Known to his contemporaries for his sharpness of mind, strength of purpose, fortitude, and good humor, John de Witt was a brilliant leader whose career ended in a death of horror rarely paralleled in history. Herbert Rowen's biography embraces all aspects of De Witt's political, intellectual, and personal life, including his role as a mathematician admired by Newton, an "unphilosophical Cartesian," and a political thinker.
The author describes De Witt's youth, Dutch society of his day, and his central part in the domestic and foreign politics of the Dutch Republic from 1651 to 1672. He puts De Witt's relation to the House of Orange in a new light, more subtle than in the traditional history. He also examines in detail De Witt's system of government as councilor pensionary of Holland.
Originally published in 1978.
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