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SCANDINAVIANS

IN SEARCH OF THE SOUL OF THE NORTH

A delightful history in which the author truly captures “the soul of the North.”

An eye-opening history of a region and culture “vibrant with people, noise, chance, life.”

In this valuable study—not merely a recounting of the stereotypes regarding Vikings and their rampaging ways—award-winning writer and translator Ferguson (Kierkegaard: Great Thinkers on Modern Life, 2015, etc.) searches for the deepest soul of Scandinavia, traversing three countries (Norway, Sweden, and Denmark) once united under a single monarch. The author also includes Iceland, a former territory of Denmark, then Norway, and home of the purest form of their shared ancient language, Old Norse. Much of this lucid book unfolds like a series of short stories, tales told Ferguson by friends, literary connections, and even strangers. In 1969, at age 20, the British author took off on a lark to Sweden and Denmark, and, despite some misadventures, his love for Scandinavia was born. He moved to Norway in 1983 and has lived there ever since. Playing tour guide for his wife, Ferguson exuberantly relates his explorations. Searching deeper proves difficult, as many of the histories of Scandinavia were written by her enemies. The Vikings were in everyone’s history books, of course, and while the classic portrayal of the Norsemen reflected a bellicose nature, the author rejects that view. The Vikings had great respect for the rule of law and strong rites to which they adhered faithfully. What Ferguson is really searching for is the essence of their psyche and how the idea of the melancholy, brooding man replaced the specter of the bloodthirsty conqueror. Different theories cross his path, such as the vast loneliness of the landscape; however, at the same time, that loneliness has produced so many geniuses in a variety of fields. Ferguson also astutely examines the idea that history isn’t always what you think it was; it depends on the recorder, and the past can change its shape.

A delightful history in which the author truly captures “the soul of the North.”

Pub Date: May 2, 2017

ISBN: 978-1-4683-1482-3

Page Count: 480

Publisher: Overlook

Review Posted Online: April 3, 2017

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 15, 2017

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KILLERS OF THE FLOWER MOON

THE OSAGE MURDERS AND THE BIRTH OF THE FBI

Dogged original research and superb narrative skills come together in this gripping account of pitiless evil.

Awards & Accolades

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  • Kirkus Reviews'
    Best Books Of 2017


  • New York Times Bestseller


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  • National Book Award Finalist

Greed, depravity, and serial murder in 1920s Oklahoma.

During that time, enrolled members of the Osage Indian nation were among the wealthiest people per capita in the world. The rich oil fields beneath their reservation brought millions of dollars into the tribe annually, distributed to tribal members holding "headrights" that could not be bought or sold but only inherited. This vast wealth attracted the attention of unscrupulous whites who found ways to divert it to themselves by marrying Osage women or by having Osage declared legally incompetent so the whites could fleece them through the administration of their estates. For some, however, these deceptive tactics were not enough, and a plague of violent death—by shooting, poison, orchestrated automobile accident, and bombing—began to decimate the Osage in what they came to call the "Reign of Terror." Corrupt and incompetent law enforcement and judicial systems ensured that the perpetrators were never found or punished until the young J. Edgar Hoover saw cracking these cases as a means of burnishing the reputation of the newly professionalized FBI. Bestselling New Yorker staff writer Grann (The Devil and Sherlock Holmes: Tales of Murder, Madness, and Obsession, 2010, etc.) follows Special Agent Tom White and his assistants as they track the killers of one extended Osage family through a closed local culture of greed, bigotry, and lies in pursuit of protection for the survivors and justice for the dead. But he doesn't stop there; relying almost entirely on primary and unpublished sources, the author goes on to expose a web of conspiracy and corruption that extended far wider than even the FBI ever suspected. This page-turner surges forward with the pacing of a true-crime thriller, elevated by Grann's crisp and evocative prose and enhanced by dozens of period photographs.

Dogged original research and superb narrative skills come together in this gripping account of pitiless evil.

Pub Date: April 18, 2017

ISBN: 978-0-385-53424-6

Page Count: 352

Publisher: Doubleday

Review Posted Online: Feb. 1, 2017

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 15, 2017

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NIGHT

The author's youthfulness helps to assure the inevitable comparison with the Anne Frank diary although over and above the...

Elie Wiesel spent his early years in a small Transylvanian town as one of four children. 

He was the only one of the family to survive what Francois Maurois, in his introduction, calls the "human holocaust" of the persecution of the Jews, which began with the restrictions, the singularization of the yellow star, the enclosure within the ghetto, and went on to the mass deportations to the ovens of Auschwitz and Buchenwald. There are unforgettable and horrifying scenes here in this spare and sombre memoir of this experience of the hanging of a child, of his first farewell with his father who leaves him an inheritance of a knife and a spoon, and of his last goodbye at Buchenwald his father's corpse is already cold let alone the long months of survival under unconscionable conditions. 

The author's youthfulness helps to assure the inevitable comparison with the Anne Frank diary although over and above the sphere of suffering shared, and in this case extended to the death march itself, there is no spiritual or emotional legacy here to offset any reader reluctance.

Pub Date: Jan. 16, 2006

ISBN: 0374500010

Page Count: 120

Publisher: Hill & Wang

Review Posted Online: Oct. 7, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 15, 2006

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