Scandinavia
The 12th Man: A WWII Epic of Escape and Endurance
The 12th Man
A WWII Epic of Escape and Endurance
Paperback      ISBN: 151071863x
A stunning story of heroism and survival during World War II. The book that inspired the international film of the same name. "A must-read .... Intrigue, suspense, and adventure.--The Norwegian American

I remember reading We Die Alone in 1970 and I could never forget it. Then when we went to Norway to do a docudrama, people told us again and again that certain parts were pure fiction. Since I was a Norwegian that was not good enough; I had to find the truth. I sincerely believe we did," writes author Astrid Karlsen Scott.

The 12th Man is the true story of Jan Baalsrud, whose struggle to escape the Gestapo and survive in Nazi-occupied Norway has inspired the international film of the same name. In late March 1943, in the midst of WWII, four Norwegian saboteurs arrived in northern Norway on a fishing cutter and set anchor in Toftefjord to establish a base for their operations. However, they were betrayed, and a German boat attacked the cutter, creating a battlefield and spiraling Jan Baalsrud into the adventure of his life.

The only survivor and wounded, Baalsrud begins a perilous journey to freedom, swimming icy fjords, climbing snow-covered peaks, enduring snowstorms, and getting caught in a monstrous avalanche. Suffering from snow blindness and frostbite, more than sixty people of the Troms District risk their lives to help Baalsrud to freedom. Meticulously researched for more than five years,

Karlsen Scott and Haug bring forth the truth behind this captivating, edge-of-your-seat, real-life survival story.
Across the Deep Blue Sea: The Saga of Early Norwegian Immigrants
Across the Deep Blue Sea
The Saga of Early Norwegian Immigrants
Paperback      ISBN: 0873519612

Across the Deep Blue Sea investigates a chapter in Norwegian immigration history that has never been fully told before. Odd S. Lovoll relates how Quebec, Montreal, and other port cities in Canada became the gateway for Norwegian emigrants to North America, replacing New York as the main destination from 1850 until the late 1860s. During those years, 94 percent of Norwegian emigrants landed in Canada.

After the introduction of free trade, Norwegian sailing ships engaged in the lucrative timber trade between Canada and the British Isles. Ships carried timber one way across the Atlantic and emigrants on the way west. For the vast majority landing in Canadian port cities, Canada became a corridor to their final destinations in the Upper Midwest, primarily Wisconsin and Minnesota. Lovoll explains the establishment and failure of Norwegian colonies in Quebec Province and pays due attention to the tragic fate of the Gasp settlement.

A personal story of the emigrant experience passed down as family lore is retold here, supported by extensive research. The journey south and settlement in the Upper Midwest completes a highly human narrative of the travails, endurance, failures, and successes of people who sought a better life in a new land.

The Age of the Vikings
The Age of the Vikings
Paperback      ISBN: 0691169292

A major reassessment of the vikings and their legacy

The Vikings maintain their grip on our imagination, but their image is too often distorted by myth. It is true that they pillaged, looted, and enslaved. But they also settled peacefully and traveled far from their homelands in swift and sturdy ships to explore. The Age of the Vikings tells the full story of this exciting period in history. Drawing on a wealth of written, visual, and archaeological evidence, Anders Winroth captures the innovation and pure daring of the Vikings without glossing over their destructive heritage. He not only explains the Viking attacks, but also looks at Viking endeavors in commerce, politics, discovery, and colonization, and reveals how Viking arts, literature, and religious thought evolved in ways unequaled in the rest of Europe. The Age of the Vikings sheds new light on the complex society, culture, and legacy of these legendary seafarers.

The Almost Nearly Perfect People: Behind the Myth of the Scandinavian Utopia
The Almost Nearly Perfect People
Behind the Myth of the Scandinavian Utopia
Paperback      ISBN: 1250081564

The Christian Science Monitor's #1 Best Book of the Year

A witty, informative, and popular travelogue about the Scandinavian countries and how they may not be as happy or as perfect as we assume, "The Almost Nearly Perfect People offers up the ideal mixture of intriguing and revealing facts" (Laura Miller, Salon).

Journalist Michael Booth has lived among the Scandinavians for more than ten years, and he has grown increasingly frustrated with the rose-tinted view of this part of the world offered up by the Western media. In this timely book he leaves his adopted home of Denmark and embarks on a journey through all five of the Nordic countries to discover who these curious tribes are, the secrets of their success, and, most intriguing of all, what they think of one another.

Why are the Danes so happy, despite having the highest taxes? Do the Finns really have the best education system? Are the Icelanders as feral as they sometimes appear? How are the Norwegians spending their fantastic oil wealth? And why do all of them hate the Swedes? In The Almost Nearly Perfect People Michael Booth explains who the Scandinavians are, how they differ and why, and what their quirks and foibles are, and he explores why these societies have become so successful and models for the world. Along the way a more nuanced, often darker picture emerges of a region plagued by taboos, characterized by suffocating parochialism, and populated by extremists of various shades. They may very well be almost nearly perfect, but it isn't easy being Scandinavian.

Alva Myrdal: A Daughter's Memoir
Alva Myrdal
A Daughter's Memoir
Paperback      ISBN: 0201608154

Alva Myrdal (1902-1986), diplomat, feminist, and one of the founders of the Swedish welfare state, exemplifies in her extraordinary life the joys, the sorrows, and the achievements of women in our time. Her daughter shows us with unflinching candor how Myrdal struggled to attain in her private life the freedom and opportunity which she won for millions of other women.

The Baltic: A History
The Baltic
A History
Paperback      ISBN: 0674970837

In this overview of the Baltic region from the Vikings to the European Union, Michael North presents the sea and the lands that surround it as a Nordic Mediterranean, a maritime zone of shared influence, with its own distinct patterns of trade, cultural exchange, and conflict. Covering over a thousand years in a part of the world where seas have been much more connective than land, The Baltic: A History transforms the way we think about a body of water too often ignored in studies of the world's major waterways.

The Baltic lands have been populated since prehistory by diverse linguistic groups: Balts, Slavs, Germans, and Finns. North traces how the various tribes, peoples, and states of the region have lived in peace and at war, as both global powers and pawns of foreign regimes, and as exceptionally creative interpreters of cultural movements from Christianity to Romanticism and Modernism. He examines the golden age of the Vikings, the Hanseatic League, Gustavus Adolphus of Sweden, and Peter the Great, and looks at the hard choices people had to make in the twentieth century as fascists, communists, and liberal democrats played out their ambitions on the region's doorstep.

With its vigorous trade in furs, fish, timber, amber, and grain and its strategic position as a thruway for oil and natural gas, the Baltic has been--and remains--one of the great economic and cultural crossroads of the world.
Beyond the Northlands: Viking Voyages and the Old Norse Sagas
Beyond the Northlands
Viking Voyages and the Old Norse Sagas
Hardcover      ISBN: 0198701241

In the dying days of the eighth century, the Vikings erupted onto the international stage with brutal raids and slaughter. The medieval Norsemen may be best remembered as monk murderers and village pillagers, but this is far from the whole story. Throughout the Middle Ages, long-ships transported hairy northern voyagers far and wide, where they not only raided but also traded, explored and settled new lands, encountered unfamiliar races, and embarked on pilgrimages and crusades.

The Norsemen travelled to all corners of the medieval world and beyond; north to the wastelands of arctic Scandinavia, south to the politically turbulent heartlands of medieval Christendom, west across the wild seas to Greenland and the fringes of the North American continent, and east down the Russian waterways trading silver, skins, and slaves. Beyond the Northlands explores this world through the stories that the Vikings told about themselves in their sagas.

But the depiction of the Viking world in the Old Norse-Icelandic sagas goes far beyond historical facts. What emerges from these tales is a mixture of realism and fantasy, quasi-historical adventures, and exotic wonder-tales that rocket far beyond the horizon of reality. On the crackling brown pages of saga manuscripts, trolls, dragons, and outlandish tribes jostle for position with explorers, traders, and kings.

To explore the sagas and the world that produced them, Eleanor Rosamund Barraclough now takes her own trip through the dramatic landscapes that they describe. Along the way, she illuminates the rich but often confusing saga accounts with a range of other evidence: archaeological finds, rune-stones, medieval world maps, encyclopaedic manuscripts, and texts from as far away as Byzantium and Baghdad. As her journey across the Old Norse world shows, by situating the sagas against the revealing background of this other evidence, we can begin at least to understand just how the world was experienced, remembered, and imagined by this unique culture from the outermost edge of Europe so many centuries ago.
Black Fox: A Life of Emilie Demant Hatt, Artist and Ethnographer
Black Fox
A Life of Emilie Demant Hatt, Artist and Ethnographer
Hardcover      ISBN: 0299315509

In 1904 a young Danish woman met a Sami wolf hunter on a train in Sweden. This chance encounter transformed the lives of artist Emilie Demant and the hunter, Johan Turi. In 1907-8 Demant went to live with Sami families in their tents and on migrations, later writing a lively account of her experiences. She collaborated with Turi on his book about his people. On her own and later with her husband Gudmund Hatt, she roamed on foot through Sami regions as an ethnographer and folklorist. As an artist, she created many striking paintings with Sami motifs. Her exceptional life and relationships come alive in this first English-language biography.

In recounting Demant Hatt's fascinating life, Barbara Sjoholm investigates the boundaries and influences between ethnographers and sources, the nature of authorship and visual representation, and the state of anthropology, racial biology, and politics in Scandinavia during the first half of the twentieth century.
Bloodtaking and Peacemaking: Feud, Law, and Society in Saga Iceland
Bloodtaking and Peacemaking
Feud, Law, and Society in Saga Iceland
Paperback      ISBN: 0226526801

Dubbed by the New York Times as one of the most sought-after legal academics in the county, William Ian Miller presents the arcane worlds of the Old Norse studies in a way sure to attract the interest of a wide range of readers. Bloodtaking and Peacemaking delves beneath the chaos and brutality of the Norse world to discover a complex interplay of ordering and disordering impulses. Miller's unique and engaging readings of ancient Iceland's sagas and extensive legal code reconstruct and illuminate the society that produced them.

People in the saga world negotiated a maze of violent possibility, with strategies that frequently put life and limb in the balance. But there was a paradox in striking the balance--one could not get even without going one better. Miller shows how blood vengeance, law, and peacemaking were inextricably bound together in the feuding process.

This book offers fascinating insights into the politics of a stateless society, its methods of social control, and the role that a uniquely sophisticated and self-conscious law played in the construction of Icelandic society.

Illuminating.--Rory McTurk, Times Literary Supplement

An impressive achievement in ethnohistory; it is an amalgam of historical research with legal and anthropological interpretation. What is more, and rarer, is that it is a pleasure to read due to the inclusion of narrative case material from the sagas themselves.--Dan Bauer, Journal of Interdisciplinary History
Christina, Queen of Sweden: The Restless Life of a European Eccentric
Christina, Queen of Sweden
The Restless Life of a European Eccentric
Paperback      ISBN: 0060736186

Queen Christina of Sweden was one of the most flamboyant and controversial figures of the seventeenth century. Possessed of a remarkable intellect, she spoke many languages and corresponded with major thinkers across Europe. She refused to marry or have children and often dressed as a man. She abdicated the throne before she was thirty, and spent the rest of her life traveling, often causing trouble due to her refusal to adhere to the rules of decorum expected of women of the day.

Veronica Buckley explores the extraordinary life of Christina in a dazzling narrative that separates rumor from fact. Buckley demonstrates how seventeenth century Europe -- a continent in the midst of cultural change and advances in the fields of religion, philosophy and science -- was epitomized by this brilliant and mercurial woman.

Veronica Buckley was born in New Zealand. She studied in London and Oxford, where she did her postgraduate work on Christina Alexandra. She now lives in Paris with her husband, writer Philipp Blom. This is her first book.

"Vividly persuasive ... richly evocative ... one of those historical figures who make the past feel less distant and, in the hands of a sensitive writer like Veronica Buckley, fully alive." -- New York Times Book Review