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This book is a fascinating history of Amsterdam and its origins as well as its impact on the world.
The book was very well structured - there was a fluid and ordered chronological progression from its inception to current day, but it was built on specific and more concise anecdotal clips.
- The formation of Amsterdam, and its origins as a religious pilgrimage site
- Its role in the India Trading Companies
- The first ever stock market
- Its role as the first colonizers of New York
- Its prominent artists such as Rembrandt & Van Gogh
- Its involvement in World War II - Anne Frank's place of birth
- And of course, first place to legalize gay marriage, prostitution, marijuana etc.
Overall it did a very good job of highlighting Amsterdam's pioneering of progressive ideas including religious/cultural/racial tolerance, separation of church and state, liberalism (as opposed to a monarchy), and its open minded environment that fostered the development of these concepts.
5 of 5 people found this review helpful
What does Russell Shorto bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?
The author also reads this book and does a great job. This book is well-worth reading and the author makes it interesting by adding real life characters to help describe the world at that time in history. I would even listen to most of it again!
Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?
No, you need time to comprehend some of the information. I listened to the entire book in less than one week though!
3 of 3 people found this review helpful