You guys, I just started this exciting book. My heart's beating fast like it used to on Christmas when I'd get something I really, really, wanted, and I couldn't wait for all the family stuff to be over, so I could put it to use. Where my dorks at can you relate????
It's called The Island at the Center of the World, written by Russell Shorto, and it's all about the Dutch settlement on Manhattan island in the 1600s. According to Shorto, for a long time people thought the history of the island hadn't been written, that everyone on the island were hillbillies up to a certain point, and they didn't have any sort of societal structure. However, it turns out that we just didn't know about the Dutch historical records because England was in combat with the Dutch and won, and therefore England got to write history. So of course the Dutch settlement wasn't worth documenting to them... cause war doesn't work without polarizing the people and propagating the idea of other, lesser, societies in the name of pride.
The deciphering of these records fell into the hands of Charles Gehring, who at the time of receiving the position to translate the delicate records, had just completed is doctoral dissertation on Dutch language of the seventeenth century. I guess it was kind of his dream job. "Thanks to his work, historians are now realizing that, by the last two decades of its existence, the Dutch colony centered on Manhattan had become a vibrant, viable society -- so much so that when the English took over Manhattan they kept its unusually free-form structures, ensuring that the features of the earlier settlement would live on."
So here at my fingertips I have a historical account of the lineage of Manhattan, and perhaps I hold some insight into what brought me here, what brought the industry that brought me here, here, and what brings the daytime population of 4 million (according to a study at NYU conducted in 2012) to Manhattan on any given weekday. Because from the very start, Manhattan has been unique. It has never not been an exception in vibrancy.
Can't wait to continue with it! If you want to read it as well, you can buy the book new or used on Amazon (of course you already knew that). If you buy it by clicking this link, The Pizza Bats will receive a small commission for directing traffic to Amazon.
Have a great day,