4mFq295A_400x400Ben Coates is the best-selling author of the books ‘Why the Dutch are Different: A Journey into the Hidden Heart of the Netherlands’ and ‘The Rhine: Following Europe’s Greatest River from Amsterdam to the Alps’.

He was born in England in 1982 and has worked at various times as a political adviser in London, speechwriter, lobbyist and aid worker in Africa. He currently lives in a cottage in the Dutch countryside with his wife, children and assorted farmyard animals. He is a Dutch/British dual citizen and speaks and writes in both languages.

Ben has also worked freelance as a journalist for outlets including the Groene Amsterdammer, Politico, the Guardian, the Daily Telegraph, BBC, NRC, Scotsman and Irish Times. He writes a regular weekly column for the Dutch newspaper AD.

He also occasionally takes on other freelance writing projects such as speechwriting. If you have a project which you’d like to discuss, please email bencoates1@gmail.com

You can also follow Ben on Twitter via @bencoates1 or visit his Amazon author page.


16 thoughts on “About

  1. I’ve just finished your book, thanks, read on the Isle of Wight in preparation for a trip to the Netherlands in April. Enjoyed the journey and will be looking forward to meeting the Dutch armed with your insight. Don’t forget to update the “will be published” bit!


  2. Thank you! Thank you! Your book : Why the Dutch are Different is TOTALLY wonderful. I loved the whole thing: all the glad, sad, bad and wonderful of it.
    I am 78 years old, English, but live in the USA. (Long story). I lived in The Netherlands from 1957-1960. I have been back many times. I LOVE Nederland and adore you book.


  3. Loving “why the Dutch are different”, a gem, Bryson-esque, if Bill Bryson had come to the UK and found us Brits indulging in unexplained behaviour


  4. Thanks for the Netherlands book, Ben, wonderful read

    The Dutch are outspoken and fun loving because public life is boring and tedious. Politics are uninteresting, your vote is meaningless, it is a bureaucracy, not a government. Too many meetings at work, no leadership, social value dominate, not commercial ones

    If you can’t do anything, you talk a lot



  5. Thanks, Ben for helping me understand my (Dutch) husband. Being a Romanian who lives in Australia made it hard to get the gist of the Dutch spirit. Although I had read the funny “Stuff Dutch People Like”, your book gave me a very informative perspective on why Dutch people like what they do.
    Excellent read. It all makes sense. Now I can interact with my husband and his family and friends and actually know where they come from 🙂
    Keep up the good work.


  6. Hi, Ben.
    I am a reader from China. I have read ‘Why the Dutch are different’ twice for those catchy stories from the past and at present. That ‘ambulance have to leave the door open because of people’s height’ depiction made me laugh for hours.
    Amazing book!



  7. Read both books and thoroughly enjoyed. Great value considering the depth and range of knowledge that you offer. Great stuff Ben!


  8. Dag Ben!

    I have just finished your book about the Netherlands and I liked it very,very much. I have a lot of pencil-made marks on almost every page 🙂
    Thank you very much for it!


  9. Many thanks for a very good read. Having spent 28 years in NL and now back in UK both sides of the coin are even more apparent. Wait ‘til you encounter two culture syndrome at Dutch school. Passing the book title onto others who will appreciate the sentiments, perceptions and research within its appropriate cover. Thank you once again. I will now hunt out you other titles. Jan


  10. Hi, a few years back I enjoyed my short-stay visit to Amsterdam, and it was only chosen because it was the most economical international airfare for us from Australia. I came across your book ‘Why the Dutch are Different’ last week and its a great read from a country with a great story tell. One day I hope to visit again and I will gain so much more having read your book. Nice style.


  11. I just finished the book. Very accurate and in-depth analysis. But also a lot of humor. I like the Netherlands and the Dutch and I have added a lot of knowledge about the country. Thank you. Greetings from Bulgaria.


  12. I read your most interesting book several years ago, but just stumbled on this site today. Having spent my growing-up years in Holland, Michigan, I was attracted to this book, hoping to learn more about my heritage. It has done just that, and I turn to it often just to refresh my memory. The Netherlands is one of our favorite countries!
    Thanks for your insights.


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