A magnet for trade and travellers from all over the world, stylish, cosmopolitan Amsterdam is a city not only of dreams and nightmares, of grand civic architecture and legendary beauty, but also of civil wars, bloody religious purges, and the tragedy of Anne Frank. In this fascinating examination of the city's soul, part history, part travel guide, Geert Mak imaginatively recreates the lives of the early Amsterdammers, and traces Amsterdam's progress from waterlogged settlement to a major financial centre and thriving modern metropolis.
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(198mm x 129mm x 22mm)
The Harvill Press
Publisher: Vintage Publishing
Country of Publication:
UK Kirkus Review »
'Tis commonly said this city is very like Venice,' a widely travelled English visitor wrote of Amsterdam towards the end of the 17th century. 'For my part I believe Amsterdam to be much superior.' In this absorbing book, one of Holland's best-known journalists has traced the history of this captivating city and its people from its earliest days as a primitive settlement amidst a boggy marshland full of reeds and alder thickets. The story passes through the times of the prosperous 16th-century merchant depicted in a painting by Jacobszoon, sitting in his counting house with the profits of his trade on the table before him, to the horrors of the war and the fearful 'Hunger Winter' of 1945 when the empty houses of tens of thousands of deported Jews were plundered for firewood and 1600 Amsterdammers died of starvation in a single month. (Kirkus UK)
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Author Biography - Geert Mak
Geert Mak is a jounalist and historian, and one of Holland's bestselling writers; he is author of the prize-winning In Europe and An Island in Time. Philip Blom was born in Hamburg in 1970 and now works in London as a journalist, novelist and translator.