The New York Historical Society has named Russell Shorto as executive director of the Diamonstein-Spielvogel Institute for New York City History

Russell Shorto

The Historical Society of New York has appointed Russell Shorto as executive director of the New York City Diamonstein-Spielvogel Institute for History, Politics, and Social Action, which focuses on social activism in the 20th and 21st centuries.

Russell Shorto, historian and journalist, is known for his chronicles of New York’s past, in particular its origins as a Dutch colony. As head of the Institute, Diamonstein-Spielvogel, Russell Short will oversee the creation of a new historical archive of materials on local activism, including the civil rights movement, women’s rights, the LBGTQ + advocacy, and recent action against climate change.

Russell Shorto also writes for the New York Times Magazine and is a senior fellow at the New Zealand Institute at Albany. Shorto said he was very happy about this opportunity.

Russell Shorto also noted that New York has always been a leader in promoting civil rights and social justice in America. For nearly 20 years, he has argued that the tradition is rooted in New York’s Dutch origins. The Diamonshtein-Spilvogel Institute makes it possible to apply this story in the present. Russell Shorto added that he is grateful to Barbaralee Diamonstein-Spielvogel and Louise Mirrer for entrusting me with such a worthy task.

The Diamonstein-Dpielvogel institute was founded this summer to commemorate marginalized communities and individuals at the center of New York’s most important political, social and cultural events of the last century. It also offers research programs, resident scholarships, and short-term scholarships.

Among the first exhibits in the Diamonstein-Dpielvogel Institute’s archives was a compilation of historical documents relating to the High Line of Manhattan and its transformation from an abandoned railway structure to an open public space since 1999. And then documents were presented here on efforts to preserve the historical monuments around the city.

Shorto’s noteworthy appointment as executive director of the Diamonstein-Dpielvogel institute expands efforts to support the commitment to inclusiveness, diversity, social justice, community service, and accessibility so that current and future historians can place the city’s multiple histories in an accurate and meaningful context. This is stated in the statement of Diamonshtein-Shpilvogel.

A historian, and journalist, Russell Shorto

Russell Shorto is the Narrative Story Writer: The Dutch Founding of New York, The History of Amsterdam, The American Revolution. While he was researching the book, I was asked to work as a regular writer at Baruch College in New York, and I turned the workshop into a Tell Your Family Story course. His students filled him with an amazing array of family tales.

And Russell Shorto had an idea: to create an online course in which he could show people how to explore their own family history, taking them with him as he delved into the life and times of his grandfather.

Russel Shorto’s research for the book drew heavily on the work of the New Netherland Project. Now it is known as the New Netherland Research Center and the New Netherland Institute. Shorto has been a Senior Research Fellow at the New Netherlands Research Center since 2013. In November 2017, Russell Shorto published Revolution Song: A Story of American Freedom. It is a story of the American Revolution through the eyes of six Americans from all walks of life.

His most recent work is Smalltime: The Story of My Family and the Mob, published in February 2021. The book is a memoir on Shorto’s family history and the involvement of his ancestors in the American mafia in Johnstown, Pennsylvania.

Russell Shorto is a contributing writer for The New York Times Magazine and was from 2008 to 2013 the director of the John Adams Institute in Amsterdam, where he lived from 2007 to 2013. 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.


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