The Almost Nearly Perfect People: Behind the Myth of the Scandinavian Utopia

Book Info
Author: 
Michael Booth
Rating: 
8/10

Billed as a travelogue, this book covers the culture, politics and history of the Nordic countries from the perspective of a British ex-pat. While overall the book is positive about the region, it does a good job pointing out the consequences of the much lauded welfare state systems. The key take away is that, in exchange for cradle to grave comfort, you lose the spontaneous and unpredictable character of wild west capitalism. Gone are the weirdos and visionaries. In its place is bland food, suicide, unemployment, and an economies teetering on collapse should the price of oil change... but at least you can take a year of maternity leave just to hang out in the saunas of Finland.