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Sunday, June 12, 2005

GEL 2005 - Russell Shorto & Charles Gehring

Russell Shorto and Charles Gehring shared the stage in this session. Charles has spent many years translating the original Dutch documents of New Amsterdam (New York). His work enabled Russell to write The Island at the Center of the World.

While this was some dry material compared to what had transpired earlier, it was none the less insightful and interesting. What Charles enabled Russell to do was to tell a good story by providing the raw historical material. The documents had amazingly survived the years, although in some cases less well than others. Some comparisons between the document in Albany and The Hague were clear and distinct.

Bottom line, the research shows that New York is the metropolis it is today due more to its Dutch origins than to its English and ultimately American heritage. For more details, we'll need to read the book.

The book should be a good read. I have added it to my list for the summer.

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