Markku Kuisma: Saha. Tarina Suomen modernisaatiosta ja ihmisistä jotka sen tekivät [The sawmill. A story about Finnish modernisation and the people who realised it]

29 May 2012 | Mini reviews, Reviews

Saha. Tarina Suomen modernisaatiosta ja ihmisistä jotka sen tekivät
[The sawmill. A story about Finnish modernisation and the people who realised it]
Helsinki: Siltala, 2011. 235 p.
ISBN 978-952-234-069-6
€ 34.90, hardback

In his new book Professor Markku Kuisma, a specialist in economic history, approaches the modernisation of Finland in the 19th century from the perspective of the sawmill industry. In the mid 19th century, Finland’s forest reserves were, in relation to its population, among the greatest in Europe. The rise of the sawmill industry was made possible by Britain’s removal of taxation on industrial imports, the development of Finland’s railways and other means of transport, the removal of Finnish restrictions on the timber industry, the spread of steam saws and changes in society. The foundations of the breakthrough of the sawmill industry were laid in the 1860s, but it began to flourish gradually. Between the two world wars Finland became Europe’s biggest exporter of timber, and for a long time the country derived most of its export income from timber products. Kuisma also draws interesting portraits of the men who made the change possible both in government administration and economic life and laid the basis for industrial dynasties. Saha is a concise but illuminating and engrossing introduction to an important phase in the development of Finnish economic life.
Translated by Hildi Hawkins

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