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I have always loved traveling. I love seeing new things, and going on new adventures that allow me to be a part of other cultures. For most of my life, that was merely traveling the United States. Don’t get me wrong, America is very diverse as a country, and has so many different cultures thriving in cities throughout the nation. But when one imagines traveling, and engaging in different cultures, you think of worldly travels.
When I was offered a copy of Amsterdam Exposed: An American's Journey Into The Red Light District by David Wienir, I will admit I almost did not accept. Having lived overseas for a few years, I was very aware of red light districts and what went on there. So I could only imagine what stories would be told in this book. Or so I thought.
Excerpt from Amsterdam Exposed by David Wienir
He paused, only to continue, “Life is shaped by biology, circumstance, culture, and lots of other factors. But the fact remains, when is comes down to it, on a subconscious level, we put ourselves in life where we think we belong. Consciously, we might want to end up somewhere else, but that doesn’t really matter, does it?
The prologue warns you of the nature of the book, language, and content. It even states “if you are under 18 and reading this, best to put it down until you come of age.” What it doesn’t prepare you for is the completely vulnerable experience Mr. Wienir encountered during his semester abroad during law school. As insightful as it is real, Amsterdam Exposed opens your eyes to a whole new world and culture that has been looked down upon and chastised. Where the women are treated as objects, a mere means to an end, and the world has forgotten they are human.
You are reminded of what is important in life, and the essence of the human spirit. The book begs for compassion, and encourages love. It asks you to look so much further into a person before letting an outward appearance cloud your vision of the person in front of you.
But wait…Isn’t this a book on Amsterdam? The city with marijuana coffee shops and prostitutes in windows? It absolutely is! And while you definitely gain an appreciation for everyday living in Amsterdam, on top of a bit of history and economics, Amsterdam Exposed actually left me pondering so many life altering questions, and concern for the breakdown of the human soul. Mostly, it left my heart aching, on so many levels.
A big thanks to Smith Publicity for the opportunity to read an advanced copy.
About the Author
David Wienir is a business affairs executive at United Talent Agency and entertainment law instructor at UCLA Extension. Before UTA, he practiced law at two of the top entertainment law firms where he represented clients such as Steven Spielberg and Madonna. His previous books include Last Time: Labour’s Lessons from the Sixties (co-authored with a Member of Parliament at the age of 23), The Diversity Hoax: Law Students Report from Berkeley (afterword by Dennis Prager), and Making It on Broadway: Actors’ Tales of Climbing to the Top (foreword by Jason Alexander).
Educated at Columbia, Oxford, The London School of Economics, Berkeley Law, and the Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam, David is married to Dr. Dina (to whom the book is dedicated), a pioneer of the cannabis movement who has been named “Queen of Medical Marijuana in LA” by Rolling Stone Magazine and is the inspiration for the Nancy Botwin character in the show Weeds.