Historian and journalist Russell Shorto will present his new book, “Amsterdam: A History of the World’s Most Liberal City” to the US public this fall, starting in New York at the New York Historical Society and The Netherland Club on the 28th and 29th of October.
Almost 350 years after the short-lived Dutch rule came to an end on Manhattan, traces of “New Amsterdam” can still be found in everything from street names to the design of the official flag of New York City. Using the history of Amsterdam as a backdrop, Shorto explains why we also have the Dutch to thank for some of New York’s most celebrated and enduring characteristics, including its cultural and religious diversity.
Shorto: ”My new book is about a place. And it’s about an idea: “liberalism.” Liberalism has many meanings, but in its classical sense it is a philosophy based on individual freedom. History has long taught that our modern sensibility comes from the eighteenth century Enlightenment. In recent decades, historians have seen the Dutch Enlightenment of the seventeenth century as the root of the wider Enlightenment. And at the center of this sits the city of Amsterdam. The city today is infamous for its permissiveness. But the sex-and-drugs sense of liberalism relates back to the wider, grander sense of the word. There is a connection between the city that spawned Spinoza and the city where John and Yoko came to hold their Bed-In for Peace.”
Oct 28 Speaking: “From Amsterdam to New Amsterdam”: New-York Historical Society, 6:30pm.
Oct 29 “Amsterdam,” reception, Netherland Club of New York. Sponsored by Netherland America Foundation, the Dutch Consulate and the John Adams Institute. 6PM.
Oct 30 “Amsterdam,” talk & signing, Exchange Conference Center, Boston. Noon-1:30PM.
Oct 30 “Amsterdam,” talk & signing Greenlight Books, 686 Fulton Street, Brooklyn. 7:30PM.
Nov 1 “Amsterdam,” talk, Dutch Financial Club, New York City. Noon.
Nov 2 “Amsterdam,” talk & signing, Northshire Books, 422 Broadway, Saratoga Springs, NY. 7PM.
Nov 5 “Amsterdam,” talk & signing, Occidental College, Los Angeles. 4:30PM.
Nov 6 “Amsterdam,” talk & signing, U.C. Berkeley Journalism School, Berkeley. 1:30-2:45PM.
Nov 6 “Amsterdam,” talk & signing, Consul General of the Netherlands, San Francisco. 6:30-8PM.
Nov 7 “Amsterdam,” reception & signing, Dutch Ambassador’s Residence, Washington. 5PM.
Nov 8 “Amsterdam,” talk & signing, Politics & Prose, 5015 Connecticut Ave., Washington. 7PM.
Nov 13 “Amsterdam,” talk & signing, The Carter Library, 441 Freedom Parkway, Atlanta. 7PM.
Nov 14 “Amsterdam,” talk, Netherlands American Chamber of Commerce, Emory University, Atlanta. 8-9:30AM.
Nov 18 “Amsterdam,” talk & reception, Chicago Council on Global Affairs, Chicago. 6-7:15PM.
Nov 23/24 “Amsterdam,” talk and signing, Miami Book Fair, Miami-Dade College.