Amsterdam: A History of the World’s Most Liberal City
Russell Shorto tells two stories in this sometimes personal history of his adoptive hometown. In the first place there is the biography of Amsterdam from its founding, through its seventeenth-century golden age, down to the present day. Then there is the triumph of liberalism, which Shorto sees as the city’s distinctive gift to the modern world. That both the city and its political philosophy have been so successful, albeit not without experiencing crises and setbacks along the way, makes it both a happy story and one with continuing relevance for our own time.