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Nordic War Stories: World War II as History, Fiction, Media, and Memory

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Volume 7

Worlds of Memory

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Nordic War Stories

World War II as History, Fiction, Media, and Memory

Edited by Marianne Stecher-Hansen

362 pages, 20 illus., biblog., index

ISBN  978-1-78920-961-7 $145.00/£107.00 / Hb / Published (February 2021)

ISBN  978-1-80539-341-2 $34.95/£27.95 / Pb / Not Yet Published (August 2024)

eISBN 978-1-80539-448-8 eBook

View CartYour country: - edit Request a Review or Examination Copy (in Digital Format)Recommend to your LibraryAvailable in GOBI®


"This edited volume is an indispensable contribution to World War II studies of cultural memory and representation. Although too often placed at the margins of great-power narratives about the larger European theater of war, the five Nordic nations here receive the nuanced, rigorous, and riveting investigations they have long deserved, especially within a comparative, pan-Nordic context. Theoretically rich in its engagement with memory and post-memory studies, this collective work brilliantly documents and brings to life a war that ended some 75 years ago yet continues to shape and reshape powerful national narratives of identity, destiny, guilt, innocence, cowardice, and valor." • Scandinavian Studies

“"As a whole, this is an interesting anthology that participates in opening a very fertile area of research.  Its comparative approach brings many new elements into play that can contribute positively to the national approaches of previous studies” • Edda

“The volume makes an important contribution to understanding how the mass media in particular shaped the (nation-state) memory of the Second World War in a region of Europe that is mostly out of focus.” • Clio-Online

“The Nordic nations all had different and contrasting experiences of the Second World War. Not only did this condition the memories of contemporaries, but it also led to different ways of portraying the wartime experience that would lead to creating and sustaining both existing and new memories for ensuing generations. This book contains excellent accounts of how this work of memory was done in the five nations and it continues to influence their societies today. There is much for cultural historians to value in this  volume, but international historians will also find a plentiful amount to add to their understanding of not only the Second World War but of the decades that followed.” • History

“The fascinating chapters in Nordic War Stories reveal the vastly different fates of the five Nordic countries concerning occupation, resistance, neutrality and engagement.” • Marianne N. Soleim, The Arctic University of Norway


Situated on Europe’s northern periphery, Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway, and Sweden found themselves caught between warring powers during World War II. Ultimately, these nations survived the conflict as sovereign states whose wartime experiences have profoundly shaped their historiography, literature, cinema and memory cultures. Nordic War Stories explores the commonalities and divergences among the five Nordic countries, examining national historiographies alongside representations of the war years in canonical literary works, travel writing, and film media. Together, they comprise a valuable companion that challenges the myth of Scandinavian homogeneity while demonstrating the powerful influence that the war continues to exert on national identities.

Marianne Stecher-Hansen is a Professor in the Department of Scandinavian Studies, University of Washington.

Subject: History: 20th Century to PresentMedia Studies
Area: Northern Europe


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