Ever since the 17th century, when the Dutch gave capitalism, freedom and much beauty to the world, the greatest intellectuals of Europe went to the Netherlands to have their books published if they were censored in their home countries. Hobbes, Locke, Montesquieu and Voltaire all had Dutch publishers. This huge intellectual vitality eventually led to the Enlightenment, the American revolution and the modern world we know today.
Amsterdam Books stands in this tradition. In the media and on social networks, the permitted range of freedom of speech is narrowing by the day. Censorship is flourishing, in the name of the fight against fake news. In the publishing world, too, an intellectual and financial cartel similarly stifles free thought, as the great publishing houses monopolise the market of ideas.
Amsterdam Books is a start-up which aims to break that cartel by attracting authors all over the world and giving them a home. Run by Dutch member of parliament and opposition leader Thierry Baudet, who is famous for pushing back the boundaries of political correctness, Amsterdam Books aims to make the Dutch capital an intellectual centre once again and its canals the channels through which thought and originality can flow freely, out into the world beyond.