Russell Shorto

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The Dutch Trump

Saturday, March 11, 2017

On the day of Donald Trump’s election, I happened to be in Amsterdam. That night, while people in the U.S. were still going to the polls, I found myself sitting in front of a room full of nervous-looking Europeans at Paradiso, which is normally a music venue, taking part in a public panel discussion about what was happening across the ocean… Continue to my piece.

Manuscript Submitted!

Friday, December 23, 2016

Just sent my new manuscript to the publisher. It’ll be at a bookstore near you in fall 2017. It tells the story of the intertwined lives of six people from the era of the American Revolution, and along the way tells the story of the fight for American freedom. Alas, it has much more present-day relevance than I thought it would when I started!

This Is Important

Saturday, November 5, 2016

I haven’t been posting on the election. It’s Saturday, three days from D-Day, and it’s entirely possible that the Russian government, in collusion with portions of the FBI, is trying to subvert America’s presidential election. Anyone who reads this who is pro-Trump in sympathy, or anti-Clinton in sympathy, please consider. We pro-Clinton people would be very happy to have debates about abortion or immigration some other time. But right now this is a matter of defending the country from a would-be coup by America’s greatest enemy. If you want to help out over the next three days, consider making some phone calls for Clinton.

Amsterdam Revisited

Tuesday, August 30, 2016

This year we decided to take our summer vacation in Amsterdam. For my family, Amsterdam is not just any destination. I lived in the city for seven years and wrote a book about it. My partner, Pamela, lived there for 23 years. We met in Amsterdam. Our son was born in the city. We have friends, family, colleagues, memories and roots there. It is, logically and in our hearts, our second home. And yet, three years after returning to the United States, we realized that it had become shockingly remote in our lives. So while the trip would be a vacation, the real motive was to spend a couple of weeks reclaiming Amsterdam…….

Continue to my travel article in the New York Times.

The Frozen Mill

Saturday, August 13, 2016

Three years ago I moved to the panhandle of western Maryland. It’s a wild, mountainous region. There are some lovely Victorian town centers, and also hardscrabble hamlets tucked into the valleys that are comprised largely of low-slung ranch houses fronted by chain-link fences and rusted pickup trucks. The past has a way of lingering in such places; there is no economic development to sweep it away, so it just sits there. (My latest post on

photo by dave romero

Hip Hops

Saturday, July 9, 2016

Not long ago, I found myself in a beer-tasting room in upstate New York, looking out on a field of hops and sampling the craft brews of a company called Indian Ladder Farmstead. Among the list of beers chalked on a blackboard was one particularly hoppy creation named “Dr. Paul Matthews I.P.A.” Naturally I felt obliged to inquire about the eponymous doctor. The owner, Dietrich Gehring, told me that the name was an homage. He said his passion for wild hops had led him to Matthews, to whom he referred as the Lord of the Hops…

My latest post on

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