New Netherland in a Nutshell

New Netherland in a Nutshell

New Netherland Institute


By Firth Fabend.


The story of New Netherland is told in a highly readable fashion suitable for anyone unfamiliar with this important chapter in U.S. colonial history. From the exploration of Henry Hudson in 1609 to the final transfer of the Dutch colony to the English in 1674,this book introduces key aspects of New Netherland: the multicultural makeup of the population, the privatization of colonization, the ability to survive with meager means against overwhelming odds, and the transfer of distinctive Dutch traits, such as toleration, free trade, and social mobility, all of which persisted long after New Netherland became New York, New Jersey, Delaware, and parts of Connecticut and Pennsylvania. New Netherland in a Nutshell will satisfy the questions: who were the Dutch, why did they come here, and what did they do once they got here?

“For anyone seeking to answer the question, ‘What was New Netherland?’ this little volume is a handy, richly packed resource. It gives you the background, the actors, the action, and the legacy. In clear prose, it covers a lot of history in a few pages.”- Russell Shorto, author of The Island at the Center of the World

The title of this work conjures up an elusive aspiration, which is difficult to approach and seldom achieved: conciseness. I remember as a student in Germany coming across a “short history” of early Hungary in five volumes. Simply said, one of the most challenging tasks to ask of a historian is that she expound on a subject dear to her heart but with brevity. Few succeed. New Netherland in a Nutshell is an exception. Brevity, however, was not the only parameter. It also had to be written in a style accessible to young adults, be comprehensive in content, and factually correct. Firth Fabend has been able to put all of the above together without sacrificing one for the other.- Dr. Charles Gehring, Director of the New Netherland Research Center