The Scandinavian-American HeritageThe Scandinavian-American Heritage


Irene M. Franck, The Scandinavian-American Heritage,  © 1988 Facts On File Publications, New York, Hardcover, 148 Pages, 0-8160-1626-7.

Synopsis: Explores the history, culture, and contributions of Scandinavian-Americans from colonial times to the present day.


  1. The Scandinavian Heritage
  2. The Children of the Vikings
  3. Breathing Free
  4. Voyage to the New World
  5. Swedish Immigrants in America
  6. Norwegian Immigrants in America
  7. Finnish Immigrants in America
  8. Danish Immigrants in America
  9. Icelandic Immigrants in America
  10. The Scandinavian-American Heritage in Modern Times

From the Critics

Franck focuses on immigrants from Denmark, Norway, Sweden, Finland, and Iceland. After discussing the population's Viking heritage, she examines the geography of each country and its political situation prior to the first main wave of immigration in the early 19th Century. Reasons for immigration are given, along with descriptions of the varied settlements in the "new country'' and the difficulties that the immigrants faced. Franck does not lump the Scandinavian countries together, but instead delineates the distinct differences among the people based on landscape, location, political climate, and social history.

The book is well organized, but it is an organization that leads to dullness. Because each nationality is covered in the same fashion, the repetition of format is good for research purposes but does not make for exciting reading. Although a few excerpts are given from letters written by the settlers to the families back home, there is no warmth or humanism to the telling.

This is a "facts only'' book. Engle's The Finns in America (1977) and Hillbrand's The Norwegians in America (1967) and The Swedes in America (1966, all Lerner) cover much of the same information for a slightly younger audience, although those titles offer more detail on contributions of Scandinavian-Americans to 19th- and 20th-Century science, arts, and politics. A bibliography of adult titles is included in Franck's book, and indeed adults could use this book. Susan Schuller, Milwaukee Public Library.

Library of Congress Catalog Listing

  • BOOK: The Scandinavian-American heritage
  • Personal name: Franck, Irene M.
  • Main title: The Scandinavian-American heritage / Irene M. Franck.
  • Published/Created: New York, N.Y. : Facts On File, c1988.
  • Description: xi, 148 p. : ill. ; 25 cm.
  • ISBN: 0816016267
  • LC classification: E184.S18 F73 1988
  • Summary: Explores the history, culture, and contributions of Scandinavian-Americans from colonial times to the present day.
  • LC Subjects: Scandinavian Americans--Juvenile literature. Scandinavian Americans--History.
  • Notes: Includes index.
  • Bibliography: p. 139-144.
  • Series: America's ethnic heritage
  • LCCN: 88045086
  • Dewey class no.: 973/.04395
  • Geographic area code: n-us---
  • Type of material: Book
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