T.M.C. Asser (1838-1913) (2 vols.)

“In Quest of Liberty, Justice, and Peace”


This publication presents a comprehensive review of the life and intellectual legacy of the Dutch Nobel Peace laureate and father of the Hague tradition of international law. It is the first research study based on a wealth of recently disclosed private and family files, and deepens and modifies all earlier evaluations. It enlarges on Asser’s achievements as legal practitioner, university don, pioneer of private international law, diplomat and arbitrator, and State Councillor. It discusses his durable impact as founder of international law bodies and institutions. It likewise highlights the impressive Asser family tradition that exemplifies 19th-century Jewish emancipation in Amsterdam, addresses Asser’s youth and student years, his role as family man and the impact of personal drama on his career.

Detailed Table of Contents


‘Of Inconspicuous, if Honest Lineage’



                                      Through the Mists of Time

1.1                                17th century amsterdam jewry

1.1.1                             The Historical Backdrop

1.1.2                             Dutch Opportunism

1.1.3                             The First Pockets of the Sephardim

1.1.4                             Toleration and Trade

1.1.5                             Internal Friction

1.1.6                             The Ashkenazi Immigration Gulf

1.1.7                             Social Bifurcation

1.2                                THE ARRIVAL OF THE ASSERS

1.2.1                             The  Surname

1.2.2                             Kalman and Margalioth

1.2.3                             The Asser-Shochets

1.2.4                             Salomon Asser-Shochet (1731-1796)

1.2.5                             Plantations along Essequibo River

CHAPTER  2        Moses Salomon Asser (1754-1826) 

                                      A Rebel with A Cause

2.1                                THE FOUNDING FATHER

2.1.1                             Character

2.1.2                             Upbringing

2.1.3                             Marriage and Early Career

2.1.4                             Hermanus Leonard Bromet (1724-1812)

2.2                                ECONOMIC AND SOCIAL CRISIS     

2.2.1                             The Amsterdam Ashkenazim

2.2.2                             The Amsterdam Sephardim

2.2.3                            Jewish Identity Crisis

2.2.4                             Enlightenment and Patriot Movement

2.2.5                             The Batavian Republic (1795-1806)

2.3                                THE RISE OF MOSES SALOMON

2.3.1                             Business Man and Lawyer

2.3.2                             Felix Libertate (1795)

2.3.3                             Adat Yeshurun (1796)

2.4                                LAW REFORM AND CODIFICATION

2.4.1                             The Code of Commerce (1806)

2.4.2                             French Administrative Reform

2.4.3                             Due Recognition

2.5                                LAST YEARS AND DEMISE


                                      Consolidating Success

3.1                                Carel Asser (1780-1836)

3.1.1                             Character and Upbringing

3.1.2                             Marriage

3.1.3                             Propagation of the Jewish Cause

3.1.4                             Carel Asser and Jonas Daniel Meijer

3.1.5                             The Kemper Codification Committee

3.1.6                             Later Years

3.2                                Tobias Asser (1783-1847)

3.2.1                              Youth and Family Life

3.2.2                              Jewish Identity

3.2.3                             Entertainment at Singel 548


                                      ‘The Little Darlings’

4.1                                Louis Asser (1802-1850)

4.1.1                             Professional Career

4.1.2                             Poetry

4.1.3                             Louis and Netje

4.2                                Anna Gratie Marianne Asser (1807-1893)

4.2.1                             Willful Womanhood

4.2.2                             Writing Talents

4.2.3                             Intellectual Training

4.2.4                             Passion for the Theatre

4.2.5                             ‘Le Théatre du Singel’

4.2.6                             A Pre-Arranged Match

4.2.7                             The Years of Marriage

4.3                                Eduard Isaac Asser (1809-1894)

4.3.1                             Personality

4.3.2                             Artistic Outpouring

4.3.3                             Doctorate and German Tour

4.3.4                             Poetry

4.3.5                             ‘Life is No Eden’

4.3.6                  &nbs


EUR €175.00USD $211.00

Biographical Note

Arthur Eyffinger is classicist (PhD Amsterdam 1981) and law historian, co-founder of the Grotiana Foundation (1978) and former Head Librarian of the International Court of Justice (1988-2003). He edited works of Hugo Grotius and published monographs on International The Hague.


Research institutes, libraries and students of private and public international law and of diplomacy. (Law) historians. Economic historians. Political scientists. Students of Jewish history in the Netherlands.