• Why the Dutch Are Different

  • A Journey into the Hidden Heart of the Netherlands
  • By: Ben Coates
  • Narrated by: Ciaran Saward
  • Length: 11 hrs and 3 mins
  • 4.5 out of 5 stars (36 ratings)

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Why the Dutch Are Different  By  cover art

Why the Dutch Are Different

By: Ben Coates
Narrated by: Ciaran Saward
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Publisher's Summary

Stranded at Schiphol airport, Ben Coates called up a friendly Dutch girl he'd met some months earlier. He stayed for dinner. Actually, he stayed for good.

In the first book to consider the hidden heart and history of the Netherlands from a modern perspective, the author explores the length and breadth of his adopted homeland and discovers why one of the world's smallest countries is also so significant and so fascinating.

Ben Coates investigates what makes the Dutch the Dutch, why the Netherlands is much more than Holland, and why the color orange is so important. Along the way he reveals why they are the world's tallest people and have the best carnival outside Brazil. He learns why Amsterdam's brothels are going out of business, who really killed Anne Frank, and how the Dutch manage to be richer than almost everyone else despite working far less. He also discovers a country which is changing fast, with the Dutch now questioning many of the liberal policies which made their nation famous.

A personal portrait of a fascinating people, a sideways history, and an entertaining travelogue, Why the Dutch Are Different is the story of an Englishman who went Dutch. And loved it.

PLEASE NOTE: When you purchase this title, the accompanying PDF will be available in your Audible Library along with the audio.

©2015 Ben Coates (P)2021 Tantor

What listeners say about Why the Dutch Are Different

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  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
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Good Start, Then He Goes Dark

Enjoyed the personal experience that brought the author to The Netherlands. However, by Chapter 3 or 4, he goes dark and never recovers. For the rest of the book he seems enamored with judgement, failure, cruelty, and violence. The Netherlands deserve better.

3 people found this helpful

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Very Dry

This book lacks excitement and storytelling. It's a very dry read, I only made it half way through.

1 person found this helpful

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A wonderful look at the Dutch and the Netherlands

A thoroughly entertaining and informative work, although perhaps a little too much time was spent on the discussion of football.

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Insightful and informative

The book draws from both historical and personal experiences of the next bat living in Rotterdam. The story is a clever intertwining of contemporary experiences and historical context, presenting a full explanation of “why the Dutch are different“. I thoroughly enjoyed the book.

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A Short and Enjoyable Tour of the Netherlands Past and Present

In case you had been wondering how the famous liberal social experiment of the Netherlands was faring, you need to look no further than Ben Coates’ book, which gives an excellent snapshot of what’s happening in the Netherlands today. In addition, the book provides a good potted history of the Netherlands, its fight for freedom from the Hapsburgs, the golden age and the harrowing years of WWII and the great starvation. If you want to get an insight into the Dutch, how they think and who they are, you could do no better. A very enjoyable read.

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go for it

a good read, informative, entertaining, light minded but should be taken seriously. I certainly recommended