In New York, they suddenly know exactly where to find Holland lately, and so do Houston, New Orleans, Miami, San Francisco. Sea levels are rising, coastal cities are getting concerned, and the Dutch know all about dams, dikes and keeping people dry. America is discovering Holland.
At least, that's what they think. Because Holland is already there, and everywhere: in American kitchens and bathrooms. In supermarkets, restaurants and gas stations. On the road, on TV, in the computer. Angelina Jolie is of Dutch descent, just like Clint Eastwood, Meryl Streep, Christina Aguilera, Taylor Swift and George Clooney. Marlon Brando hails from Utrecht, Elvis Presley from Spakenburg and Robert de Niro from Schoorl. Mark Twain, Jane Fonda, Kim Kardashian? Dutch. Just like Thomas Edison, Alexander Bell, Henry Ford, the Rockefellers and nine American presidents.
Americans buy en masse Dutch soap, jeans, tea, chocolate, beauty creams, ice cream. Starbucks is rooted in Alkmaar, bungalows in Den Helder, the traffic circles in four hundred American cities began in Drachten. And Hilversum's The Voice is America's best watched TV show.
We don't always realize it, but Dutch influence in America didn't stop when New Amsterdam became New York in 1664. In The Dutch touch, Willem Meiners tells the improbable and largely unknown success story of the Netherlands in America.