Discovering the Dutch
On Culture and Society of the Netherlands
Distributed for Amsterdam University Press
What are the most salient and sparkling facts about the Netherlands that those interested in its history need to know? This volume tackles the heart of this question of Dutch identity through a number of essential themes that run through the culture, history, and society of the Netherlands. Running the gamut from the Randstad to the Dutch Golden Age, from William of Orange to Anne Frank, Discovering the Dutch uses a series of charming vignettes written by academic experts in their fields in order to address historical and contemporary issues such as immigration, tolerance, and the struggle against water, as well as issues of culture—painting, literature, architecture, and design among them.
“Like the paintings of Holland’s Golden Age, the Dutch themselves have many layers of meaning. Discovering the Dutch unravels the mysteries and contradictions of these people, to whom we owe the foundations of western principles of democracy and justice. Did you know that Hans Brinker was more American than Dutch? Want to understand how the Dutch Calvinists literally bet their houses on a tulip bulb? Read this book for these and other fascinating insights.”
“Judicious, useful, expert and concise—it would be hard to imagine a better guide to the cultural and historical reality of Dutch society today.”
“From Rembrandt to Anne Frank, pancakes to coffee shops, canal houses to modern design, this volume explores myths and explodes misconceptions about the Netherlands and ‘Dutchness.’ Whether you are planning to spend a week in Amsterdam or are writing a dissertation on Dutch culture and history, this is a very useful volume.”