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The Vikings: A History (2009)

by Robert Ferguson(Favorite Author)
3.59 of 5 Votes: 4
0670020796 (ISBN13: 9780670020799)
Viking Adult
review 1: History is messy and complicated and it's easy to demand simple views of things. Vikings were savages. Vikings were *noble* savages. Pagans were victims. They were brutes. They were waiting for the enlightenment of Christianity. They fought to enslave others. They fought for their freedom. There is civilization, and there is barbarism.All these simple views are going to get shaken if you read Ferguson's book. Here is the blood and the romance and the nostalgia and the yearning for the future and the conflict between Vikings and the "civilized world" but also the conflict within the Scandinavian peoples themselves. You'll have a few more ideas for why the heathens fought back and also for why they converted. You'll have a bit more respect for the ideas they broug... moreht us and thanks for the ways they abandoned. The book begins with a raid and ends with a crusade, and Ferguson will take you to Constantinople and Canada in between.
review 2: Unfortunately we know very little about the Viking Age. Robert Ferguson explains why and goes the extra mile to present us with what we do know and what we can somewhat assume. He draws on numerous literary sources as well as advanced archeological methods and what we do find is impressive, definitely not the monolithic impression i personally had before starting this book. Still, no matter the intention, we know very little and for a casual history reader like myself, this is a bitch to read. Unfamiliarity with contemporary linguistics and geography, and a messy narrative makes for frustrating reading. I felt lost, and often. But overall, i 'm glad i read this, and i recommend it but i guess one will be better served if already acquainted with the subject. less
Reviews (see all)
Quite comprehensive in scope, but not exactly the easiest read.
Lost interest after chapter 2. Will come back to it.
Perfect book for viking freaks!!! Such as myself!!
An excellent look at the happenings of the time.
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