The History of the Baltic States
2nd Edition
by Kevin C. O'Connor
June 2015, 298pp, 6 1/8 x 9 1/4
1 volume, Greenwood

Hardcover: 978-1-61069-915-0
$70, £54, 61€, A96
Please contact your preferred distributor for pricing.
eBook Available: 978-1-61069-916-7
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The Baltic States lie at a critical crossroads between Europe and Russia.

Updating the popular 2003 first edition, this book is a narrative history of the Baltic States with particular focus on the events of the 20th and 21st centuries.

The Baltic States—Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania—were granted independence from the Soviet Union in 1991. Since then, the three countries have struggled with sluggish economies, tensions with Russia, and government corruption. This extensively updated second edition of a well-regarded reference illuminates the events of the last decade, including the acceptance of all three nations into the European Union in 2004. Although it concentrates on the 20th and 21st centuries, the wide-ranging work covers major historical currents that have swept through Europe from the age of the Crusades through two world wars and into modern times.

Updates include events that have occurred since 2003, such as the area’s declining birth rates and inflation problems that led to the European Union denying the adoption of the Euro in Lithuania. A new chapter entitled “The Totalitarian Experience, 1940–1953” focuses specifically on the major tragedies of the 20th century: the Baltic States’ loss of independence, their conquest by Nazi Germany, the Holocaust, and the horrors of the first years of Soviet rule. Historical controversies concerning World War II and the Soviet era are also addressed. Additionally, the Notable Figures section has been updated, the bibliography now includes many electronic resources, and photographs have been added.


  • Spans the entire history of the region from the Middle Ages through the present day, with an emphasis on events from the mid-20th century to the present, especially the past ten years
  • Covers the region's "return to Europe" during the 1990s and early 2000s
  • Reflects the most recent historical research
  • Provides an objective, impartial reference that is ideal for high school students yet also useful for older students and general readers
Kevin C. O'Connor is associate professor of history at Gonzaga University, Spokane, WA. His published works include Greenwood's Culture and Customs of the Baltic States as well as Intellectuals and Apparatchiks: Russian Nationalism and the Gorbachev Revolution.

The Greenwood Histories of the Modern Nations

Every school and public library should update its resources with these engagingly written and succinct narrative histories of the world’s nations covering prehistoric times through today. Based on the most recent scholarship, each history provides a chronological narrative examining the political, cultural, philosophical, and religious continuities in the featured nation’s long, rich history in an exploration of how its people came to be who they are today. Each volume includes a chronological narrative history, a timeline of events, biographical sketches of key figures, a glossary, and a bibliographic essay.
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