Amsterdam A History of the World's Most Liberal City

ISBN-10: 0385534574
ISBN-13: 9780385534574
Edition: N/A
Authors: Russell Shorto
List price: $32.00
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Description: An endlessly entertaining portrait of the city of Amsterdam and the ideas that make it unique, by the author of the acclaimed Island at the Center of the WorldTourists know Amsterdam as a picturesque city of low-slung brick houses lining tidy  More...

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Book details

List price: $32.00
Publisher: Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group
Publication date: 10/22/2013
Binding: Hardcover
Pages: 368
Size: 6.50" wide x 9.75" long x 1.25" tall
Weight: 1.628
Language: English

An endlessly entertaining portrait of the city of Amsterdam and the ideas that make it unique, by the author of the acclaimed Island at the Center of the WorldTourists know Amsterdam as a picturesque city of low-slung brick houses lining tidy canals; student travelers know it for its legal brothels and hash bars; art lovers know it for Rembrandt's glorious portraits.But the deeper history of Amsterdam, what makes it one of the most fascinating places on earth, is bound up in its unique geography-the constant battle of its citizens to keep the sea at bay and the democratic philosophy that this enduring struggle fostered. Amsterdam is the font of liberalism, in both its senses. Tolerance for free thinking and free love make it a place where, in the words of one of its mayors, "craziness is a value." But the city also fostered the deeper meaning of liberalism, one that profoundly influenced America: political and economic freedom. Amsterdam was home not only to religious dissidents and radical thinkers but to the world's first great global corporation.In this effortlessly erudite account, Russell Shorto traces the idiosyncratic evolution of Amsterdam, showing how such disparate elements as herring anatomy, naked Anabaptists parading through the streets, and an intimate gathering in a sixteenth-century wine-tasting room had a profound effect on Dutch-and world-history. Weaving in his own experiences of his adopted home, Shorto provides an ever-surprising, intellectually engaging story of Amsterdam from the building of its first canals in the 1300s, through its brutal struggle for independence, its golden age as a vast empire, to its complex present in which its cherished ideals of liberalism are under siege.

Russell Shorto is the author of "Gospel Truth: The New Image of Jesus Emerging from Science and History," He has written for "GQ," "The New Yorker," "The Miami Herald," "Travel & Leisure," and "The New York Times Magazine," He lives in Putnam Valley, New York, with his wife and their two daughters.

A Bicycle Trip
The Water Problem
The Alteration
The Company
The Liberal City
"The Rare Happiness of Living in a Republic"
Seeds of Influence
The Two Liberalisms
"We Inform You of the Action of a Powerful German Force"
The Magic Center
Postscript
Acknowledgments
Notes
Bibliography
Index

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