Review of Dewanand’s Holland: Paradise or Hell?

 

A little learning is a dangerous thing, according to Alexander Pope, who wrote at a time when the Netherlands was still establishing itself as a leading exponent of European finance capitalism, a proponent of imperialism and an upholder of the virtues of cultural Renaissance. On land largely recovered from the sea and at the mercy of technological failure at any moment, the Dutch polity overcame religious divisions and control of its land and resources by the Spanish aristocracy to fashion a modern state that is now widely admired for its tolerant nature, for the extraordinary extent to which its people can speak foreign languages (Dutch itself being a little tricky, apparently) and the Total Football tradition introduced by the genius Johann Cruyff, among other achievements.

Read the full review here.

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