Russell Shorto

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Russell Shorto in 2010.

Russell Shorto (born February 8, 1959) is an American author, historian and journalist, best known for his book on the Dutch origins of New York City, The Island at the Center of the World.[1] Shorto's research for this book relied greatly on the work of the New Netherland Project (now known as the New Netherland Research Center)[2] and the New Netherland Institute.[3] Shorto is the New Netherland Research Center's 2013 Senior Scholar.

His most recent work, published in October 2013, is Amsterdam: A History of the World's Most Liberal City, which tells the story of the city from its origins, through its Golden Age, to the present day.

Personal life[edit]

Born in Johnstown, Pennsylvania, on February 8, 1959, Shorto is a 1981 graduate of George Washington University. He is a contributing writer for The New York Times Magazine and was (from 2008–13) director of the John Adams Institute (nl) in Amsterdam, where he lived for 6 years, from 2007-13.As of 2014, Shorto resides in Cumberland, Maryland, where he is working on his next book, a narrative history of the American Revolution.[4]

On September 8, 2009, Shorto received a Dutch knighthood in the Order of Orange-Nassau for strengthening the relationship between the Netherlands and the United States through his publications and as Director of the John Adams Institute.



  • Revolution Song: A Story of American Freedom ISBN 978-0-393-24554-7 (New York, W. W. Norton & Company, November 7, 2017).
  • Amsterdam: A History of the World's Most Liberal City ISBN 978-1-408-70348-9 (New York, Doubleday, October 2013).
  • Descartes' Bones: A Skeletal History of the Conflict Between Faith and Reason ISBN 978-0-385-51753-9 (New York, Random House, October 14, 2008).
  • The Island at the Center of the World: The Epic Story of Dutch Manhattan and the Forgotten Colony that Shaped America ISBN 0-385-50349-0 (New York, Doubleday, 2004).
  • Saints and Madmen: How Pioneering Psychiatrists Are Creating a New Science of the Soul ISBN 0-8050-5902-4 (New York, Henry Holt & Company, 1999).
  • Gospel Truth: The New Image of Jesus Emerging from Science and History, and Why It Matters ISBN 1-57322-056-6 (New York, Riverhead Books, 1997).


  1. ^ Russell Shorto, The Island at the Center of the World: The Epic Story of Dutch Manhattan and the Forgotten Colony that Shaped America. First Edition. New York City: Vintage Books (a Division of Random House, 2004; ISBN 1-4000-7867-9
  2. ^ "New Netherland Research Center". Retrieved 2017-06-06. 
  3. ^ "Home". New Netherland Institute. Retrieved 2017-06-06. 
  4. ^ "Contributors: Russell Shorto", National Geographic Traveler, Vol. 31 No. 5, August/September 2014, at page 6.

External links[edit]