Books offering an overview of Dutch history are few and far between in the English-speaking world. Friso Wielenga's A History of the Netherlands: From the Sixteenth Century to the Present Day fills this gap. It offers a modern, integrated outline of Dutch history from the period in which the country took shape as a geographical, administrative and political entity and undermines the presumption that Dutch history since the 16th century was characterised by political consensus and religious toleration.
Domestic and foreign politics take pride of place, interwoven with the broad lines of economic and cultural developments, as Wielenga uses the Netherlands' geographical location and its international relations to better understand the partially tumultuous past and present of this small land on the North Sea. A History of the Netherlands provides an authoritative, comprehensive in-depth survey and will be of great value to students of modern European history.