An Island Nation With Mighty Clout

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By Michael Pye

The Big History of a Small Island
By Egill Bjarnason

It wasn’t easy getting to Iceland in the days before Björk, before Skyr, when no cheap trans-Atlantic flight stopped there. You had to avoid the abyss at the end of the world, dodge the islands that surged suddenly out of the water and then make landfall at mountains of red-hot rock that spat fire into the heavens. Saints got there in holy dreams but nobody dared settle until A.D. 874.

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