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October 09 , 2010

The Baltic


In this long-needed history of the peoples and nations surrounding the Baltic Sea, we pass through the legendary castles of Elsinore and Halsingborg to enter a unique landscape and culture.

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As Alan Palmer himself writes in his preface, 'Alexander 1, ruler of Russia for the first quarter of the nineteenth century, is remembered today mainly on three counts: as the Tsar who refused to make peace with the French when Moscow fell in 1812; as the idealist who sought to bind Europe's sovereigns in a Holy Alliance in 1815; and as the…

Alan Palmer traces the history of the Baltic region from its early Viking days and its time under the Byzantine Empire through its medieval prime when the Baltic Sea served as one of Europe’s central trading grounds. Palmer addresses both the strong nationalist sentiments that have driven Baltic culture and the early attempts at Baltic unification by Sweden and Russia. The Baltic also dissects the politics and culture of the region in the twentieth century, when it played multiple historic roles: it was the Eastern Front in the First World War; the setting of early uprisings in the Russian Revolution; a land occupied by the Nazis during the Second World War; and, until very recently, a region dominated by the Soviets. In the twenty-first century, increasing attention has been focused on the Baltic states as they grow into their own in spite of growing neo-imperialist pressure from post-Soviet Russia. In The Baltic, Alan Palmer provides readers with a detailed history of the nations and peoples that are now poised to emerge as some of Europe’s most vital democracies.
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