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Een kleine geschiedenis van Amsterdam

3.83  ·  Rating Details ·  680 Ratings  ·  75 Reviews
Het kleine geheim van een middeleeuws schoentje, gevonden in de donkerblauwe grachtenmodder, het vrouwenoproer op het Begijnhof, het dagboek van een doodsbange pater tijdens de hongersnood van 1575, de tragedie van het dienstmeisje Elsje Christiaens en de gevierde schilder Rembrant van Rijn, de apocalyps van burgemeester Coenraad van Beuningen, de Grote Kou van 1763 en de ...more
Paperback, 446 pages
Published March 2005 by Atlas (first published 1994)
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1. Amsterdam has a long history of thriftiness, of modesty. In the eighteenth century, Widow Pels, the city's richest inhabitant, had no more than five servants. In the 1990s, a local executive wrote to airline KLM to ask them to tone down their business-class service: ‘A cheese sandwich and a glass of milk are more than enough as far as I am concerned.’

2. If you want to ward off witchcraft, you can follow the example of one medieval Amsterdammer, who hung ‘a pot full of new needles
Aug 01, 2015 Jibran marked it as to-read-non-fiction  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Jibran by: Kalliope
I will read this for an overview of the Dutch scene before other books.
Jetty Zee
Jan 07, 2017 Jetty Zee rated it really liked it
3,5 Ster! Fijn boek, vooral het deel dat tot 1900 reikte, leerde me veel nieuws over de stad waar ik woon, en waar ook mijn voorouders van 1760 tot 1866 woonden. Mooie aanleiding tot verder lezen.
Aug 05, 2012 Caleb rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
So begins the summer vacation report. I've now exhausted Geert Mak's library that's been translated into English. In this book, he takes up Amsterdam, and traces the city from past to present. My main knock with large stretches is that my knowledge of the city simply wasn't strong enough to have context for the places he named. The book itself seemed well researched and drew good connections. Its strongest sections was the 1930s and 1940s, when Mak takes a hard look at the city and country's res ...more
May 28, 2016 Wyatt rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Before my first visit, I wanted to read something that would give me a relatively quick, interesting overview of the history of Amsterdam from its beginnings to the present and this is pretty much what Geert Mak gives us in his book. I'll be visiting for only a few days but I feel that I have a good sense of the many layers of the city, especially its social and political history. I wish Mak had given a bit more on the history of the arts, literature, and music in Amsterdam, but that's a fairly ...more
Feb 16, 2011 Eric rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
This is an excellent resource for the traveling amateur historian planning a visit to the city. The author has created a good survey of the life of the city adding plenty of buildings and street names that can be picked out on a map. One gets a good idea of why Amsterdam and the Netherlands have their own unique histories somewhat distinct from the rest of Europe. I found the book a little long and wanted a good street map several times while reading. For someone interested in the history of one ...more
Maria Gerokostopoulou
I read this book with great interest and pleasure. I read it before going to Amsterdam turning my visit into a history dive!
Ottima indagine storoca della capitale olandese.
Feb 26, 2017 Rob rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
It's hard to think of anyone doing this better - a pithy, informative and entertaining portrait of a unique city. I read it on a trip to the Netherlands and discovered that Mak commands real respect among academics unlike some of the UK 'superstar historians'. Perhaps the only lacuna is in the post-war section where excellent sections on Sixties activism are not accompanied by enough detail on prostitution and drugs - two factors which to this day represent the city in people's minds - it would ...more
Alexander Pastoors
Een leuk overzicht van de geschiedenis van Amsterdam, soms een beetje langdradig en voor mijn smaak niet nauwkeurig genoeg. Een leuke instapper voor mensen die geïnteresseerd zijn in de geschiedenis van Amsterdam en er nog niet zoveel vanaf weten.
Oct 16, 2016 Liza rated it really liked it
Geschiedenis, Geert Mak en Amsterdam. Voor mij is het dan algauw goed. Dit boek vertelt van de geschiedenis van gewone mensen in Amsterdam, hoe het leven voor hen was door alle roerige tijden heen, die de geschiedenis van deze stad hebben gevormd. Hoe de stad is opgebouwd, hoe het vorige eeuw niets had gescheeld of veel historische buurten waren gesloopt en vervangen door flats, kantoren en wegen. Mak is een prettige verteller zowel op papier als fysiek en zijn boeken zijn voor mij altijd weer p ...more
Aug 29, 2012 Trisha rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2013
Het verhaal over Amsterdam vanaf ongeveer 1150 tot het heden. De opkomst van Amsterdam als een land in een land, waar mensen samen tegen de gevestigde orde, de regentes en regeerders optreed als het de Amsterdammers niet zint. Amsterdam die door de eeuwen heen verschillende oorlogen heeft doorstaan en verschillende wisselingen van regeerders heeft doorstaan, staat nog overeind met respect, maar ook met ongeloof. Waar grote steden in het buitenland te maken hebben gehad met veranderingen v
I picked this up (metaphorically) after participating in a reader's advisory Facebook service at my library. Readers submitted books that they had liked to a Facebook comment, and then the library responded with other titles that were similar. I submitted The Oregon Trail. Because it was a book that had a deep sense of "place," the library suggested Amsterdam.

I don't think they were off, exactly. I did like the book, and it was about the deep history of a particular place, but it wasn't quite th
Mar 03, 2010 mahatma rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
[kesan awal setelah buku tiba:]

sebagai salah satu warga dari bangsa yang pernah mengalami kolonialisasi belanda, saya ingin tahu apakah kisah mengenai kota amsterdam ini juga menyertakan pandangan tentang jawa dan indonesia.
berabad-abad lamanya belanda menikmati banyak kekayaan alam nusantara, adakah yang sanggup mereka catat tentangnya? apakah amsterdam dan para amsterdamers punya kenangan mengenainya? rupanya tidak.
buku ini tidak menyinggung-nyinggung hal yang bagi saya butuh pengakuan itu.
Oct 18, 2015 Hinke rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book gives a detailed insight in what Amsterdam was like from it's very beginning in the 13th century till the current day and age. The author beautifully traces back where the city's character of tolerance, business focus and independence originated from. Interesting to know that in the 13th century the area that is now Amsterdam was one big swamp where people had to find a way to conquer the water in order to survive. The descriptions of the city, even in the 'golden age', as quite filthy ...more
Larry Day
Apr 26, 2013 Larry Day rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I read the Dutch-language 2009 ebook edition of this book—Een kleine geschiedenis van Amsterdam, and partway through also bought the English-language translation 1999 ebook edition for it's inclusion of maps and pictures. The Dutch book is updated, making reference to events as recent as 2004 and includes a substantial epilogue which I found to be helpful in coming to terms with what I found to be for me emotionally difficult events in Amsterdam's history.
I am descended in part from several ear
Jan 19, 2014 Sanju marked it as set-aside-but-coming-back-to  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Sanju by: rachel debaig
I just started, still at the very beginning. Interesting so far. Recommended by Rachel when I asked about Shorto's book. Didn't get great reviews of Shorto's book from people I asked who read it, but after this one, I'll still look at that one. Just because I'm curious about it.Amsterdam: A History of the World's Most Liberal City Amsterdam A History of the World's Most Liberal City by Russell Shorto

Oct 25, 2015 Vera rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Ik ben een fan. Dit boek stond al een tijde in de kast voordat ik het ben begonnen te lezen, maar in tegenstelling tot vele non-fictie boeken was dit een echte pageturner. Geert Mak beschrijft de Amsterdam geschiedenis levendig, grondig en toch kortdradig, hij verbindt anekdotes met de rode draad der geschiedenis. Een beetje voorkennis van de vaderlandse geschiedenis en Amsterdam in het bijzonder lijkt me wel noodzakelijk, aangezien niet alle details verklaard worden. In prachtig Nederlands gesc ...more
A really fascinating read, I love Amsterdam and all its quirks and this is a good introduction to those historical peculiarities.

Why didn't I like it? Phillip blom (a German living in London translating Dutch) did a fairly poor job translating, half of me wants to rewrite the whole thing in to flow better (the other half wants to get paid for such a task)
But also geert mak, in attempting to make it all fit as a narrative, gets far to lyrical in his phrases. The first few and the last few pages
Dani Arribas-bel
Most advisable read. Geert Mak correctly realizes cities are nothing but the persons who live there and succeeds at telling history as a story of normal people rather than of events and big personalities. The book is very much readable, I didn't find it dry or hard to read at all.

I particularly enjoyed the account of the Golden age and, although it is very hard, the chapter on the Nazi occupation.

A must read for everyone interested in either Amsterdam, great cities and/or history in general.
Jul 31, 2014 Peggy rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Thoroughly enjoyd the book. Living very close to Amsterdam and knowing all of these locations puts you right in the middle of expericening where the events took place. It's a well paced book over several decades which moves smoothly from one to the other. It is filled with many, many dates and details of city life throughout. With the three maps in the beginning of the book I found my reading interrupted by referring to the maps but gave me insight to locations and more interest in the story.
Nov 10, 2013 Jayhawk rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A fantastic glimpse into the history od one of the worlds great cities. I lived in the Netherlands for about 4 years in the early 90's and thought I knew Amsterdam well. This book was very insightful for me and cool that I knew many of the historical places throughout the book. Probably not as interesting for someone without the NL connection, but a good, well researched history.
Jun 04, 2014 Steven rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
overwegend ben ik een non-fictie lezer, maar voor Geert Mak maak ik graag een uitzondering. Niet alleen is dit boek waanzinnig interessant (vooral omdat ik, toen ik het begon te lezen, op een B&B in de Jordaanwijk zat en de geschiedenis rond me kon aanraken), de manier waarop Mak het allemaal neerschrijft is grote klasse.
Tom Wascoe
Dec 29, 2013 Tom Wascoe rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Mak is an excellent writer. His book give a great perspective on the development of the city of Amsterdam, its people and thier culture. Particularly good through the 1960's but weaker as one gets closer to today which is natural since the author doesn't have the perspective of time. Amsterdam is truly a unique city with a unique heritage.
Apr 01, 2012 Belcampo rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Although historically interesting, the translation from Dutch to English is one of the worst I've come across in a published book. I found so many mistakes, grammatical errors and bizarre sentences that I started making a list. I stopped when the number became too big and I decided that reading shouldn't be a chore.

A far flung cry from In Europe.
Buiten gewoon leesbaar boek over Amsterdam. Geschiedenis 'light', zoals het mij aangeraden werd, en zo is het. Mij beviel vooral de manier waarop Mak juist de kleine dingen onder het voetlicht haalt, kleine verhalen van Amsterdammers, of over kleine kenmerken van de stad en hoe die zo gekomen zijn.
Aan te raden te lezen met een kaartje van de stad bij de hand!
Jul 20, 2012 Jon rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This was an entertaining and informative book that I would recommend to anyone who has ever been to or plans to go to Amsterdam. Geert Mak skillfully traces the physical and cultural evolution of the city from inception to modern times, managing to capture the zeitgeist of each era with just the right anecdote or just the right colorful character.
Aug 05, 2009 Karen rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
A fine, basic history of Amsterdam by a Dutch journalist. Good scope of history to prepare to travel to Amsterdam. Focuses on economics, politics, and urban planning. Author relates varying experiences based on the class structures of the times. Pretty dry--but then again I don't usually read straight history books.
Kay Johnson
Jun 30, 2010 Kay Johnson rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is a book you need to own. Wonderful reference! But it's not a book you would necessarily read from cover to cover in a week. Full of history, daily living, religion, foods, culture, etc. of Amsterdammers from the time they were just a blip on the North Sea. Full of art, illustrations, etchings--more information than you can use in a lifetime. Great reference.
Danielle Carter
Feb 01, 2016 Danielle Carter rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Really well-told story of the city, with beautiful storylines threaded throughout the book to illustrate important trends, families, figures, and phenomena. I only wish that there were some more detail and perhaps a little more clarity in certain places when the thread through time gets a bit muddled.
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Dutch historian mostly known for his documentary series 'In Europa' (In Europe) and book of the same name. Nowadays he gives lectures about the Netherlands in the USA.

Critics have disputed the historical accuracy of "In Europa"
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“Zo beschrijft hij hoe wijlen burgemeester Bicket het voordelige ambt van vendumeester -- goed voor zesduizend gulden per jaar -- toeschoof aan zijn veertienjarige zoontje Hendrick. Het burgemeesterszoontje Jan Corver Trip was zelfs al op zijn vijfde jaar postmeester op Rotterdam, Delft en Den Haag. Toen hij acht was maakte zijn vader hem postmeester van het Hamburgse Postcomptoir. Toen hij achttien was, werd hij ook nog kerkmeester van de Nieuwe Walenkerk. Toen hij op zijn negentiende overleed -- hij had een leren riem te strak en te lang om zijn lijf geklemd om zijn overtollige vet te camoufleren, waardoor 'zijne edele's partijen, long en lever aan malkander waren gegroeid' -- liet hij een vermogen na van twee ton.” 1 likes
“Ogni persona muore due volte, si dice: una prima quando spira, e l’altra quando viene dimenticata anche dagli ultimi del suo tempo. Con la morte di una persona anziana, quindi, una serie di defunti scompaiono per la seconda volta: chi muore si porta via tutti coloro che ormai vivevano solo nella sua memoria. Molto di ciò che muove una città, così, scompare nel corso di una sola generazione. Volti, odori, suoni e sensazioni in seguito possono essere ricostruiti solo facendo riferimento a qualche notizia e a qualche immagine.
La nostra memoria collettiva, che si basi sulla scrittura o meno, non è più stabile di un mucchietto di sabbia, e spesso possiamo solo cercare di indovinare gli elementi essenziali.”
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