Author

Geert Mak

Geert Mak is one of the Netherlands’ most popular writers and all his books become huge best-sellers: De engel van Amsterdam (The Angel of Amsterdam, 1992), Een kleine geschiedenis van Amsterdam (Amsterdam: A Brief Life of the City, 1994), Hoe God verdween uit Jorwerd (Jorwerd: The Death of the Village in Late Twentieth-Century Europe, 1996), De eeuw van mijn vader (My Father’s Century, 1999) and In Europa (2004). His latest book is De brug (The Bridge, 2007), about the Galata Bridge in Istanbul. In 2008 the ‘Leipziger Buchpreis zur Europäischen Verständigung’ was conferred upon Geert Mak. His books have been translated into many languages.

Amsterdam: A Brief Life of the City

Amsterdam: A Brief Life of the City

(Atlas, 1995, 367 pages)

This book is intended for visitors, tourists and native Amsterdammers who want to learn more about the city’s roots, without having to dive into comprehensive historical tomes. Its compactness alone makes Amsterdam: A Brief Life of the City unique. The book is structured around specific events, people and, sometimes, houses. The author uses these particulars to tell a larger story and give a broader perspective. Mak set off on foot through Amsterdam, his own city. As he walked he observed and took notes, collecting the stories that ‘are lying on your own doorstep’ – for those who want to see and hear them.

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Jorwerd: The Death of the Village in Late Twentieth-Century Europe

Jorwerd: The Death of the Village in Late Twentieth-Century Europe

Een Nederlands dorp in de 20ste eeuw

(Atlas, 1996, 290 pages)

Nowhere has the modern era encroached more dramatically than in the countryside. Progress and prosperity have done more change to the closed village communities in the last fifty years than in all the previous centuries. Thanks to the influence of the cities, the mechanisation of farming, and the arrival of automobiles, television and supermarkets, age-old traditions and ways of life have disappeared almost completely within the space of two generations. Geert Mak has produced an impressive account of this silent Europe-wide revolution in the countryside.

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My Father’s Century

My Father’s Century

(Atlas, 1999, 523 pages)

Three Mak generations span the twentieth century. They are the subject of a family chronicle by Geert Mak, and at the same time a history of the past hundred years. The generation of his grandfather, a sailmaker, entered the twentieth century with what was still an unshaken faith in the traditional order; his own generation emerged from it in the belief that all established values and truths rest on shaky foundations. The generation of his father, a Calvinist clergyman, marked the pivot on which our century tipped over. In this lovingly written family history, the past hundred years are brought palpably close.

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In Europe

In Europe

Reizen door de twintigste eeuw

(Atlas, 2004, 1223 pages)

Geert Mak spent a year criss-crossing the continent, tracing the history of Europe from Verdun to Berlin, Saint Petersburg to Auschwitz, Kiev to Srebrenica. He set off in search of evidence and witnesses, focusing on one question in particular: what was the condition of Europe at the verge of a new millennium? Mak’s rare double talent as a sharp-eyed journalist and a knowledgeable and imaginative historian makes In Europe a compelling account of that journey. He speaks to hundreds of eyewitnesses, including prominent figures like Richard von Weizsäcker, Ruud Lubbers and the grandson of Kaiser Wilhelm II as well as unknowns such as Adrinana Warno in Poland, with her holiday job at the…

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Travels Without John

Travels Without John

In search of America

(Atlas Contact, 2012, 564 pages)

The world worries about the United States. Has the country finally hit the buffers, or will it manage to maintain the illusion of being the ‘last best hope of earth’, as Abraham Lincoln put it? Geert Mak spent months travelling through America to discover what has become of the land of unlimited opportunity. Although still glorying in its recent past as the indisputable leader of the free West with a mission to police the universe, it is now clearly at odds with itself. The political climate is poisonous, the econo­my undermined by easy money, and an unprecedented number of Americans are living at or below subsistence level.

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The Lives of Jan Six

The Lives of Jan Six

(Atlas Contact, 2016, 349 pages)

Having written on the rise and fall of a village, a country, a continent and a world power, popular historian Geert Mak has now come to what is closest to his heart: his own city of Amsterdam. He describes its history through the life and legacy of the art collector and patrician Jan Six (1618-1700).

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Translations

Website

http://www.geertmak.nl