100 Faces from Finland contains a selection of significant individuals who, in their own spheres of life, have made important contributions to the development of Finnish society. The articles came into being as part of Suomen Kansallisbiografia, the National Biography of Finland, which contains 6000 brief biographies edited by Suomen Historiallinen Seura, the Finnish Historical Society.
The book can be approached in different ways. Readers can, for example, start at the beginning with the actress Ida Aalberg and - following the Nordic alphabetical order - finish at the end with Emma Irene Åström, the first woman university graduate.
From the Middle Ages until 1809, Finland was a part of the Swedish Realm. It was a Russian Grand Duchy from 1809 to 1917, and it has been an independent state since 1917. The book's time span is long and its cultural spectrum broad. The earliest influential figures are Sergei and Herman, the founders of Vaalam (Valamo) Monastery, and the Roman Catholic bishop Hemming. The most recent is the film-maker Aki Kaurismäki.
The collection contains in equal numbers persons prominent for their contributions to society and representatives of the arts and sciences. The summit of political life is represented by the Presidents of the Republic, the less exalted ranks of society by church builders and hunters. Cultural figures known to an international public - from the architect Alvar Aalto to the composer Jean Sibelius or from the painter Helene Schjerfbeck to the glass artist Tapio Wirkkala - are also presented in the book.
The collection is more than a series of individual biographical studies: closely interwoven as they are, the articles provide an overall view of Finland's human resources and expertise over the centuries.
Englanninkielisen teoksen kaikki 100 henkilöä ovat rakentaneet eri tavoin kuvaa Suomesta. He ovat omilla elämänalueillaan olleet merkittävästi vaikuttamassa suomalaisen yhteiskunnan kehitykseen. Mukana ovat sekä arvostetuimmat valtiomiehet että monet sellaiset piilovaikuttajat, jotka eivät ole niminä yhtä tunnettuja.