Discovering the Dutch
Discovering the Dutch
On Culture and Society of the Netherlands
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Note for the Revised Edition 11 Introduction 13 Emmeline Besamusca and Jaap Verheul Neither Wooden Legs nor Wooden Shoes: Elusive Encounters with Dutchness 16 Wiljan van den Akker Society 1 Citizens, Coalitions, and the Crown 21 Emmeline Besamusca Queen Máxima: Enchanting the Monarchy 23 Binnenhof: Traditional Heart of a Modern Democracy 26 2 Politics between Accommodation and Commotion 33 Ido de Haan Pillarization: Pacification and Segregation 34 Pim Fortuyn: Libertarian Populist 39 3 Economy of the Polder 45 Jan Luiten van Zanden Bulbs, Flowers, and Cheese: The Agricultural Face of an Urban Economy 45 Royal Dutch Shell: Corporate Legacy of Colonialism 49 4 Dilemmas of the Welfare State 57 Lex Heerma van Voss Labor Productivity: Balancing Work and Leisure 58 Pensions: Well-Deserved and Well-Funded 63 5 Randstad Holland 69 Ben de Pater and Rob van der Vaart The Amsterdam Canal Ring: Urban Heritage of the Golden Age 70 The Port of Rotterdam: Logistical Hub of Europe 75 6 Distinctive within the Global Fold? 83 Paul Schnabel The Elfstedentocht: Beating the Forces of Nature 86 Sinterklaas: A Controversial Morality Tale 91 History 7 From the Periphery to the Center 97 Marco Mostert The Roman Limes: A Cultural Meeting Place 99 Hebban Olla Vogala: The Beginnings of Literature 105 8 The Golden Age 109 Maarten Prak The Tulip Bubble: Horticultural Speculation 111 William of Orange: Founding Father 113 9 A Tradition of Tolerance 121 Wijnand Mijnhardt Hugo Grotius: Founder of Enlightenment Thought 124 Baruch de Spinoza: Philosopher of Liberty 126 10 From Colonial Past to Postcolonial Present 133 Gert Oostindie Slavery: Recognizing a Black Page in Dutch History 134 Indonesian Independence: Silenced Warfare, Hesitant Reconciliation 139 11 The Second World War: The Dilemmas of Occupation 145 Christ Klep Ausweis: The Dangers of Identity Registration 148 Anne Frank: Icon of the Holocaust 152 12 Religious Diversification or Secularization? 157 David Bos The Portuguese Synagogue: Monument of Asylum 162 Mosques in the Polder: Corner Stones or Stumbling Blocks? 165 Arts & Culture 13 The Making of Rembrandt and Van Gogh 171 Ghislain Kieft and Quirine van der Steen Vermeer: Interior Fantasies 175 Mondrian: Is this Art? 179 14 Style and Lifestyle in Architecture 183 Rob Dettingmeijer The Rietveld Schröder House: Icon of Architecture for the Modern Age 187 The Royal Tropical Institute: Architectural Symbol of Colonialism 194 15 Literature, Authors, and Public Debate 199 Frans Ruiter and Wilbert Smulders Multatuli: Anti-Colonial Literature 202 The Assault:Writing the Second World War 206 16 Three Feminist Waves 211 Rosemarie Buikema and Iris van der Tuin Joke Smit: Mobilizing Female Discontent 213 Dolle Mina: Second-Wave Feminism and the Media 216 17 The Double Bind of Television 223 Sonja de Leeuw Broadcasting Guides: Mediating Identities 224 Utopia: Selling a Window on the Future 231 18 Global Dutch 235 Marjo van Koppen Afrikaans: Creolized Heritage 242 Frisian: Acknowledging Linguistic Pluralism 244 Contemporary Issues 19 Living with Water 249 Rob van der Vaart The Beemster Polder: Masterpiece of Designed Reclamation 250 The Great Flood: Inducement for the Delta Works 253 20 Excellence and Egalitarianism in Higher Education 261 Jeroen Torenbeek and Jan Veldhuis Aletta Jacobs: Emancipation through Education 265 University College Utrecht: Challenging Academic Traditions 269 21 Immigration and Diversity 275 Han Entzinger Indonesian Rijsttafel: Sharing the Table 277 Ahmed Aboutaleb: Mayor of a Diverse City 283 22 Legal Culture 287 Wibo van Rossum Coffeeshops: Controlled Permissiveness 290 Smoking Ban: Between Health and Liberty 294 23 Idealism and Self-Interest in the World 299 Duco Hellema Hollanditis: The Politics of Pacifism 301 Srebrenica: A Catastrophic Peace Mission 306 24 In Foreign Eyes 311 Jaap Verheul Hans Brinker: Morality Behind the Dikes 315 Frau Antje: Ambassador of Dutchness 318 Notes 323 About the Authors 335 Illustrations 341 Index 34

Reviews and Features

"From Rembrandt to Anne Frank, pancakes to coffee shops, canal houses to modern design, this volume explores myths and explodes misconceptions about the Netherlands and 'Dutchness'. Whether you are planning to spend a week in Amsterdam or are writing a dissertation on Dutch culture and history, this is a very useful volume." - Russell Shorto, author of The Island at the Center of the World

"Like the paintings of Holland’s Golden Age, the Dutch themselves have many layers of meaning. Discovering the Dutch unravels the mysteries and contradictions of these people, to whom we owe the foundations of western principles of democracy and justice. Did you know that Hans Brinker was more American than Dutch? Want to understand how the Dutch Calvinists literally bet their houses on a tulip bulb? Read this book for these and other fascinating insights." - Cynthia P. Schneider, former U.S. Ambassador to the Netherlands

"Judicious, useful, expert and concise - it would be hard to imagine a better guide to the cultural and historical reality of Dutch society today." - Jonathan Israel, author of The Dutch Republic

Emmeline Besamusca, Jaap Verheul (eds)

Discovering the Dutch

On Culture and Society of the Netherlands

What are the most salient and sparking facts about the Netherlands? This updated edition of 'Discovering the Dutch' tackles the heart of the question of Dutch identity through a number of essential themes that span the culture, history and society of the Netherlands. Running the gamut from the Randstad to the Dutch Golden Age, from William of Orange to Anne Frank, this volume uses a series of vignettes written by academic experts in their fields to address historical and contemporary topics such as immigration, tolerance, and the struggle against water, as well as issues of culture - painting, literature, architecture, and design among them.

All chapters are written by academic experts in their fields who have extensive experience in explaining the many features of "Dutchness" to a foreign audience. Each chapter comes to life in vignettes that illustrate characteristic historical figures or essential aspects in Dutch culture and society from William of Orange and Anne Frank to Dutch cheese and the inevitable coffeeshop.

Emmeline Besamusca

Emmeline Besamusca lectures in Dutch Culture at Utrecht University and at th e University of Vienna.

Jaap Verheul

Jaap Verheul is associate professor of history and director of the American Studies Program at Utrecht University.

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