjoyed this book. The early history of NYC was fascinating. The narrator was especially good and did an excellent job with Dutch surnames and places. The only thing that bugged me was that the author was a little to obviously intentional about the fact that this history is just emerging and he was one of the first to tell it. i just wanted to hear the fascinating story. It was a small flaw however, in an otherwise excellent listen.
This audiobook deserves a second listen to absorb further the great amount of information. I always knew the Dutch were great seamen and traders, but this book tells of their culture and how it translated into the lands they explored.
Any book that discusses the exploration of America and the first American settlements. Maybe a book like 1493 or even the book Cod.
His pronunciation of the Dutch names added to the ease of understanding.
I listened on a long road trip. I wish I had been driving through the Hudson River Valley. It would have been even more pleasurable!
I appreciated the comparison between each country's approach toward settlement. The Dutch culture and attitudes were far different from the French, Spanish, Portuguese, and English, and it translated in the development of the new land.
outstanding history lesson. Makes me understand the start of our country and a hugh respect for our forefathers.
Although a history book, it moves like a whodunit rather than a recitation of facts. While the underlying text certainly is written in this way, the narrator really did an excellent job of presenting the story with anticipation and dramatic tension. Because I listen to books as I drive, I am very sensitive to good narration that keeps me alert. This definitely did the trick.
The story itself is fascinating not only for New Yorkers of today, but for all those interested in colonial history. Yet, the story also clearly aims also at making a point about how we understand the contemporary U.S. as well.
This is one of my favorite Audible books so far, and I plan to listen to it again. It was well paced, never had a slow or dull section, and to me, very enlightening.
It expanded my view of our national history and how much the early Dutch settlers had contributed to our American character and values.
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