Dean KroukJul 13, 2022
The Making of an Antifascist
Nordahl Grieg Between the World Wars
University of Wisconsin Press 2022
A young imperialist adventurer turned hero of the anti-Nazi resistance, Norwegian journalist, poet, and playwright Nordahl Grieg has become more of a national legend than a real person since his death as a war reporter in Berlin in 1943. A look into Grieg’s intellectual development during the dynamic interwar period sheds light on the political and cultural ideologies that competed in a turbulent Europe. Often portrayed with an emphasis on his humanist and pacifist positions, this antifascist figure becomes more complex in his writings, which reveal shifting allegiances, including an unsavory period as a rigid Stalinist.
In The Making of an Antifascist: Nordahl Grieg Between the World Wars (U Wisconsin Press, 2022), Dean Krouk examines a significant public figure in Scandinavian literature and a critical period in modern European history through original readings of the political, ethical, and gender issues in Grieg’s works. This volume offers a first-rate analysis of the interwar period’s political and cultural agendas in Scandinavia and Europe leading to the Second World War by examining the rise of fascism, communism, and antifascism. Grieg’s poetry found renewed resonance in Norway following the 2011 far-right domestic terrorist attacks, making insight into his contradictory ideas more crucial than ever. Krouk’s presentation of Grieg’s unexpected ideological tensions will be thought-provoking for many readers in the United States and elsewhere.
Nicholas Misukanis is a doctoral candidate in the history department at the University of Maryland - College Park. He studies modern European and Middle Eastern history with a special emphasis on Germany and the role energy autonomy played in foreign and domestic German politics. He is currently working on his dissertation which analyzes why the West German government failed to convince the public to embrace nuclear energy and the ramifications this had on German politics between 1973 and 1986. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.