Markku Kuisma: Sodasta syntynyt [Born of war]

8 April 2011 | Mini reviews, Reviews

Sodasta syntynyt. Itsenäisen Suomen synty Sarajevon laukauksista Tarton rauhaan 1914–1920
[Born of war. The birth of independent Finland, from the shots fired in Sarajevo to the Treaty of Tartu, 1914–1920]
Helsinki: WSOY, 2010. 273 p.
ISBN 978-951-0-36340-9
€ 35, hardback

Professor Markku Kuisma investigates the route to Finland’s independence in the years from the outbreak of the First World War to the Treaty of Tartu in 1920. He disproves some commonly held beliefs about that era, which he maintains were adopted for reasons of political expediency – such as the idea that Finnish independence was the result of focused struggles by patriots. Kuisma claims that Finland in 1917–1918 was adrift, and the actions of the industrial barons around the time of the First World War had a greater impact on Finland’s status in the world than did the unfocused policies of the Finnish Senate. That was when the corporate structures that would shape Finland’s long-term future arose and trade agreements were set up. Bankers and business leaders were in the Senate as well, and the Finnish representatives who negotiated the Treaty of Tartu were chosen from the top ranks of Finnish commerce.
Translated by Ruth Urbom

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