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tv   Arthur Herman The Viking Heart  CSPAN  December 16, 2021 9:40pm-10:43pm EST

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welcome, everyone. my name if you don't know is max stevenson, the director of programs here in minneapolisvi minnesota. it's my pleasure tonight to have arthur herman, the author of the book the viking heart -- and afterwards we will have a session so please if you could submit a question at the bottom of the screen and if you are on a desktop or laptop that button should appear on the bottom of the window the button should appear there as well. thankmo you everyone for joining us tonight and with that i would like to introduce the speaker for this evening who received
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his ba from the university of minnesota. i thought everyone would love hearing that. he is the fourth generation to graduate from the university of minnesota and received his phd from john hopkins university and was a senior fellow at the hudson institute and the offer authorof mountain books includie new york times" bestseller how they invented the modern world and gandhi and churchill which is a finalist for the supplies and works in washington, d.c. so with that i will turn it over to arthur to begin the presentation and then we will take questions after the presentation. >> thank you so much for joining us tonight. >> hello, everyone in minneapolis it's good to see you
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if only virtually, and it's good to return if only virtually to my birthplace where i was born as a matter of fact. and as mentioned, they proceeded me but received degrees of different kinds. my great-grandfather had a jd from the university which made for some interesting times during class registration when a couple of times i was
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registering for classes and received notices from the registrar saying i wouldn't be allowed to register until i had paid for the overdue fine for a textbook on principles. this usuallyho required me to go down to the office and explain that they were talking to the wrong arthur herman and they would have to get a hold of my grandmother. the university of minneapolis, minnesota, twin cities, part of my background where both of my grandmothers lived including my grandmother from norway to the united states before world war i and who raised three children in
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minnesota, this in many ways his personal of the books i've written to this point because my family does in the course of my discussion not just about the vikings per se which is what the first partnd was about but also about how the cultural skill set in order to survive and thrive into the environment of scandinavia held that carried oversc into the history of not just modernist scandinavia including today but also the united states. i don't want to get too far ahead of myself. people always ask me why did you
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write this book and in this case i can tell you that the genesis of the book came from a conversation with my uncle and the modern world became "the new york times" bestseller. i traveled into scotland to talk about thee book and so he said o me it's a pretty good job. i didn't really have a good answer and i would say over the next decade and a half or more that question remained at the back of my mind not simply because of a family connection but my uncle norman was really saying a book about us and about the norwegian heritage that
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became part of america but it was also important as i explained in the book so the question of how to address both of these needs to talk about the american experience but also this book is a result because the idea that there's this cultural attitude and mindset that travels over from the viking experience, the world in which the vikings made through scandinavia during the later stages of this place in european
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history andnd then to the experience of the scandinavian immigrants and the cultural skill set is the cultural heritage that i call the viking heart and it's one which i don't think we've really understood and scandinavian americans were historians or americans and it's one that needs to be explored more and i see that my book is starting the exploration venturing out into this to understand its impact. >> the viking heart as i call it is a skill set of the combination of strong belief in
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community and also a recognition of the importance of individual initiative and freedom the takes root and it is to a large extent and adaptation to the incredible physical conditions under which the scandinavian tribes had to endure the climate and resources including very little land on which to cultivate crops and feed families and livestock's that compared them to look elsewhere for ways to make their society survive and prosper of butat the same time this idea tt there is no survival in those conditions that it's a group survival and everyone having to
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carry their own weight. out into the steep to draw upon the riches to offer for survival of community and then at the same time the recognition of how important it is that individuals feel free to venture out to find and seize opportunities to bring back the commodities that would enable the group to survive. that is really the beginning of the end and that is what happens is every spring not just young
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men but i as i explained in the book also women who set out on these expeditions to go out and find new opportunities and sources for wealth and resources that could help the community survivelo and thrive. what they discover sitting out in their technology that allows it to travel up the river coursesm and reach two places t would be beyond the region and the use of the square sail thatt gives them speed and mobility what they soon discover by the end of the century is the more
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prosperous neighbors to the south are vulnerable and the frontiers between the scandinavian tribes and the contours of civilization so it becomes possibleba to prey upon the rich settlements and sites of the more advanced civilization to the south and northern europe and bring back theon goods that enable the tris to prosper. it's the transformation of europe who managed to engage that set them out stretching out across the north sea and in 1795
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of the monastery of the english coast which is usually dated to the beginning of the proverb, but then down along the coast of northern france, spain, through thes streets of deep into the mediterranean as far as italy but then also swedish adventures that are able to take across the baltic down all the way to the biloxi and the capital of the roman empire becomes vulnerable to the attack during this heyday. that's the part of the story
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that we tend to run into and discuss in the history books and of course there is another chapter to this which is the expansion of the adventurers toward the west to the atlantic ocean and to iceland and greenland. the one we tend to get in the television series and novels and other sources and they kind of look like this.
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they tend to have an appearance like -- there we go. these are warriors from a set discovered onn the island probably sometime in the 13th century after the viking age but the figures that we see and we know by the way thanks to dna evidence was made from ivory tasks from the settlement.
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he was usually identified as a preserver anden came into theres no doubt that these men that summoned up their deeper animal nature as a part of the fighting skill they bring to bear on the battlefield engagement, but it's important to remember as such, these extraordinarily fearless and dominating warriors are a small part of the whole story. they forget the impression that every boatload of viking sailors and explorers super warriors
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setting out on invincible campaigns. the real truth is with the lives of the scandinavians at this time as fishermen, animals and livestock and settlement income to draw upon income by taking what others had but you felt you deserved better. however much they were famous.
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the other part is the way in which very quickly they made the transition from readers to traders and the way in which to enrich themselves isn't through pillage and plunder as other parts of europe caught on to the shockan and reads they conducted and learned to defend themselves. the real answer of the growing population in thena land with these resources and not many places to put people the other solution was to put them at the plant colonies into settlements and settlementsoutside of scanda especially where the land wasomu plentiful and in acreage was therebe for the taking, so we gt this extraordinary expansion and
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the search for land and trade opportunities becomes a sensation if you want to go to the next slide for me at the site excavated in newfoundland and which archaeologists discovered an actual viking at the encampment putting reality to the stories of the voyages across the atlantic. we also have to see these extraordinary people have extraordinary peace time and another aspect there's one in
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which women had extraordinary rights and responsibilities given the time and place of dark ageme europe. theer quality and respect was always baffled especially those that came from the mediterranean cultures. women were popping up all over the place not only accompanying the expeditions and trading ventures and even across the north atlantic to america, but in some cases the most famous lead to some of these expeditions. extraordinary thing and it was 'sagainst all the way through scandinavian cultures from that day to this is the degree to which women were treated with
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respect and were handed rights which would be pretty minuscule by today's standards but over time would grow and increase, so that's another aspect, that sense of solidarity.
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>> that there is no one better. >> and that is through the sheer force of will to the ends of denmark and norway and sweden.
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and then anyone from denmark could achieve. and in the history of scandinavia it's one of the things of one of the most extraordinary women is scandinavian. one of the most extraordinary woman in the whole history. >> and in scandinavia and with that solidarity with the shared values but also that individual and with
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christianity. and that's the associations. with the scandinavia. but i explained this in the book. it is a profound impact. and that evolution. >> but then as a person to earn a living to feel the ways of the family and then to pursue that.
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as long as and then working successful at whatever tasks you undertake you carry out. and with that work ethic to go through scandinavian culture. and with that spirit and drive and entrepreneurship and that ultra stick twist. with that individual conscience that gives us the altruistic reach but also must
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benefit the community and with that philanthropic. and then with the scandinavian culture and that scandinavian culture as well. >> and then the shattering wake of world war i. we see that aspect. >> and with that traditional sense and what they undertake.
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with the reformation in the early 17th century. and also with a great military genius. >> and as a great commander as this could swedish army. and with those extraordinary stories of european history. a political example but then a
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good example of scandinavians and just as the wars of conquest. and then in the history of scandinavia but then from 1632. and then to use that. and the conquest against their neighbors. in the incessant against his neighbors in northern europe but the army and the military
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for what he was able to take on and defeat and the russians all at once. so to be at capacity to see that in scandinavia with the powers in europe. with that social and economic changes.
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and then over two or three decades. but there is no space or industrial sector but then as my great-grandfather did in the 18 thirties.
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and with the great motivation of scandinavia and in particular to the midwest. we have so much land and it is flat. it is the enemy riches and then to be able to see to be in wisconsin and minnesota. is just down the street from me. and your experience with the scandinavian americans and
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then to become part of the story but america as well this is an important theme of my book. and to let it crossover to america with the mutual trust in this opportunity is necessary. and with that joint effort and
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it is incredible. and with every opportunity that the immigrants and that proportion of the numbers during the great migration and beginning and world war i. >> so the story of 20th century america with the
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scandinavian americans that they live around the corner and that skill set becomes part of the american story. and with those great examples. and then the incredible and then i was created for the first time america's awareness with mass poverty and then to change that and then to describe in the book and then
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to penalize american the 1920s and during the era of the jazz egg first being charles lindbergh minnesota to drive up from minneapolis to go visit. and then across 1927. and then congressman in the data extraction and then the unforeseen consequences beyond that.
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>> not so much as a gift of scandinavia. >> we can go to the next slide. >> and then to come from a hometown and also through notre dame university and whose football coach you have to remember not only the invisible football coach at notre dame that then to teach
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tennessee at the same time and then to engage as many games. >> so turn off your bunsen burner's and then to work fall on —- full-time as a football coach. and not just modern collegiate sports and the way in which fans could identify and connect emotionally to the success in the failures and the way in which this became not only a source of community pride from the hometown team
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but also monetary success and then the american cultural life in the history of america but also in the history where there is the direct line of influence and then in the imagee as a driving force in american culture and of course american higher education that comes from that legacy. so the legacy lives on.
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so then youou see that legacy extending on. and at the heart of the american culture. >> so those that were written down the stories and ideas lawmaker waits and authors 19th and 14th century in iceland and then recorded for the first time the stories in the legends as gods and goddesses and then the vikings themselves.
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and then to have an enormous impact of western literature and culture and then in order to acquire if he has been guarded so that story will transfer directly but also the story of the treasure in the
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companies to be translated directly into the strategy for j.r.r. tolkien. and as the mythology becomes foundational for the lord of the rings and then to carry on as well as peter jackson and then to create a whole atmosphere. and has drawn from the models.
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>> with those enormous luncheons on —- legends. and then sometimes you could argue and with the modern world. but also to the world for our children and grandchildren ndthat will have an have it from what is going on. >> and then to understand your community not just individual
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and that the community can only survive if there is a bond of trust with a common effort that supports that community and shared values. >> that it also recognizes but then to venture out and to find new ways to build lives for their families. that is a cultural skill set that is passed down to descendents with me native americans but here. and residents to date.
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but it could just be the skill set. >> thank you very much. >> thank you will quick and i am most m excited about and fors
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me i have heard bits and pieces of the history that i've never put it together and especially during a time now and that is exciting and then also general history. so now i will turn it over to questions we have one here beavers told that all of ours were danish vikings if they
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talk about danish vikings meaning from the danish peninsula and around denmark and with that exploration but then to go year after year. and then with t the middle eastern seaboard and then and then in the middle ages and then under danish rule.
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but then there are 600 long boats to the english. and part of the danish legacy. and going west n towards iceland and greenland but also with the left side of where they did carveout settlements. and then they take the mediterranean. and then to make their way
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down and with the black sea and establish training settlements that's for hundreds of years and the foundation and that was the term that locals have it with the vikings. >> and then you could dive into a bunch of that. [laughter] >> but then that comes from
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scandinavia on the scandinavia writing the saxon. on —- anglo-saxon. >> [inaudible] >> it is a major cultural shift and with that nationalism in the 19th century if you think about it from a long period of time of those teams and then they had
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authority over the district that was a point of relevance. but then in the 19th century and the norwegians and that was for a long time and of that regional language and one illustrious history and then with the vikings and the independent history.
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but at the end of the napoleonic wars and then to give finland to the russians and give norway asns a consolation prize. but increasingly in the 19th century. and that is the basis. in many concessions as they could. and without control altogether and there was that desire and respect. >> and then to gratify with that nationalist movement.
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and then to be too demanding. and then to get its independence. but then i i remember as a boy once and go through other countries like panama and romania and bulgaria.
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>> and then to say swedish? [laughter] t so yes. and then as i learned about history and then betrayal. >> because as an art as a curator i don't doubt but then the first opera house but then
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to be civilized people. >> and there is an effort to integrate the scandinavian countries into mainstream and civilization. not at the same time recognizing that also in the discovery of their viking roots and that this is a whole other chapter four scandinavians generally and then to have a national identity and then to bind those two together and then on the other. >> .
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>> so with the geography of the scandinavian countries? >> . >> so with that extraordinary geography andhi then genesis and in particular denmark is distinct and very similar and denmark as more agricultural land and doesn't have the forbidding mountain ranges that they haveh. to contend with
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and also denmark's physical and geographically means that history will take a different direction and then also from germany. and then over the course. and that will do a lot to shape the history of denmark in ways of down through today as well. so the boundaries between germany and denmark particularly because that's why the most devastating lawyers and scandinavian history.
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and oppression danish wine 1864 and i a talk about that in the book and in scandinavian history and with the rise germany as a unified nation. but also that's in the dangers are trying to play politics when you don't have the resources or the demographics to support against countries like germany and france and russia and with denmark's testament destiny and with those entanglements in european politics of the great wars with that capacity to stay out of them that's an important step towards denmark's neutrality with the
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rest of the 19th century and 20h century. >> so now writing in the book about the vikings so are you inspired now to write more about nordic history? >> i think this book just opens the discussion between the scandinavianic experience but also the training publishing modern scandinavia in the same way.
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and it is just beginning the exploration of those types of issues and i'm looking forward to doing a lot more. >> for those of you who need a copy we have a few left and there are a few more for think if everyone for joining us this evening thank you for joiningon us today. >> thank you very much it's been a great pleasure and thank you for your questions. >> at night everybody.
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not everyone knew they were being recorded. >> certainly johnson secretaries new because they were tasked with to transcribe many of those conversations. in fact they were the ones to make sure the conversations were taped as johnson would signal to them through an open door between an open door tween their offices. >> you also hear some blunt talk.
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>> hi everyone. i'm the ceo here on behalf of our entire team thank you for being here with us tonight also from san francisco in our promotional partner and for any of our viewers in the bay area. we are so honored to welcome now gone gladwell back in celebration of his new release the bomber mafia we have a pleasure posting them in 2131st new york times best-selling book david and goliath

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