Looking for a good weekend read? Wondering what to give to your American-born aunt of Dutch descent? The list below suggests some current and past titles for those interested in exploring the Dutch-American experience, as well as some aspects of Dutch culture. All the books are in English and are generally available through Amazon or other web sites. For Books-of-Interest, click here.
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Do you have a few good titles to add? We welcome suggestions, with a brief description of the books’ contents. We will update the list periodically. Please contact booksofinterest@theNAF.org.
ON TO THE BOOKS…
American-Dutch History (17th and 18th century)
American-Dutch History (19th and 20th century)
Culture, Education, Art & Art History and Architecture
History of the Dutch Republic, Overseas Expansion & “Golden Age”
Dutch Economic, Commercial & Financial History
(Auto)biographies & Memoirs
Books by NAF Members
Fiction and Historic Fiction
Disclaimer: We do not necessarily endorse the contents of these books.
TOP TEN TITLES
Ten titles that capture much of 400 years of U.S. – Dutch relations —from the Dutch Revolt (which may have inspired other revolutions), the founding of and life in New Netherland, Dutch participation in the financing of the American revolution, to America’s welcoming of Dutch immigrants and America’s role in the liberation of the Netherlands in 1944.
• Russell Shorto, The Island in the Center of the World, 2004.
• Adriaen van der Donck, A Description of New Netherland, 1655, reissued 2008.
• Jan Willem Schulte Nordholt, The Dutch Republic and American Independence, 1982.
• Cornelius Ryan, A Bridge Too Far, 1974.
• Annette Stott, Holland Mania—The Unknown Dutch Period in American Art and Culture, 1998.
• Jonathan Israel, The Dutch Republic–Its Rise, Greatness and Fall 1477-1806, 1995.
• Jan de Vries & Ad van der Woude, The First Modern Economy—Success, Failure, and Perseverance of the Dutch Economy 1500-1815, 1997.
• Simon Schama, The Embarrassment of Riches—An Interpretation of Dutch Culture in the Golden Age, 1987.
• Jaap Jacobs, The Colony of New Netherland–A Dutch Settlement in Seventeenth Century America, 2009.
• Edward W. Bok, The Americanization of Edward Bok: The Autobiography of a Dutch Boy Fifty Years Later, 1924.
• Roger Panetta (ed.), Dutch New York — The Roots of Hudson Valley Culture, 2009.
• Adriaen van der Donck, [EXPAND A Description of New Netherland]Adriaen van der Donck, A Description of New Netherland, (Originally published in 1655, re-issued by University of Nebraska Press in 2008). Edited by Charles T. Gehring and William A. Starna, translated by Diederik Willem Goedhuys, foreword by Russel Shorto. From the book’s cover: “This edition of A Description of New Netherland provides the first complete and accurate English-language translation of an essential first-hand account of the lives and world of Dutch colonists and northeastern Native communities in the seventeenth century…….Van der Donck, a graduate of Leiden University in the 1640s, became the law enforcement officer for the Dutch patroonship of Rensselaerswijck, located along the upper Hudson River….An astute observer, Van der Donck was ideally situated to write about his experiences and the natural and cultural worlds around him”. In his foreword, Russell Shorto (author of The Island in the Center of the World, see below) recalls that historian Thomas O’Donnell called A Description “one of America’s oldest literary treasures”. If Van der Donck had written in English rather than Dutch, “his Description would certainly have won from posterity the same kind, if not the same amount, of veneration that has been bestowed on Bradford’s Of Plymouth Plantation”.[/EXPAND]
• Jan Willem Schulte Nordholt, [EXPAND The Dutch Republic and American Independence]Jan Willem Schulte Nordholt, The Dutch Republic and American Independence, (UNC Press, 1982). Schulte Nordholt describes how the Dutch Republic defied British requests to stay neutral in the American-British conflict, how John Adams (then ambassador to The Hague) influenced Dutch politics, and the relations between the United States and the end of the Dutch Republic in 1795.[/EXPAND]
• Douglas Hunter, [EXPAND Half Moon: Henry Hudson and the Voyage that Redrew the Map of the New World]Douglas Hunter, Half Moon: Henry Hudson and the Voyage that Redrew the Map of the New World, 2009, Bloomsbury Press. From Publishers Weekly: “Although not the first mariner to explore North America, Henry Hudson (1565-1611) left a powerful legacy, vividly described in this richly detailed biography 400 years after his journey up what became the Hudson River. Canadian historian Hunter reminds readers that 16th- and 17th-century European entrepreneurs remained obsessed with finding a shortcut to Asia. An experienced seaman, Hudson was hired by the Dutch East India Company to sail east above Russia. Having already failed at that route, Hudson departed with other ideas. He quickly found his way blocked by ice, but instead of returning to Holland sailed west across the Atlantic, eventually stopping near Manhattan and sailing up his eponymous river as far as present-day Albany. Hunter has clearly immersed himself in the period, producing a meticulous account of Hudson’s three months in the New World. Readers may prefer to skim the precise descriptions of his navigational difficulties, but few will resist the colorful personal conflicts, tortuous politics and alternately friendly and vicious encounters between Europeans and Native Americans”.[/EXPAND]
• Van Cleaf Backman [EXPAND Peltries or Plantations: The Economic Policies of the Dutch West India Company in New Netherland, 1623-1630]Van Cleaf Bachman, Peltries or Plantations: The Economic Policies of the Dutch West India Company in New Netherland, 1623-1630, (The Johns Hopkins Press, 1969). Bachman describes how the West India Company’s focus short-term profit motives and vacillation on the part of its decision makers left New Netherland vulnerable to eventual take-over by British colonizers.[/EXPAND]
• Mariana Griswold van Rensselaer [EXPAND History of the City of New York in the Seventeenth Century, Volume 1, New Amsterdam]Mariana Griswold van Rensselaer, History of the City of New York in the Seventeenth Century, Volume 1, New Amsterdam, originally published in 1909, reissued by Adamant Media Corporation in 2002.[/EXPAND]
• Russell Shorto, [EXPAND The Island at the Center of the World—The Epic Story of Dutch Manhattan & The Forgotten Colony that Shaped America]Russell Shorto, The Island at the Center of the World—The Epic Story of Dutch Manhattan & The Forgotten Colony that Shaped America, (Doubleday, 2004). Shorto’s best-selling book unearths the reasons why modern-day New York, like 17th century Amsterdam, is generally seen as a successful “melting pot,” known for its religious tolerance and commerce. Highlights the role of Adriaen van der Donck, the Leiden-trained lawyer who negotiated many of the province’s freedoms. Also explains why the Articles of Capitulation (through which the British took control of New Amsterdam) can be seen as the forerunner of the Bill of Rights. Much of Shorto’s story is based on the ongoing research in the archives of the West India Company and New Netherland, conducted at the New Netherland Project in Albany, NY.[/EXPAND]
The New Netherland Museum owns and operates a replica of the Half Moon, the ship with which Henry Hudson sailed into what became New York Harbor in September 1609. At the website indicated above, Robert Juet’s journal describes the Half Moon’s encounter of the coast of Maine (June 25, 1609) and the first encounter with the Indians (Sept 2, 1609). Juet sailed with Hudson on at least three voyages in 1608, 1609 and 1610-1611.
• [EXPAND Dutch New York–The Roots of Hudson Valley Culture, 2009, Roger Panetta (editor) ]A wonderful book, published to coincide with the widely praised Dutch New York-exhibit at the Hudson River Museum in Yonkers in 2009. Dutch heritage along the Hudson river lives on, not only in historic estates and Dutch-named places like the Bronx and Yonkers but also in commerce, law, politics, religion, art and culture. With contributions by fourteen scholars, the essays cover Dutch Commerce in the Lower Hudson Valley, Slavery and the Philipse Family 1680-1751, American Indian Villages and Dutch farms, Dutch American architecture, the Reformed Dutch Church, Colonial American-Dutch material Culture, Washington Irving’s “A History of New York”, Imagining Dutch New York: John Quidor and the Romantic Tradition, the Holland Society visits “The Fatherland”, the Hudson-Fulton Celebration of 1909, Franklin Roosevelt’s “Dutchness”, the Dyckman Farmhouse Museum and the Dutch Legacy in America. The book is very well illustrated, the essays are accompanied by extensive references to published research, but also contain plenty of new insights based on the authors’ original research. The book is edited by Roger Panetta (curator of the Hudson River Museum and visiting professor at Fordham University) and is arguably one of the best reads for those interested in the Hudson Valley’s Dutch roots. (Hudson River Museum & Fordham University Press).Click Here To Order[/EXPAND]
• Allen W. Trelease, Indian Affairs in Colonial New York—The Seventeenth Century,
(Univ. of Nebraska Press, 1997).
Trelease’s book, first published in 1960, was the first authoritative study on relations between the Algonquian Indians and the Dutch settlers who arrived after Henry Hudson’s 1609 exploratory voyage.
• [EXPAND Kiliaen van Rensselaer (1586-1643): Designing a New World, Janny Venema]Janny Venema, affiliated with the New Netherland Project (Albany, NY), is one of most prominent scholars on New Netherland and her newest book is a biography of Kiliaen Van Rensselaer, a jeweler and merchant in Amsterdam who became one of the founders of the Dutch West India Company. His patroonship Rensselaerswyck became an economic force in the new colony and developed what later became New York’s capital district. Even though Kiliaen never set foot in New Netherland, he was the first “patroon”. Venema describes the rough and tumble of Amsterdam in the early 1600s and how entrepreneurs and investors like Van Rensselaer cobbled together their wealth and funded a colonial presence well beyond the Dutch Republic. First-rate original history! 2011, State University of New York Press. Click Here To Order[/EXPAND]
• Janny Venema, Beverwijck—A Dutch Village on the American Frontier 1652-1664,
(SUNY Press, 2003).
From the book’s cover: “When the English conquered New Netherland in 1664, they found a well-established society that was firmly held together by a Dutch-modeled government and church, and which maintained continuous communication with its fatherland, the Dutch Republic……beavers and shell beads that served as money, daily visits by Indians, and the presence of African slaves…”
• Willem Frijhoff, Fulfilling God’s Mission: The Two Worlds of Dominie Everardus Bogardus 1607-1647, (2007, Brill Publishers)
This biography recalls the fascinating life of the second Reformed minister of New Amsterdam, Everardus Bogardus, a poor but gifted youth who worked himself upward into the ministry. The first part of the book provides an in-depth analysis of his mystical experience as a 15-year old orphan in his hometown of Woerden (Holland) and its significance in the Dutch context. The second part explores Bogardus’s agency in the colonial context and his appropriation of his new fatherland –as a minister among the Europeans, the Native Americans and the blacks, as a spokesman of the opposition during Kieft’s war, and as a colonist married to the famous Anneke Jans. This biography is conceived as a mentality history of an early modern male individual.
• Donna Merwick, The Shame and the Sorrow–Dutch Amerindian Encounters in New Netherland, (University of Pennsylvania Press, 2006).
From the book’s cover: “The Dutch, through the directors of the West India Company, purchased Manhattan Island in 1625.They had come to the New World as traders, not expecting to assume responsibility as the sovereign possessor of a conquered New Netherland. They did not intend to make war on the native peoples around Manhattan Island, but they did; they did not intend to help destroy native cultures, but they did; they intended to be overseas as the tolerant, pluralistic, and antimilitaristic people they thought themselves to be—and in so many respects were—at home, but they were not”.
• Nella Kennedy, Mary Risseeuw and Robert Swieringa (eds), Diverse Destinies—Dutch Kolonies in Wisconsin and the East, 2012, Van Raalte Press (a division of Hope College Publishing).
More than five million Americans claim full or partial Dutch heritage. The first influx, into the Northeast, took place in the 17th century. After coming to a virtual standstill in the 18th century, immigration resumed in the 19th , mostly into the Midwest. While much of Dutch New York has disappeared, the Dutch influence the Midwest is unmistakably still there—and thriving! Hope College and its Van Raalte Institute are a case in point. In 1851, four years after founding the town of Holland, Michigan, Dutch immigrants established the forerunner of Hope College. While historically affiliated with the Dutch Reformed Church, it is now an ecumenically-oriented and prominent Midwestern liberal arts college. In 1993, the generosity of Hope College graduate and trustee Peter H. Huizenga and his mother, enabled Hope to establish the A.C. van Raalte Institute to promote scholarship on Dutch immigration and all other aspects of Dutch-American history and culture. After America’s pre-eminent scholar on 19th-century Dutch-American studies, Professor Robert P. Swieringa, author of Dutch Chicago-A History of the Hollanders in the Windy City (2002) joined the Hope faculty, the stream of publications by Dutch and American historians on the Dutch in America began to accelerate. The Van Raalte website www. hope.edu/vri contains a complete (and truly impressive) list of the Van Raalte–sponsored publications (books and journal articles). These and other resources at the institute are a veritable –and America’s most important— treasure trove for all those interested in Dutch-American history, culture and immigration! The Van Raalte Institute, together with the Association for the Advancement of Dutch-American Studies (AADAS), sponsors biennial conferences attended by American and Dutch scholars. Diverse Destinies contains the research papers delivered at a recent AADAS conference on 19th century Dutch immigrants who settled in Wisconsin, Virginia and New Jersey. Subjects covered include different practices and customs of Roman Catholic and Protestant immigrants; persistence of the use of the Dutch language; the unique roles by priests and ministers; the relations with the “old country”; and the ups and downs of the Doornik family, Wisconsin’s first Dutch-American bookseller. Altogether, interesting stories on how the ancestors of many of today’s five million Dutch-Americans built their lives in the New World. Available through the A.C. Van Raalte Institute.
• J. Franklin Jameson, Narratives of New Netherland 1609-1664 (Charles Scribner’s Sons, 1909).
A compilation of 17th century writings on New Netherland, compiled by one of America’s most prominent historians at the turn of the century. The book has long been out of print, but without too much trouble one will find copies in antique-book stores or on “old book” web sites.
• Jasper Danckaerts, Journal of Jasper Danckaerts 1679-1680, 1913, Charles Scribner & Sons, reissued in 2005 in Elibron Classics series.
Danckaert’s journal is a virtually unknown classic! Jasper Danckaerts, born in Vlissingen (Flushing, the Netherlands) came to America with Peter Sluyter to find land for their religious order of Labadists (adherents to Jean de Labadie, a rebellious Huguenot) and traveled extensively along the East coast. Danckaerts’ diary provides a detailed account of the social, political and economic conditions in the late 17th century, especially life of the American Indians. The manuscript was discovered by Henry Cruse Murphy in Amsterdam when Murphy served as minister to the Netherlands. Murphy translated the diary and arranged for the Brooklyn Historical Society to publish it in 1867. In 1913, Bartlett Burleigh James (Maryland Historical Society) and J. Franklin Jameson (a prominent US historian around the turn of the century and editor of the Original Narratives of Early American History) published the current version. Along with Van der Donck’s Description and Bradford’s Plymouth, Danckaerts’ diary provides a unique window on life in 17th century America.
• Washington Irving, A Knickerbocker’s History of New York, (1809, Firebird Press reprint, 2001).
The two-volume satire is considered the first important contribution to American comic literature. Irving wrote it prior to The Legend of Sleepy Hollow and Rip van Winkle.
• Elizabeth Bradley, Knickerbocker-The Myth Behind New York, 2009, Rivergate Books, an imprint of Rutgers University Press
From Publishers Weekly: Diedrich Knickerbocker, a fictional man of stature, gets a history worthy of New York’s swagger in this exploration by Bradley (a contributor to The Encyclopedia of New York City) of how Knickerbocker shaped the city’s identity. The narrator of Washington Irving’s A History of New York, Knickerbocker has charmed readers since 1809 with his half-fantastical urban history, one that inspired local pride at a time when, according to Bradley, the city faced an identity crisis. Peppered with anecdotes, such as Knickerbocker’s claiming of the doughnut for his city, Bradley’s account maintains that the proud Dutchman inspired New Yorkers to assert their own ideosyncratic relationship to the city and to its history. Knickerbocker was appropriated: for political gain during FDR’s presidency, commercial reward for countless business and sports promotion for teams like the New York Knicks. While Bradley’s flat prose fails to match the Knickerbocker’s largesse, literary historians and proud New Yorkers alike will delight in the character who brought pomp and legend to the city first nicknamed Gotham by Washington Irving 200 years ago.
• Oliver A. Rink, Holland on the Hudson—An Economic and Social History of Dutch New York, (Cornell Univ. Press, 1986).
Rink’s book was arguably the first major 20th century comprehensive and academic study on New Netherland.
• Barbara W. Tuchman, The First Salute—A View of the American Revolution, (Knopf, 1988).
Tuchman’s last book, and her personal interpretation of the American revolution. She draws a parallel between the Dutch struggle for independence and the American-British conflict that led to the American revolution. On November 16, 1776, the governor of the Dutch Caribbean island of St. Eustatius ordered a gun salute when a ship, carrying the flag of the Continental Congress, entered the island’s harbor. It was the first occasion on which American sovereignty was recognized — the first salute.
• Henry and Barbara van der Zee, A Sweet and Alien Land—The Story of Dutch New York, (Viking Press, 1978).
A well-written, popular history of New Amsterdam.
• Michael G. Kammen, Colonial New York-A History, (1975; reissued as Oxford Univ. Press paperback in 1996).
Kammen’s book remains one of the best comprehensive reviews of New York’s colonial history, from the Dutch period to the British period through statehood in 1777 (and the defeat of the British in Saratoga the same year).
• Tom Lewis, The Hudson- A History, (Yale Univ Press, 2005).
Every country has its river—Germany the Rhine, England the Thames, Brazil the Amazon— and the U.S. has the Hudson. It has been intertwined with America’s history for some 400 years. Lewis “traces the course of the river through four centuries of explorers and traders, artists and writers, entrepreneurs and industrialists, ecologists and preservationists….Among those who have figured in the history of the Hudson are Benedict Arnold, Alexander Hamilton, Franklin and Eleanor Roosevelt, the Astors and the Vanderbilts, and Thomas Cole of the Hudson River school”.
• Peter Stuyvesant (author) and Charles Gehring (editor), Correspondence 1647-1653, Syracuse Univ Press, 1999, and Correspondence 1654-1658, 2003, Syracuse University Press, both volumes published under the New Netherland Documents Series).
Dr. Charles Gehring, director of the New Netherland Project in Albany, New York, edited the correspondence of Director General Stuyvesant and his West India Company directors in Amsterdam and governors of neighboring colonies during Stuyvesant’s the first 11 years of Stuyvesant’s 17-year tenure. Indispensable for professional historians, but no less fascinating for the casual history reader. For more than 30 years, Dr Gehring has edited, translated or otherwise supervised the translation and publication many important documents pertaining to New Netherland. For more details www.nnp.org.
• Nicolaas Cornelis Lambrechtsen, Short Description of the Discovery and Subsequent History of the New Netherlands, originally published by S. van Benthem, Middelburg, reissued by Cornell University Library Digital Collections.
Lambrechtsen (1752-1823) was a prominent civic leader in the province of Zeeland. While serving as Chairman of the Zeeland Society of Sciences, he wrote his Short Description (Korte Beschryving) after having obtained information on the former Dutch colony from members of the New-York Historical Society (NYHS). In 1819 Francis Adrian van der Kemp, an NYSH member, translated the text into English. Lambrechtsen’s 122-page book is believed to be the first historical overview on the colony of New Netherland written in the Netherlands, largely based on writings by Van der Donck and others as well Lambrechtsen’s own research in Dutch archives.
• William Dunlap, History of the New Netherlands, Province of New York and the State of New York, Volume 1, and Volume 2, originally published in 1839, re-issued by Cosimo Books
In this two-volume set, first published in 1839, William Dunlap sketches an extensive history of New Netherland, an area from the St. Lawrence river to the Delaware Bay, stretching from the coast westward through what is now upstate New York. The Dutch landed at Noten Eylant, now Governor’s island, and quickly spread their settlers over the territory they wished to claim. They further acquired Manhattan Island, founded New Amsterdam, and took up trading in earnest. Dunlap chronicles the many treaties signed with the local Indian tribes and details for readers how the various areas of the Northeast came to bear their current names. In the first volume, he also discusses the intrusion of the English into New Netherlands, Holland’s battle to retake its colony, and the eventual ceding of the colony to England for good. Volume I ends with the beginning of the American Revolutionary War, while Volume 2 ends with the signing of the Constitution.
• Edward B. O’Callaghan, History of New Netherland or New York under the Dutch, Volume 1 and 2, 2005, republished in Elibron Classics series by Adamant Media Corporation.
O’Callaghan’s work was published in 1845 and was the first American version of the history of New Netherland.
• Henry C. Murphy, Henry Hudson in Holland: An Inquiry into the Origin and Objects of the Voyage which led to the discovery of the Hudson River, originally published in 1859, reissued by Cosimo Books in 2010
A significant early treatise on Hudson’s voyages, it collects all the original documents known to exist about Hudson’s third voyage—the one in which he sailed up what is now called the Hudson River-and explores the “motives, purposes, and character” of the Dutch East India Company and “the designs of the navigator himself at the time he sailed upon that expedition,” as the author says in his preface. American politician and historian Henry Cruse Murphy (1810–1882) was an American politician and historian who served as United States Minister to The Hague when, in 1859, he privately published this monograph.
• Jaap Jacobs, The Colony of New Netherland-A Dutch Settlement in Seventeenth Century America, 2009, Cornell University Press (originally published in Dutch, in 2002, by Prometheus/Bert Bakker, under the title Een Zegenrijk Gewest – Nieuw Nederland in de Zeventiende Eeuw).
This volume covers the history of the Dutch colony New Netherland on the North American continent. Based on extensive research of archival material on both sides of the Atlantic ocean, much of which has not been previously used, this work provides the most complete overview yet of a colony that has been generally neglected by historians. The chapters deal with themes such as patterns of immigration, government and justice, economy, religion, social structure, material culture, and the mentality of the colonists. This book will be very useful not just for students of Dutch colonial history, but also for scholars of early American history. In reviewing the book (in New York History, Fall 2008), historian Joyce Goodfriend described the book as “unquestionably a milestone on the road to integrating the Dutch colony into the history of New York and America”.
• Eric Nooter and Patricia U. Bonomi (eds.), Colonial Dutch Studies, (NYU Press, 1988).
• Joyce D. Goodfriend, Before the Melting Pot: Society and Culture in Colonial New York City 1664-1730, (Princeton Univ. Press, 1992).
• Joyce Goodfriend (ed), Revisiting New Netherland: Perspectives on Early Dutch America, (Brill, 2005).
From the Publisher: “ This book offers a rich sampling of current scholarship on New Netherland….why the Dutch moment in American history has been overlooked or trivialized and calls attention to signs of the emergence of a new narrative of American beginnings that gives due weight to the imprint of Dutch settlement in America”. Twelve essays by American and Dutch scholars on a variety of topics, including Walloon and Huguenots in New Netherlands, New Netherland in the West India Company’s grand scheme, “burgher rights” in New Amsterdam, Petrus Stuyvesant, and a survey of documents pertaining to the history of New Netherland.
• Martha Shattuck (editor), Explorers, Fortunes and Love Letters: A Window on New Netherland, 2009, New Netherland Institute & Mount Ida Press.
Twelve essays that further explore the history of America’s earliest colony, based on original research by authors affiliated with the New Netherland Project (www.nnp.org) including Russell Shorto, William Starna, Jaap Jacobs, Janny Venema, David Voorhees, Joyce Goodfriend, William Reynolds, Noah Gelfand, Peter Christoph, Adriana van Zwieten, Peter G. Rose, and Elizabeth Paling Funk. Edited and introduced by Martha Shattuck, member of the New Netherland Project staff, this volume is testimony of the fact that research on New Netherland is as active as ever.
• Joyce Goodfriend, Benjamin Schmidt and Annette Stott, Going Dutch: The Dutch Presence in America 1609-2009, (Brill, 2008).
A broad survey spanning 400 years, with twelve essays by American and Dutch scholars. Topics include Dutch Art and Hudson Valley Patroon Painters, Hudson Valley Dutch architecture, John L. Motley and the lessons of Dutch history in 19th century Boston, Windmills on the Plains (Two Dutch communities in Iowa), Old Masters in the New World (the Hudson-Fulton Exhibition in 1909), From Bauhaus to Our House to Koolhaas, and Dutchness in Fact and Fiction.
• Firth Haring Fabend, A Dutch Family in the Middle Colonies, 1660-1800, (Rutgers University Press, 1991).
From the flap: “ Fabend has studied a large colonial American family over five generations….The Haring family settled in the Hackensack valley where they lived, prospered, and remained throughout the 18th century…..how they coped with immigration, established themselves in a community, acquired land and capital, and took part in the social, political economic, and religious changes of the 17th and 18th centuries….The Harings of colonial America were ideal yeoman farmers, a class that stood well in the social hierarchy of the day. They were industrious, they prospered and they participated in the civic life of colonial America. But once the new republic formed, they were not visible…they maintained their Dutch ways more consciously than ever after the Revolution which hindered their full participation in public affairs. In some ways, the fifth and sixth generations were more Dutch than the early generations”.
• Firth Haring Fabend, Zion on the Hudson- Dutch New York and New Jersey in the age of revivals,(Rutgers Univ. Press, 2000).
From the flap: “Zion on the Hudson presents both a broad and an intimate look at the way one mainstream Protestant denomination dealt with the transformative events of the evangelical era. As Fabend describes the efforts of the descendents of the Dutch settlers to preserve the European standards and traditions of their church while developing a taste for a new kind of theology and preference for an American identity, she documents how Dutchness finally became a historical memory”.
• Firth Haring Fabend, New Netherland in A Nutshell, 2012, New Netherland Institute
In this book, Dr Fabend provides a concise summary of several decades of research by numerous academic historians affiliated with the New Netherland Research Center (NNRC) in Albany. In the words of Dr Charles Gehring, NNRC’s Director: “One of the most challenging tasks to ask of a historian is that she expound on a subject dear to her heart with brevity. Few succeed. New Netherland in a Nutshell is an exception…..This unique episode in our history will no longer be “one of our best kept secrets” but finally be available and accessible to a wide audience”. Order via www.newnetherlandinstitute.org
• J.M Postma, The Dutch in the Atlantic Slave Trade, 1600-1815, (Cambridge Univ. Press, 1990).
Postma’s book is the authoritative study on the Dutch role in the slave trade. Overall, the Dutch had a minor role in overall Atlantic slave trade, but for brief periods in the 17th century the Dutch did dominate, primarily through the Zeeland chamber of the West India Company and the Middelburgsche Commerce Company.
• P.C. Emmer, The Dutch in the Atlantic Economy 1580-1880: Trade, Slavery and Emancipation, (Ashgate Publishing, 1998).
From the flap: “This volume presents a survey of the Dutch involvement in the Atlantic trade and slave system, It covers the period from the origins of the trade and the Dutch conquest of Brazil in the early 17th century, to the abolition of slavery in the West Indies in the later 19th century. Individual chapters focus on the “investment bubble” in the Dutch plantation colonies, Dutch participation in the illegal slave trade, and the effects of the ameliorization policies and then emancipation of the slaves of Suriname. Professor Emmer also highlights the particular characteristics of the Dutch West India Company – markedly different from the better known East India Company– and the low-key nature of the debate on slave emancipation in the Netherlands”
• William Bradford, Of Plymouth Plantation, (Modern Library, 1981).
Bradford (1590-1657), the long-time governor of the Plymouth Colony, wrote one of the most readable 17th century books. It covers 1620-1657, after the Pilgrims arrived in Plymouth from the Netherlands, but also includes some chapters on the Pilgrims’ stay in Leiden. Fleeing religious persecution in England, the Calvinist Pilgrims had broken away from the Church of England and found refuge in Leiden in 1609 before embarking for the New World in 1620. In Leiden, the pilgrims were led by the Rev. John Robinson who was affiliated with Leiden University and participated in the religious discussions of the day. Most of Leiden’s citizens were foreign-born, including Huguenots from many parts of Europe. Several of them joined the Pilgrims to New England, others would become early settlers of New York. Ancestors of presidents Grant, Roosevelt and Bush were amongst the Dutch who followed the Pilgrims to the New World. Of Plymouth Plantation describes the first Thanksgiving celebration (in November 1621), after the Pilgrims had regained their health and overcome starvation after striking up a friendship with the Wampanoag Indians.
• Jeremy Dupertuis Bangs, Strangers and Pilgrims, Travellers and Sojourners-Leiden and the Foundations of Plymouth Plantation, (2009, General Society of Mayflower Descendants, Plymouth, MA, www.themayflowersociety.com)
Jeremy Bangs is the director of the Leiden American Pilgrim Museum and the foremost authority on the years the Pilgrims spent in The Netherlands before setting sail on the Mayflower in 1620 and ultimately landing in Plymouth, MA. Strangers and Pilgrims is based on no less than 40 years of archival research in Dutch, British and American archives. From the flap, “Leiden is where the character of the Pilgrim Church and its subsequent colony took form. Controversies in politics and religion, customs of family life and society, obligations of labor and chances to play, questions of free will, democracy, the separation of church and state, religious toleration, treatment of Indians—these form the matter of this book”. A treasure trove of insights for Mayflower descendants and scholars of English, Dutch and American history.
• Nathaniel Philbrick, Mayflower-A Story of Courage, Community and War, (Viking, 2006).
Things were tough not only in New Netherland. Philbrick retells the story of the Pilgrims, their first Thanksgiving and how the Pilgrims ultimately fought one of the deadliest wars ever fought on American soil.
• Nick Bunker, Making Haste from Babylon-The Mayflower Pilgrims and their World, a New History, (2010, Alfred A. Knopf)
• Eduard van de Bilt, Becoming John Adams-The Making of a Great American in Leiden 1780-1782, published by Leiden Pieterskerk Foundation, www.pieterskerk.com.
• Hans Krabbendam and George Harinck (eds.), Amsterdam-New York: Transatlantic Relations and Urban Identities Since 1653, (European Contributions to American Studies 59, VU University Press, 2005).
• Hans Krabbendam, Cornelis A. van Minnen and Giles Scott-Smith (editors), Four Centuries of Dutch-American Relations 1609-2009, 2009, SUNY Press (in the U.S.) and Boom Publishers (in the Netherlands).
Four Centuries is the most comprehensive overview of 400 years of bilateral Dutch-American relations ever written, with contributions from about one hundred experts in the fields of history, diplomacy, trade & economics, culture, and the arts. Edited by staff members of the Roosevelt Study Center (Middelburg, the Netherlands), Four Centuries is at once highly readable history as well as a treasure trove for professional and amateur historians alike. In the 17th and 18th centuries, US-Dutch relations were, to a large extent, shaped by Dutch-English rivalries; in the 19th century, Dutch immigration and bilateral trade and commerce dominated governmental relations; in the 20th century, Dutch-American relations became embedded within the transatlantic partnership. From the NAF News (Fall 2009): “How can 400 years of the Dutch-U.S. relationship be summarized? How unique was the relationship? Here’s one attempt. Prior to 1900, both countries –each in its own way—embraced and perfected democratic principles and institutions at home. During the 20th century, American and Dutch self-interests led them to promote liberal democratic ideas across their borders. Many trends and government policies in both countries –especially in the areas of trade, commerce and capital flows, human rights and security policy—converged. Dutch self-interest led it to become America’s staunchest ally on the European continent. Being the biggest amongst the smallest gave the Netherlands a voice. But it was Dutch loyality towards the U.S. that made the U.S. take note”.
Along with other Dutch and American sponsors, the NAF provided monetary support toward the publication of Four Centuries which was published coincident with the NY400 celebrations in September 2009.
• C. Carl Pegels, Prominent Dutch-American Entrepreneurs-Their Contributions to American Society, Culture and Economy, 2011, Information Age Publishing
Carl Pegels (professor emeritus at the University of Buffalo business school) wrote a 200-page volume on entrepreneurs (either Dutch-born or of Dutch descent) who started a number of major American businesses that now are often industry leaders. In the 19th century Cornelius Vanderbilt (shipping & railroads) became America’s richest individual. More recently, Martin Bekins (Bekins Van Lines) and David Neeleman (JetBlue) were true innovators in ground and air transportation. Harry Koch (Koch Industries) founded what is now the largest privately held energy firm. In the Midwest, Gary Vermeer founded Vermeer Corp, a major process technology firm. Hendrick Meijer (Meijer Foodstores) and Jay van Andel & Richard de Vos (Amway) made their mark in retailing/consumer goods. Wayne Huizinga founded no fewer than five companies (including AutoNation and Waste Management) and Hubert Schoemaker (founder of Centocor) was one of America’s bio-technology entrepreneurs. The entrepreneurs seized growth opportunities prevalent during their days and often kept ownership within their families. Virtually all of them also left their mark on their communities through significant charitable giving. No single volume can adequately capture the feats of these entrepreneurs. But Professor Pegels’ book is an interesting introduction to the lives and achievements of a remarkable group of Dutch immigrants, their offspring and their families.
• Giles Scott-Smith & Valerie Aubourg (eds.), Atlantic, Euratlantic, or Europe-America?, 2011, Editions Soleb, Paris
What did the Atlantic Community mean for the nations of North America and Western Europe during the 1960s and early 1970s? The book, spanning the period from Presidents Kennedy to Nixon, offers a wide-ranging set of views on this topic by European and American scholars. National perspectives from the main protagonists–the United States, Britain, France and West-Germany-are complemented by studies on the role of non-state institutions and public diplomacy in maintaining close transatlantic relations. The book moves from the high optimism of the Kennedy years, with the attempt to reframe transatlantic relations around two more equal poles in the United States and a uniting Europe, to the series of disagreements and disputes that energized transatlantic diplomacy during the Nixon years. In doing so, the book provides a unique overview of the main trends and troubles of the transatlantic relationship during a critical period and shows how various channels–both diplomatic and non-diplomatic–were used to overcome them and maintain a strong alliance. Giles Scott-Smith is affiliated with the Roosevelt Study Center, Middelburg, the Netherlands and in 2009 was appointed to the Ernst van der Beugel Chair for Diplomatic History of Atlantic Cooperation for a five-year term at the University of Leiden. Valerie Aubourg is affiliated with the University of Cergy-Pontoise, France.
• Hans Krabbendam (author), Harry Boonstra and Gerrit Sheeres (translators), Freedom on the Horizon: Dutch Immigration to America, 1840-1940, (2009, Eerdmans Publishing Company)
Krabbendam’s work is the most current and comprehensive study on the Dutch immigrant’s experience in America.
• Cornelis van Minnen, American Diplomats in the Netherlands 1815-50, (St Martin’s Press, 1993).
From the flap: “ This book is a case study in American-European relations in the first half of the nineteenth century….Introduced with a sketch of the foundation and organization of U.S. foreign policy and a survey of the first American diplomats in the Netherlands, this book offers a gallery of biographies of their successors stationed at The Hague and Brussels, who viewed the European and Dutch situation more or less through skeptical American lenses and tended to stress and exaggerate the antithesis between the Old and New Worlds”.
• Peter Hoekstra, Thirty-Seven Years of Holland-American Relations 1803-1840, 1916, Eerdmans-Sevensma Co, reissued in 2010 by General Books LLC.
• Hylke Speerstra, Henry Baron (translator), Cruel Paradise: Life Stories of Dutch Emigrants, (Eerdmans Publishing Company, 2005).
First-hand stories of men and women who emigrated from the Netherlands to the United States, Canada, South Africa, etc.
• Bernard Bailyn, The Barbarous Years —The Peopling of British North America: The Conflict of Civilizations, 1600-1675, 2012, Alfred A. Knopf
For some 60 years, Bernard Bailyn, Professor Emeritus in History at Harvard, specialized in U.S. Colonial and Revolutionary-era history. In his most influential work, The Ideological Origins of the American Revolution (1967), he sketches how distrust of power and government became part of the American culture. Then, in the 1980s, Bailyn gave the study of “Atlantic history” a major impetus and documented how the transfers and exchanges between the US and countries in Europe had evolved into an Atlantic system, transcending borders and nationalities. In his most recent work, Bailyn has gone back to where and how it all began when British, Dutch, Swedes, Walloons, Germans, French Huguenots and other religious minorities ventured across the Atlantic and settled along America’s North-Atlantic coast. The success of the initial commercial ventures in Jamestown and New Amsterdam was limited; suppression of religious freedoms was rampant; and wars with the native Indians were just as, if not more, brutal as the religious wars many settlers had escaped in Europe. “Later generations, reading back into the past the outcomes they knew, often gentrified this passage in the peopling of British North America, but there was nothing genteel about it”. First-rate history!
• Robert P. Swierenga, Dutch Chicago-A History of the Hollanders in the Windy City,
(Eerdmans Publishing Company, 2002).
The definitive work on the enterprising, mostly Calvinist immigrants in the Chicago area. Swieringa, now at Hope College, MI, is the foremost authority (and prolific writer) on Dutch immigration to the United States.
• John C. McManus, September Hope—The American Side of a Bridge Too Far, 2012, New American Library Caliber (Penguin Group)
“Market Garden” in September 1944 was the Allies’ largest airborne attack in WWII. About 38,000 British, American and Polish paratroopers landed in three locations –east of Arnhem, near Nijmegen and near Eindhoven—with the objective to build a bridgehead over the Rhine near Arnhem for a push into Northern Germany. It was a highly risky endeavor that ultimately failed. Losses (dead and wounded) exceeded 15,000. The British 1st Airborne division was decimated. Cornelius Ryan’s “A Bridge Too Far”, published in 1974, remains the classic account of Market Garden, emphasizing the British command and the terrible fate that befell the British 1st Airborne division. McManus’ book focuses on the two US airborne divisions— the 82nd under General James Gavin and the 101st under General Maxwell Taylor– and the fierce fighting around Nijmegen and Eindhoven. Market Garden failed; towards the end of November, the Allies withdrew. “September hope had turned into November despair”. McManus’ book is particularly good in describing many fierce battles. The heroism at the company, platoon and squad level is particularly riveting (but doesn’t make for easy or pleasant reading). Altogether, superb military history. McManus is a military historian at the University of Tennessee where he directs a project collecting first-hand experiences of WWII veterans.
• Cornelius Ryan, A Bridge Too Far, (Simon & Schuster, 1974).
The author of The Longest Day, Ryan describes the nine-day battle in September 1944 for the city of Arnhem. In one of the bloodiest battles of WWII, the U.S. Army’s 101st and 82nd Airborne Divisions, along with the British 1st Airborne Division and Polish brigade, sustained twice as many casualties as suffered on D-Day. The Allies’ attempt to create a path into Northern Germany through the Netherlands proved to be one of the WWII Allies’ major defeats.
• Peter Schrijvers, The Margraten Boys–How a European village kept America’s liberators alive, 2012, Palgrave Macmillan paperback
On September 14th, 1944, Maastricht was the first major Dutch city liberated by the U.S. First Army. In November, a temporary American cemetery was established in the small village of Margraten (10 kilometers east of Maastricht). By May 1945, more than 17,000 US soldiers –from the Market Garden, Hurtgen Forest and Bulge battles, and aviators from the air war over Germany— had been buried at Margraten. In a tribute to their liberators, Dutch citizens had assisted the African-American grave diggers when the sheer number of fallen soldiers had overwhelmed them. On Memorial Day 1945, General William Simpson, accompanied by 16 division and corps commanders and surrounded by 30,000 Dutch civilians, spoke at Margraten and laid a wreath on the grave on an unknown soldier. Not long thereafter, Margraten became the Netherlands American Cemetery and Memorial (Europe’s third largest US military cemetery) and the final resting place for 8,301 soldiers; 1,722 soldiers missing were memorialized by a Wall of the Missing. By the end of 1946, Dutch citizens had adopted each grave and each of the missing. And every year thereafter, Dutch families –nowadays often children and grandchildren of those who were liberated– have tended to and placed flowers on the graves on Memorial Day. They have visited the families of the dead and missing, welcomed them to the Netherlands and continue to search for families of the dead and missing. Some seventy years after the war, the adoption waiting list is growing. For more information www. adoptiegraven-margraten.nl or www.abmc.gov. Dr Schrijvers’ book describes the perseverance of Dutch civilians to honor their American liberators and the gratitude felt by the Americans towards the Dutch to honor the memory of their family members who never came home. Each year, more than 200,000 visit Margraten. Remarkably, it wasn’t until 2005 that an American president (George W. Bush) came to honor 10,000 of his fallen countrymen. Dr Schrijvers teaches history at the University of New South Wales, Sydney, Australia.
• Mark Zuehlke, Terrible Victory–First Canadian Army and the Scheldt Estuary Campaign, September 13-November 6, 1944, paperback edition 2008, Douglas & McIntyre
“Terrible Victory” is a first-rate account of the First Canadian Army’s conquering Dutch Flanders and the southern islands of Zeeland in Fall 1944. At the terrible cost of 13,000 casualties, the Canadians secured access to the harbor of Antwerp, which became a crucial supply route in support of the Allies’ push into Germany.
• Mark Zuehlke, On to Victory—The Canadian Liberation of the Netherlands, March 23-May 5, 1945, paperback edition 2011, Douglas & McIntyre
Areas north of the Meuse river (including Amsterdam and The Hague) and most of the rest of the Netherlands were liberated by almost 7 months of fighting during the “hunger winter” of 1944/45. After first reaching a secret agreement with the Germans to supply millions of starving Dutch citizens, some 117,000 Germans finally surrendered to Canadian General Foulkes on May 5, 1945. A compelling read!
• Denis Whitaker & Shelagh Whitaker, Tug of War—The Allied Victory that Opened Antwerp, 2nd edition, 2000, Stoddard Publishing Co
Lieutenant-Colonel (later Brigadier-General) Denis Whitaker (1915-2001) participated in liberating the shores along the Scheldt river and the isles of Walcheren and South-Beveland. After the war, he went back and interviewed hundreds of Dutch people before he wrote a moving personal account.
• Spencer F. Wurst & Gayle Wurst, Descending from the Clouds, (Casemate, 2004).
From the flap: “[Spencer] Wurst spent most of World War II in the European theater of operations as a squad leader in Company F, 505 Parachute Infantry Regiment, 82nd Airborne. ….In September 1943, Wurst jumped into Italy…On D-Day June 6, 1944 he jumped into Normandy and took part in the bloody fighting and liberation of Ste Mère-Eglise where he was wounded and awarded the Purple Hart…..A third combat jump during Operation Market Garden in Holland, where he and his fellow paratroopers were swept up into the ferocious battle with the SS for the highway bridge at Nijmegen…[it] earned him the coveted Silver Star…More combat followed in the Ardennes, where Wurst served as point man on his twentieth birthday during the long freezing march toward the shoulder of the Bulge”. A compelling account, including three chapters on the battle in the Netherlands, co-authored by a distinguished airborne combat leader, who retired as a colonel in 1975.
• Greg Behrman, The Most Noble Adventure—The Marshall Plan and the Time when America helped save Europe, (Free Press, 2007).
From the flap: “Behrman tells the story of the Marshall Plan, the unprecedented and audacious policy through which America helped rebuild World War II-ravaged Western Europe….a unique American enterprise that was at once strategic, altruistic and stunningly effective…The Marshall Plan was a four-year, $13 billion (more than $100 billion in today’s dollars) plan to provide assistance for Europe’s economic recovery…The narrative follows the six extraordinary American statesmen –George Marshall, Will Clayton, Arthur Vandenberg, Richard Bissell, Paul Hoffman and W. Averell Harriman— who devised and implemented the Plan…….[It] was one of the most effective foreign policies in all of American history, in large part, because it was born and executed in a time when American foreign policy was defined by its national interests and the very best of ideals”.
• Lea van der Vinde (ed.), Girl with a Pearl Earring, 2013, Published by Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco and Delmonico Books/Prestel, on the occasion of the exhibition Girl with Pearl Earring with works from the Mauritshuis, at the De Young Museum San Francisco, January 26-June 2, 2013, High Museum of Art, Atlanta, June 22-September 29, Frick Collection, New York, October 22- January 12, 2014.
The Mauritshuis in The Hague is quite unique in that its quintessential Dutch “Golden Age” art collection, the building that houses the collection as well as the art collectors are all of real historical significance. This superb book touches on all three and will also serve as the catalogue for an upcoming exhibition in 2013-2014 of the Mauritshuis’ major works across the United States. The book contains essays on the history of the Mauritshuis, foundations of 17th century painting and Johannes Vermeer’s Pearl with a Pearl Earring (sometimes referred to as the “Dutch Mona Lisa”). In addition, first-rate reproductions of works from artists such as Adriaen Van Ostade, Gerard Ter Borch, Frans Hals, Rembrandt van Rijn, Johannes Vermeer, Carel Fabritius, Salomon van Ruysdael and Jacob van Ruisdael.
• Frederik J. Duparc, Golden: Dutch and Flemish Masterworks from the Rose-Marie and Eijk van Otterloo Collection, (2011, Yale University Press in association with Peabody Essex Museum, Salem, MA and the Mauritshuis, The Hague, Netherlands)
The Golden Age comes to America! This 404-page volume was published in conjunction with the 2011 Golden exhibition of the Van Otterloo collection at the Peabody Essex Museum, the Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco and the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston. The book includes works by Willem van de Velde the Younger, Jacob van Ruisdael, Jan van der Heyden, Aelbert Cuyp, Willem (Claesz.) Heda, Jan Davidsz. de Heem, Jan Steen, Frans Hals, Gerrit Dou and Rembrandt.
• Benjamin Schmidt, Innocence Abroad—The Dutch Imagination and the New World 1570-1670, (Cambridge Univ. Press, 2001).
An academic study of the impact of the Americas on the arts in the Dutch Republic.
• Simon Schama, The Embarrassment of Riches—An Interpretation of Dutch Culture in the Golden Age, (Knopf, 1987).
The modern classic on art in the Dutch Republic’s “Golden Age.”
• Jim Coddington, John Elderfield and Willem de Kooning, De Kooning: A Retrospective, 2011, The Museum of Modern Art, New York
This book is the catalogue for the De Kooning retrospective exhibition at MoMA (Fall 2011). Born in Rotterdam, De Kooning (1904-1997) entered the US as a stowaway in 1926 and by the late 1940s he had become one of America’s leading abstract expressionists. A contemporary of Jackson Pollock, Arshile Gorky, Mark Rothko and others, he has on occasion been called “the American Picasso”. The MoMA exhibit was the first comprehensive exhibit of De Kooning’s work in more than thirty years. Known for his fascination with the female figure, the retrospective was a great overview of various periods of De Kooning’s career that spanned almost seventy years. The MoMA retrospective –occupying the MoMA’s new 17,00-square foot sixth floor, and exhibiting more than 200 works–was truly a landmark event for one of America’s most prominent 20th century artists. The book/catalogue is an excellent representation of De Kooning’s oeuvre and contains a great number of high-quality reproductions of De Kooning’s major works and informative essays by MoMA curator John Elderfield and other experts. Of course, De Kooning’s life is a unique story in and of itself, very well captured in the biography by Mark Stevens and Annalyn Swan (Knopf, 2004).
• Mark Stevens and Annalyn Swan, De Kooning-An American Master, (Knopf, 2004).
A brilliant biography on Dutch-born Willem de Kooning, often referred to as America’s Picasso.
• Nicoline van der Sijs, Cookies, Coleslaw and Stoops—The Influence of Dutch on the North American Languages, 2009, (Amsterdam University Press).
From the back cover: “From Santa Claus (named after Dutch folkore saint Sinterklaas) and his sleigh (after the Dutch slee) to a dumbhead talking poppycock, the contributions of the Dutch language to American English are indelibly embedded in some of our most vernacular terms and expressions….”. Van der Sijs traces the introduction of Dutch words into the Americas, and explains their meaning and spread across regions in the U.S. An interesting study not only for those interested in languages and linguistics, filled with all sorts of interesting discoveries. Did you know that in the 2007-2008 academic year no fewer than 915 students were taking Dutch at American universities? And there’s a lot more Dutch in the American language than most of us realize, e.g. boss (derived from “baas”), dollar (“daalder”), brandy (“brandewijn”), pancake (“pannenkoek”), and handler (“handelaar”).
• Johan Huizinga (author), Herbert H. Rowen (editor/translator), America: A Dutch Historian’s Vision, from Afar and Near, (originally published in Dutch, re-issued in English by HarperCollins, 1972)
Professor Johan Huizinga (1872-1945) was the Netherlands’ most prominent cultural historian and author of the well-known The Autumn of the Middle Ages (1996, Univ of Chicago Press). Autumn was first translated into English in 1919 and remains one of the most widely read Dutch texts in the United States. Autumn covers life, thought and art in 14th- and 15th-century France and the Netherlands. Other famous Huizinga texts were Dutch Civilization in the Seventeenth Century and Other Essays, Homo Ludens: A Study of the Play-Element in Culture, and Erasmus and the Age of Reformation.
Less well-known is Huizinga’s America: A Dutch Historian’s Vision (originally published as Mens en Menigte in America (1918) and Amerika Levend en Denkend (1927)). In the spirit of De Tocqueville, Huizinga records both his apprehension towards and admiration for America. After an extensive visit to the US, he published the second work and contributed to social scientists’ interest in American society and culture. America: A Dutch Historian’s Vision was translated and edited by the late Professor Herbert H. Rowen (1916-1999). Rowen was professor of History at Rutgers University and for much of the 20th century one of America’s most prominent historians on early modern Europe and the Dutch Republic, as well as author of The Princes of Orange (1988, Cambridge Univ Press) and John de Witt (1986, Princeton Univ Press) and editor of The Low Countries in Early Modern Times (1972, Walker and Company). The latter is a selection of key segments from some 50 authentic documents tracing the Dutch Revolt, the creation of the Dutch Republic, the emergence of the trading companies and the House of Orange, etc, all translated (from Dutch, French or Latin) into English.
• Annette Stott, Holland Mania—The Unknown Dutch Period in American Art and Culture, (Overlook Press, 1998).
From the cover: “For 40 years between 1880 and 1920, [this] remarkable period in American cultural history took place. In 1903, an editorial in Ladies’ Home Journal announced to millions of American readers that Holland, not England, was the motherland of the United States…It came at the height of a craze for Holland that affected Americans from every geographic region of the United States.” A detailed study of the cultural relationships between the United States and the Netherlands based on art, art history, historiography, and immigrant studies.
• Annette Stott et al, Dutch Utopia: American Artists in Holland, 1880-1914, 2009, (Telfair Books, distributed by University of Georgia Press).
This book served as the catalogue of the Dutch Utopia exhibition at the Telfair Museum of Art in Savannah, Georgia (Oct 1, 2009-Jan 10, 2010) which continued at the Taft Museum of Art, Cincinnatti, Ohio (Feb 5-May 2, 2010), Grand Rapids Art Museum, Michigan (May 21-Aug 15, 2010) and Singer Museum, Laren, the Netherlands (Sept 16-Jan 15, 2011). Dutch Utopia was the first major exhibition to explore the little-known but fascinating phenomenon of American artists settling or working in Holland around the turn of the twentieth century and considers the cultural significance of their artistic production. These artists created visions of Dutch society that celebrated a pre-industrial lifestyle and, in some cases, alluded to America’s own colonial Dutch heritage. The catalogue includes seventy-three works by artists who remain celebrated today, such as Robert Henri, William Merritt Chase, John Henry Twachtman and John Singer Sargent, along with painters admired in their own time but less well-known nowadays, including George Hitchcock, Gari Melchers, George Boughton, Elizabeth Nourse, Anna Stanley and Walter MacEwen. Annette Stott (author of Holland Mania, see above) wrote the introduction; five other art historians contributed scholarly essays. The book is a real treat, with first-rate reproductions and is certainly of interest to those who have an affinity for the The Hague School (Anton Mauve, Mesdag et al). Annette Stott’s Holland Mania is a very suitable companion to Dutch Utopia as it provides a broad overview of all Dutch cultural influences in the United States some hundred years ago.
The NAF joined other foundations, institutions and individuals in supporting the Dutch Utopia exhibition through a grant.
• John Michael Montias, Vermeer and His Milieu—A Web of Social History, (Princeton University Press, 1989).
A biography of one of the great Dutch painter set in the broader context of the hustle and bustle of 17th century Delft.
• Lisa Jardine, Going Dutch- How England Plundered Holland’s Glory, (Harper & Collins, 2008).
From the flap: “On November 5, 1688, William of Orange, Protestant ruler of the Dutch Republic, landed at Torbay in Devon with a force of twenty thousand men. The Glorious Revolution that followed forced James II to abdicate, and William and his wife, Mary, were jointly crowned king and queen….Jardine assembles new research… to show how Dutch tolerance, resourcefulness and commercial acumen had effectively conquered Britain long before…Going Dutch is the remarkable story of the relationship between two of Europe’s most important colonial powers at the dawn of the modern age…Holland and England were engaged in an energetic commercial and cultural exchange that survived three Anglo-Dutch wars…Dutch influence also permanently reshaped England cultural landscape….Going Dutch demonstrates how individuals such as Christopher Wren, Isaac Newton and successive generations of the remarkable Huygens family… developed their ideas within a context of the easy Anglo-Dutch relations that laid the groundwork for the European Enlightenment and the Scientific Revolution…..Jardine tests the traditional view that the rise of England as a world power took place at the expense of the Dutch…”. Some reviewers have called Jardine’s book “revisionist history”; William’s invasion may have been motivated to thwart possible plans of France’s Louis XIV against England or Holland. In any case, William and Mary’s Glorious Revolution did introduce religious liberty, democratic institutions and the Bill of Rights in England which in turn inspired the Americans in 1776. (Note that, after New Netherland had fallen under British rule after the end of the Second Anglo-Dutch war in 1664, William’s arrival in London did not change the status of what had then become New York).
• Peter G. Rose, Food, Drink and Celebrations of the Hudson Valley Dutch, 2009, (The History Press).
Dutch influences can still be seen along the Hudson River in architecture and customs, but who would have thought that Dutch food and drink persisted for more than 400 years? From beer to bread and cookies and coleslaw, Rose’s book is a comprehensive look at food and drink in colonial America, complete with plenty of recipes! How about Artichoke Salad with Radishes for your next dinner party? Here’s the recipe: 1 artichoke per person (if very large, use half), bacon, beef broth, radishes, cress. Dressing: oil, wine vinegar, salt, pepper, dash of sugar and minced green herbs. Then wrap each artichoke in bacon slices and cook in the beef broth until done (the bottom can be pierced with a fork). Cool in the broth. When cool, remove the leaves, discard the fuzzy choke and thin leaves and cut the bottom into eight parts. Arrange them on a plate and surround them with some of the leaves (cut off sharp tips). Decorate with the washed radishes either whole or cut in half, and place one radish in the middle, perhaps on a little bed of cress if available. Combine the dressing ingredients; sprinkle the salad lightly with the dressing and serve. Heerlijk!
• Roderic H. Blackburn, Dutch Colonial Homes in America, (Rizzoli, 2002).
With an introduction by Harrison Frederick Meeske and beautiful photography by Geoffrey Gross and Susan Piatt, this book about Dutch Colonial architecture was made possible partially through a grant from the NAF. Most of the houses shown are open to the public and have considerable collections of artifacts, furniture and household items of the appropriate period.
• Roderic H. Blackburn and Ruth Piwonka, Remembrance of Patria: Dutch Arts and Culture in Colonial America, 1609-1776, (The Publishing Center for Cultural Resources for The Albany Institute of History and Art, 1988).
Written and compiled by two authorities on Dutch Colonial art and history, the book is the outcome of an exhibit at the Albany Institute and shows architecture as well as furniture and household goods of the period that have survived.
• David Steven Cohen, The Dutch-American Farm, (NYU Press, 1992).
While New Amsterdam and the Dutch governance of the Hudson Valley ceased in the 17th century, many of the traditions and customs in both building and farming survived well into the 19th Century and can be traced today.
• John Fitchen, The New World Dutch Barn: A Study of Its Characteristics, Its Structural System, and Its Probable Erection Procedure, (Syracuse Univ. Press, 1968) (Second edition expanded 2001 with material by Gregory D. Huber).
One of the first publications about a distinctive New York State barn type with framing and plan characteristics that are reminiscent of the ‘los hoes’ in Drenthe.
• John R. Stevens, Dutch Vernacular Architecture in North America 1640-1830, 2005, Society for the Preservation of Hudson valley Vernacular Architecture.
• Kevin L. Stayton, Dutch by Design: Tradition and Change in Two Historic Brooklyn Houses, The Schenck House and the Brooklyn Museum, 1990, St Martin’s Press.
• Harrison Meeske, The Hudson Valley Dutch and their Houses, (Purple Mountain Press, 1999; revised edition, 2001).
A more contemporary update on the earlier pre-World War II surveys of houses in the Hudson Valley, with some discussion about their typology.
• Helen Wilkinson Reynolds, Dutch Houses in the Hudson Valley Before 1776 Payson & Clark, originally published in 1929, reprinted by Dover Publications in 1966, with foreword by Franklin Delano Roosevelt.
• Rosalie Fellows Bailey, Pre-Revolutionary Dutch Houses and Families in Northern Jersey and Southern New York, (William Morrow, 1936).
Both the Reynolds and the Bailey books were compiled on behalf of the Holland Society and were the first attempts at a detailed survey of Dutch Colonial heritage. They remain the most comprehensive resource today. Houses and farms identified in these surveys have since been lost.
“The Dutch are the envy of some, the fear of others, and the wonder of all their neighbours”, wrote Sir William Temple, English ambassador to the Dutch Republic, in 1673. To be sure, for much of the 17th and 18th century the Brits weren’t as complimentary. The titles below describe the political, civic and social changes in the Netherlands which fueled the country’s prosperity for more than 100 years and its expansion overseas.
• C.V. Wedgwood, William the Silent—William of Nassau, Prince of Orange, 1533-1584, originally published in 1944, re-issued by Weidenfeld & Nicolsen 2001.
Cicely Veronica Wedgwood (1910-1997) was one of England’s most prolific and widely-read historians and a specialist on the 17th century. Her The Thirty Years War (about the religious wars across Europe in the early 17th century) remains a classic. Amongst the many biographies about stadhouder William of Orange, Wedgwood’s William The Silent remains one of the best. William of Orange (1533-1584) was to the Netherlands what George Washington was to the United States. William was the great-grandfather of William of Orange III (1650-1702), who served as Stadhouder as well as King of England.
• Jonathan Israel, The Dutch Republic—Its Rise, Greatness and Fall 1477-1806, (Oxford Univ Press, 1995).
Superb….The modern classic on the Dutch Republic.
• Pieter Geyl, History of the Dutch-Speaking Peoples 1555-1648, (Phoenix Press, 2001, originally published as two separate volumes in 1932 and 1936).
• John L. Motley, The Rise of the Dutch Republic, (Harper & Brothers, 1855).
John Lothrop Motley (1814-1877) graduated from Harvard and, after a short stint in the U.S. diplomatic service in St Petersburg, Russia, became a history and fiction writer. In 1846 he began work on a history of the Netherlands, from 1851 through 1855 did archival research across Europe and in 1856 published The Rise of the Dutch Republic in two volumes. Motley’s work, published at his own expense, became a bestseller in the U.S. (30,000 copies sold in the first year) and for some fifty years Motley’s work dominated America’s perception of how the Netherlands gained its independence from Spain. Honorary degrees from European universities followed as well as an LL.D. degree from Harvard. An expanded version, The History of the United Netherlands, was published in 1860. Motley cast the struggle for Dutch independence in terms of a war of good (William of Orange, liberty, protestantism, etc) against evil (Spain, the Inquisition, tyranny, etc), in the process drawing a parallel between heroism of the Dutch and Americans in their respective wars of liberation. The significant (and positive) impact on the perception of the Dutch and the Netherlands in America was unmistakable. But Dutch historians Geyl and Fruin, while admiring his flowery style, criticized Motley’s work for being fast and loose with the facts. Critics felt that he chose the facts to correspond to his own prejudices and presuppositions. After the Civil War broke out, Motley sought the appointment as U.S. to the Hague, but instead was posted in Austria (1861-1867). Later he served briefly as ambassador to England (1869-70). In the context of US-Dutch relations, both Motley’s works and his person are stand-outs.
• Maarten Prak, The Dutch Republic in the Seventeenth Century, (Cambridge Univ Press, 2005).
From the cover: “The Dutch are the envy of some, the fear of others, and the wonder of all their neighbours. So wrote the English ambassador to the Dutch Republic, Sir William Temple, in 1673. Maarten Prak offers a lively and innovative history of the Dutch Golden Age, charting its political, social, economic and cultural history through chapters that range from the introduction of the tulip to the experience of immigrants and Jews in Dutch society, the paintings of Vermeer and Rembrandt, and the ideas of Spinoza. He places the Dutch “miracle” in a European context, examining the Golden Age both as a product of its own past and as the harbinger of a more modern, industrialized and enlightened society”. Prak is professor of history at Utrecht University.
• Geert Mak, Amsterdam- A Brief Life of the City, (Harvard Univ Press, 2000).
From the cover: “Cosmopolitan, stylish, even a little decadent—“the Venice of the North”— [Amsterdam] is a city of legendary beauty. From a twelfth-century settlement of wooden huts at the mouth of the river Amstel, it had become by the late 16th century one of the great cultural capitals of Europe and a major financial center……Mak traces the city’s progress from a small town of merchants, sailors, farmers and fishermen to a thriving metropolis…a city of dreams and nightmares, of grand civic architecture and magnificent monuments, but also of civil wars, uprisings, and bloody religious purges….”. Wealthy citizens from the melting pot called Amsterdam and other Dutch cities bought shares in the Dutch East India Company (VOC) and West India Company (WIC); the former discovered the Noort Rivier (later rechristened Hudson river), the latter settled and governed New Amsterdam for most of the 17th century.
The Dutch “Golden Age” (roughly 1630-1730) saw pathbreaking developments in technology and science, trade and finance. The Dutch East India Company (VOC) became the world’s first shareholder-owned multinational and the Dutch have remained amongst the largest equity investors in the U.S. after American Independence.
• Jonathan I. Israel, Dutch Primacy in World Trade 1585-1740, (Oxford Univ Press, 1989).
The most up-to-date broad overview of the Dutch expansion overseas, and the development of the Dutch “entrepot”—the nexus of supply, transport, finance and distribution services, including the emergence of the Dutch East India Company (VOC) and the West India Company (WIC). While employed by the VOC, in 1609 Henry Hudson discovered what was to become New Netherland. But it was the WIC that ultimately founded and governed New Netherland starting in 1620.
• C. R. Boxer, The Dutch Seaborne Empire 1600-1800, Originally published in 1965, reprinted by Penguin Books in1990.
Professor Boxer (University of London, Yale) wrote a series of books, including The Dutch in Brazil 1624-1654 (1957), Anglo-Dutch Wars of the 17th Century (1974), Jan Compagnie in Japan 1600-1817 (1936), and Dutch Merchants and Mariners in Asia 1602-1795 (1988).
• David Ormrod, The Rise of Commercial Empires: England and the Netherlands in the Age of Mercantilism, 1650-1770, 2008, Cambridge Univ Press.
Ormrod provides an analysis of a crucial transformation in the history of world trade and reveals how London and its surroundings grew during the eighteenth century to become the first true entrepot. The City of London developed a new kind of commercial structure sharply distinct from that of Holland and Amsterdam during the seventeenth century.
• Anne Goldgar, Tulipmania: Money, Honor and Knowledge in the Dutch Golden Age, (University of Chicago Press, 2007).
In the 1630s, the Netherlands was gripped by tulipmania: a speculative fever unprecedented in scale and folly. As the story goes, otherwise sensible merchants, nobles, and artisans spent all they had and more on tulip bulbs. Bulbs changed hands hundreds of times in a single day, and some bulbs, sold and resold for thousands of guilders, never even existed. Tulipmania is seen as an example of the gullibility of crowds and the dangers of financial speculation.
But it wasn’t like that. As Anne Goldgar reveals in Tulipmania, not one of these stories is true. Making use of extensive archival research, she lays waste to the legends, revealing that while the 1630s did see a speculative bubble in tulip prices, neither the height of the bubble nor its bursting were anywhere near as dramatic as we tend to think. By clearing away the accumulated myths, Goldgar is able to show us instead the far more interesting reality: the ways in which tulipmania reflected deep anxieties about the transformation of Dutch society in the Golden Age.
• Jan de Vries and Ad van der Woude, The First Modern Economy—Success, Failure, and Perseverance of the Dutch Economy 1500-1815, (Cambridge Univ. Press, 1997).
The most authoritative economic history of the Dutch Republic and years of French occupation, written by two prominent economic historians. Early urbanization, education, “rule of law,” decentralized government structures and adoption of a modern monetary system all coalesced and made the Netherlands the “first modern economy.”
• J. Luiten van Zanden and Arthur van Riel, The Strictures of Inheritance—The Dutch Economy in the Nineteenth Century, (Princeton Univ. Press, 2004).
From the cover: “Between 1780 and 1914, the Netherlands went through a double transition. Its economy—which, in the words of Adam Smith, was approaching a “stationary state” in the 18th century—entered a process of modern economic growth…At the same time, the country’s sociopolitical structure was undergoing a radical transformation as the decentralized polity of the republic gave way to a unitary state.”
• M.‘t Hart, J. Jonker and J. Luiten van Zanden, A Financial History of the Netherlands,
(Cambridge Univ. Press, 1997).
A collection of essays by Dutch historians that illustrate a Dutch financial economy the size and influence of which far exceeded the size of the Netherlands. Discusses financial innovations, the role of the Amsterdam capital markets, etc., in an international context.
• Pieter J. van Winter, American Finance and Dutch Investment 1780-1805, 2 volumes, with an Epilogue to 1840, edited by James C. Riley, (Arno Press, 1977).
Van Winter’s work, originally published in 1927 as Het aandeel van den Amsterdamschen handel aan den Opbouw van het Amerikaansche Gemeenebest ( published on behalf of the Nederlandsch Economisch-Historisch Archief by Martinus Nijhoff) remains the most authoritative study on the role of a number of private Dutch banks in the financing of the fledgling new republic of the United States and American businesses, culminating in Hope & Co’s financing (along with Barings) of America’s purchase of Louisiana from France.
• A.J. Van Veenendaal, Slow Train to Paradise: How Dutch Investment Helped Build American Railroads, (Stanford Univ. Press, 1996).
Dutch banks played prominent roles in lending monies to the new republic of the United States – some Dfl 30.4 million before 1794, $15 million in 1803 for the funding of the Louisiana Purchase, and thereafter plenty of smaller loans for governmental infrastructure projects. But in the 1870s, Dutch investors supplied a veritable flood of loans (and, to a lesser extent, equity monies) for U.S. railroads. The first cross-border, high yield (junk?) financings? This book is interesting financial history.
• Larry Neal, The Rise of Financial Capitalism—International Capital markets in the Age of Reason, (Cambridge Univ Press, 1990).
Essays on the emergence of banks, financial instruments and capital markets in Amsterdam and London in the 17th and 18th century.
• William N. Goetzmann & Geert Rouwenhorst (eds), The Origins of Value—The Financial Innovations that created Modern Capital Markets, (Oxford Univ Press, 2005).
“From the invention of interest in Mesopotamia and the origin of paper money in China, to the creation of mutual funds, inflation-indexed bonds and global financial securities, here is a sweeping survey of financial innovations that have changed the world…”. Yale professors Goetzmann and Rouwenhorst and other prominent economists and historians document a number of capital markets innovations, including the introduction of shares of common stock in 1602 by the VOC, perpetuities issued in 1648 by a hoogheemraadschap (water board) that are still paying interest, Amsterdam as the birthplace of futures and options trading, annuities and the origin of mutual funds in the Netherlands (in 1774).
• Harold J. Cook, Matters of Exchange—Commerce, Medicine, and Science in the Dutch Golden Age, (Yale Univ Press, 2007).
From the flap: “…A leading authority on the history of medicine and science presents convincing evidence that Dutch commerce –not religion– inspired the rise of science in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries…..Cook scrutinizes a wealth of historical documents relating to the study of medicine and natural history in the Netherlands and elsewhere in Europe, Brazil, South Africa and Asia….He uncovers direct links between the rise of trade and commerce in the Dutch empire and the flourishing of scientific investigation….”
• Mike Dash, Tulipo Mania- The Story of the World’s Most Coveted Flower and the Extraordinary Passions it Aroused, (Crown Publishers, 1999).
The history of how the speculators and ordinary citizens in the 1630s in Amsterdam and other Dutch cities drove futures prices of tulips (yes, tulips) sky-high before the market’s crash left hundreds of thousands penniless. Possibly the first bubble of modern times.
• Mike Dash, Batavia’s Graveyard—The True Story of the Mad Heretic who led History’s Bloodiest Mutiny, (Crown Publishers, 2002).
Things got out of hand on many ships of the Dutch East India Company (VOC), but never like at the Batavia. In November 1628, the VOC’s flagship Batavia sailed from Amsterdam to Java. On June 4, 1629 the Batavia struck a reef off the western coast of Australia. A power struggle ensued amongst the 300 survivors; a junior officer, Jeronimus Cornelisz won out and began a reign of terror. When three months later help arrives from Java, only 70 are alive, a battle erupted and Cornelisz, a religious fanatic, found his own demise. The discovery of Batavia’s shipwreck in 1960 did spawn a new wave of research on the VOC’s bloodiest and most bizarre voyage to the East.
Dutch citizens began immigrating to America around 1620; about 3% of the current U.S. population of 300 million can claim (partial) Dutch origin. Some became famous and had biographers write about them, some wrote their own stories.
• Edward W. Bok, The Americanization of Edward Bok: The Autobiography of a Dutch Boy Fifty Years Later, (Scribner’s Sons, 1924).
The autobiography of a young Dutch immigrant from Texel, who became the most prominent publisher of his day as editor of Ladies’ Home Journal. Bok played a major role in the dissemination of Dutch art and history in the United States in the first half of the 20th century. Along with Franklin Delano Roosevelt and others, Mr. Bok was a co-founder of the NAF in 1921.
• Hans Krabbendam, The Model Man: A Life of Edward William Bok, 1863-1930, (2001, Editions Rodopi)
From the Publishers: Edward William Bok was the most famous Dutch-American in the early twentieth century America thanks to his thirty-year editorship of the Ladies’ Home Journal, the most prestiguous women’s magazine of the day. This first complete biograhpy of Edward Bok’s life places him, against his ethnic background and portrays him as the spokesman for and molder of the American middle class between 1890 and 1930. He acted as a mediator between a Victorian and modern society, reconciling consumerism with idealism. As a Dutch immigrant he became a model for successful adaptation to a new country and modern times. He used his national reputation to restore America’s internationalism in the 1920’s. His life story is relevant to those interested in the history of immigration, journalism, the rise of big business, the women’s movement and the Progressive Movement.
• Klaas de Boer, Rough Seas: An immigrant’s Journey from Holland to Holland (self published).
Klaas deBoer knows the feeling of being at the mercy of strangers following his family’s move from Kollum, the Netherlands, to the United States 53 years ago. He relives those unanticipated adjustments he grappled with as a young immigrant to the U.S. in his self-published book, Rough Seas: An Immigrant’s Journey from Holland to Holland. The 212-page volume is part memoir, part words of wisdom.
Rough Seas is priced at $19.95 and available at Readers World and Treehouse Books in Holland, Michigan and Literary Life Bookstore & More Inc. in East Grand Rapids. This book is available on amazon.com.
• Abraham Pais, A Tale of Two Continents—A Physicist’s Life in A Turbulent World, (Princeton Univ. Press, 1997).
Pais survived Nazi-occupation of the Netherlands in hiding and immigrated after WWII to the U.S. where, as one of the world’s leading theoretical physicists, he joined the Institute of Advanced Studies. There he worked with Einstein, Bohr, Oppenheimer, and Von Neumann, until he joined Rockefeller University.
• Cornelis van Minnen, Hendrik Willem van Loon: Popular Historian, Journalist and FDR Confidant, (Palgrave MacMillan, 2005).
Van Loon was among the most well-known American Dutchmen, author of popular history books, radio commentator, publicist and bon vivant on two continents. When FDR occupied the White House, Van Loon was one of FDR’s confidants. In the 1930-1940 period, Van Loon divided his time between New York, Greenwich, CT and Veere, the Netherlands. (Also published in Dutch as Amerika’s Beroemdste Nederlander. Een Biografie van Hendrik Willem van Loon (Boom Publishers, 2005). Van Loon’s works are also readily available.
• Peter Collier with David Horowitz, The Roosevelts-An American Saga, (Simon & Schuster, 1994).
Claes Martenszen van Rosenvelt left the Netherlands around 1621 and set sail for the New World. Cleas had one son, Nicholas (1658-1742), whose offspring included Johannes (later John, 1689-1750) and Jacobus (later James, 1692-1776) who, respectively, founded the Oyster Bay and Hyde Park branches of the family. John’s great-grandson Theodore (1858-1919) became the 26th president of the United States in 1901, while James’s great-grandson Franklin (and thus Theodore’s cousin) served as the 32nd from 1933 through 1945. Franklin married to Eleanor, Theodore’s niece. While hundreds (thousands?) of books have been written about presidents Teddy (TR) and Franklin Delano Roosevelt (FDR), as well as Eleanor Roosevelt, this book is about the Roosevelt family. TR was a Republican, hunter and outdoorsman, renaissance man and prolific reader and author, while FDR was a Democrat with no great intellectual passions but with a strong attachment to Dutchess county. Both liked sailing, lived near the water, and served as Assistant Secretary of the Navy. A good read about the remarkable mark one family left on American society.
• John Niven, Martin van Buren-The Romantic Age of American Politics, (Oxford University Press, 1983).
From the flap: “They called him the Magician, the Red Fox, and other names that celebrated his political skill. And indeed, there is no doubt that Martin van Buren was the most innovative politician of his age…Niven reveals a man who was preeminently as statesman—not just a superb practitioner of the art of the possible, as he is commonly depicted. First prominent in New York politics, Van Buren served as administration, he was Jackson’s most influential advisor. His own presidency (1837-1841) was beset by the worst depression the United States had yet faced, but as Niven shows, Van Buren met crisis with courage. His corrective measures incensed the financial community but saved the public credit. Defeated in the 1840 election, he was denied the Democratic nomination, for opposing, on moral grounds the immediate annexation of Texas. In 1848, as the presidential candidate for the anti-slavery Free Soil Party, he again lent his name to an unpopular cause he felt was right”.
• T.J. Stiles, The First Tycoon: The Epic Life of Cornelius Vanderbilt (Alfred A. Knopf, 2009)
Move over Bill Gates, Warren Buffett and all Silicon Valley tycoons…Vanderbilt was here first! A widely praised biography of a man who in many ways created–and prospered–in modern American capitalism. Cornelius Vanderbilt’s great-great-great-grandfather, Jan Aertsen, was a Dutch farmer from the village of de Bilt in the province of Utrecht, in the Netherlands, who immigrated to New Netherland in 1650. Cornelius was born on Staten Island, quit school at 11 to start working on the waterfront. After borrowing some money from his mother, at the age of 16 he began ferrying passengers between Manhattan and Staten Island. During the War of 1812, he supplied the forts around New York sailing schooners, hence the name Commodore Vanderbilt. In 1818, Vanderbilt switched to steamships and built a profitable business between New Brunswick, New Jersey and Manhattan, while his wife Sophia operated a profitable inn and tavern near the New Jersey mooring. Later, a steamship service between Manhattan and Albany was added and by 1840 Vanderbilt had 100 steamships operating in the waters around New York and ventured onto the cross-Atlantic market. In the 1860s, Vanderbilt redeployed his capital into railroads and acquired the New York and Harlem, Hudson River and New York Central Railroads, and was instrumental in building the original Grand Central Terminal. Vanderbilt’s aim to control railroad traffic west of New York was thwarted by Jay Gould, then in control of the Erie Railroad. After the Commodore’s son William Vanderbilt gained control of Western Union, another battle erupted between the Vanderbilts and the Goulds when Gould started the American Telegraph Company. Both Cornelius and William were ruthless businessmen, the original “robber barons”. Nonetheless, they were amongst the first to engage in large-scale philanthropy as Cornelius gave much of his fortune (some $100 million at his death in 1877, roughly equivalent to $150 billion today) to charity, including the initial endowment for Vanderbilt University.
• Ted Widmer, Martin van Buren, (Times Books/Henry Holt & Co, 2005).
Van Buren served as the 8th president, grew up speaking Dutch in Kinderhook, NY, before establishing himself as a powerful country lawyer in Claverack, NY. Van Buren rose to become a U.S. Senator at age 29, then New York governor, U.S. Secretary of State and Vice President under President Andrew Jackson, and President (1837-1841). The economic depression during his presidency cost him his re-election, but not before he introduced far-reaching democratic reforms. He put Kinderhook on the map by initialing his memos and correspondence with O.K. (“Old Kinderhook”).
• Gajus Scheltema and Heleen Westerhuijs (eds), Exploring Historic Dutch New York, 2011, Museum of the City of New York and Dover Publications
The NY400 celebrations in 2009 prompted Gajus Scheltema (then Consul-General of the Netherlands in New York, now ambassador to Pakistan) and Heleen Westerhuijs to compile a “travel guide” to the many remnants of the colony of New Netherland. The book is, first and foremost, a highly original and useful roadmap for those interested in visiting a number of Dutch sites across the Northeast. From Lower Manhattan and Brooklyn, to the lower Hudson River valley, to Albany, Schenectady and Newburgh, and numerous places in New Jersey and even Delaware. Through private homes or farmhouses, churches or Dutch art collections in various museums, a lot more of colonial Dutch history was preserved than is commonly thought. And the influence of the 17th century Dutch immigrants on colonial society was felt well beyond 1664 when Petrus Stuyvesant surrendered the colony to the Brits. The book provides informative descriptions and photographs of some hundred sites along with exact addresses, telephone numbers, and opening times. A special treat is a number of first-class short essays written by well-known scholars of Dutch colonial history on topics such as the maps of New Netherland, Dutch paintings in the Metropolitan Museum, Dutch influences in the American kitchen, architecture in the Dutch colony, immigrants, slavery in New Netherland and Dutch words in the American vocabulary. Get ready for some fun weekend trips!
• Emmeline Besamusca & Jaap Verheul (editors), Discovering the Dutch—On Culture and Society of the Netherlands, (2010, Amsterdam University Press)
This book contains 20 essays by Dutch scholars on “traditions, structures and cultural institutions that are simply taken for granted by the locals [but] beg explanation to newcomers or outside observers”. The contrasts and contradictions in Dutch society often have discernible historical roots and most authors are quite successful in linking modern Dutch society to the seminal events or periods in Dutch history. The most densely populated country in the world, yet with plenty of windmills in pastoral surroundings. An economy typified by consensus decision making, but with a history of tolerating (or even fostering) dissent. And an acknowledged powerhouse in soccer that has yet to win the World Cup! If there is such a thing as “typical Dutch”, this book is a fine attempt to explain what it is. But the book also contains many practical insights.
• Hendrik Willem van Loon, The Story of Mankind, originally published in 1921, re-issued by Cosimo Books
The book was intended for children, and of course much of the science is hopelessly out of date, but this ambitious, even audacious attempt to offer an overview of the entirety of human history remains a breathtaking work today. A 1921 bestseller, The Story of Mankind won the first Newbery Medal in 1922. The book begins with the origin of life itself on our planet and the arrival of the earliest protohumans on the scene and ends with “The Last Fifty Years, Including Several Explanations and an Apology” and is abundant with an offbeat charm and packed with the author’s own beautiful illustrations and maps that are alive with a fresh, delectable humor. Dutch-American author and educator Hendrik Willem van Loon (1882–1944) sold more than six million books during his lifetime, including The Story of the Bible (1923), Tolerance (1925), and America (1927). After studies at Harvard, Cornell, and the University of Munich, he had a diverse career as a popular professor of European history at Cornell and of social sciences at Antioch College, an Associated Press correspondent in revolutionary Russia and World War I Belgium, and associate editor of the Baltimore Sun from 1923 to 1924. (See also Van Loon’s biography on the NAF Book List.)
• Theo Hermans (ed.), A Literary History of the Low Countries, 2009, Camden House
Twelve essays by prominent scholars of Dutch literature, edited by Theo Hermans, professor of Dutch and Comparative Literature at University College, London. The essays cover almost one thousand years of literature in the low countries (the current day Belgium and The Netherlands). From the Middle Ages, to the Dutch Revolt and Golden Age, to the pre- and post-war periods of the 20th century. Many of the major works of the 19th and 20th century –from literature on the Dutch East Indies, to titles by the post-WWII Dutch equivalents of the “Angry Young Men”, to many titles inspired by World War II — are discussed. Because many (if not most) of Dutch classics have been translated into English, this Literary History provides a first-rate road map to Dutch literature for the American –but also Dutch– reader.
• Benjamin J. Kaplan, Divided by Faith: Religious Conflict and the Practice of Toleration in Early Modern Europe, (Harvard University Press, 2007).
As religious violence flares around the world, we are confronted with an acute dilemma: Can people coexist in peace when their basic beliefs are irreconcilable? Benjamin Kaplan responds by taking us back to early modern Europe, when the issue of religious toleration was no less pressing than it is today.
Divided by Faith begins in the wake of the Protestant Reformation, when the unity of western Christendom was shattered, and takes us on a panoramic tour of Europe’s religious landscape over the next three centuries. Kaplan reveals the patterns of conflict and toleration among Christians, Jews, and Muslims across the continent, from the British Isles to Poland. He lays bare the complex realities of day-to-day interactions and calls into question the received wisdom that toleration underwent an evolutionary rise as Europe grew more “enlightened.” We are given vivid examples of the improvised arrangements that made peaceful coexistence possible, and shown how common folk contributed to toleration as significantly as did intellectuals and rulers. Bloodshed was prevented not by the high ideals of tolerance and individual rights upheld today, but by the pragmatism, charity, and social ties that continued to bind people divided by faith.
• Fran Dunwell, The Hudson: America’s River (Columbia University Press, 2008).
Frances F. Dunwell presents a rich portrait of the Hudson and of the visionary people whose deep relationship with the river inspires changes in American history and culture. Lavishly illustrated with color plates of Hudson River School paintings, period engravings, and glass plate photography, The Hudson captures the spirit of the river through the eyes of its many admirers. It shows the crucial role of the Hudson in the shaping of Manhattan and the rise of the Empire State and the trajectory of world trade and global politics as well as its influence on art and architecture, engineering and conservation.
• David Winner, Brilliant Orange-The Neurotic Genius of Dutch Soccer, (Overlook Press, 2002).
From the flap:” Brilliant Orange is a book about Dutch soccer that’s not really about soccer. It’s more about an enigmatic way of thinking peculiar to a people whose landscape is unrelentingly flat……If anything, Brilliant Orange is about Dutch space, and a people whose unique conception of it has led to some of the most enduring art, the weirdest architecture, and a bizarrely cerebral form, of soccer—Total Football—that led in 1974 to a World Cup finals match with arch-rival Germany….In the hot summer of 1975 Wim van Hanegem was offered the chance to leave his beloved Feyenoord and join the French club Olympique Marseille. He couldn’t decide what to do…So he turned to his dig: “We can’t decide. It’s up top you now. If you want to go to Marseille, bark or show me”. For several minutes the dog and Van Hanegem stared at each other. The dog didn’t move. “OK”, said Wim, “he doesn’t want to go. We’re staying”…..The cast stretches from anarchists and church painters to rabbis and skinheads to Holland’s beloved soccer players….”
• Ted Spiegel (photos) and Reed Sparling (text), Hudson Valley Voyage—Through the Seasons, Through the Years, (Involvement Media, 2007).
From the flap: “Hudson Valley Voyage offers a rich exploration of the Hudson Valley’s awe-inspiring beauty and the last 400 years of its history. From fishermen netting springtime shad to a frosty, pumpkin-filled field, Ted Spiegel’s unforgettable photographs capture the valley’s four-season splendor”. Beautiful photographs, a number of historical essays, along with a detailed map of Hudson River area including location and addresses of (Dutch and non-Dutch) historic sites that can be visited. Don’t go sight-seeing along the Hudson without this book!
While living in Amsterdam, NAF-Boston member Judith White became fascinated with the city’s 17th century history, culture and art. Once back in the US, she wrote her first novel, The Seventh Etching. From the flap: “ A historic family drama based in and near 1640 Amsterdam, the wealthiest city on earth at the time, The Seventh Etching tells the story of two families over a one-year period. Both Griet and Johannes Verhoeven, farmers in their early 20’s and Jos and Myriam Broekhof, wealthy merchants in their 30’s, face devastating losses that threaten their livelihood, and their marriages. After a major flood, Griet and Johannes attempt to rebuild two combined family farms — a unique, promising inheritance that initially brought them together, but now overwhelms them. Myriam secretly sells her husband’s valuable art collection to build a hidden monument to their deceased daughter. Jos suffers despair and defeat as he combs every corner of the city in his obsessive attempt to complete a set of playfully erotic etchings. It is a six-year old Gypsy orphan, Nelleke, who connects the two couples. Sprightly and spirited, Nelleke both delights and exasperates. Might this mysterious child have the power to heal struggling adults and find the permanent home she seeks? Does she, innocently and unknowingly, hold the clue to the missing etching, as Jos suspects”.
• Jaap & Ina Soep Polak, Steal a Pencil for Me: Love letters from Camps Westerbork and Bergen-Belsen, (Lion Books, 2000).
A book about a concentration camp courtship that led to the couple’s celebrating their 60th wedding anniversary in 2006.
• Edith Velmans, Edith’s Story, (Soho Press, 1998; Bantam trade paperback, 2001).
“The True Story of a Young Girl’s Courage and Survival During World War II.”
• Loet Velmans, Long Way Back to the River Kwai–Memories of World War II, 2011, Arcade Publishing (first issued in 2003)
Loet Velmans was seventeen when the Germans, in 1940, invaded the Netherlands. After first escaping to London, he sailed to the Dutch East Indies where he joined the Dutch Army. In 1943, Velmans was taken prisoner by the Japanese and –after imprisonment in Singapore and surviving unspeakably cruel conditions on prisoner ships— was, along with some 20,000 British, Dutch and Australian POWs and 200,000 Asian slave-laborers, forced in building a railroad on the Burma-Thailand border. More than 200,000 died from malaria, dysentery, malnutrition and suffered unfathomable cruelty at the hands of the Japanese. Velmans survived. In 2000, he visited the place where he miraculously survived and were he had buried his closest friend. In his post-war career, Velmans became CEO of Hill & Knowlton. In the 1980s and early 1990s, Mr Velmans served as Chairman of the Netherland-America Foundation.
• Theodore H.M. Prudon, Preservation of Modern Architecture, (John Wiley & Sons, 2008).
From the cover: “ Modern architecture, built from approximately the 1920s to the 1970s, defined the twentieth century. Now, as works of modern architecture face a fate ranging from deterioration to functional obsolescence, the unique challenges of saving these buildings are evolving preservation practice”. The book is the first of its kind and covers both theory and practice of preservations and includes case studies (along with photos and illustrations) of preservation projects in the U.S. Europe and Australia. Theodore Prudon is a practicing architect in New York City, teaches preservation at Columbia University’s Graduate School of Architecture, Planning and Preservation and serves as Chairman of the NAF’s Cultural Committee.
• Eduardo Vidal & Jan J.H. Joosten, US Securities Regulation: A Guidebook for International Companies, 2011, Globe Law & Business
From the publisher: “With the capital markets opening up again, many international companies are hoping to access the US capital markets as part of their financing strategy. While this option is attractive from a financial perspective, the rules governing US securities regulation are sometimes daunting for newcomers…[This] book provides a concise and practical solution…describes US securities law from the perspective of international companies and their advisors”. Includes the topics such as public offerings in the US (including initial public offerings; private placements; Sarbanes-Oxley Act; tender offers for non-US companies with US shareholders; American Depository receipts; and litigation risks; and sample checklists, legends and publicity guidelines. Co-author Jan Joosten is chairman of The Netherland-America Foundation.
• Hendrik Edelman, International Publishing in the Netherlands, 1933-1945—German Exile, Scholalry Expansion, War-time Clandestinity, (2010, Brill Academic Publishers)
From the publisher: International publishing in the Netherlands has glorious tradition in the 17th and 18th century. A remarkable revival took place after 1933 when several Dutch publishers began to issue books written by exiles of the Nazi regime in the German language. The decline of German scholarly and scientific publishing during the same period inspired a number of other Dutch publishers to expand their programs or start new ones. As the English language became more prominent internationally, enterprising Dutch publishers began to explore these markets as well. After the Germans invaded the Netherlands, a number of printers began to produce finely printed books and pamphlets in many languages clandestinely, as an act of defiance or to raise money for underground causes. Hendrik Edelman is a professor emeritus at Rutgers University and a former chairman of the NAF’s Education Committee.
• Hendrik Edelman, The Netherland-America Foundation 1921-2011—A History, 2012, published by the Netherland-America Foundation
Two years before NAF celebrated its 90th anniversary, Professor Henk Edelman embarked on extensive archival research, in the US and the Netherlands, to document the NAF’s 90-year record of fostering the bonds between the US and the Netherlands through exchange in the arts, sciences, education, business and public affairs. Dozens of current and past NAF members were interviewed. Founded in 1921 by Franklin D. Roosevelt and his contemporaries, the NAF experienced its ups and downs, but eventually grew into the most significant trans-Atlantic not-for-profit organization. Edelman shows how the work of volunteers on both sides of the Atlantic and the generosity on the part of thousands of individuals and corporations enabled thousands of Dutchmen and Americans to cross the Atlantic and strengthen the bonds between the two countries. A summary of the book was published in the Fall 2011 edition of the NAF Newsletter. The book can be ordered from the NAF’s offices or through the website www.thenaf.org. The author is professor emeritus at Rutgers University and is a former Chairman of the NAF’s Education Committee.
• Margaret Jacob, The Scientific Revolution: A Brief History with Documents, 2009, Bedford/St Martins Press
In this volume Margaret Jacob explores the Scientific Revolution from its origins in the sixteenth century to its acceptance in Western societies in the late eighteenth century. Jacob’s introduction outlines the trajectory if the Scientific Revolution and argues that the revival of ancient texts in the Renaissance and the upheaval of the Protestant Reformation paved the way for science. The collected documents include writings of well-known scientists and philosophers such as Nicolaus Copernicus, Francis Bacon, Galileo Galilei, Rene Descartes, and Isaac Newton, as well as primary sources documenting innovations in medicine and engineering, advances in scientific investigations, and the popularization of the scientific revolution through academies and their journals. Document headnotes, questions for consideration, a chronology and a selected bibliography support students’ study of the Scientific Revolution. Margaret Jacob (Ph.D., Cornell University) is professor of history at the University of California, Los Angeles. She has published widely on science, religion, the Enlightenment, freemasonry, and the origins of the Industrial Revolution. Her first book, The Newtonians and the English Revolution (1976), won the Gottschalk Prize from the American Society for Eighteenth Century Studies. Dr Jacob is also a member of the NAF and member of the NAF’s Cultural Committee.
• Mia Mochizuki, The Netherlandish Image after Iconoclasm 1566-1672, (Ashgate, 2008).
Debunking the myth of the stark white Protestant church interior, this study explores the very objectors and architectural additions that were in fact added to the Netherlandish church interiors in the first century after iconoclasm. In charting these additions, Mia Mochizuki helps explain the impact of iconoclasm on the cultural topography of the Dutch Golden Age, and by extension, permits careful scrutiny of a decisive moment in the history of the image. This book unveils, defines and reproduces a host of images previously unaddressed by scholarship and links them to more familiar and long studied Dutch paintings. It provides a religious art companion to general studies of Dutch Golden Age art and lends greater depth to our understanding of iconoclasm, as well as the way in which cultural artifacts and religious material culture reflect and help to shape the values of a community. Mia Mochizuki teaches at the Jesuit School of Theology and Graduate Theological Union, Berkeley, California and is a member of the NAF Cultural Committee.
• Amy Golahny, Mia M. Mochizuki, Lisa Vergara, eds., In His Milieu, Essays on Netherlandish Art in Memory of John Michael Montias, (University of Amsterdam Press, 2006).
Gathered in honor of John Michael Montias (1928–2005), the foremost scholar on Johannes Vermeer and a pioneer in the study of the socioeconomic dimensions of art, the essays in In His Milieu are an essential contribution to the study of the social functions of making, collecting, displaying, and donating art. The nearly forty essays here by—all internationally recognized experts in the fields of art history and the economics of art—are especially revealing about the Renaissance and Baroque eras and present new material on such artists as Rembrandt, Van Eyck, Rubens and da Vinci.
• Mia de Kuijper, Profit Power Economics, 2009, Oxford University Press.
Profit Power Economics is a significant and original work on corporate strategy. Based on her extensive experience at major corporations such as AT&T, Pepsico, Office Depot and Royal Dutch Shell, De Kuijper explains how the vanishing cost of information has created the Transparent Economy necessitating a revamping of traditional corporate strategies. While in the past vertical integration often created sustainable growth and wealth, De Kuijper explains the need to develop “power nodes” in order to reap sustainable profits from markets that increasingly follow “power laws”. (In simple terms, under “power laws” 80% of the profits accrue to just 20% of the competitors). “Power nodes” exert control over suppliers, competitors and aftermarkets, and are characterized by attributes such as brands, distribution gateways, mutual utility, proprietary ingredients & technologies, and dominant position within a vertical value chain. De Kuijper (Ph.D. in economics from Harvard) illustrates how the Transparent Economy has challenged traditional concepts in economics (e.g. diminishing returns, boundaries of the firm, independent decision making) and how the Transparent Economy is leading to alternative corporate structures. A very worthwhile read for strategic thinkers, business managers and investors alike. Mia de Kuijper (principal of De Kuijper Global Partners, New York City) is a member of the NAF.
• Inez Hollander, Silenced Voices: Uncovering a Family’s Colonial History in Indonesia, (Ohio University Press, 2009).
From the publishers: “Like a number of Netherlanders in the post World War II era, Inez Hollander only gradually became aware that her family had significant connections with its Dutch colonial past, including an Indonesian great-grandmother. For the most part, such personal histories have been, if not entirely silenced, at least only whispered about in Holland, where society has remained uncomfortable with many aspects of its imperial rule. Unlike the majority of memoirs that are soaked in nostalgia for tempo doeloe, Hollander sets out to come to grips with her family’s past ….. She seeks not merely to locate and preserve family memories, but also test them against a more disinterested historical record…..Silenced Voices is an important contribution to the literature on how Dutch society has dealt with its recent colonial past”. Inez Hollander teaches at the University of California at Berkeley and is active in the NAF’s Northern California chapter.
• Robert C. Visser, Rifle-Butts, Bombs, Soup and Lice – A World War II Memoir
This World War II Memoir by then seventeen-year old Bob Visser recounts his experiences after he was caught in the November 1944 Nazi round-up of able-bodied men in Rotterdam, the Netherlands. Transported to Germany to work for the German war effort he escaped, was caught and after a brief stint in prison was forced to dig trenches near the front. Following a second escape American forces liberated him from his hiding place in early March 1945. He recovered from malnutrition and injuries in hospitals in Verviers, Belgium before being able to return to his home in Rotterdam. English language.
FICTION AND HISTORIC FICTION
The Dutch “Golden Age” and overseas expansion has spawned many fictional works about life and times of Dutch sailors, artists, and ordinary citizens in the Netherlands and faraway places across the world.
• Joseph O’Neill, Netherland, 2008, Pantheon
An award-winning novel about the life of a Dutchman living in New York, in the wake of the 9/11 attacks. Narrator Hans van den Broek, a banker from the Netherlands, feels lost in the country he has to come to regard as his home. Then, driven by his interest in the game of cricket, he stumbles unto a vibrant New York subculture and starts a friendship with a charismatic Trinidadian named Chuck Ramkissoon. Chuck introduces Hans to “another” New York, populated by immigrants and strivers of every nationality. According to New York Times Book Review, the book was amongst the ten best titles published in 2008.
• David Liss, The Coffee Trader, (Random House, 2004).
From the cover: “Amsterdam 1659. On the world’s first commodities exchange, fortunes are won and lost in an instant. Miguel Lienzo, a sharp-witted trader in a close-knit community of Portuguese Jews, knows this all too well. Once among the city’s most envied merchants, Miguel has suddenly lost everything. Now impoverished and humiliated, living in his younger brother’s canal-flooded basement, Miguel must find a way to restore his wealth and reputation. Miguel enters into a partnership with a seductive Dutch woman who offers him one last chance at success— a daring plot to corner the market of an astonishing new commodity called “coffee”. To succeed, Miguel must risk everything he values and face a powerful enemy who will stop at nothing to see him ruined. Miguel will learn that among Amsterdam’s ruthless businessmen, betrayal lurks everywhere, and even friends hide secret agendas”.
• Michael Pye, The Drowning Room, (Viking Penguin, 1995).
From the flap: “Gretje Reyniers is one of the unacknowledged mothers of New York— whore, moneylender, and pelt dealer when the city was still a tiny, hardscrabble colony of the Dutch. She left a formidable impression in the records of colonial New Amsterdam, but these are hardly more than a catalog of petty crimes. So in this vivid and haunting novel, Michael Pye sets out to imagine her whole, back to her wild, indomitable self…..Part history, part love story, part memoir, filled with startling imagery…”
• Beverly Swerling, [EXPAND, City of Dreams—A Novel of Nieuw Amsterdam and early Manhattan, (Simon & Schuster, 2001).][/EXPAND]
• Firth Haring Fabend, [EXPAND Land So Fair]Firth Haring Fabend, Land So Fair, (iUniverse, 2008). From the flap: “Land So Fair opens in 1737 on a Hudson Valley farm, where the family’s land, “sought, bought, cleared, planted, harvested, bequeathed, fought over, challenged, confiscated, and laced with bones and blood, is threatened anew each generation. Three strong-minded Dutch-American women….deal with the privations of life in a wilderness community, the death of beloved family members, threats to their land….and a dawning realization that slavery, once considered “necessary” is leading inexorably to tragedy….As the struggle for independence from England heats up, war erupts, and daily life takes on an ever-more desperate character……In the end, the futility of war is clear when the English commander in chief acknowledges to George Washington in 17983 that the conflict should have ended with the American victory at Trenton seven years before, in 1776”.[/EXPAND]
• Bill Greer, [EXPAND The Mevrouw Who Saved Manhattan: A Story of New Amsterdam]Bill Greer, The Mevrouw Who Saved Manhattan: A Story of New Amsterdam, 2009, Booksurge Publishing. Amazon.com review: “Bill Greer has deftly blended fact and fiction in his humorous tale The Mevrouw Who Saved Manhattan. The story covers the period between 1624 and 1664 when Peter Stuyvesant ceded Manhattan to England in the Articles of Transfer. The characters are rowdy, raunchy, loveable, and sometimes despicable, but thoroughly believable…This is a thoroughly delightful story that brings the Dutch colonies to life. The Mevrouw Who Saved Manhattan is heartily recommended with or without a tankard of beer, not ale, to accompany it”. De Halve Maen, journal of the Holland Society of New York, wrote:” [A] romp through the history of New Netherland that would surely have Petrus Stuyvesant complaining about the riot transpiring between its pages…readers are guaranteed a genuine adventure…”[/EXPAND]
• Tracy Chevalier, [EXPAND Girl with a Pearl Earring]Tracy Chevalier, Girl with a Pearl Earring, (Penguin, 1999). From the front and back flaps: “In mid-career, the celebrated Dutch painter Johannes Vermeer painted a girl wearing a turban and a pearl earring. This famous painting, Girl with a Pearl Earring, has been called the Dutch Mona Lisa. Sometimes she appears to be smiling sensuously, while other times she seems unbearingly sad….History and fiction merge seamlessly in this luminous novel about artistic vision and sensual awakening as seen through the eyes of the young woman who was the inspiration behind one of Vermeer’s finest paintings. In seventeenth century Delft, a strict social order reigns, dividing rich and poor, Catholic and Protestant, master and servant. When sixteen-year old Griet goes to work as a maid in the home of the city’s most renowned painter, she is expected to know her place. But in the Vermeer household, dominated by his mercurial wife and her formidable mother, Griet soon catches the eye of the master. Captivated by Griet’s quiet manner, intuitive spirit, and fascination with art, Vermeer begins to draw her into his world—a rarefied place of exotic color and dazzling light, shifting shadows and unimaginable beauty….. As Griet becomes a vital part of Vermeer’s work, their growing intimacy spreads tension and deception in the ordered household and even, as the scandal seeps out, ripples into the town beyond…….” [/EXPAND]