Book Review – How Iceland Changed the World

A lovely book about a country most of us associate with volcanoes, spectacular landscapes, equality, and fishing. This book corrects that view with a wry humour that is more than ironic but less than sarcastic. Either directly or indirectly Iceland has contributed to the French Revolution, the success of the moon landings, and the creation of the state of Israel.

The history of Iceland includes the Skafta Fires between 1783 – 1785 when Laki (a volcano) spewed out 220 square miles of lava, not from a perfectly formed volcanic cone, but from vents that rent the earth. The volcanic activity killed no one directly, but a quarter of Iceland’s population died from the indirect effects such as toxic fumes, polluted water, or hunger as all the animals died from eating vegetation poisoned by fluorine.

The book also provides a history of how equality between the sexes was achieved in case people assumed that Iceland has always been like that – it hasn’t and so provides a blueprint that other countries could follow if the inclination was there.

Published by Julian Worker

Julian was born in Leicester, attended school in Yorkshire, and university in Liverpool. He has been to 94 countries and territories and intends to make the 100 when travel is easier. He writes travel books, murder / mysteries and absurd fiction. His sense of humour is distilled from The Marx Brothers, Monty Python, Fawlty Towers, and Midsomer Murders. His latest book is about a Buddhist cat who tries to help his squirrel friend fly further from a children's slide.

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