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Amsterdam: A History of the World's Most Liberal City Hardcover – 22 Oct 2013


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Product details

  • Hardcover: 368 pages
  • Publisher: Little, Brown (22 Oct. 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1408703475
  • ISBN-13: 978-1408703472
  • Product Dimensions: 16.2 x 4.1 x 24 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 274,751 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description

Review

The story of a great city that has shaped the soul of the world. Masterful reporting, vivid history - the past and present are equally alive in this book (James Gleick, author of The Information: a History, a Theory, a Flood)

An often brilliant - and always enjoyable - investigation of liberalism's Dutch roots. Shorto is once again revealed as a passionate and persuasive historian of culture and ideas (Joseph O’Neill, author of Netherland)

Shorto is an excellent storyteller and rootler of strange facts, and Amsterdam should be issued as standard kit for anyone visiting the city (Guardian)

[Shorto's] fine portraits of individuals are in the Amsterdam tradition, and he has an Amsterdammer's feel for this backwater town that remains the world's laboratory of liberalism (FT)

Rich and eventful . . . [A] book that easily fuses large cultural trends with intimately personal stories (New York Times)

Book Description

This is the first 'biography' of the city of Amsterdam - in the same vein as Peter Ackroyd's London.

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Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Bucharesta on 7 Feb. 2014
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This is an excellent history of the city but also gives some fascinating insights into the development of Dutch culture over the centuries. The Dutch were lucky enough not to suffer the feudal system where the wealth of a nation was concentrated into the hands of a few people (usually at the pointed end of a weapon or naked treachery) and this is still reflected to some extent in society today. The book breathes life into parts of Amsterdam that may not otherwise be discovered by people and would be an interesting read if you are planning to visit the city.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By BRIAN BYRNE on 2 Dec. 2013
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
The history of Amsterdam reads like a novel and is utterly fascinating that a small nation could yield so much power and possess so much wealth not unlike the English empire a couple of centuries later.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By L. Spencer on 14 May 2014
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This is the 2nd book by Russell Shorto I have read (the first was his "Island at the Centre of the World") and I love the way he writes. In both cases he has a great story to tell and tells it brilliantly. Along the way he is genuinely illuminating ... not only about history about about processes and ideas urgently relevant in the modern world.

This has become my favourite book and I will be recommending it heartily to friends.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Judith Mac on 9 Jun. 2014
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This is a very thoroughly researched and readable history of Amsterdam, offering the reader numerous intimate historic details gathered by the author who obviously has a great love and understanding of this unique city. It should have an automatic place on the bookshelf of any past or current resident, and provides an ideal purchase for any visitor who wishes to understand Amsterdam's origins and development over the centuries.
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