by Byron J. Nordstrom
University of Minnesota Press, 2023
Cloth: 978-1-5179-0930-7 | eISBN: 978-1-4529-6893-3 | Paper: 978-1-5179-0931-4
Library of Congress Classification DL46.N74 2023
Dewey Decimal Classification 948


An updated edition of the definitive history of Scandinavia over the past five centuries

Despite certain distinctions and differences, the lands of Scandinavia, or Norden—Sweden, Norway, Finland, Iceland, Denmark, and the Faroe Islands—are united by bonds of culture, language, and geography, and by a shared history that comes richly to life in this landmark work. Now in an expanded, updated edition, this authoritative chronicle of five centuries of Scandinavian history incorporates the geopolitical developments and momentous events that have marked the Nordic world in recent decades.


Scandinavia since 1500 situates the region’s political history within the traditional European chronology—in which the long “modern” period is subdivided into the Renaissance, early modern, modern, and contemporary. Within this framework, Byron J. Nordstrom traces the various ways in which economic, social, and cultural ideas and practices have come to Scandinavia from abroad, only to be modified and recast in a uniquely Nordic character. Long-unquestioned national mythologies come under Nordstrom's scrutiny, along with historical blind spots and erasures, as he ranges from canonical figures like Gustavus Adolphus of Sweden and Christian IV of Denmark to the constitutions of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, the resistance movements in World War II, and the Scandinavian welfare states, literary culture, and modern design. Expanded to include the nature and realities of the increasingly postindustrial economies of the late twentieth and early twenty-first centuries—including environmental concerns, integration with Europe, globalization, and immigration—Scandinavia since 1500 offers a comprehensive yet nuanced portrait of this unique region in all its political, diplomatic, social, economic, and cultural complexity.



Cover alt text: Bold white title and author name across breathtaking snowy landscape of sun-touched cliffs beside a waterway and scattering of homes.

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