The History of Iceland

The History of Iceland

The History of Iceland

The History of Iceland

Synopsis

In more recent times, Iceland has faced other major challenges, most notably its economic fall in 2008 when a nationwide failure of its financial systems eroded it from its former position as one of the most developed and wealthiest countries in the world.

"The History of Iceland" describes how a small nation situated on a rocky and isolated island struggled for centuries to survive but then rose to great prosperity in the modern era. The work provides a comprehensive summary of Iceland's history that shares a tale of independence versus interdependence--one that underscores how recent events have forced a people with great pride in their unique heritage to reconsider well-established notions about themselves as a nation.

Based on the most recent research, this work is the first comprehensive overview to cover in detail the collapse of Iceland's economy and its subsequent effect on its people. Organized into seven main sections that chronologically cover the history of Iceland from the island's settlement to the present day, the book concludes with a revealing discussion of how each period has been perceived by later generations of Icelanders.

Excerpt

The Greenwood Histories of the Modern Nations series is intended to provide students and interested laypeople with up-to-date, concise, and analytical histories of many of the nations of the contemporary world. Not since the 1960s has there been a systematic attempt to publish a series of national histories, and as series editors, we believe that this series will prove to be a valuable contribution to our understanding of other countries in our increasingly interdependent world.

Some 40 years ago, at the end of the 1960s, the Cold War was an accepted reality of global politics. The process of decolonization was still in progress, the idea of a unified Europe with a single currency was unheard of, the United States was mired in a war in Vietnam, and the economic boom in Asia was still years in the future. Richard Nixon was the president of the United States, Mao Tse-tung (not yet Mao Zedong) ruled China, Leonid Brezhnev guided the Soviet Union, and Harold Wilson was the prime minister of the United Kingdom. Authoritarian dictators still controlled most of Latin America, the Middle East was reeling in the wake of the Six-Day War, and Shah Mohammad Reza Pahlavi was at the height of his power in Iran.

Since then, the Cold War has ended; the Soviet Union has vanished, leaving 15 independent republics in its wake; the advent of the computer age has radically transformed global communications; the rising demand for oil . . .

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