Amsterdam: A History of the World’s Most Liberal City

Amsterdam: A History of the World's Most Liberal City Author Russell Shorto
ISBN-10 0307743756
ISBN-13 9780307743756
Year 2014-08-12
Pages 368
Language English
Publisher Vintage
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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 World Tourists 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

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