Historical story

Result book special History &Archaeology

Last updated:2022-07-25

Christmas break. Decorating the Christmas tree, snowball fight, winter sports, fireworks, champagne and reading by the fireplace. But… which historically oriented book was the most loved this winter?

The History &Archeology editors of Kennislink listed a number of historically oriented books. We invited you to choose the very best from these books before February 1. Below you can read who the winner is.

The Russians are coming!

by Mark Traa

“If a nuclear bomb of twenty megatons is detonated just above the center of Rotterdam on a clear day, a fireball of more than two kilometers in diameter is created, in which temperatures of five to ten million degrees Celsius prevail. As a result, the entire inner city, buildings, streets and part of the ground below, will turn into smoke and vapor and a crater will be created tens of meters deep with a diameter of at least four kilometers." The start of good science fiction? No, the prologue to the book The Russians are coming. The Netherlands in the Cold War about what would happen to the Netherlands if the Third World War had broken out. A smoothly written book about flight plans and air raid shelters for the government and royal family, about plans to move KLM planes and inland vessels abroad, to hide works of art in bunkers and to convert Theater Carré into a mortuary. - Jorg Rousseeuw

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The fall of Rome

by Adrian Goldsworthy

For a long time the Roman Empire was supreme. A political and military superpower that ruled almost all of Europe and North Africa. The Romans were true forerunners in architecture, infrastructure, literature, rhetoric and legislation. But in the fifth and sixth centuries of our era things go wrong. Slowly but surely the demise of the great Roman Empire becomes inevitable. Clear and knowledgeable, Adrian Goldsworthy tells the complex, dramatic and exciting story of the fall of Rome. A story of bloody invasions, barbarian coups, corrupt emperors, cunning courtiers and the countless citizens who are the child of the bill.- Jorg Rousseeuw

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Chariot racing

by Fik Meijer

Fik Meijer sketches in the book Wagenrennen in a very accessible way. Spectacular shows in Rome and Constantinople a clear picture of one of a spectacle that gripped the lower folk as well as senators and emperors:chariot racing. The focus is on a day at the Circus Maximus. Now a barren plain in the center of Rome, but once an imposing structure where 150,000 people marveled several times a year at a full-day program of twenty-four races, mainly four-in-hand. But Meijer also answers questions. Why did the originally Greco-Etruscan chariot races reign supreme in Rome? Were the supporters really that neat or did they behave like one of the first hooligans in history? And why did the Byzantine emperor present himself to the people in the hippodrome of Constantinople? Read the answers quickly.- Jorg Rousseeuw

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The corridor to Canossa

by Tom Holland

A compelling story about the emperor and the pope, about dukes, knights and peasants, about bishops, abbots and hermits, about politics and religion, about wars and massacres. Central to the book is the development of spiritual and temporal power. The story begins in the tenth and eleventh centuries when the spiritual and secular powers fight each other for hegemony over the west. A battle that also involved the Vikings from the north, the Byzantines from the east and the Mohammedans from the south. After the final separation of church and state, modern Europe can begin to emerge. - Jorg Rousseeuw

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The Little Emperor

by Martin Bril

In a typically Brilliant, all-observing way, the writer uses short stories to highlight well-known and hidden themes from the life of the little emperor:Napoleon. From the teeth of his first wife and the imposing bosom of his second wife to the grief of his secret wife. From the proverbial sun of Austerlitz to the input of the Dutch and Belgians on the battlefield of Waterloo. From the names and characteristics of his horses to the problems surrounding his offspring. The Little Emperor is an anecdotal account of a personal passion that you must read.- Jorg Rousseeuw

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Behind closed doors

by Laurence Rees

When did World War II end? In August 1945, when the Japanese capitulated? "Well, that depends on how you look at it," said writer Laurence Rees. “If you believe that the end of the war coincided with the 'liberation' of all the countries that had suffered under Nazi occupation, then for millions of people the war really ended when communism fell less than twenty years ago. ” Behind closed doors is a fascinating mix of political stories about the agreements that Stalin, Churchill and Roosevelt already made during the Second World War about the future of Europe and the dramatic personal testimonies of those who suffered the consequences of those agreements for decades.- Jorg Rousseeuw

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The War

by Ad van Liempt

On Sunday 25 October, NPS television began broadcasting the nine-part documentary series The War. A gripping story of the domination of the Netherlands and the then Dutch East Indies by Germany and Japan respectively. The book of the same name continues, such as exposing the consequences of the Second World War for our country in the short and long term. Other dramas that are discussed are the persecution of the Jews, the bombing of Rotterdam, the devastating battle in Zeeland and around Arnhem, the Hunger Winter, the massive employment of more than half a million Dutch men in Germany and the grueling internment of the Dutch in the Japanese camps. . - Jorg Rousseeuw

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New Amsterdam

by Russell Shorto

The seventeenth century is known, among other things, as the great emigration of Europeans to America. Many settled in Manhattan. At the very tip Africans, Bohemia, Germans, Italians, Norwegians and a few Indian peoples tried to live together on the border of chaos and order, freedom and oppression. They were pirates, smugglers, traders, whores and farmers. But what role did the Low Countries play in the development of seventeenth-century New York? Russell Shorto answers this question in an impressively detailed and very lively way.- Jorg Rousseeuw

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The pauper's paradise

by Suzanna Jansen

In the wonderful and moving book The pauperparadise writer Suzanna Jansen takes you through her family history. She follows five generations of her family and comes across a hidden history:the re-education experiments in Veenhuizen, Drenthe, to which her parents were exposed. In this beggar colony, from 1823, tens of thousands of poor urban families were drilled into useful citizens through discipline and agricultural labour. But the inspired project soon turned into a trap for the paupers. The education campaigns have left deep traces in lead actress Roza Dingemans and descendants.- Jorg Rousseeuw

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In our hearts we were giants

by Yehuda Koren

This biography In our hearts we were giants is a gripping story about an Eastern European Lilliputian family during the Second World War. After deportation to Auschwitz concentration camp, the Nazis carry out terrible medical experiments on the Lilliputians. Despite the hopeless situation the family finds themselves in, they keep their spirits up. Their love for each other is indestructible and drags them through the traumatic events. You won't let go of this family history! What remains after reading this book is a sense of wonder for the people who “were giants in their hearts”.- Elise van der Horst

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Under our feet

by Evert van Ginkel and Leo Verhart

The particularly accessible public book Under our feet gives a nice chronological overview of archeology in the Netherlands. From prehistory to the Golden Age, the authors tell about the history of the Low Countries, illustrated with images of finds, excavations and paintings. Attention is paid to different cities, research methods and museums. For those who want to read further, the authors have compiled a list of books they recommend at the back. Under our feet is the latest overview work. It should therefore not be missing in any bookcase.- Elise van der Horst

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Jacoba, daughter of Holland

by Simone van der Vlugt

We know Simone van der Vlugt as the author of historical youth novels. But with “Jacoba, daughter of Holland” she also proves that she can also drag adults into her flight into the past. In the book, the author takes on the role of the free-spirited noble lady Jacoba van Beieren (1401-1436). Between forced marriages, a love-hate relationship with her mother, and battles for her position, we get to know Jacoba as a kitten who should not be handled without gloves. Despite all the setbacks Jacoba has to endure, she continues to fight for her beliefs and ideals. This book paints a striking portrait of a lady who – because of the timelessness of her story – is still an inspiration to many.- Elise van der Horst

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The Winter Palace

by John Boyne

When the temperature drops outside, the thermostat rises inside and the Charles Dickens movies come back on TV, it's time to read the book The Winter Palace to read. A historical novel so evocatively written that you can feel the Russian cold in your bones. In the book, Georgy Jachmenev looks back on his life. Escaped the miserable fate of his class, he is promoted to bodyguard of Alexei Romanov, the son of Tsar Nicholas II. He becomes involved in the political world of an empire that is experiencing its last illustrious decades. The book strikes a melancholy chord when we realize that the demise of the great Russian Empire is synonymous with saying goodbye to people and things dear to Georgy. - Elise van der Horst

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In Pompeii. Daily life in a Roman city Mary Beard shows that our modern representation does not always correspond to the ancient reality. In her description of the social, economic, political and religious life, in which the inhabitants and their activities come to us in a colorful way, the author shows how many persistent myths have formed over time around this city and its inhabitants. Beard offers a lively narration that combines the latest archaeological insights and finds with the numerous petit-histoires that make Pompeii one of the best known and most loved Roman cities.

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