localized damage, but to claim that "much of the grazing land was once again destroyed, and the livestock died" [p. 50] is an overstatement; sheep were not brought to Iceland from the British Isles in the mid eighteenth century to repair the damage caused by the sheep scab plague of the 1760s [p. 69]--on the contrary, imported rams caused the plague; the statement that "building of highways and airports, only came with postwar foreign imports" [p. 102] is nonsensical; Tórshavn is not the smallest capital city in the world [p. 124]; Yann Gaos, the protagonist in Pierre Loti's novel Pêcheur d'Islande was not an Icelandic hero but a Breton fisherman [p. 130]; the letter ø is not a part of the Icelandic vowel set [p. 143]; the Act of Union between Denmark and Iceland did not expire in 1944 [pp. 13 and 149], rather Iceland abrogated the treaty.) My qualms with the book concern more what I see as Oslund's "Borealist" approach. Questions like "Where and what is Iceland? Is it part of `Europe' or a technologically advanced and prosperous part of the `third world'?" (pp. 67) frame her narrative, as they are posed in the introduction and
Journal of World History – University of Hawai'I Press
Published: Aug 12, 2013
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