In this brilliant work that moves far beyond the conventions of social or cultural history, Simon Schama investigates the astonishing case of a people’s self-invention. He shows how, in the 17th-century, a modest assortment of farming, fishing and shipping communities, without a shared language, religion or government, transformed themselves into a formidable world empire – the Dutch republic.
Reviews of The Embarrassment of Riches
‘Simon Schama writes with grace and wit, and his enthusiasms are contagious.’ Anita Brookner
‘Schama is one of the few historians writing today who can recreate the mentalité of another culture.’ Jonathan Miller
‘One reads it all with mounting enjoyment and at the end one’s sense of Dutch civilisation in the Golden Age of Rembrandt and van Diemen is not just salted and enriched – but remade.’ Robert Hughes
‘This is history on the grand scale, and like all generously conceived historical works leaves us reflecting about the present as well as the past.’ John Gross, New York Times
‘Seldom has a people opened its doors so wide. A performance on the epic scale.’ Independent