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  • Nicholas Brealey Publishing
  • Nicholas Brealey Publishing

The Rhine: Following Europe s Greatest River from Amsterdam to the Alps

Ben Coates

5 Reviews

Rated 0

Western Continental Europe, European history, Physical geography & topography, Cycling, Travel writing

Ben Coates, author of WHY THE DUTCH ARE DIFFERENT, cycles the Rhine river from mouth to source, discovering the mark it makes on Europe.

*SHORTLISTED FOR THE STANFORD DOLMAN TRAVEL BOOK OF THE YEAR AWARD*

The Rhine is one of the world's greatest rivers. Once forming the outer frontier of the Roman Empire, it flows 800 miles from the social democratic playground of the Netherlands, through the industrial and political powerhouses of Germany and France, to the wealthy mountain fortresses of Switzerland and Liechtenstein.

For five years, Ben Coates lived alongside a major channel of the river in Rotterdam, crossing it daily, swimming and sailing in its tributaries. In THE RHINE, he sets out by bicycle from the Netherlands where it enters the North Sea, following it through Germany, France and Liechtenstein, to its source in the icy Alps. He explores the impact that the Rhine has had on European culture and history and finds out how influences have flowed along and across the river, shaping the people who live alongside it.

Blending travelogue and offbeat history, THE RHINE tells the fascinating story of how a great river helped shape a continent.

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Praise for The Rhine: Following Europe s Greatest River from Amsterdam to the Alps

  • Among the finest multi-destination books is The Rhine . . . Coates's itchy feet paddle him steadily (after a disaster in a rowing boat) on two wheels from Holland (sleeping in dunes), past Utrecht to the German border (Arnhem redolent of war in A Bridge Too Far) to sleepier Bonn. History shimmers across his hinterland, contested in two world wars, and his curiosity - Coates's great strength - unearths the ways in which the river shaped the destinies of those who made its ever changing banks their home. - Scotsman - Books of the Year

  • A captivating mixture of travel and history. - Compass

  • A piece of nonfiction that's both a travelogue and historic account of how the river shaped Europe. - Smithsonian magazine - Books of the Year

  • Ben Coates discovers how the Rhine influenced history. - Daily Express

  • Ben Coates discovers how the Rhine influenced history. - Daily Express

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