New Amsterdam Podcasts

New Amsterdam Man: An Interview with Russell Shorto

The Bowery Boys Podcast is headed to Amsterdam and other parts of the Netherlands for a very special mini-series, marking the 400th anniversary of the Dutch first settling in North America in the region that today we call New York City.

But before they go, they’re kicking off their international voyage with a special conversation — with the man who inspired the journey.

Chances are good that if your bookshelf contains a respectable number of New York City history books, we imagine that one of those is The Island at the Center of the World: The Epic Story of Dutch Manhattan and the Forgotten Colony That Shaped America, written by Russell Shorto.

The best-selling book re-introduced the Dutch presence in America to a new generation of readers and revitalized interest in New York City history when it was published in 2004.

Kevin Baker (a recent guest on our show), penning the original review for the New York Times, proclaimed “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.” 

And so before Greg and Tom begin their mini-series by speaking with Shorto about his classic book, his experiences in Amsterdam and his work with the New-York Historical Society, where he has curated a new exhibition New York Before New York: The Castello Plan of New Amsterdam.

Russell also gives Tom and Greg some tips on places to go and advice on how to explore Amsterdam’s old canals and corridors. Is it possible to find traces of New York City’s past in that city’s present?

And then — immediately after the interview — they head for the airport!



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