Scandinavia since 1500

Second Edition


Byron J. Nordstrom


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

Now in an expanded, updated edition, this definitive 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 offers a comprehensive yet nuanced portrait of this unique region in all its political, diplomatic, social, economic, and cultural complexity.

Though marked by certain geographical, linguistic, and cultural differences, Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway, Sweden, and the Faroe Islands are united by a common bond and a shared history. This history comes richly to life in this up-to-date and thorough account of modern Scandinavia.

Structuring his history along the lines of traditional European chronology-Renaissance, Early Modern, Modern, and Contemporary periods-Byron J. Nordstrom brings a distinctly twentieth-century perspective to his work. He shows how religions, political ideas, economic practices, intellectual movements, and technological innovations have come to Scandinavia from abroad only to be modified and recast in a uniquely Nordic character. Among the many topics he examines are Gustav II’s military reforms, Danish absolutism, the constitutions of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, Scandinavian modern design, management techniques and shopfloor production strategies, and the welfare state.

Surveying political, diplomatic, social, economic, and cultural aspects of the region’s history, Scandinavia since 1500 is a comprehensive yet nuanced portrait of this unique region.


A Choice Outstanding Academic Title

Byron J. Nordstrom is professor of history and Scandinavian studies at Gustavus Adolphus College in St. Peter, Minnesota.

Byron J. Nordstrom is professor emeritus in History and Scandinavian Studies at Gustavus Adolphus College in Saint Peter, Minnesota. He is author of Culture and Customs of Sweden and The History of Sweden.

Drawing on a wealth of sources, Nordstrom has produced a much-needed narrative history of the Nordic peoples that carries their development to the end of the 20th century. An academic historian specializing in Scandinavia for many decades, he is well qualified to write this thorough, yet engagingly readable, successor to the outdated and idiosyncratic survey A History of Scandinavia, by Thomas K. Derry. Nordstrom’s work clearly and concisely traces the most dynamic social, political, technological, and cultural developments in Norden over the past five centuries.