1) Historical Dictionary of Norway – Jan Sjåvik
Scarecrow Press | 2008 | PDF
One of the smallest countries in Europe, Norway has created for itself a position in the world community, which is completely out of proportion to the size of its population. Originally the home of sub-Arctic hunters and gatherers, then of ferocious Vikings, it lost perhaps half of its population to the Black Death in 1349, ended up in a union with Denmark that lasted until 1814, and then became united with Sweden, gaining complete independence only as recently as 1905. Over the centuries the Norwegians eked out a meager living from stony fields and treacherous seas while suffering through hunger, darkness, and cold, however, its recent productive use of such natural resources as hydroelectric power, natural gas, and oil has made the Norwegians some of the richest people in the world.
The Historical Dictionary of Norway supplies a wealth of information that illuminates Norway’s remarkable history, society, and culture. This is done through a chronology, a bibliography, an introductory essay, appendixes, and over 250 cross-referenced dictionary entries covering events and individuals of historical, political, social, and cultural significance. Both past and present political parties are discussed, major economic sectors are described, and basic economic facts are provided. Several entries describe the history and attractions of major Norwegian cities, and Norway’s role in the international community is detailed as well providing a full portrait of this vibrant country.
2) Historical Dictionary of Sweden – Irene Scobbie
Scarecrow Press | 2006 | PDF
Once part of the Kalmar Union―along with Denmark and Norway―the Kingdom of Sweden broke free in order to govern itself in the early 1500s, and for more than a century afterwards it was a force to be reckoned with. At its peak, it was twice the size that it is today, but with the secession of Finland in 1809 and the rise of Russia, Sweden changed its path and instead turned toward neutrality and a peaceful existence. Today, Sweden boasts a healthy economy, and it is an important member of the European Union, as well a major contributor to international activities.
The second edition of the Historical Dictionary of Sweden both updates and expands upon the previous edition. Through a chronology, a list of acronyms and abbreviations, an introductory essay, a bibliography, appendixes, and hundreds of cross-referenced dictionary entries on significant persons, events, and institutions, this dictionary provides information ranging from politics to economics, from education to religion, and from music to literature.
3) Historical Dictionary of Austria – Paula Sutter Fichtner
Scarecrow Press | 2009 | PDF
Austrians today often seem to believe that they have two histories. One is their republican present; the other, the centuries that their forebears spent as part of the multi-ethnic Habsburg Empire. Contemporary Austria is a fixture among Europe’s democracies. Yet, it did not achieve this state easily: World War I, the unification with Germany in 1938, and World War II were catastrophes for Austria. In 1995, it became part of the European Union, and its government, culture, and egalitarian economy are far cries from the monarchical and highly stratified society of the old Empire.
The second edition of the Historical Dictionary of Austria has been thoroughly updated and greatly expanded. Through its chronology, introductory essay, appendix, bibliography, and hundreds of cross-referenced dictionary entries, greater attention has been given to foreign affairs, economic institutions and policies, social issues, religion, and politics.
4) Historical Dictionary of Switzerland – Leo Schelbert
Scarecrow Press | 2007 | PDF
Switzerland’s exceptional scenic beauty of valleys, lakes, and mountains, its central location on international trade routes, and its world famous banking system are just a few elements that have contributed to its rise in the global market. This relatively small nation is actively engaged in the maintenance of peace among nations and at the forefront of technological research. Consisting of twenty-six member states, called cantons, the history of the Swiss Confederation is as rich and varied as its culture and people.
The Historical Dictionary of Switzerland features the nation’s multicultural and democratic traditions and institutions, its complex history, and its people’s involvement in past and present world affairs. This is done through a list of abbreviations and acronyms, a chronology, an introduction, appendixes, maps, a bibliography, and hundreds of cross-referenced dictionary entries on important persons, places, events, and institutions, as well as significant political, economic, social, and cultural aspects. This informative, concise, and accurate reference corrects the numerous false impressions of this important country.
5) Historical Dictionary of Modern Italy – Mark Gilbert, Robert K. Nilsson
Scarecrow Press | 2007 | PDF
Italy is a country that exercises a hold on the imagination of people all over the world. Its long history has left an inexhaustible treasure chest of cultural achievement. The historic cities of Rome, Florence, and Venice are among the most sought-after destinations in the world for tourists and art lovers, and Italy’s natural beauty and cuisine are rightly renowned. Italy’s history and politics are also a source of endless fascination. Modern Italy has consistently been a political laboratory for the rest of Europe. In the 19th century, Italian patriotism was of crucial importance in the struggle against the absolute governments reintroduced after the Congress of Vienna, 1814-15. After the fall of Fascism during World War II, Italy became a model of rapid economic development, though its politics has never been less than contentious and its democracy has remained a troubled one.
The second edition of Historical Dictionary of Modern Italy is an attempt to introduce the key personalities, events, social developments, and cultural achievements of Italy since the beginning of the 19th century, when Italy first began to emerge as something more than a geographical entity and national feeling began to grow. This is done through a chronology, a list of acronyms and abbreviations, an introductory essay, a map, a bibliography, and some 400 cross-referenced dictionary entries on prominent individuals, basic institutions, crucial events, history, politics, economics, society, and culture.