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The Baltic region is frequently neglected in broader histories of Europe and its international significance can be obscured by separate treatments of the various Baltic states. With this wide-ranging survey, Andrejs Plakans presents the first integrated history of three Baltic peoples – Estonians, Latvians and Lithuanians – and draws out the common threads to show how it has been shaped by their location in a strategically desirable corner of Europe. Subordinated in turn by Baltic German landholders, the Polish nobility and gentry, and then by Russian and Soviet administrators, Plakans highlights how the three nations have nevertheless kept a distinctive identity – significantly retaining three separate languages in an ethnically diverse region. The book traces the countries' evolution from their ninth-century tribal beginnings to their present status as three thriving and separate nation states, focusing particularly on the region's complex twentieth-century history, which culminated in the eventual re-establishment of national sovereignty after 1991.
About the Author
Andrejs Plakans is Professor Emeritus at the Department of History, Iowa State University. His previous publications include The Latvians: A Short History (1995) and the Historical Dictionary of Latvia (second edition 2008).
Table of Contents1. The peoples of the Eastern Baltic Littoral
2. The new order, 1200–1500
3. The new order reconfigured, 1500–1710
4. Installing hegemony:
the Littoral and Tsarist Russia, 1710–1800
5. Reforming and controlling the Baltic Littoral, 1800–1855
6. Five decades of transformations, 1855–1905
7. Statehood in troubled times, 1905–1940
8. The return of empires, 1940–1991
9. Reentering Europe: