In this unique study, Alan Palmer traces the history of the peoples and nations on the shores of the Baltic Sea primarily Latvia, Lithuania, and Estonia. This penetrating overview of the Baltic region ranges from its early days, when it came under the control of the Vikings and the Byzantines, through its medieval prime, when the Baltic Sea served as a major European trading ground, and into the present. Palmer addresses the strong nationalist sentiments that pervade Baltic culture. He also explores the early attempts of Sweden and Russia to unify the area. Finally, The Baltic dissects the politics and culture of the region in the twentieth century, over the course of which it played several key roles: it was the Eastern Front in World War I, the setting of early uprisings in the Russian Revolution, a land occupied by the Nazis during World War II, and, until recently, a region dominated by the Soviets. In the twenty-first century, the states of the Baltic have begun to grow into independent nations despite the neo-imperialist pressure from post-Soviet Russia. In The Baltic, Alan Palmer offers a detailed history of the countries and cultures that are now poised to emerge as some of Europe's most vital democracies.