An up-to-date political, social and economic history of Finland from medieval times to the present. David Kirby traces the evolution of Finland's distinctive identity and of the Finnish national state from the long centuries under Swedish rule, through self-government within the Russian Empire, to independence in the twentieth century.
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2007 Outstanding Academic Title -- Choice Magazine
"In his impressive work...University College of London Professor David Kirby exemplifies both the importance of Finland to the expansion of the Swedish and Russian empires and the struggle to attain an independent Finnish identity amidst unwavering interference by its neighbors to the east and west." -Kenneth Shonk Jr., World History Bulletin
Few countries in Europe have undergone such rapid social, political and economic changes as Finland has during the last fifty years. David Kirby here sets out the fascinating history of this northern country, for centuries on the east-west divide of Europe, a country not blessed by nature, most of whose inhabitants still earned a living from farming fifty years ago, but which today is one of the most prosperous members of the European Union. He shows how this small country was able not only to survive in peace and war but also to preserve and develop its own highly distinctive identity, neither Scandinavian nor Eastern European. He traces the evolution of the idea of a Finnish national state, from the long centuries as part of the Swedish realm, through self-government within the Russian Empire, and into the stormy and tragic birth of the independent state in the twentieth century.
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