The Almost Nearly Perfect People Book Summary By Michael Booth

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Michael Booth's The Almost Nearly Perfect People is a captivating book that provides a unique look at Scandinavian culture.

It delves into the source of its global fame, exploring why so many people view it as some sort of utopia - even if it does get pretty cold there!

Since the turn of the century, Scandinavian influence has been noticeable everywhere,from books and TV to IKEA and Spotify.

This book is full of interesting insights and facts about every aspect of Scandinavian culture -from social concerns to religious tolerance and human rights issues.

Whether it's crime figures or lifestyle habits, you'll learn a lot from this comprehensive exploration into one truly fascinating part of the world.

Book Name: The Almost Nearly Perfect People (Behind the Myth of the Scandinavian Utopia)

Author(s): Michael Booth

Rating: 4.3/5

Reading Time: 22 Minutes

Categories: Society & Culture

Author Bio

Michael Booth is an acclaimed English journalist, author, and resident of beautiful Denmark.

He has been writing and contributing to magazines and newspapers around the globe for years now, and his works have also been featured in multiple books.

For the last few decades, he's made a home in Scandinavia, where he's currently living with his wife and children.

His book "The Almost Nearly Perfect People" is a testament to his mastery of the written word.

Exploring The Myth Of Scandinavia: Uncovering The Truth About The Nordics

In The Almost Nearly Perfect People, author Michael Booth explores the complexities of Nordic culture in Europe.

Refusing to be swayed by popular media images and public opinion, he embarks on a journey through Iceland, Norway, Finland, Sweden and Denmark to discover what living in these nations is actually like.

Through this journey he reveals details of Jante Law – the system which governs social behaviour in the Northern European countries – and explains the unique values that the Icelandic people believe in more than God.

He also shares insight into why one Nordic country was awarded an intergalactic accolade for its natural beauty.

Discovering the true side of Nordic cultures will undoubtedly help you understand why these countries are so revered for their peacefulness and progressiveness – dispelling any myths or romanticisations around its people.

The Land Of Equality: How Scandinavia Became The Model For Gender And Wealth Distribution In Europe

The Nordic countries have some of the best wealth and gender equality in the world.

This is reflected by their ranking in the Gini coefficient, a method used to measure the income divergences across a nation.

Always among the top 6 rankings, these nations demonstrate an even playing field of wealth distribution – suggesting that they may have inherited their egalitarianism from their Viking ancestors.

Norway, Sweden, Iceland and Denmark were ranked at the top five “best places to be a mother” worldwide according to Save The Children back in 2010.

Newsweek also concurred when ranking Iceland and Sweden as the best places for women to live in 2011.

Additionally, Finnish women obtained their right to vote back in 1906, making them some of the earliest Europeans to be granted suffrage.

Nowadays it’s not uncommon for half of Finland’s parliament to consist of female members, with both Prime Minister and President having been exceptional female representatives of Finland.

It appears that Scandinavian countries continuously display immense levels of both wealth and gender equality – ultimately making them some of the most progressive nations on Earth.

The Lutheran Legacy In Scandinavia: The Resilience Of Jante Law

The Scandinavian people are known for their modest and reserved behavior, which can sometimes border on rudeness.

It’s a culture of reticence that comes from being surrounded by the stark beauty of nature and the cold climate, where small talk is considered wasteful, and directness is expected as a sign of respect.

This attitude is also largely due to Lutheranism, a form of Christianity that emphasizes hard work, austerity and abstaining from stimulating indulgences.

This sort of mentality was embraced by many Kings in Scandinavia during the sixteenth century and has had a lasting effect on the collective psyche.

The Jante Law highlights this cultural phenomenon found all over Scandinavia with it’s 10 commandments such as “You shall not imagine yourself to be better than we are” or “You shall not think that you are anything special.” These still ring true today among locals even though few ever read Aksel Sandemose’s book A Fugitive Crosses His Tracks where they were first conceived as commentaries on human behaviour in his fictional town Jante..

Clearly modesty must be taken into consideration when dealing with Scandinavian people if one doesn’t want to come off as presumptuous or rude.

Respectful comments, understatement and measured body language will yield better results than talking too much or making grand declarations of love early on!

The Benefits And Challenges Of Cultural Homogeneity In The Nordics: Finding Common Ground Amidst Tensions

The Nordic countries are well known for their strong sense of national identity, which has been an integral part of their culture for centuries.

This shared culture fosters a tight-knit community and strong unity among members.

However, such a strong sense of national pride can also cause issues when it comes to immigration.

Take Norway as an example – while Constitution Day celebrations bring everyone in the nation together with street parades and costume-wearing festivities to celebrate Norwegianness, there have been other occasions where this same shared national identity has had more chaotic results.

In 2011, Anders Breivik carried out two major terror attacks in response to immigration into the country, killing 77 people in one day and highlighting a worrying subculture of Islamophobia in Norway.

Though his actions were widely condemned by even far-right groups (who blamed them on multiculturalism!), these cases of neo-nationalistic extremism still manage to gain traction and visibility in larger society; the far-right anti-immigration Sweden Democrats won 16% votes during their 2010 elections with the hopes of lowering immigration by 90%, and even Denmark’s own center-right coalition formed after its members used blatantly racist rhetoric against Muslim immigrants yet still prevailed!

It is clear that though many parts of Nordic culture benefit from a strong sense of national identity, this same identity does lead to significant social issues regarding immigration.

Such attitudes towards outsiders could prove to be harmful if left unchecked or unaffected by counterarguments; if these countries wish to move forward, their populations must take steps towards accepting differences within their community before tensions continue to build up.

The Unique Combination Of American And Scandinavian Influences That Shaped The Icelandic People

Iceland has had a long and turbulent journey, one that wedges together both Scandinavian sensibilities and American opportunity.

This history can be traced back to the year 930 when the Althing – Iceland’s first ever parliament – was established in Thingvellir, a narrow canyon created by the slow drifting apart of the North American and European tectonic plates.

The Vikings still wield influence on Icelandic culture today; for example, a 1998 poll showed that 54.4 percent of Icelanders believed in elves or “hidden people” – an even higher number than those who supposedly believe in God (45 percent).

This paganism is likely attributed to Iceland’s remote geography which made it hard for seventeenth-century missionaries from Norway and other parts of Scandinavia to get there.

Their Norse roots have also given them a Viking-like stoicism as they are accustomed to a hostile landscape full of glaciers, mountains, waterfalls and volcanoes as well as unpredictable weather.

Added to that is a cultural infiltration by America , particularly during WWII when the US occupied Iceland and brought with it great economic prosperity with their own ‘American Dream’.

This risk taking mentality had an eventual crash landing with the collapse of Lehman Brother which sparked off massive inflation (20 percent) and unemployment (10+ percent) rates.

Thankfully though, the economy appears to be back on track thanks to some resolute resilience on behalf of these nearly perfect people!

Norway’S Strong Attachment To Nature Helps Shape Its Unique Culture And Wealth

Norway’s distinctive culture can be attributed to two major factors.

Firstly, Norwegians are deeply connected to the environment that surrounds them, so much so that their surnames often originate from the landscapes or physical locations they come from.

And secondly, Norway boasts some of the world’s largest oil reserves which have generated vast wealth and enabled the country to become the holder of the largest sovereign wealth fund in the world.

The majestic Norwegian fjords are one example of how attached Norwegians are to their nature – in fact, Douglas Adams’ character Slartibartfast won an award for his work on them!

This strong bond has been cultivated over time due to Norway being an isolated colony throughout most of its history as well as being incredibly sparsely populated with just eleven people per square kilometer.

Two TV programs featuring cameras following ferries or trains along Norway’s stunning coastlines saw enormous success and were even broadcast on Danish TV – supposedly out of “mountain envy!”.

In 1969, oil was discovered in Norway’s North Sea which resulted in a huge increase in wealth for the nation.

It currently ships 730 million barrels each year and holds a sovereign wealth fund valued at $600 billion – and that’s still growing!

It is clear that both a love for nature and large-scale oil reserves have influenced Norwegian culture immensely and continue to do so today.

The Strength And Smartness Of Finns: Exploring The Contradictions Of Finland’S History

From the middle ages, Finland was ruled by Sweden, before becoming an autonomous part of the Russian Empire in 1809.

When they finally gained their independence after the 1917 Revolution, Finnish people faced a civil war that cause an immense amount of devastation and death.

Then there were the Soviet Union invasions during World War II, which Finland expertly defended against despite unfavorable odds.

Throughout this tumultuous history, Finland established itself as a nation with an important emphasis on endurance and strength – they even have their own word to describe it: sisu.

This turbulent history combined with their hostile environment has caused Finland to become a country of extremes.

On one hand, it is home to the third-highest gun ownership rate in the world as well as having Western Europe’s highest murder rate.

On the other hand though, it has become renowned for having some of the best schools in the world due to its universal state schooling and requirements for teachers to have masters degrees.

Regardless of these extremes though, Finns remain proud of their national qualities that have helped them survive through their long journey.

Underneath Its Robust Exterior, Sweden Has A Controversial Past

Despite Sweden’s reputation as one of the most rational countries in the world, it quietly endured some major controversies throughout the twentieth century.

The Swedish Social Democratic Party (SSDP) was in power from 1932 to 1976, with no other party winning a second term until 2010.

They exercised incredible control over the nation and developed an exhaustive Swedish welfare state known as “The People’s Home.” This provided its citizens with some huge benefits, such as full employment, a lack of homelessness, and universal health care.

However, this degree of conformity was so extreme that it was often interpreted as totalitarianism.

Furthermore, during World War II Sweden profited off of selling large amounts of iron to Nazi Germany and grew 20 percent wealthier while doing so.

Most troublingly though was its Eugenics Program which ran from 1935 until 1976 and involved the inhumane practice of forcing sterilizations on those deemed “inferior” by their government in an effort to create a stronger Nordic race.

So despite its positive perception worldwide, there were many controversial activities going on in Sweden throughout the twentieth century – making it almost nearly perfect far from it.

Why Do The Danish People Rank Among The Happiest In The World?

Denmark is home to some of the happiest people in the world, and social cohesion may be why.

Danes have a strong sense of community and culture despite having one of the largest Gini coefficients in Scandinavia.

But social cohesion isn’t just about income inequality–it’s about feeling part of something bigger than you.

The Danish people have gone through a lot over the years, such as the loss of their southern border to Germany, occupation by the Nazis during World War II, and a bombardment by Britain during the Napoleonic Wars.

Despite all these hardships, they’ve pulled together as a people and united under common cause.

Not only that, but 43% are involved in some sort of club or organization–be it a gardening group or trade union!

Furthermore, Denmark is also home to hygge–a concept which loosely translates to “cosy”, but really means so much more than that.

Hygge is an atmosphere where everyone is equal and easygoing with sharing nice things together being at its heart.

It’s this sentiment that defines many Danish gatherings.

So what we can learn from Denmark is that true happiness comes from feeling like you’re part of something bigger than yourself; community spirit should be celebrated regardless of economic situation!This is why social cohesion makes Danes one of the happiest citizens in the world.

Wrap Up

The Almost Nearly Perfect People by Bjorn Lomborg has come to a close.

The key message delivered in this book is that although Scandinavia has its issues, it still offers some of the most progressive state systems in the world.

Despite being a place with homogenous communities, there is an identity that unites them and which many residents find fulfillment and happiness in.

The book takes a much needed look into this region and offers us insight into what makes them so successful and appealing.

All things considered, it’s safe to say that Scandinavia is almost nearly perfect people!

Arturo Miller

Hi, I am Arturo Miller, the Chief Editor of this blog. I'm a passionate reader, learner and blogger. Motivated by the desire to help others reach their fullest potential, I draw from my own experiences and insights to curate blogs.

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