Here, in this stirring, vivid book, historian Derek B. Lange uses The Hague as the focal point for a sweeping, panoramic history of the Netherlands.
One seventeenth-century visitor called The Hague "the mightiest village in Europe" - an epithet that could still be used today to describe this seat of Dutch government and home to its royal family. That same visitor also called it one of the most beautiful villages in Europe - no less correct - for the same circumstances that rendered The Hague mighty despite its size also rendered the Netherlands wealthy.
The Netherlands owed its vast riches to the sea, and it used that wealth not only to attain power but also to attract artistic talent. As the country came to be a leader on the world stage, the so-called Golden Age of the Netherlands encouraged the production of art and architecture of remarkable allure that is still on display today.
The history and people of this small country are explored through its rise to international prominence and then its development into one of the most tolerant and progressive countries in the world.