Amsterdam: A History of the Worlds Most Liberal City Audiobook, by Russell Shorto Play Audiobook Sample

Amsterdam: A History of the World's Most Liberal City Audiobook

Amsterdam: A History of the Worlds Most Liberal City Audiobook, by Russell Shorto Play Audiobook Sample
FlexPass™ Price: $18.95
$9.95 for new members!
(Includes UNLIMITED podcast listening)
  • Love your audiobook or we'll exchange it
  • No credits to manage, just big savings
  • Unlimited podcast listening
Add to Cart
$9.95/m - cancel anytime - 
learn more
Regular Price: $22.50 Add to Cart
Read By: Russell Shorto Publisher: Random House Audio Listen Time: at 1.0x Speed 7.67 hours at 1.5x Speed 5.75 hours at 2.0x Speed Release Date: October 2013 Format: Unabridged Audiobook ISBN: 9780804149310

Quick Stats About this Audiobook

Total Audiobook Chapters:


Longest Chapter Length:

09:02 minutes

Shortest Chapter Length:

10 seconds

Average Chapter Length:

06:47 minutes

Audiobooks by this Author:


Other Audiobooks Written by Russell Shorto: > View All...

Publisher Description

An endlessly entertaining portrait of the city of Amsterdam and the ideas that make it unique, by the author of the acclaimed Island at the Center of the World Tourists know Amsterdam as a picturesque city of low-slung brick houses lining tidy canals; student travelers know it for its legal brothels and hash bars; art lovers know it for Rembrandt's glorious portraits. But the deeper history of Amsterdam, what makes it one of the most fascinating places on earth, is bound up in its unique geography-the constant battle of its citizens to keep the sea at bay and the democratic philosophy that this enduring struggle fostered. Amsterdam is the font of liberalism, in both its senses. Tolerance for free thinking and free love make it a place where, in the words of one of its mayors, "craziness is a value." But the city also fostered the deeper meaning of liberalism, one that profoundly influenced America: political and economic freedom. Amsterdam was home not only to religious dissidents and radical thinkers but to the world's first great global corporation. In this effortlessly erudite account, Russell Shorto traces the idiosyncratic evolution of Amsterdam, showing how such disparate elements as herring anatomy, naked Anabaptists parading through the streets, and an intimate gathering in a sixteenth-century wine-tasting room had a profound effect on Dutch-and world-history. Weaving in his own experiences of his adopted home, Shorto provides an ever-surprising, intellectually engaging story of Amsterdam from the building of its first canals in the 1300s, through its brutal struggle for independence, its golden age as a vast empire, to its complex present in which its cherished ideals of liberalism are under siege.

Download and start listening now!

“Shorto’s brilliant follow-up to his previous book on Dutch Manhattan (The Island at the Center of the World) is an expertly told history of a city of new, shocking freedoms, and the tough-minded people that developed them.”

— Publishers Weekly (starred review) 


  • “The story of a great city that has shaped the soul of the world. Masterful reporting, vivid history—the past and present are equally alive in this book.”

    — James Gleick, New York Times bestselling author of The Information: A History, A Theory, A Flood
  • “Not only is this a wonderfully readable account of the city that Shorto has come to call home, it is also a history of how the Dutch invented—and sometimes failed to live up to—today’s concepts of liberty and tolerance.”

    — Charles C. Mann, New York Times bestselling author of 1493
  • “Vigorous, erudite, and eminently readable.”

    — Kirkus Reviews

Amsterdam Listener Reviews

Be the first to write a review about this audiobook!

About Russell Shorto

Russell Shorto is the author of several books of nonfiction, including Gospel Truth, about the search for the historical Jesus; Saints and Madmen, about psychiatry and religion; and The Island at the Center of the World: The Epic Story of Dutch Manhattan and the Forgotten Colony That Shaped America. He has written for the New York Times Magazine, GQ, and many other publications.