While mid-century Nordic design has its moment in the marketplace, the academia proves to be interested in this territory of modern design too. It has always been interpreted as design which is democratic, functional, and simple, exemplifying the love for the modern, when it came to its international popularity in the postwar years. Now, a new and fascinating book, edited by Kjetil Fallan, and entitled “Alternative Histories, Scandinavian Design,” comes to challenge those simple characteristics and to address the real complexity of Nordic design with a radical and new assessment. The wonderful chapter by Jeff Werner “The Advantages of Being Swedish: Volvo in America,” for example, demonstrates how Volvo’s Swedishness made it successful and popular in the American market and the correlation between design, national symbols and their political, cultural, and social connotations. Highly recommended. Here are some images of the famed Volvo PV444.