Important Update: 92Y remains open
Does not include service & handling fees, if applicable.
The New York Times hailed Russell Shorto’s groundbreaking bestseller about New York’s founding, The Island at the Center of the World, as “a book that will permanently alter the way we regard our collective past.”
In this fascinating four-part course, Shorto brings us back to the wilderness island of Manhattan and the interplay between its early Dutch settlers and the Munsee tribes that inhabited the area. Sharing knowledge gleaned from newly translated letters, ledgers and accounts, Shorto connects the socio-cultural forces in New Amsterdam to modern-day Manhattan, exploring how the Dutch values present during the colony’s rise remain very much at work today. Through readings (both secondary and primary sources), Shorto explores the entire Dutch era, beginning with Henry Hudson’s arrival on the island in 1609, and delves into the key topics of slavery, the role of women, relations with Native American tribes, and Manhattan’s place in the wider Atlantic world. Shorto explores life in New York’s early days — its frenetic mix of nationalities, how different areas got their names, the abundance of resources, the steady development of trade — with a wealth of historical details, and uncovers the real story of the infamous sale of Manhattan for $24.
Participants will come away with a deepened understanding of the history of New York’s founding, and an influence that is far greater than previously thought.
Sessions will take place on Thursday, May 6, 13, 20 and 27 from 6:30-7:45 pm ET. This program will be recorded and available for later viewing by those who register.
Programs taking place online:An access link will be emailed to you after purchase.
Programs taking place in our NYC facilities:Please read our safety guidelines before visiting our building.
Programs taking place online and in our NYC facilities:Please select which experience you wish to participate in when registering. Online participants will be emailed an access link after purchase. In-person participants should read our safety guidelines before attending the program.
Russell Shorto is the New York Times bestselling author of seven books of narrative history, including The Island at the Center of the World: The Epic Story of Dutch Manhattan and the Forgotten Colony that Shaped the World. His books have been published in 14 languages and have won numerous awards. In 2009 he was given a knighthood by the Dutch government for advancing Dutch-American historical awareness. In 2018 he was inducted into the New York State Writers Hall of Fame. He is Senior Scholar at the New Netherland Institute and a contributing writer at the New York Times Magazine.
The Epic Story of Dutch Manhattan