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Geert Mak

Geert Mak (b. 1946) is one of the Netherlands’ most popular writers. His books have been translated into 22 languages; well-known English titles include Amsterdam, My Father’s Century, In Europe, In America: Travels with Steinbeck, and The Many Lives of Jan Six. He has won wide critical acclaim…

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Books (7)

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My Father’s Century

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…

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The Lives of Jan Six

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…

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Amsterdam: A Brief Life of the City

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…

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Great Expectations

While In Europe (2004) covered the tumultuous 20th century and the legacy of the two world wars, Great Expectations takes stock of the early 21st century. Mak turns his keen eye to the controversial roll-out of the euro, the impact of terrorism, the evaporation of European optimism, post-communist…

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

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…

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In Europe

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…

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Travels Without John

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…

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