History of Norway

(10 customer reviews)


Based on exhaustive research, History of Norway is a clear, informative and entertaining description of Norway’s history from the earliest cultures of the Stone Age to today’s oil and gas economy. Along the way, there are fascinating stories of Vikings, the Sami, kings and queens, farmers and fishermen, merchants and miners, the Black Death, the Hanseatic merchants, the Reformation, independence, emigration from Norway to America, polar explorers, the Nazi invasion and the Norwegian resistance in World War II, and much more!

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#326,014 in Books (See Top 100 in Books) #73 in Norway History

Customer Reviews

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10 reviews for History of Norway

  1. Robert C. Rice

    John A. Yilek’s HISTORY OF NORWAY (Wasteland Press, 270 pages, $15.95)John A. Yilek’s HISTORY OF NORWAY fills a need for an accurate, readable, and up-to-date history of Norway in English. This book is the first of its kind in over 70 years. I had been looking for a good history of Norway in english for years. Yilek’s HISTORY OF NORWAY (Wasteland Press, 270 pages, $15.95) was the answer to my prayers. The author, for many years a teacher of Norwegian history at Mindekirken (the Norwegian Language and Culture Program associated with the Norwegian Lutheran church of the same name in Minneapolis), had done extensive research and developed his own lectures, which eventually he used to write this user-friendly text, in eight chapters, beginning with Norway’s pre-history through the Migration Age, followed by chapters on the Vikings of Norway; the Unification of Norway, Civil Wars, and the Age of Greatness; Norway’s Decline; Norway in 1814; From Nationalism to Independence; World War II in Norway; and To the Present Day. Notable is Yilek’s treatment of the Sami, Norway’s (and Sweden’s and Finland’s) indigenous non-Indo-European people, for the earliest times through the present. His scholarly bibliography includes some 161 books (in English and in Norwegian), mostly of late 20th-century and early 21st-century through 2013 works. That the book is not intended to be a work of original academic scholarship is obvious from its lack of footnotes. I highly recommend John A. Yilek’s HISTORY OF NORWAY for general readers and for students who need a quick but accurate overview of Norway’s history over more than two millennia.

  2. djh

    A Very Readable History BookI am researching Scandinavian emigrants for a family history book. One branch of the family is from Norway. These emigrants were shaped by the history of the country their ancestors had lived in for hundreds of years. Americans are not very knowledgeable about European history and can easily become fatigued with the sheer amount of new information. However, the author did an excellent job of turning thousands of years of history into a very readable story. I was able to read this book in one day and enjoy the experience. I had done a fair amount of research online prior to reading the book so the material was not entirely new. But the author seemed very knowledgeable and also answered some questions I had not been able to find elsewhere. Having been lucky enough to live near the Twin Cities and participate at programs in the ASI (Swedish), GAI (German), DAI (Danish), and the Norway House I know that these institutions are excellent learning resources for the general public. The author teaches Norwegian history at Mindekirken which is associated with the church of the same name and the Norway House. His course and this book are from years of research and personal experience. The Minneapolis Star Tribune, in an article on this book, billed it as ” the first start-to-the-present history of Norway to be produced by an American in decades.” As many others have already stated it is an excellent source for anyone with Norwegian ancestors.

  3. Linda H.

    Better than I ThoughtMy grandparents immigrated from Norway early last century. I wanted to read an interesting book on Norway’s history and this one was much better than I thought… because, let’s face it, sometimes history books can be boring. This author is a terrific writer and creates wonder ways of telling about the land and people of Norway. I got two… one for a friend of Norwegian heritage and she loved it, too!

  4. Alan French

    An Excellent OverviewAn excellent overview of the history of Norway. Quite readable. Should one want to delve more deeply into individual topics, e.g. the Vikings, the two Olavs, relations between Norway and its Nordic neighbors, as well as Norwegian resistance during World War II, this work presents a good basis from which to proceed. The reader is also provided with an extensive bibliography and adequate index; however, a work of this scope requires more than one map (and that with little detail).

  5. Nana

    Thorough history,well writtenThis is a clearly written,well researched book with wonderful descriptions of specific events throughout time. I recommend it to anyone who wants to learn and appreciate the struggles and successes of Norwegian people

  6. J. P. M. Smit

    Certainly Five Starsa Very thrilling and realistic story, finaly at first into English about Norway, told on a clear way. An interesting history less known, for instance what happened during WW II when King Haakon VII and Crown prince Olaf had to fled for the Nazi occupiers who tried to killed them by Luftwaffe attacks, after they simply had refused any peaceful collaboration with the Nazi’s, but right in time they were saved by the British Royal Navy, and the fact that Norway in contrary with the Low Countries, had never abandoned during the occupation, Amazingly, They remained into offensive against pro’s and other Nazi figures, including the Heavy Water mission at Vemork! preventing a possible German atomic bomb!, till the country had been freed itself, simply after Nazi Germany had abandoned on May 9th 1945 in Berlin to the Allies, and the remained Nazi soldiers in Norway were unarmed by the British and Norwegian military.So, Norway and their King and legal government shows us they did’nt intimidate themselves.A right book for the historical buffs, who like to know more of what Norway really have done.A SINCERE HINT! Special for readers in the Netherlands, who also had been suffered under the Nazi occupation, I advise reading this book. To my real opinion, many people in the Netherlands had seemed to be given a too weak picture of defense against such a form of outstanding provokings. (e.g. excisting NSB Dutch National Socialist party), and paramilitary molesters and other wouldbe pro Nazi’s, who often betrayed their own country fellowmen, e.g. people with a Jewish background, mostly for getting paychecks.

  7. Kindle Customer

    History of hat reads like a novelThis book is a great read,I learned more about my heritage from this book than from any other sourc A real page Turner.

  8. Lisbeth Harris

    Norwegian AncestryInteresting book on the Norwegian history, the first written in English and very informative.


    Pretty ThinI am researching Norwegian History in regard to my family’s history. I have read several books. This book appears to be a rehash of other books. Pretty lazy. Very little originality. You would hope for more given the bio of the writer.

  10. MOP Saw the blender book. The beautiful pictures make you want to make all the recipes.

    “History of Norway ” is a Great BookThe history of Norway is a very good history of Norway — extremely informative. I highly recommend this book for anyone of Norwegian heritage or who just wants to know more about one of the most beautiful Scandinavian countries.

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