February Book of the Month: The Island at the Center of the World


For February, we'll be reading The Island at the Center of the World by Russell Shorto.

Book Description:

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 records–recently declared a national treasure–are now being translated. Drawing on this remarkable archive, Russell Shorto has created a gripping narrative–a story of global sweep centered on a wilderness called Manhattan–that transforms our understanding of early America.

The Dutch colony pre-dated the “original” 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.

 

Though only 1 copy is available at the library, used copies start at $0.89 on amazon.

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  • A former member
    A former member

    Have to go out of town today.

    February 24, 2013

  • Linda K.

    Trying for the concert at uo tomorrow, so book club would be too much, even though I have read the book. My stamina is improving.

    February 23, 2013

  • Barbara K.

    Unfortunately, I will not be able to attend this Sunday, but look forward to the March meeting

    February 22, 2013

  • Barbara G.

    we won't be attending this month.

    February 21, 2013

  • A former member
    A former member

    Sorry to miss this meetup but the Oscars are calling...

    February 21, 2013

  • Barbara G.

    by saying market of choice is cold, I was not talking about temperature. Market of choice has no personality. It feels more like a place where you'd go for a mandatory that a really jerk boss would make you attend. Perhaps everyone can hear better at Market, but the conversation always seemed more interesting and lively at New Day. Also, I prefer backing small business with our patronage than a big place. Having had to attend many mandatory meetings in overly bland rooms with institutional style (think hospital cafeteria), I do not find the market pleasant at all. New day has charm. We'd been attending there for almost every month for 2 yrs. and have been disappointed in the change and now we attend less.

    February 20, 2013

  • Howard B.

    We will attend if the venue is Market of Choice. We will not if it is New Day Bakery.

    November 25, 2012

    • Mollie B.

      The meeting room has a thermostat which can be adjusted when the room is too cold.

      February 20, 2013

    • Mollie B.

      Small typo -- In the second paragraph, I meant to say this --- The noise level outside the meeting room is high enough to make discussion of more than six or eight people IMpossible.

      February 20, 2013

  • Linda K.

    Not sure if I can make it. I had a hip replacement on 2-1.

    February 19, 2013

    • Susanna

      Hope your recovery is swift and you are mobile again soon.

      February 19, 2013

  • A former member
    A former member

    I am enjoying the book and want to attend but it coincides with the Oscars. Is there any desire to change the time of this meetup ?

    February 5, 2013

    • Hopentoshin

      Sounds like a new MeetUps event, perhaps? Oscar night?

      February 18, 2013

  • Linda K.

    Ha! I've already read it. Great book.

    November 26, 2012

  • Barbara G.

    richard and I will attend.

    November 25, 2012

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