Wednesday, July 27, 2011
New Netherlands becomes New York - finally finished with "The Island at the Center of the World"!
I just finished Russell Shorto's "The Island at the Center of the World: The Epic Story of Dutch Manhattan and the Forgotten Colony that Shaped America" and maybe it's just hormones, but I started crying as I read the last page. This is my new favorite book. It took me forever to get through it because life kept getting in the way, but the story Shorto tells and the way he tells it made me fall in love all over again with colonial New York history and my colonial New York ancestry. The world and the people in this book just come alive and jump off the pages and make my fingers itch to do for my colonial family tree branches what I've been trying to do for my more recent family history - really delve into the world they were living in. The book is about Dutch New Amsterdam and New Netherland, which ties into some of my ancestry, but it gives an interesting perspective of my English Long Island heritage, what those people looked like from the other side. If anyone has any kind of early colonial New York ancestry, Dutch or English (or any of the many other nationalities who settled in New Amsterdam), or has any kind of interest in early New York or even early American history, read this book!!