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Good Sweden, Bad Sweden: The Use and Abuse of Swedish Values in a Post-Truth World Paperback – January 5, 2018
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"Enlightenment Now: The Case for Reason, Science, Humanism, and Progress"
Is the world really falling apart? Is the ideal of progress obsolete? Cognitive scientist and public intellectual Steven Pinker urges us to step back from the gory headlines and prophecies of doom, and instead, follow the data: In seventy-five jaw-dropping graphs, Pinker shows that life, health, prosperity, safety, peace, knowledge, and happiness are on the rise. Learn more
About the Author
Paul Rapacioli is the founder of Swedish news company The Local, providing Europe's news in English to five million readers each month.
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This was back in 2013, I had just moved back to Stockholm after a number of years living in the UK and at first, I didn't understand his question.
'The riots and all' my friend clarified and then I understood. He meant the awful riots happening in the Stockholm suburb of Husby (and elsewhere).
I was bemused. The riots were disturbing sure, but not a threat to anyone who were not unfortunate enough to be caught up in the violence directly (or trying to stop it).
I thanked my friend for his concern, assuring him that I was ok.
I recalled this conversation recently when reading Paul Rapacioli's book "Good Sweden Bad Sweden".
It tells us why the spreading of distorted/twisted/fake news about Sweden is an important weapon for those who do not share the progressive values Sweden stands for. I went back to see what the international media reported in 2013 (and yes - it's still there) and I finally understood the reason for my friends concern.
I particularly like Paul Rapacioli's storytelling starting with Swedens international reputation for its high suicide rate (and where that came from) moving the story forward to today looking into what is now happening, and why.
It is refreshing to see that Good Sweden Bad Sweden is not littered with statistics but rather puts emphasis on the how/why/what/who.
It is not all doom and gloom - to conclude with some real tangible suggestions on how to fight back really gave me the feeling that there is a way forward if we all help out.