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Comment: Good clean copy with no missing pages might be an ex library copy; may contain marginal notes and or highlighting
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Amsterdam: A brief life of the city Paperback – 18 Jan 2001

4.5 out of 5 stars 17 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Paperback: 352 pages
  • Publisher: Vintage; New Ed edition (18 Jan. 2001)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 186046789X
  • ISBN-13: 978-1860467899
  • Product Dimensions: 12.7 x 2.3 x 19.7 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars 17 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 323,961 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Product description

Amazon Review

From its very earliest days when it was no more than a cluster of small farms among the reed banks of the River Amstel, to the present, easygoing, cosmopolitan city with its celebrated red-light district and ganja-filled coffee-bars, Amsterdam has always been a fascinating, individualistic city. Geert Mak, one of Holland's leading journalists, here takes the reader on a riveting topographical journey in a book that is both social history and travel guide. Mak has an all-seeing eye and the best kind of journalistic style; he is always interested in the human angle of things, the smaller truths. He misses nothing; every detail attracts his attention and his imagination, from a medieval shoe rescued from the estuarial mud to the graffiti on the side of a grand house, said to have been applied by a deranged merchant in his own blood, prophesying the city's doom. And what a great cast of characters there is: Jan Vermeer, Rembrandt (who discovered the trick of bidding for his own paintings at auction, so driving up the price), Spinoza, and the tragic Anne Frank, as well as more recent counter-cultural figures such as Johnny the Selfkicker and Kees Hoekert, the "marijuana expert", who once threw a live chicken at Queen Juliana's State coach. --Christopher Hart --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Review

"Lovers of Amsterdam will revel in the exhaustive reconstruction of everyday life in the medieval city" (Independent on Sunday)

"A strong sense of irony and a lively prose style make Geert Mak's Amsterdam one of the most unusual and engaging 'city books' I have read this year" (Sunday Times)

"Mak's brief is... to bring Amsterdam into the modern age. This he does with wit and style. But his real achievement... is to make accessible unfussily - and unsentimentally - one of Europe's most astonishing urban success stories" (James Woodall Financial Times)

"This excellent book is more than essential" (Irvine Welsh)

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Customer reviews

4.5 out of 5 stars
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on 27 March 2001
Format: Paperback
0Comment| 18 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on 23 March 2012
Format: Paperback
0Comment| 7 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
VINE VOICEon 17 May 2012
Format: Paperback|Verified Purchase
0Comment| 3 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on 28 March 2014
Format: Paperback
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on 18 June 2001
Format: Paperback
0Comment| 11 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse

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