"A highly readable, insightful tour through the complex world of Dutch multiculturalism. The book is arranged thematically, so that fascinating comparisons emerge among the experiences of diverse immigrant groups, enhanced by excursions into the ways that other postcolonial powers (France, England, Portugal), handle their own comparable realities."|Richard Price, the College of William and Mary, author of award-winning books including First-Time, Alabi’s World, The Convict and the Colonel, Travels with Tooy and Rainforest Warriors.|"This engaging, timely study draws upon Oostindie’s decades of intensive research and writing on slavery, colonialism, and their legacy for the Netherlands. He treats unavoidably provocative cultural issues with admirable sensitivity and balance, renders complex identity issues highly accessible, and tests his findings through comparison with selected other European societies."|Allison Blakely, Professor of Modern European and Comparative History, Boston University, author of Blacks in the Dutch World.
The Netherlands is home to one million citizens with roots in the former colonies - Indonesia, Suriname and the Antilles. Entitlement to Dutch citizenship, pre-migration acculturation in the Dutch language and culture as well as a strong rhetorical argument (“We are here because you were there!”) were important assets of the first generation, facilitating its integration into the Dutch society. The current Dutch population counts two million non-Western migrants, and the past decade witnessed heated debates about multiculturalism, the most important ones centered on acknowledgement and inclusion of colonialism and its legacies in the national memorial culture. Postcolonial Netherlands, which elicited much praise but also controversy following the publication of its Dutch edition, is the first scholarly monograph to address these themes in an internationally comparative framework.
Gert Oostindie is director of the Royal Institute of Linguistics and Anthropology (KITLV) in Leiden and professor of Caribbean history at Leiden University.