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.