The history of Sweden is the history of the new Europe. Martina Sprague gives us the insider's Sweden, from the Ice Age to the modern socialist state. This short history is ideal for travelers, students, and anyone who wants to more about the homeland of their Ikea bookcase. With its midnight sun and Gulf Stream climate, Sweden is a land of contradictions. It is home to petroglyphs dating from 9000 BC, thriving high-tech industries, and the ubiquitous design chain Ikea. A comparatively peaceful and economically stable twentieth century secured its reputation as a great place to live, with a solid economy and a generous welfare system. Emigration reversed itself-now more than ten percent of the country's nine million residents were born abroad. When Sweden entered the EU in 1995, its borders became easier for tourists and immigrants to cross. This short history is ideal for travelers, students, and those with an eye on the new Europe.