Auteur: Mak, Geert
Sub titel: A brief life in the city
From its very earliest days when it was no more than a cluster of small farms among the reed banks of the River Amstel, to the present, easygoing, cosmopolitan city with its celebrated red-light district and ganja-filled coffee-bars, Amsterdam has always been a fascinating, individualistic city. Geert Mak, one of Holland's leading journalists, here takes the reader on a riveting topographical journey in a book that is both social history and travel guide. Mak has an all-seeing eye and the best kind of journalistic style; he is always interested in the human angle of things, the smaller truths. He misses nothing; every detail attracts his attention and his imagination, from a medieval shoe rescued from the estuarial mud to the graffiti on the side of a grand house, said to have been applied by a deranged merchant in his own blood, prophesying the city's doom. And what a great cast of characters there is: Jan Vermeer, Rembrandt (who discovered the trick of bidding for his own paintings at auction, so driving up the price), Spinoza, and the tragic Anne Frank, as well as more recent counter-cultural figures such as Johnny the Selfkicker and Kees Hoekert, the "marijuana expert", who once threw a live chicken at Queen Juliana's State coach.
2001, 338 pag., Euro 14,95
Harvill Press, London, ISBN 9781860467899
This page last updated on: 13-1-2015