Russell Shorto 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. 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. Mr Shorto's books have been published in fourteen languages and have won numerous awards. He is a contributing writer at the New York Times Magazine. Mr Shorto believes history is at its most vital when it is embedded in the stories of individuals in conflict.