This is the book that made Simon Schama's reputation when first published in 1987. A historical masterpiece, it is an epic account of Dutch Culture ...Show synopsisThis is the book that made Simon Schama's reputation when first published in 1987. A historical masterpiece, it is an epic account of Dutch Culture in the Golden Age of Rembrandt and van Diemen. In this brilliant work that moves far beyond the conventions of social or cultural history, Simon Schama investigates the astonishing case of a people's self-invention. He shows how, in the 17th-century, a modest assortment of farming, fishing and shipping communities, without a shared language, religion or government, transformed themselves into a formidable world empire -- the Dutch republic.Hide synopsis
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This is the story of the Dutch at the height of their cultural and commercial achievement, And while it is not light reading, in fact, the tome itself is hefty, it is a wonderful read, As Americans tend to emphasize the British influence on this country, and underestimate the Dutch, the book also is a revelation,
I was interested in this book after seeing it on a number of bestseller lists a few years ago. I am a fan of Alison Weir's historical novels of the Elizabethan period, and always wondered about the Dutch culture of the 1400s-1800s particularly for the artistic endeavors of the period and the economic bubbles of the time such as the "tulip craze".
Unfortunately, this book does not read like an Alison Weir historical bestseller. It reads like a textbook, loaded with double entendres and academic analogies. The Author Schama is a renown academic in dutch culture, so he knows his stuff, but for those looking for a nightime page-turner this is probably a non-starter.
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