• Scandinavians

  • In Search of the Soul of the North
  • By: Robert Ferguson
  • Narrated by: Michael Page
  • Length: 15 hrs and 20 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Release date: 06-27-17
  • Language: English
  • Publisher: Tantor Audio
  • 3.9 (19 ratings)

Regular price: $34.99

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Publisher's Summary

Scandinavia is the epitome of cool: We fill our homes with Nordic furniture; we envy their humane social welfare system and their healthy outdoor lifestyle; we glut ourselves on their crime fiction. Even their strangely attractive melancholia seems to express a stoic, commonsensical acceptance of life's vicissitudes. But how valid is this outsider's view of Scandinavia, and how accurate is our picture of life in Scandinavia today?
Scandinavians follows a chronological progression across the Northern centuries: the Vendel era of Swedish prehistory; the age of the Vikings; the Christian conversions of Denmark, Norway, Sweden, and Iceland; the unified Scandinavian state of the late Middle Ages; the sea change of the Reformation; the kingdom of Denmark-Norway, King Gustav Adolphus, and the age of Sweden's greatness; the cultural golden age of Ibsen, Strindberg, and Munch; the impact of the Second World War; Scandinavia's postwar social democratic nirvana; and the terror attacks of Anders Behring Breivik.
©2016 Robert Ferguson (P)2017 Tantor
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Critic Reviews

"A delightful history in which the author truly captures 'the soul of the North.'" (Kirkus)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

By David on 07-26-17

This book answers many questions I have wondered about and much further beyond that.

I have traveled in Denmark and Sweden and have worked closely with Scandinavian health service providers, as well as providing behavioral health services to a few Scandinavians. This book feels like a roadmap to all of the above, and very much more. It's dense with information presented in a friendly tone describing historical events and processes from prehistory to present-day excursions the author takes with his wife. The narrator easily conveys the impression that he is the erudite author himself

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2 of 3 people found this review helpful


By KierONeil on 11-23-17

An exhausting journey through Scandinavian history

This is a good book, but it is very long. The author does preface the work that it's not really a history but a journey. He explores the scandanavian countries and gathers stories about the entire history of the region. It is mostly in chronological order, which is good in a way, and also bad in a way.
The scandanavian region has history that goes a long way back. To encompass it all the book, by definition, would have to be long.
I think I started to give up on this book when I discovered that a section of the book was devoted to an entire three-act play. I was half-way into the second act before I realized what was going on.
At this point I had invested so much time in the book just getting to year 1900 that I just wanted to get through it and hope there were some useful insights on modern scandanavia. There wasn't much.
I had always put Finland with the Scandanavian countries but there was almost no mention of Finland. I think there was more about Iceland & Greenland than Finland.
This is a good book, but it is for someone who wants to live vicariously through the author and his travels through Scandanavia.
My ratings are: 1 = Couldn't finish book; 2 = Finished book but nothing redeeming in book; 3 = Finished book and there was some new insight, etc.
This is why I give it three-stars.

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