Histcon.se Time, Memory and Representation Tid, Minne, Representation

A Multidisciplinary Program on Transformations in Historical Consciousness

Ett mångdisciplinärt forskningsprogram om historiemedvetandets förvandlingar


Henrik Berggren

Historian and journalist


Born 1957. MA 1986, University of California, Berkeley in Modern European History.

Ph.D. University of Stockholm 1995 in History with a dissertation on the political uses of the concept of “youth” in Sweden 1900-1939, “Seklets ungdom”.

Guest professor at JWG-university, Frankfurt-am-Main 1997.

Editor and staff writer in the culture section of Dagens Nyheter 1990-2000, Chief editor 2000-2003, staff writer on the editorial page 2003-2010.

At present free-lance author and journalist.

In 2006 Henrik Berggren published a study of Swedish political culture (“Är svensken människa?”) together with Lars Tragårdh. In 2010 he came out with a biography of Olof Palme (“Underbara dagar framför oss”) that has been translated into six languages.

In the fall of 2014 he will publish his first novel, a story about a search for the truth about the experiences of three volunteers in the International Brigade during the Spanish Civil War.

More information available on Henrik Berggren's homepage.

On-going research:

At present Henrik Berggren is working on a narrative history of Sweden during World War II. Much has been written in Sweden about this period, but in many cases the approach has been more aimed at assessing outcomes rather than trying to reconstruct the way the historical actors understood themselves and the world around them.

The study will be chronological with some thematic modifications within the timeline and follow a number of Swedes who experienced the war between September 1939 and May 1945. One criteria for selecting the protagonists will be related to available documentation (letters, diaries, biographies, articles). But within reasonable aspirations the idea is also to present a cross-section of Swedish society as well as a mixture in terms of political and social power.

One essential feature will to be to try to reconstruct the historical and conflicting narratives of the various actors. Where are they coming from, where do they think they are going and how do they see themselves in the greater story of World War II?

Select bibliography

Berggren, Henrik (1988). Proletärerna vid Mimers brunn: bildning och politisk mobilitet inom arbetarrörelsen 1906-1920. Historisk tidskrift (Stockholm). 1988 (108), s. [178]-200

– & Trägårdh, Lars (1990). Historikerna och språket: teoretiska ambitioner och praktiska begränsningar : en taktisk programförklaring. Historisk tidskrift (Stockholm). 1990 (110), s. [357]-375

– (1990). Worker's education and representations of class in the Swedish labour movement 1900-1939.. Language and the construction of class identities / Bo Stråth (ed) .... s. 469-494

– (1994). I skuggan av det förflutna: om att växa upp i det modernaste av samhällen. Det förflutna - ett främmande land?. S. 9-23

– (1995). Seklets ungdom: retorik, politik och modernitet 1900-1939. Diss. Stockholm : Univ.

– (1997). Modernity and the Nordic concept of youth. The cultural construction of Norden. S. [231]-252

– (2004). The forward-facing angel: nationalism and modernity in Sweden in the twentieth century. The Swedish success story?. S. 67-79

– ”Jag hör Amerika sjunga”, förord i Whitman, Walt (2006). Demokratiska perspektiv. Umeå: h:ström - Text & kultur

– & Trägårdh, Lars (2006). Är svensken människa?: gemenskap och oberoende i det moderna Sverige. Stockholm: Norstedts

– (2010). Underbara dagar framför oss: en biografi över Olof Palme. Stockholm: Norstedts

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