What are the salient facts about the Netherlands? This book tackles the question of Dutch identity through a number of essential themes in the culture, history and society. What is the place of the Queen a modern parliamentary democracy? How did the nation become a byword for welfare state and the "poldermodel"? What explains it success in trade and industry? What is the Randstad? What explains the fabulous political and cultural success of the Dutch Golden Age? Why did tolerance and accommodation turn into such powerful political traditions? What made the Netherlands one of the leading cultural nations in such fields as painting, literature, architecture and design? This book also addresses a number of contemporary issues that dominate the image of the Netherlands in foreign eyes, such as immigration, diversity, tolerance, ethical questions, and the struggle against water. This volume is especially valuable because 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.
Subjects: History, Language & Literature, General Science
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