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The Baltic by Alan Palmer

The Baltic

by Alan Palmer

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A very readable and well-researched book about a region seldom covered in detail in English language histories. I have been studying European History for 50 years and nonetheless learned a great deal from Mr. Palmer. My only concern is the rather cursory treatment of the period after 1945. ( )
  Illiniguy71 | Feb 28, 2015 |
A comprehensive if traditional approach to the history of the Baltic region. The author pulls together the history of the region but tends to take a 'dates, battles and kings' view. There is the odd flash of authorial character but mostly the text flows on easily from one great event to the next whilst circulating the shores of the almost inland sea. A useful and informative read that served me well on a holiday cruise visiting many of the cities that played a prominent part in the book. ( )
  Steve38 | Aug 20, 2012 |
I thoroughly enjoyed this book - it has just the right amount of detail for the scope of the content. I had no idea that Christendom had mounted a 'northern crusade' and really enjoyed learning about the history of the Hanseatic League and the Scandinavian Kingdoms. Russia, Finland and the Baltic republics are also (obviously) covered, as is the history of Prussia and Poland - each set in the context of the others.

The focus is primarily on the political / dynastic and military history, although good, if brief coverage is also given to the geography of the region and discussion of economic history and trade is given ample attention. Perhaps the content is a bit lacking in linguistic and cultural history, although the description of the role played by musical tradition in keeping suppressed national consciousness alive was interesting to learn about.

I have read a few other books about the WW2 and post-war history of eastern Europe, which meant that I wasn't quite as glued to the later chapters as I might otherwise have been, but this material is also covered very well.

This is the second history of a sea that I've read - 'The Black Sea: a History' by Charles King being the other - and I highly recommend each. The concept works really well. ( )
  cwhouston | Nov 21, 2010 |
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 158567446X, Hardcover)

A compelling new history of the Baltic region—including some of the European community's newest member states and most dynamic economies.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:18:28 -0400)

Traces the history of the peoples and nations surrounding the Baltic Sea from its early Viking days to the Hanseatic League, seventeenth-century politics, Russian expansion, and modern independence.

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