Sunday, June 7, 2015

Book: The Flemish Contribution to the Discovery and Settlement of America

 Gentle Reader, instead of posting new discoveries here, today I am asking your opinion.

For the past seven years I have posted approximately 140 posts on this blog about various aspects of the Flemish contribution to America. These blogposts have become the core of the material I have used for my talks (given in Brussels, Chicago, Detroit, Koekelare, Lier, New York, San Francisco, and Washington D.C.) and for articles submitted to the Belgian American Historical Society of Chicago, Gazette van Detroit, De Morgen, The Holland Society, the New Netherland Institute, Flanders Today, and the Flanders House Newsletter. 

These blogposts have also been plagiarized by authors in the U.S., Belgium, and the Netherlands for their own articles and books. Oftentimes these authors (some who are well-respected in their professional spheres) have not only lifted my research without attribution, they have copied family photos.

Last year I was approached by a reputable publishing house in Benelux to publish these posts as a book. I was of course flattered and interested. But neither the artistic control nor the economics (10% of net proceeds and a commitment to a run of less than 1000 copies) justified (to me) the effort required to tell the story accurately and completely. And the language medium chosen by the publisher (Dutch) while logical in many respects, meant that an English language version would be pushed off even further. 

Since my original goal was to write something that Flemish-Americans could refer to proudly alongside the other ethnicities of this country, the thrust of that effort struck me as tangential to my original goal.

Regardless of the above concerns, I have been asked by a number of individuals for a book that chronicles the full contribution of the Flemish Contribution to the Discovery and Settlement of America. My efforts thus far suggest a sizable (11"x13"/28cm x 33cm) book of at least 400 pages and heavily illustrated in color. The cost for a limited run will be $150 plus whatever shipping and handling costs (uncertain at this point).

The target date for completion is June, 2016. With copies shipped within 30 days. 

If you are interested in a copy, please kindly e-mail me, David Baeckelandt, at I look forward to hearing from you. Alvast bedankt!