Niek van Sas, History from a multiple of perspectives A number of reviewers found the lay-out and design of De metamorphose van Nederland rather unconventional. The book consists of a series of separate studies, written from various perspectives, that attempt for example to defend a specific thesis, to challenge some historiographical cliché, or to shift the contours of a debate. Ido de Haan would have liked to seen a firm conclusion containing a model for the political development of the Netherlands. Instead, the two opening articles explored the evolution of the Dutch state and nation from the Dutch Revolt to the present day.
Lode Wils examined the book from a specifically Belgian angle. He firmly disagrees with the view that under different conditions the Dutch-Belgian United Kingdom of William I (1815-1830) might well have been saved. For his part, Wils overestimates Belgium’s importance to the Dutch self-image after 1830 when he tries to explain the supposed anti-democratic reaction that was such a distinctive feature of the Netherlands right up until the Second World War.
This response is part of the discussion forum 'De metamorfose van Nederland' (N.C.F. van Sas).