Friday, November 15, 2019

Review: Made in Sweden

Made in Sweden: 25 ideas that created a country

Made in Sweden
Elisabeth ├ůsbrink

Like many people, I probably had a distorted view of Sweden. I thought of minimalist fashion trends, Ikea furniture, and beautiful music, or if I had recently watched a Swedish television Krimi, I thought of it as a place with too many sleazy motorcycle gangs or petty drug dealers. But, Made in Sweden aims to provide a more accurate look at what makes Sweden the community and nation it is today. The author seeks to explain that while we might think of the country as a tolerant, open, and friendly one, that wasn't always the case, and with the rise of the far-right may become less so in the future.

This is an intriguing and well-written book which covers 25 topics that help shed light on what it means to be Swedish and how the country developed into the nation it is today. I particularly enjoyed the chapter about Carl von Linnaeus, whose classification system of nature is still with us today. I was also a little shocked to learn that between 1928 and 1976, around 63,000 Swedish citizens were sterilized to preserve what was most desirable in the population.

As the book shows, the making of a nation is something that happens over time and a process that is continually evolving. For those who want to see another side of this interesting country, this is a good place to start.

Thanks to LibraryThing and Scribe Publications for allowing me to read this book in exchange for an honest review.

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