tv Arthur Herman The Viking Heart CSPAN November 28, 2021 5:30pm-6:31pm EST
.. >> and things that you don't know, exhibitions and programs in the white house through minneapolis, minnesota. it is my pleasure tonight to have arthur herman here, the author of the book the vikings heart, and we had a great season so far of book talks and discussion so i'm really excited to have arthur herman here to nqtalk about is been new book.
before we begin, i wanted to go over a couple w of housekeeping things arthur will give a presentation and afterwards we will have a q&a session so please he would like to submit a question and give a q&a button at the bottom of your screen and if you're on a desktop or laptop,tt you can just hover ovr your screen and that button should appear at the bottom of your window printed on the mobile device, you can capture screen the button should care there as well and thank you for joining usu' tonight. and with that i will like to introduce arthur herman, and university of minnesota, and i thought he would love sharing that in the actually was the first generation of covid-19 graduated from the university of minnesota and received a phd in history from john hopkins university. and senior fellow at the hudson institute and the author of now ten bucks including new york
times bestseller, the modern world and churchill which is one a pulitzer prize. and lives in washington dc printed and i will just turn it right over to arthur herman. etiquette is presentation and then take questions after his presentation. >> thank you very much and hello everyone. i'm in minneapolis and minneapolis is good to see you. it is good to return if only virtually, to my birthplace where i was born. a number of years ago, and that number is classified. it also where in minnesota as max mentioned, and the arthur
herman who preceded me, will also received degrees a different kind is, father had a phd from u.s. of minnesota and his father god from minnesota and then. [inaudible]. and my great grandfather, also from thehe university of minnesota. and during class registration time when a couple of times one of the stretchers during i received notices from the registrar saying that i would not be allowed to register for the interview fine for a textbook. i went down to the registrar's office and explained to them that they were talking to the wrong person.
i think would really have to get with my grandfather of course is not with us so university of minnesota, the twin cities, and these backgrounds were both of my grandmothers looked including myra grandmother who came from norway to the united states just before world war i as did her husband would be raised three children in brainerd, minnesota. this book is in many ways a personal book that i've written. my family does inevitably surface and the force of the narrative of course in my discussion which is not just about the vikings per se which is really the first part of the book but also about the cultural skill set the vikings built and will talk about than a minute
and also skill set they built in order to survive. and the environment of the scandinavians in the darkest year the department that's culture and cultural skills carried over into the history of not just modern scandinavian including today but also to the united states as the scandinavian and scandinavian came over. and the question people ask me is when i write this book. and in this case, i can tell you that the genesis of this book came from a conversation like uncle norman, my mother's brother. after my book of the modern world, became new york times seller and i was to scotland to talk about the book. as we said to me, so.
[inaudible]. so here's the book, the vikings did and io really did not havea good answer i would say probably over the next decade and a half or more, that question remained in the back of my mind. this was because of the family connection but but really my uncle was saying what he was really saying is what i going to write a book about us in this scandinavian heritage. but it was also an important episode in history and the european history and really in the world history when about the book. so i can address both of these and talking about the americans and the scandinavian americans but also about the place of the vikings and the proper
understanding. this book is a result is really about the idea of this extraordinary continuity and the attitudes of money says the travels over. from the viking experience, the world in which the vikings made the vikings. through the scandinavia and during the later stages of this history and into the experience of the scandinavia immigrants when they came to america and then this cultural skill set. and norway and the norwegians but also the ice and lawyers and the nordic cultural heritage. my term for this cultural skill set is viking hardiness one in which the importance of which i
think we've really understood even as scandinavian americans or as historians, or americans as one and needs to be explored more. and my book is really starting the exploration and venturing into this to understand it and why it is. so the viking heart as i call it in this cultural skill set of the combination of strong belief in family and that also recognition of the importance of individual initiative and s freedom and it really takes rt new could say the pre- viking. what makes the viking future possible. and an adaptation to the incredible physical conditions and there was the scandinavian tribes, they had to endure printed and hospitable climate
and not much resources including very little land on which to cultivate crops and if you families and livestock. it really compelled them to look elsewhere for ways in which to make this. eighty survive and prosper predict but also at the same idea of the there is no survivor in these conditions without the survival that if abouts having to carry their on weight, everyone having to be a part of that combined effort to enable the survivors and to survive the incredible conditions and just to survive venturing out into the sea in order to fish and in order to draw on the riches the sea can offer for survival o the community and then food the same
time the recognition of how much food they need and the individuals feel free to venture out to go sees opportunities to bring back the goods, the commodities that would the group to survive. this really boat beginning of this because every spring, all of that days and weeks, not just younger men but also others as a explain but also young women who sit out ond the expeditions to quantified new sources for wealth and resources that can help the community survive. and what they discovered missing out of the spring there on just daughter of technology of
incredibly shallow - two of the river and to reach the places that ordinarily would be beyond about the oceangoing vessels and the use of the gibson speed and mobility to try to or better than simply rowing. they soon discovered by the end of the century there were more prosperous neighbor to the south are vulnerable and that the frontiers between the scandinavian tribes and the contours of civilization. and so it becomes possible to prey upon the richer settlements and sites of the more advanced civilization to the south,
ofnorthern europe and bring back the goods that enable the tribes in norway and in denmark to cross there. in the transformation in europe, at the end of the spiking ventures who managed to engage and set them out stretching out north north sea and the coastline of the british isle and really significant way in 1795. [inaudible]. on the english coast and really the beginning of the viking proper. within down along the coast to northern france, spain, through the straight and deep into the mediterranean. as far as italy and also swedish
inventors unable to take their ships down the river, the deep river and all of the way to the roxie and then half of the eastern - becomes vulnerable to viking attack during this two other years the marked the heyday of the viking. now, that is the part of the viking story that we tend to run into and discuss in the history books of course is another chapter to this book, chapter and usually andch on which is te expansion and expression of the norwegian viking adventures into the atlantic ocean. and to iceland and greenland and then t finally finally by the yr
1000, to the shores of north america. so that's the usual information we have with the viking age in the extraordinary warriors and adventurers is the one that we tend to get into television series on other sources an incredible like this printed per side. do you have the town. [inaudible]. there we go. these are warriors from the medieval chess set that was discovered on the aisle and
probably made in the 13th century sometime at the height of the viking age. and you can see in his ivory just sent, it was made from ivory task from greenland. and we know this because of dna. can you see this here, the viking shield. early was a preserve kind of an extraordinary ferocious lawyers and came into prominence and legend and saga. [inaudible]. and to have someone up the animal nature, as part of their fighting skills that they bring to bear on the battlefield in
this engagement. iba realize that these extraordinary fearless and dominating warriors are small, little viking story we get the impression that the viking sailors and explorers is a boat full of small warriors sitting out on invisible campaigns against their enemies. that's only part of the viking story and the other issue is that the lives of the scandinavians at this time, farmers, fishermen, animal livestock razors and some which to draw on income by taking
what others had and that you deserve better including by the scandinavians pretty and some were notorious for their attack on her neighbors. they were far more to attack on their scandinavian neighbors. so, the individual vikings as warriors, is only one part of it and thegh other parties the wayn which quickly made transmission from traders and. [inaudible]. in the world in which realizes themselves and communities, especially as other parts of the shock of the vikings conducted and learn how to defend themselves.
and eventually, the scandinavians own problems of growing population in the land and the resources and the many places tola put people predict a solution was to planet colonies outside of scandinavia especially where the land was plentiful in the acreage was there for the taking predict so we have this extraordinary expansion. in the viking communities in the search for land and the search for trade opportunities. and we want to go to the next slide thanks and there's a statute at the site excavated. in which archaeologist in 1950
discovered an actual viking encampment. and have a physical reality to historians about their voyages across the atlantic. emily also see these extraordinary people also in wartime. a muscle forget that were emphasizing that there is one in which the women can extraordinarily life and responsibilities given the times times. the quality and respect to the outsiders especially those who came from the mediterranean altars were women tend to be segregated from the man. and then they were popping up all over the place. they accompany them invoke on the expeditions and even across
the north atlantic to america. and some as we know from archaeology whole an archaeologist evidence, including the most famous graveyard, the viking ralph. in the actually land in some of these expeditions and is extraordinary and there resonated all through the scandinavian culture. in the degree to which women were treated and were handed life switch would be by today standards but for the time. they would grow and increase as they gained increasing equality with her men braided but again, the strengthen the cultural strength andlt scandinavians tht the solidarity but also that for
the women within the culture of the time. and this also gives a vibrancy to thera scandinavian culture en after the vikings. next slide. and one reason whyf i think we see by the end of the back of the viking age, in the history of the scandinavian which the women who become the most charismatic and the most powerful and the most effective rulers alter the history of the medieval scandinavians and something extraordinary to see. and with the mainland do is that although the viking age they produce great rulers, the vikings become the ruling class of europe and the conqueror.
from norway and the others came from denmark and others. and margaret, this was her tomb. and for a brief period of time, and through sheer force of will, tonight the kingdoms of denmark. it's a kind of undertaking they can say only a woman would pursue and only a woman like margaret of denmark would be able to achieve. and it lasted through death in 1412. it's an achievement in history of scandinavia and thank you so one of the things that i think
margaret of denmark or the most extraordinary woman of scandinavian history. rule of the most extraordinary woman in the book history of the european of the middle ages. in terms of her personal well effort and a sense of command. scandinaviages in are ones in which the viking culture and that sense of solidarity, shared values and mutual trust but also creating that individual freedom to go through changes in shapes and through the coming of christianity. but then also of the coming of euphemism and. [inaudible].
and we make this between the scandinavians of americans in the church and i think i explained this in the book, profound in the cultural attitudes in the scandinavians and the evolution of what i call art. one of the emphasis of the teachings and the idea that individual, whatever it is thato we do and as a person sorry living and to feed and raise our family. whether it is - it can be holy calling. and one that works in benefits others. that the working hard, being successful, but these tasks in the undertake andou carry out is
really an expression of brotherly love and the foundations for what i call work ethic. as one that's going to run deep through the scandinavian culture from the 60th hundred 16th century onin it and to that vikg spirit, the drive-in entrepreneurship and in a new kind of all terroristic to was just as christianity for a new level of compassion and a sense of individual colleges to the scandinavia culture pretty so the affirmation and gives it the altruistic reach of what we do that we must not only benefit ourselves but also benefit the community. it really touches on the kind of philosophical impulse that weso see in the scandinavian culture and thosean scandinavian culture and great figures like novell
for example predict and others and norwegian explorer andds philanthropist and savior of hus of thousands of refugees in the shattering wake of world war one we've seen that aspect and that work ethic in place. and it also to the scandinavian communities the additional importance of what they do and with the undertake is a benefit to others. that comes to include the scandinavia undertaking to protect protestant europe against the catholic counter affirmations in the early 17th century in the early 16 hundreds which was three years war and into sweden under its king and
also great military genius. and the next slide please. and this involvement is a great commander the builder for the swedish army second to none in europe is one of the extraordinary stories of the european and also an example of scandinavia pretty now underpopulated and which to mobilize the conquest of europe. the great example of scandinavians going about the reduces the vikings didovju juss the others have done during the wars of conquest to europe. and he is an important figure in
history of europe not only just sweden andnd scandinavia and he moves after his tragic death in this battlefield, 1632, and the on the swedish military chief that his successors. they find it capable of resisting in their conquest against her neighbors pretty and i explained is in the book that with the wars of king charles the 12th, of sweden as successie wars against his neighbors in northern europe and the army and again the military genius of such caliber that he was able to take on the germans, the russians and the danes all at once. so through this kind of rated
and capacity and vicious man alike, and charles the 12th, through scandinavia, powers of europe and become players of power of politics and through the 18th century. they did pay a price for engaging with the great powerful. and the rest of scandinavia them about the big sweeping social and economic changes taking place across the rest of europe and the result is that by the mid- 19th century, landed scandinavia indoors another population explosion in the population of norway and sweden almost doubling in a matter of twowo or three decades. there is no place to put them in
no cities, no industrial sector. to employ these thousands of sweeties and norwegians and the result is a had to try to find another place was to make a living up to feed them. at the beginning in the middle of the 19th century, they turned to hear, to america. and they set off as my father's great-grandfather did in the 1850s the set up for america pretty next slide. and maybe you know the story because in minneapolis and minnesota, andrt a story of what we call the great migration of the scandinavians to america in particular to the midwest in which particular draw because there was so much land, so much land and it was flat and you could you know, is unimaginable
riches for someone to raise and farm in sweden or norway or finland to be able to see the incredible riches offered by the great plainsy states. in wisconsin and minnesota and this is a photograph that i acquired from the minnesota historical society, just down the street from me braided lumberjacks and their experiencs along with the experience of other scandinavian americans, not only change them but they become part of the american way of life and part of the story of america and also changes america as well. that's an important part of my book is that what they bring in the crossover the atlantic is to
america is not just their own personal baggage and families and others but there also bringing the cultural skill set of commitment to community and a commitment to two the mutual trust and the strong belief in the binding force of the community. in recognizing that individual freedoms and pursuit of opportunity is necessary because it benefits the community and that work ethic and those who work and succeed and they bring that back printed and made it possible to the community to thrive without joint effort. that's incredible, work ethic of taking the pains in every opportunity and to get things right. for the sociologist, immigrants
called workmanship, really fundamental to the shaping of civilization. the scandinavian cultural skill set. [inaudible]. they have this great impact on the scandinavians way out of proportion to their numbers that come over the great migration. it through thep beginning of world warin i braided about $3m and 2 million - so the story ofe 20th century america becomes the impact on the scandinavian americans on the way in which the cultural skills becomes part of the americas story. and i can point to a couple of
great examples of this danish immigrant who was pioneering efforts can indoor photography, incredible depths of urban poverty in a city like new york city and created for the first time in america, the awareness of the dangers of mass poverty and the need for the community the american community too take steps to change that would and also accommodates in the figures who described in the bucket to talk about this really kind of the america during the 1920s in the era of the jazz age, charlesth lindbergh. st. cloud, minnesota. we would drive from minneapolis
to visit my grandmother in brainerd.gr and is across the atlantic in 1927 predict and she recalls the memories of the vikings explores and adventures across that great atlantic ocean braided and the second one is andrew, congressman from the extraction who was the author of the homestead act. legislation that had the prohibition the unforeseen consequences from that. maybe not so much of a gift from the scandinavians. in the third when we talk about as well as the book, you can go to the next slide braided on this evening came from the same
hometown as max's own fathers f. [inaudible]. this was from norway and his career at notre dame university as football coach but you have to remember, that romain was not only a football coach but also track and field coach at the same time. also at the university in fact one of the heartbreaking moments waste when needed ministry nurse at the university had to tell him, there's just not going to be time for you to teach chemistry at the same time that you'll be running the football team. you're going to be running a team that is nationally known. and so get to step down and hang up his white lab coat. and then he had had for the
fieldhouse to work full-time as a football coach. the legacy extends far beyond notre dame university bremen college football. he really is the father of not just monitor community sports but also the way in which the fans could identify and connect emotionally to the success in the failures of the sport and the team and the way in which this became but only a source of community solidarity, everybody is a fan of the hometown team but also of success as big business force and in the
history of american sports but in the history of the america way of life, knute rockne. there is a direct line from knute rockne to the minnesota vikings in that sense between american professional sports fan the image of sports as a driving force in american culture and of course american higher education that comes from knute rockne's legacy predict so the scandinavian americans, with "the viking heart" and imagine that aspect of this to where wee that legacy going on and really so much part of american culture. we don't even think about that. go ahead and go to the last
slide. >> they were written down stories that were written down and by poets and authors in the 13th and 14th centuries. in iceland and the really recording for the first time of the great story, the legends t including the gods and goddesses which have always been in tradition among the vikings themselves but which now took on life is a written document. itit was to be passed on and red to the future generations. in the stories and the ethics, have an enormous impact on modern european life and also in the shaping of western literature and.
and if the hero, the sigler and killing the dragon foxgo in ordr to acquire the treasure that he had been guarding with his dragon in the story will transferra directly into the authors but also theud story of the treasure through the magic wings that the companies will be transferred directly into the lord of the rings in the viking literature of the history. and really the north becomes
foundational for the stories of the lord of the rings and then carrying on in the hand of admirers, george lucas, as well as peter jackson in the movies that not just the lord of the rings movie but also of course the star wars and the little characters in the shaping of the story is drawn from the models and paradigms laid out. in the superheroes, the fascination that we have with the fantasy fairytale world but that north provided a glimpse into an understanding, the really the human in some ways
you can argue, the legacy and the vikings leapt to the modern world but just from the scandinavian world but also to the world that we had left to her children and grandchildren that they will have from this pointt on. so what does "the viking heart" mean, first of allst it is a culture because it understands the hard work leads to benefits for the community, not just individual. recognizing that the community can only survive if there's trust the binders all members together in a common effort and shared values to fully community together but also one that recognizes individuals have to be free to
pursue their own path to venture out and most anything necessary and events route and if i'd new ways in which to benefit the community and build their lives for themselves and their families and for those who dependnd upon. that is the cultural skill set that the vikings exemplified and one that passed down to their descendents both in scandinavian today but also i believe to the scandinavian americans here in the cultural skill set that has relevance and residents today. and the one that i think might just be the skill set many still save american and say all of us as we look forward to our we go in venturing forth into for the
21st century has to offer and has in store for all of us. thank you very much. can answer any questions. ask me anything the 20 asked me about. >> thank you for the lovely presentation and i have a copy year, you can see it but news here. the virtual screen is hiding it but there it is. and i think that at least what i'm most excited about is this well for me have always heard the history but i've never known how it tied together some really excited to get into this book to learn how it all leaves together especially duringge time now whe it is important to understand about your own and other
people's history so this will be really exciting for myself and my heritage and is see where those values carry through. and from people stories and history. and with that, alternative questions read goes like we have one here from sally, she was told by historian that all vikings were danish vikings. >> probably, because what we do know is if we are talking about danish meeting those coming from the danish peninsula and from day,slands around modern that they were one third of the overall viking adventure routes
and exploration and the danes themselves, each of those seem to follow the same pattern year after year and today, across the northcr sea particularly along e eastern seaboard of the british isle and for example the car about their own settlements in northern england and centered around the capitol of york and i one point, the middle ages, two thirds of the kings of england were under danish rule rated as one of the reasons why danish had such a impact on the english language over 600 from the north to english that is part of
the danish agassi. norwegians are kinda further out going west towards iceland and greenland and ofar course ameria but also down on the west side of the british isle to ireland for the norwegian vikings that t during the height in the viking age and then into the mediterranean's with a sweet pushed eastward as the swedes who really are the ones who make their way down through russia river courses braided into the black sea and establish trade settlements in the most important the viking capitol for hundreds of years and the
foundations in fact the very word russian comes from a word which was the term the locals had the swedish adventure and pretty good description of the vikings. >> that's interesting that i did not know that in language alone, you could really tie into a bunch of this predict. >> we can talk about that more in detail. the many words hand that come out or come from scandinavians anglo-saxon and anglo-saxon pretty. >> will write predict i had a question here from robert, why did norway respect their rule. [inaudible].
>> but then by sweden and part of it is i think major cultural shift that takes place with the rise of the norwegian nationals in the 19th century. i would say when we think about is, in a long period of time, under danish rule and of course the rule is individual princes and kings and you serve the lord who had mastery over the land that she worked for the authority of the district that you lived on in where ethnic background was relevant to the question with royalty.
but then in the 19th century, norwegians become - and that they are distinct from the danish and more than just a dialect of the longtime the assumption that the scholars name about the norwegian language but there's a distinct language of itsng own. and through history and awareness about the fact that the vikings were not all danish vikings and norwegians an independent history explores and so thanks to the congress and it's really give finland directions and norwegians are not very happy about this because increasingly the 19th
century, we deserve to have our own government and rule in language and is the basis of the rule predict the has to be said that have many concessions as they could without really relinquishing control because there was a desire to respect egnorwegians having their own through this period of time is certainly not enough to gratify the norwegian nationals. and it became the very powerful movements and totally too demanding for the swedes to ignore. or to try to block so 1905. [inaudible]. >> so they didn't diminish the feelings for sweden. my grandmother's were talking by
the swedes where is the principal but one particularly, flattering and i remember as a boy i was looking at flashcards for the national flags and flipping through three different countries and romania and bulgaria and flash card came up in my grandmother looked over and said the sweden grade and she said well is yellow. >> willik so she said swedish. [laughter] [inaudible].
[inaudible]. >> i remember that myself. in going up and jokes and as a lord like when sometimes you know, the betrayal landed. >> i'm very excited to get into the 18th century. and i've really beens fascinated for sweden. [inaudible]. he had been interested in this pretty. >> and the nordics into being civilized people after this time and he was friends with pretty. >> and he was part of that effort to integrate the scandinavian countries into the mainstream european civilization. and of the same timee recognizig
he was unique in all of the same five ny city i discovered this in the book that they also have been the discovery of their viking roots and awareness that there is another chapter in the historyy of europe for scandinaviansan that gives them the sense of identity for each of the nation's involvement also a common identity and foundations for nordic combined sales countries together pretty and it also iceland on the other. >> it looks like we have many time for one or two more questions here pretty in your book, did you write about the geography off the scandinavian countries and boundaries at this time. i heard the sweet and was part of norway pretty. >> i don't go into that quiten's
much but yes in the book, the opening is about extraordinary geography and geographic contrast differences between the three main nordic countries predict and particularly denmark is really from norway and sweden and really it's very similar. let us denmark has more agricultural land, does not have the kind of mountain ranges the swedes and norwegians have read and also to denmark's physical link demographic link to the rest of the continent of europe means danish history will take a different direction it. and the scandinavians in the nordic world also more subject
in the south physically from germany. over the course and that is to allow to shape the history of denmark after the viking age in ways they continue down to today as well. and there's an issue about the boundaries between germany and denmark particularly gets the full time and becomes a source of one of the most devastating scandinavian history. and the danish war of 1864 which i talked about in the book. it's a forgotten chapter in scandinavian history but it's important to the shaping of omodern europe. germany but which was also a gain of the final lesson in the
dangers of tryingrs to plate por politics and you don't have the resources and support and against countries like germany, france, russia and the denmark's destiny like that of norway and sweden when a different direction mainly towards entanglements and european power politics and great wars if you possibly stay out of them against an important step towards denmark neutrality. to the great power politics unleashed through the rest of the 19th century the 20th century. >> will god, i think we are just about done here at the bottom of the hour but knew about the vikings, there was another
question. are you inspired now to write for the nordic history. more about nordic history >> i think it's a topic that is subject to i think while this book just opens the discussion particularly with a connection between the scandinavian american experience that so many of us share and also the tremendous and mainstream events and culture in modern scandinavia in the same way. then i see this book in a personal way is just beginning my own exploration of those kinds of issues looking for this a lot more. >> i'm looking forward to it and getting started on o the book ad
for those of you still need a copy, we have a few left. and also have a few more there as well but don't want to thank everyone for joining usha this evening and thank you arthur for joining us tonight in your book "the viking heart" have the skinny and parts of the world pretty we hope that we will be prayer and in hearing more from you. >> is been a great pleasure and thank you all for listening and for your questions. >> good night everybody. >> we can see on "c-span2" are an intellectual feast, every saturday, american history tv documents america's story, and on sundays, book tv brings you the latest in nonfiction books and authors and funding for "c-span2" comes from these television companies and more
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