California State University, Northridge WordmarkOviatt Library WordmarkOviatt Library Catalog Wordmark
Author Shorto, Russell, author.
Title Amsterdam : a history of the world's most liberal city / Russell Shorto.
Published New York : Doubleday, [2013]
Book Cover

 Floor2  DJ411.A55 S56 2013    IN LIBRARY
Edition First edition.
Description 357 pages, 24 unnumbered pages of plates : illustrations (some color), color maps ; 25 cm
Content Type text
Format volume
Note Color illustrations and color maps on lining papers and jacket.
Bibliography Includes bibliographical references (pages [323]-343) and index.
Contents 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.
Summary 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 from the building of its first canals in the 1300s, through its brutal struggle for independence and its golden age as a vast empire, to its complex present in which its cherished ideals of liberalism are being questioned anew.--Publisher description.
Subject Amsterdam (Netherlands) -- History.
Liberalism -- Netherlands -- Amsterdam -- History.
Alternate Title History of the world's most liberal city
ISBN 0385534574 hardback
9780385534574 hardback $28.95
OCLC number 827528685