The Invention Of Scandinavia

Episodes

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01The Bridge2020111020201116 (R4)In a brief September window, Misha Glenny and Miles Warde flew into Copenhagen to begin work on a new Invention of... series. The plan - find out why Denmark, Sweden and Norway had responded to the pandemic in such different ways. Denmark was one of the first countries in Europe to lock down. Sweden famously took another route.

This is the ninth Invention series, and the aim is to understand what these three countries are - their people, the borders, the stories they tell themselves. Can history explain what is happening now?

With contributions from the novelists Dorthe Nors, Linn Ullman, and Carsten Jensen; historians Erika Sandstrom, Ulf Zander and Gunnar Wetterberg; tour guide and journalist Anna Toon; and author Michael Booth, author of The Almost Nearly Perfect People - Behind the Myth of the Scandinavian Utopia.

Presenter Misha Glenny is an award-winning reporter and author of McMafia

The producer for BBC Audio in Bristol is Miles Warde

Misha Glenny looks at the people, the borders and the histories of Scandinavia.

Misha Glenny investigates the histories and the people that make nations what they are.

02The Viking Inheritance2020111720201123 (R4)The Swedes are very proud that they have not fought in a war since 1814, but they have not always been the knitwear pacifists they are today. Following a traumatic moment in their history - the Stockholm Bloodbath of 1520 - they set off on a two century rampage fuelled by religion and military skill. This reached a crazy crescendo when - like Napoleon and Hitler - King Charles XII of Sweden took on the Russians in what some have described as a defensive war.
The Swedes don't talk much about this period today.

With brilliant contributions from Erika Sandstrom, Gunnar Wetterberg, Peter Wilson, Anna Toon, Michael Pye and Ulf Zander.

The producer in Bristol is Miles Warde

Why Sweden has not always been the peace-loving nation it is today, with Misha Glenny.

Misha Glenny investigates the histories and the people that make nations what they are.

03The Narcissism Of Small Differences2020112420201130 (R4)This is the story of how Norway threw off its patronising title of 'little brother' and emerged as the richest Scandinavian nation of all.

In 1814 - just as Napoleon's rampage across Europe was drawing to a close - Sweden took control of Norway. They did this with the permission of the other great powers. Norway did not became a free and sovereign nation until 1905, and during that century they continued to produce timber and fish. But they also produced Ibsen, Grieg and Munch, who painted The Scream; plus Nansen and Amundsen, who beat the British to the South Pole.

With contributions from Thomas Hylland Eriksen and Linn Ullman in Oslo, plus Erica Wagner, Dorthe Nors and Jacob Stougaard-Nielsen of UCL.

The producer in Bristol is Miles Warde

Misha Glenny looks at how Norway emerged as the richest Scandinavian nation of all.

Misha Glenny investigates the histories and the people that make nations what they are.