The Nordic Theory of Everything: In Search of a Better Life


Product Details

$18.99  $17.66
Harper Paperbacks
Publish Date
5.3 X 8.0 X 1.0 inches | 0.7 pounds

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About the Author

Anu Partanen's work has appeared in the New York Times and the Atlantic. A journalist in Helsinki for many years, she has also worked at Fortune magazine as a visiting reporter through the Innovation Journalism Fellowship at Stanford University. She lives in New York City.


"...meticulously researched. [Partanen] offers a clear, informative, fact-filled survey of the differences between American and Nordic child care, health care, education, eldercare and taxation arrangements. It could be a game-changer in national conversations about the roles that governments should play in their citizens' lives." -- Seattle Times

"An engaging fusion of reportage and memoir." -- O, the Oprah Magazine

"...Partanen is good at blending the individual stories of her friends in the cold, hard facts of national statistics... Partanen is a careful, judicious writer and she makes a careful, judicious case." -- New York Times Book Review

A Best Nonfiction Book of Summer 2016 -- Bustle

A Book You Desperately Need to Add to Your 'To-Read' Pile This Summer -- Gizmodo

"Partanen's pride in her homeland and genuine concern for the struggles of middle-class Americans infuse her book with candor and charm, and her perceptions about American struggles feel spot-on." -- Booklist

"A passionate and intelligent argument." -- Publishers Weekly

"This highly readable and entertaining work is timely, as the conversation about inequality and the role of social services in this country has never been more relevant." -- Library Journal

A Best Book of Summer 2016 -- O, the Oprah Magazine

"If Americans really understood how bad we have it-how unjust and wrongheaded our child care, education, and public health policies are-we'd take to the streets. Anu Partanen rips up the stale stereotypes about Nordic welfare states and shows us all the kinds of human flourishing we're missing out on.This is a dangerous book. Don't let it fall into the wrong hands." -- Judith Shulevitz, author of The Sabbath World

"In her careful, evenhanded series of thoughtful essays, Partanen, who just became an American citizen, parses the recipe for Nordic success that even the self-congratulatory 'exceptional' American may want to ponder and adapt. . . . An earnest, well-written work worth heeding, especially in our current toxic political climate." -- Kirkus Reviews

"This is a wonderful, hopeful book about what American society could be--not by adopting Nordic 'socialism, ' but by embracing the values that have allowed Nordic citizens to enjoy more freedom and equality than in present-day America. The American Dream was once an inspiration to the world. Anu Partanen shows us how to rediscover it." -- Robert B. Reich, Chancellor's Professor of Public Policy at University of California, Berkeley, and former U.S. Secretary of Labor

"In this election year, Partanen's sensible book should be required reading for those who wonder why so many Americans feel resentful and alienated." -- Foreign Affairs

A Must-Read, Summer 2016 -- New York Post