People have perennially projected their fantasies onto the North as a frozen no-man’s-land full of marauding Vikings or as the unspoiled landscape of a purer, more elemental form of life. Bernd Brunner recovers the encounters of adventurers with its dramatic vistas, fierce weather, exotic treasures, and indigenous peoplesand with the literary sagas that seemed to offer an alternate (“whiter” and “superior”) cultural origin story to those of decadent Greece/Rome and the moralistic “Semitic” Bible. The Left has idealized Scandinavian social democracy. The Right borrows from a long history of crackpot theories of Northern origins. Nordic phenotypes characterized eugenics, which in turn influenced America’s limits on immigration.
The North, Brunner argues, was as much invented as discovered. A valuable contribution to intellectual history, full of vivid documentation, Extreme North is an enlightening journey through a place that is real, but also, in fascinating and very disturbing ways, imaginary.
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|Publisher:||Norton, W. W. & Company, Inc.|
|Product dimensions:||6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x 0.00(d)|
About the Author
Chase Jefferson is the translator of some forty books from German to English, including works by Thomas Mann, Volker Ullrich, and Wolfgang Schivelbusch. He lives in Berlin.