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"History on the grand scale...An ambitious portrait of one of the most remarkable episodes in modern history."--New York Times
"Wonderfully inclusive; with wit and intense curiosity he teases out meaning from every aspect of Dutch seventeenth-century life."--Robert Hughes
Housewright follows up his Edgar-winning debut (Penance, 1995) with a greased-lightning tale of scam and counterscam that's still bubbling merrily when the fat lady sings.
Posted January 16, 2001
While this book contains vast, deep information about the Dutch Golden Age and the uneasy relations they had with their wealth, success and place in the world, it is thin on background information. Names like William the Silent are tossed around as if they are as well known as George Washington. My advice would be to first go to Encarta or some other online encyclopedia and read up on a general history of the Netherlands, especially during this period. I did this in the middle of the book and wish I had done it earlier. The book assumes a general knowledge of Dutch history and those who don't read an overview will feel a bit left out of the book's basic assumptions.
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Posted July 20, 2014
I knew Schama from his A History of Britain series via BBC/History and I have been interested about the Golden Age of the Dutch Republic, so that's what brought me to this book. My usual history reading were usually biographies or general histories, so a book dealing with cultural attitudes was something new for me. Overall it was very informative and Schama gives ample examples with engravings and prints thus showing his thorough research. But during some sections, it was a grind to read so much so that I was barely making a dent in the book as time went on. I started this book at the beginning of March and instead of getting through by the end of the month, I still had a ways to go. After taking a break to read a fictional work, it took me only 8 days after picking this book up again to finish. But don't let my own troubles dissuade you from purchasing this book, the insight into Golden Age Dutch culture gives one a basis in viewing Dutch's political, diplomatic, and military decisions during Europe's early modern period.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted November 18, 2010
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