Moving to America in 2008, Finnish journalist Anu Partanen quickly
went from confident, successful professional to wary, self-doubting
mess. She found that navigating the basics of everyday life—from buying a
cell phone and filing taxes to education and childcare—was much more
complicated and stressful than anything she encountered in her homeland.
At first, she attributed her crippling anxiety to the difficulty of
adapting to a freewheeling new culture. But as she got to know Americans
better, she discovered they shared her deep apprehension. To understand
why life is so different in the U.S. and Finland, Partanen began to
look closely at both.
In The Nordic Theory of Everything, Partanen compares and
contrasts life in the United States with life in the Nordic region,
focusing on four key relationships—parents and children, men and women,
employees and employers, and government and citizens. She debunks
criticism that Nordic countries are socialist "nanny states,” revealing
instead that it is we Americans who are far more enmeshed in unhealthy
dependencies than we realize. As Partanen explains step by step, the
Nordic approach allows citizens to enjoy more individual freedom and
independence than we do.
Partanen wants to open Americans’ eyes to how much better things can
be—to show her beloved new country what it can learn from her homeland
to reinvigorate and fulfill the promise of the American dream—to provide
the opportunity to live a healthy, safe, economically secure, upwardly
mobile life for everyone. Offering insights, advice, and solutions, The Nordic Theory of Everything makes
a convincing argument that we can rebuild our society, rekindle our
optimism, and restore true freedom to our relationships and lives.
448 pages. Paperback.Now in Paperback! A
Finnish journalist, now a naturalized American citizen, asks Americans
to draw on elements of the Nordic way of life to nurture a fairer,
happier, more secure, and less stressful society for themselves and