We are currently making improvements to the Audible site. In an effort to enhance the accessibility experience for our customers, we have created a page to more easily navigate the new experience, available at the web address www.audible.com/access.
Call anytime(888) 283-5051
 >   > 
Amsterdam: A History of the World's Most Liberal City | [Russell Shorto]

Amsterdam: A History of the World's Most Liberal City

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 16th-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 its golden age to the present.
Regular Price:$31.50
  • Membership Details:
    • First book free with 30-day trial
    • $14.95/month thereafter for your choice of 1 new book each month
    • Cancel easily anytime
    • Exchange books you don't like
    • All selected books are yours to keep, even if you cancel
  • - or -

Your Likes make Audible better!

'Likes' are shared on Facebook and Audible.com. We use your 'likes' to improve Audible.com for all our listeners.

You can turn off Audible.com sharing from your Account Details page.

OK

Publisher's Summary

An endlessly entertaining portrait of the city of Amsterdam and the ideas that make it unique, by the author of the acclaimed Island at the Center of the World

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 16th-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, its golden age as a vast empire, to its complex present in which its cherished ideals of liberalism are under siege.

©2013 Russell Shorto (P)2013 Random House Audio

What the Critics Say

"The story of a great city that has shaped the soul of the world. Masterful reporting, vivid history - the past and present are equally alive in this book." (James Gleick, author of The Information: A History, A Theory, A Flood)

"An often brilliant, and always enjoyable, investigation of liberalism's Dutch roots. Shorto is once again revealed as a passionate and persuasive historian of culture and ideas." (Joseph O’Neill, author of Netherland)

"Russell Shorto loves Amsterdam, I love this book."(Job Cohen, former mayor of Amsterdam)

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.2 (43 )
5 star
 (21)
4 star
 (11)
3 star
 (10)
2 star
 (1)
1 star
 (0)
Overall
4.2 (36 )
5 star
 (16)
4 star
 (11)
3 star
 (8)
2 star
 (1)
1 star
 (0)
Story
4.4 (39 )
5 star
 (20)
4 star
 (13)
3 star
 (6)
2 star
 (0)
1 star
 (0)
Performance
Sort by:
  •  
    Andy Westport, CT, United States 11-18-13
    Andy Westport, CT, United States 11-18-13 Member Since 2002
    HELPFUL VOTES
    465
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    427
    321
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    248
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "your are not in Kansas anymore"

    Russel Shorto does a great job looking backwards and connecting the dots. The result is a reasonable hypothesis of how Amsterdam turned out to be the city it is.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Whitney SAINT PAUL, MN, United States 05-12-14
    Whitney SAINT PAUL, MN, United States 05-12-14 Member Since 2011
    HELPFUL VOTES
    13
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    30
    3
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Worth Reading - Highly Recommended"
    Any additional comments?

    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.
    It covered:
    - 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.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Lin Forest Lake, MN, United States 04-20-14
    Lin Forest Lake, MN, United States 04-20-14 Member Since 2012
    HELPFUL VOTES
    2
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    4
    4
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Interesting!"
    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!


    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Showing: 1-3 of 3 results

    There are no listener reviews for this title yet.

Report Inappropriate Content

If you find this review inappropriate and think it should be removed from our site, let us know. This report will be reviewed by Audible and we will take appropriate action.

CANCEL

Thank You

Your report has been received. It will be reviewed by Audible and we will take appropriate action.