[ Download epub ] Wasteland With Words: A Social History of IcelandAuthor Sigurdur Gylfi Magnusson – Hometrainer-tests.de

Iceland appears to many a country shrouded in mystery and legend, and marked by contradiction a part of Europe, and yet separated from it by the Atlantic Ocean seemingly inhospitable, and yet home tothan 300,000 souls Wasteland with Words explores the evolution and transformation of Icelandic society and culture, investigating the literary and historical factors that created the rich cultural heritage enjoyed by Icelanders today Sigurdur Gylfi Magnusson presents a wide ranging and detailed analysis of the island s history, examining how a nineteenth century economy based on the industries of fishing and agriculture one of the poorest in Europe grew to become a disproportionately large economic power in the late twentieth century, while retaining its strong sense of cultural identity The recent economic and political collapse of the country is also assessed, in the light of the historical development of the island With a focus on the lives of individual Icelanders throughout, the book seeks to chart the vast changes in this country s history through the impact and effect on the Icelandic people themselves Wasteland with Words is a comprehensive study of the island s social and historical development, from tiny fishing settlements to a global economic power It will appeal to anyone interested in or studying this most enigmatic of islands, and also to those interested in cultural and social history as a whole.


6 thoughts on “Wasteland With Words: A Social History of Iceland

  1. EMB EMB says:

    I read this book just after a trip to Iceland I had seen it in a bookstore there and it really provides an interesting background to everything that we saw The book covers the period of the early 19th century up to now which has been a period of tremendous change for Iceland Iceland had been isolated from many of the changes in Europe due to its remote position in the north Atlantic and its harsh environment It was still a very primitive place even at the start of the 20th century Some of the facts are pretty amazing when you think of Iceland and how it is today Most people were still living in turf houses even after WWII Sanitation and personal hygiene were poor then as well tapeworms, lice, leprosy and tuberculosis were common Farm land was limited and controlled by a minority Many people spent much of their lives as bonded labourers who needed permission to marry The poor ended up renting farms on marginal land where they were always at risk of losing everything to debt in a bad year This book certainly helps to put Laxness s most famous novel, Independent People into context There were hardly any doctors in Iceland and no roads the national ring road was completed in the 1970 s and when the postal system was first introduced a sort of pony train , the post was delivered 3 times a year Yet, the people were literate and social evenings were spent reading together, the famous Icelandic sagas and anything else that was to hand Iceland has achieved so much in such a short space of time and now that the economic miracle bubble has burst, the question is where do they go here If you are interested in Iceland and its culture, this is well worth reading.


  2. a reader a reader says:

    The author builds a compelling narrative of Iceland s social history using many first person sources diaries, letters combined with new articles and historical photos It certainly adds texture to Icelandic history which might be overlooked by the Blue Lagoon traveler, and what it says about the tension between rural and urban Reykjavik, relatively speaking elites resonates.


  3. velimir sonje velimir sonje says:

    Very good history of Iceland and its people, bringing together social analysis of peoples habits, relationships, economics Starts with first Viking settlers in the 9th century and ends with sobering account of reasons that led to financial and economic crisis of 2008 An interesting mixture of thorough analysis and speculation in a positive sense of the word , must read for anyone who wants to know about Iceland I red it before travelling to Iceland and once I got there, had a feeling that I know the place.


  4. Isobel Grad Isobel Grad says:

    The primary sources used to illustrate what life was like in the 18th and 19th century in Iceland were really interesting and different than most other books I ve seen on Icelandic history It added depth and made the history palpable Academically I m not sure I agree with some of the arguments Magnusson makes, but his book stands out for his in depth engagement with the writings and diaries of Icelanders during this time period, and for the inclusion of both government statistics and personal anecdotes to tell the story of how people lived and how the culture developed into today s society.


  5. Richard Selby Richard Selby says:

    Intimate examination of Iceland s emergence from a primitive and feudal society and transition to a progressive and enlightened society The power of literacy is revealed as paramount.


  6. Ruth S. Ruth S. says:

    Informative, sympathetic, fascinating history of the hardscrabble life in Iceland in the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries.