News Articles

U.S. Foundation takes Dutch historian Geert Mak on tour

West and East Coast lectures

Tags: Excerpts from the Windmill

WASHINGTON, DC - Prolific Dutch author, journalist and historian Geert Mak is embarking on a lecture trail with stops at universities in Washington, New York, Boston, Grand Rapids, Los Angeles and San Francisco. The lectures are an initiative of New York-based Netherlands-America Foundation.

A best-selling author, all of Mak’s books have attracted wide attention and stimulated a previously waning interest in history. Particularly his late 1990s titles resonated with large groups of Dutch readers.

Since his first book De engel van Amsterdam (The Angel of Amsterdam, 1992), Mak regularly added new titles to output. They are Een kleine geschiedenis van Amsterdam (Amsterdam: A Brief Life of the City, 1994), Hoe God verdween uit Jorwerd (Jorwerd: The Death of the Village in late Twentieth-century Europe, 1996), and De eeuw van mijn vader (My Father’s Century, 1999).

With the book ‘In Europe’ (2004) Mak has expanded his horizon. He first spent a year crisscrossing 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 millennium?

Mak had used the Frisian village Jorwerd as the hook for his book Jorwerd: The Death of the Village in late 20th Century Europe, though the Dutch title Hoe God verdween uit Jorwerd translates as 'How God disappeared from Jorwerd'. Mak describes the changes that have affected the village over the last century, and writes about the people and their experiences.