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Vikings and Goths: A History of Ancient and…
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Vikings and Goths: A History of Ancient and Medieval Sweden

by Gary Dean Peterson

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This review was written for LibraryThing Early Reviewers.
There's a lot of wishful thought involved in this book, and evidence of reading a lot of material. Unfortunately, the book is poorly researched, depends on guesswork and wishful thinking rather than documentation, and is hard to read as well as it's poorly organized. It seems like a work by an enthusiast rather than a writer or a researcher. It's a shame as I can tell the writer is passionate, but there's nothing here for anyone with a deep interest in the subject. ( )
  LeesyLou | Jun 2, 2017 |
This review was written for LibraryThing Early Reviewers.
Unfortunately, this book a dry slog to read. I tried -- but I'll admit I didn't finish it, and neither could my son, who is really interested in the topic. Honestly, by the time I put it down, I wondered if the author was providing scholarly material or trying to demonstrate the importance of the Blond White Swede in the history of early medieval Europe. It's certainly thorough, and probably useful if you're interested in the archaeology and details of the history of folks who don't make it into the ordinary history books --or if you're Swedish-- but I just couldn't care enough to get through it all the way. Not for the casual reader. ( )
  jwpell | Mar 25, 2017 |
This review was written for LibraryThing Early Reviewers.
Vikings and Goths is an excellent book. Given that my Mother's family emigrated from Sweden in the late 1800's, and I have been asked to do genealogical research, this book is extremely helpful. I don't think family research is truly possible without a thorough understanding of the culture/country from which the family comes. Vikings and Goths begins with the Mesolithic age, has chapters on the bronze age, iron age, the Viking conquests, thru the medieval age. I was especially interested in the plague era. The bibliography and notes sections are indepth allowing further research into the Viking era. I definitely recommend the book to those who want more indepth knowledge of early and middle Sweden. ( )
  aumbre | Mar 19, 2017 |
This review was written for LibraryThing Early Reviewers.
As a medieval/ Norse historian this book was right up my alley. It could be a bit dense for a casual reader but the detail was fascinating and the book is well written. With any nonfiction I appreciate the citations allowing me to do further research on sections that interest me. Strongly recommended for historians ans reenactors.
  goth_marionette | Mar 3, 2017 |
This review was written for LibraryThing Early Reviewers.
"Vikings and Goths: A History of Ancient and Medieval Sweden," by Gary Dean Peterson is a challenging, yet rewarding book to read.
It is challenging because of the scope and sweep of the history that it covers. The first half of the book deals with the period of Scandinavian history from prehistoric times to the beginning of the medieval period, which, I am sure, is unfamiliar ground for a large majority of readers such as I. There is a plethora of names that are barely pronouncable, which are often totally unfamiliar and which appear to be endless variations or duplications of the same names, adding to the confusion. And the historical fact that the Vikings ranged across much of the known world at the time (the North Sea, the European continent, the Mediterranean, North Africa, central Europe and Russia) and into parts of the world that were unknown (the eastern coast of present-day Canada, Greenland, Iceland) brings the reader in contact with a mind boggeling number of other cultures and civilizations. But slogging through this often obscure part of history does bring its rewards.
The second half of the book, addressing as it does the development of the Scandinavian countries with Sweden the primary focus, feels more comfortable and the rewards more apparent. The development of the nation state and the eventual abandonment by the Vikings of raiding and pillaging as a way of life are well presented and provide interesting and valuable knowledge and understanding. The narrative brings the reader to the threshold of the high Middle Ages, the first glimmer of the Renaissance, and offers a bettger understanding of the impact of all of this history on the development of Sweden as a remarkable power up to and including the Thirty Years War.
This is an excellant addition to a readers understanding of European history as a whole, a part of European history not often dealt with in detail. ( )
  BlaueBlume | Jan 30, 2017 |
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