by Anu Partanen
A naturalised American citizen, a Finnish journalist, urges Americans to adopt elements of the Nordic way of life in order to create a fairer, happier, more stable, and less stressful society for themselves and their children.
Anu Partanen, a Finnish journalist, went from a positive, successful professional to a wary, self-doubting mess after moving to America in 2008. She discovered that handling the basics of daily life, from purchasing a phone to filing taxes to schooling and childcare, was much more complex and exhausting than in her homeland. She initially blamed her debilitating anxiety on the challenge of adjusting to a fast-paced new world. However, as she became more acquainted with Americans, she found that they shared her intense apprehension. To figure out why life in the United States and Finland is so dissimilar, Partanen started to study both.
Partanen compares and contrasts life in the United States and life in the Nordic region in The Nordic Theory of Everything, concentrating on four main relationships: parents and children, men and women, employees and employers, and government and citizens. She disproves the claim that Nordic countries are communist “nanny states,” showing that we Americans are much more entangled in unhealthy dependencies than we know. The Nordic method, as Partanen describes step by step, allows people to have more individual rights and independence than we do.
Partanen wants to teach her beloved new country what it can learn from her homeland in order to reinvigorate and fulfil the promise of the American dream—to provide everyone with the ability to live a good, prosperous, economically stable, and upwardly mobile life. The Nordic Theory of All makes a compelling case that we can repair our society, rekindle our hope, and restore true freedom to our relationships and lives by providing observations, guidance, and solutions.