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The Island at the Center of the World by Russell Shorto

The Island at the Center of the World: The Epic Story of Dutch Manhattan and the Forgotten Colony That Shaped America - Russell Shorto

Read through page 49.

It's odd to call a book both florid and dull, but in this case both adjectives seem apt. In part it's perhaps because the author waxes florid and wordy on topics that are either unimportant or speculative. Why do we need an extended description of the route Henry Hudson might have walked through London from his house to a meeting with the directors of the Muscovy Company, who then turned him down for his intended voyage, after which he wound up being sponsored by a Dutch company instead? This walk through London seems like a fairly meaningless moment in his life, much less to the history of New Amsterdam before it became New York. This book promised to reveal the little-known Dutch influences on America, after which I found it strange to have so much emphasis on Brits rather than Dutch people in the text.

On to the next one.