Amsterdam University Press
Bells for America
Bells for America
The Cold War, Modernism, and the Netherlands Carillon in Arlington
€ 19,45
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17 x 24 cm


Bells collage (2)

"For my country, the Netherlands Carillon is a symbol of gratitude for the role the U.S. played during and after World War II. It’s a beacon of the lasting friendship between our countries that goes back more than four hundred years. Studying the origin of the carillon serves as a constant reminder that we need to cherish this relationship, and I welcome the effort Diederik Oostdijk undertook to shine new light on this historic monument that stands tall over Washington, D.C." - Henne Schuwer, Ambassador of the Kingdom of the Netherlands in the United States "A fascinating story of a monument hidden in plain sight. It is as a work of writing that the book stands out - a work of feeling. Bells for America is a meditation on human society, on its failures and blunders and hopes. Almost always inharmonious, such a society still dreams of making perfect sounds." - Alexander Nemerov, author of Soulmaker: The Times of Lewis Hine "A great accomplishment of Oostdijk’s history is to reveal the passions and machinations behind the carillon’s deceptive simplicity. It is the rare piece of architecture writing that exposes what you can’t see simply by looking at the work." - Bradford McKee, Landscape Architecture Magazine "Oostdijk’s book recounts the bumpy ride of the Netherlands Carillon. In Washington, nothing that big and prominent is without controversy." - John Kelly, The Washington Post

Diederik Oostdijk

Bells for America

The Cold War, Modernism, and the Netherlands Carillon in Arlington

The Netherlands Carillon stands out in the American memorial landscape. Situated between Arlington National Cemetery and the Marine Corps War Memorial, the modernist bell tower is at odds with its surroundings. Diederik Oostdijk reveals the intriguing history of this major monument hidden in plain sight. Given to the United States in the 1950s by the Dutch government for America's role in the Dutch liberation during World War II and for the Marshall Plan aid, the carillon owes its conspicuous placement to the Cold War. Oostdijk traces the history of this monument, from the pageantry surrounding its presentation through its fall into disrepair and plans for its renewal. In so doing, he resolves the paradox of the carillon's placement in Arlington. Interweaving campanology, landscape architecture, and diplomatic history, Bells for America recounts how the Netherlands and the United States reconstructed their national identities in the postwar era through public art. -- AVAILABLE ONLY IN THE BENELUX REGION (Belgium, the Netherlands and Luxembourg). For customers based in the U.K., U.S. and Canada, and Rest of World, please refer to the Penn State University Press edition (2019). --
€ 19,45
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Diederik Oostdijk

Diederik Oostdijk is Professor of English Literature at Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam. He is the author of Among the Nightmare Fighters: American Poets of World War II and coeditor of Tales of the Great American Victory: World War II Politics and Poetics.