• The Viking Heart

  • How Scandinavians Conquered the World
  • By: Arthur Herman
  • Narrated by: Kiff VandenHeuvel
  • Length: 18 hrs and 50 mins
  • 4.3 out of 5 stars (121 ratings)

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The Viking Heart  By  cover art

The Viking Heart

By: Arthur Herman
Narrated by: Kiff VandenHeuvel
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Publisher's Summary

“An absorbing and humane account.... Mr. Herman is at pains to remind us that the Viking world was never just a stage for mayhem. It was, he says, ‘about daring to reach for more than the universe had gifted you, no matter the odds and the obstacles.’ In short: We might all take our own life’s cue from the Viking heart.” (The Wall Street Journal)

From a New York Times best-selling historian and Pulitzer Prize finalist, a sweeping epic of how the Vikings and their descendants have shaped history and America

Scandinavia has always been a world apart. For millennia Norwegians, Danes, Finns, and Swedes lived a remote and rugged existence among the fjords and peaks of the land of the midnight sun. But when they finally left their homeland in search of opportunity, these wanderers — including the most famous, the Vikings — would reshape Europe and beyond. Their ingenuity, daring, resiliency, and loyalty to family and community would propel them to the gates of Rome, the steppes of Russia, the courts of Constantinople, and the castles of England and Ireland. But nowhere would they leave a deeper mark than across the Atlantic, where the Vikings’ legacy would become the American Dream.

In The Viking Heart, Arthur Herman melds a compelling historical narrative with cutting-edge archaeological and DNA research to trace the epic story of this remarkable and diverse people. He shows how the Scandinavian experience has universal meaning, and how we can still be inspired by their indomitable spirit.

©2021 Arthur Herman (P)2021 HarperCollins Publishers
  • Unabridged Audiobook
  • Categories: History

What listeners say about The Viking Heart

Average Customer Ratings
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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Excellent book

Loved it as I learned so much about my Scandinavian forefathers. Will be recommending to family and friends of Scandinavian decent.

3 people found this helpful

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    2 out of 5 stars
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Confused and not worth the time and money

The author is trying to make the case for a far wider impact of Viking legacy than what’s supported by data. Often he conflates Germans and Scandinavians and the iron age and Viking age.

And then all of a sudden we are taking about American colonies?

And he gets wrong many facets of Scandinavian history, eg claiming that the late 18th and 19th century was an age of decline, which is a gross simplification.

Am so on…

3 people found this helpful

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Excellent

One of the best audio books I have ever purchased, especially the last half of it. I am of Norwegian ancestry and it was fascinating start to finish. Great book. Also the narrator was fantastic, well done.

2 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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Great read

Enjoyed this summary of the Scandinavian peoples. Will definitely listen to it again. Great performance, reader did not put me to sleep the way so many readers do.

1 person found this helpful

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Clearly written by an american

It's a good book that gives a good overall account of scandinavian history.
The downside with the book is that it's clearly written by an american who don't know the finer points of scandinavian culture and history.
I say this as a Swede, but the problem is marginal but still led to a few face palms for me

1 person found this helpful

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  • rp
  • 09-20-22

Swing and a miss

What happened here? Normally I m a big fan but this was not a very interesting book and the narration isn’t good at all.

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truly a fantastic work in scope and depth

This is the most complete history of the Norse people that I've found, and I'm a full-blood Norwegian American, and have read much on the topic.

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not my fav

First half was good. Story drifted and lost focus when it tried to build the case in the post viking age.

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    2 out of 5 stars

Hyperbole.

If I could describe this book in one word it would be hyperbole, from the title to the final chapter. I did find some of the individual stories interesting but they were always in this background of hyperbole. Would not recommed.

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    4 out of 5 stars

Narrator makes this almost unlistenable

They need to find a narrator who can pronounce the words in various foreign languages. Also, he shouldn’t do different voices when quoting historical figures.