List Price: $16.99 Details
Save: $2.00 (12%)
Get Fast, Free Shipping with Amazon Prime & FREE Returns
Return this item for free
  • Free returns are available for the shipping address you chose. You can return the item for any reason in new and unused condition: no shipping charges
  • Learn more about free returns.
How to return the item?
FREE delivery Tuesday, October 26 if you spend $25 on items shipped by Amazon
Or fastest delivery Tomorrow, October 21. Order within 7 hrs 25 mins
In Stock.
As an alternative, the Kindle eBook is available now and can be read on any device with the free Kindle app. Want to listen? Try Audible.
$$14.99 () Includes selected options. Includes initial monthly payment and selected options. Details
Initial payment breakdown
Shipping cost, delivery date, and order total (including tax) shown at checkout.
Your transaction is secure
We work hard to protect your security and privacy. Our payment security system encrypts your information during transmission. We don’t share your credit card details with third-party sellers, and we don’t sell your information to others. Learn more
Ships from
Sold by
Ships from
Sold by
Return policy: Returnable until Jan 31, 2022
For the 2021 holiday season, returnable items purchased between October 1 and December 31 can be returned until January 31, 2022
The Nordic Theory of Ever... has been added to your Cart
1-Click ordering is not available for this item.
Get Fast, Free Shipping with Amazon Prime
FREE delivery Thursday, October 28 if you spend $25 on items shipped by Amazon
Or fastest delivery Tuesday, October 26
Used: Like New | Details
Condition: Used: Like New
Comment: IOBA member and retail shop owner, we individually inspect every book we sell. This book is smoke and odor-free from a pet free home. No pen marks or highlights. Pages are bright, crisp and clean. We under grade the condition of every book we sell on Amazon. A wonderful copy. A portion of this sale benefits the public library of Durant OK for funding children's programs and GED classes. Ships direct from Amazon via fast prime shipping.
Other Sellers on Amazon
+ $3.99 shipping
Sold by: normanbooks
Sold by: normanbooks
(2082 ratings)
81% positive over last 12 months
Only 1 left in stock - order soon.
Shipping rates and Return policy
& FREE Shipping
Sold by: Fifty Third Street Books
Sold by: Fifty Third Street Books
(7572 ratings)
93% positive over last 12 months
In stock.
Usually ships within 2 to 3 days.
Shipping rates and Return policy
& FREE Shipping
Sold by: Book Depository US
Sold by: Book Depository US
(914869 ratings)
89% positive over last 12 months
In stock.
Usually ships within 4 to 5 days.
Shipping rates and Return policy
Loading your book clubs
There was a problem loading your book clubs. Please try again.
Not in a club? Learn more
Amazon book clubs early access

Join or create book clubs

Choose books together

Track your books
Bring your club to Amazon Book Clubs, start a new book club and invite your friends to join, or find a club that’s right for you for free.

Download the free Kindle app and start reading Kindle books instantly on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required. Learn more

Read instantly on your browser with Kindle Cloud Reader.

Using your mobile phone camera - scan the code below and download the Kindle app.

QR code to download the Kindle App

Enter your mobile phone or email address

Processing your request...

By pressing "Send link," you agree to Amazon's Conditions of Use.

You consent to receive an automated text message from or on behalf of Amazon about the Kindle App at your mobile number above. Consent is not a condition of any purchase. Message & data rates may apply.

Flip to back Flip to front
Listen Playing... Paused   You're listening to a sample of the Audible audio edition.
Learn more

Follow the Author

Something went wrong. Please try your request again later.

The Nordic Theory of Everything: In Search of a Better Life Paperback – June 27, 2017

4.6 out of 5 stars 834 ratings

New from Used from
$10.45 $2.77
Great on Kindle
Great Experience. Great Value.
iphone with kindle app
Putting our best book forward
Each Great on Kindle book offers a great reading experience, at a better value than print to keep your wallet happy.

Explore your book, then jump right back to where you left off with Page Flip.

View high quality images that let you zoom in to take a closer look.

Enjoy features only possible in digital – start reading right away, carry your library with you, adjust the font, create shareable notes and highlights, and more.

Discover additional details about the events, people, and places in your book, with Wikipedia integration.

Get the free Kindle app: Link to the kindle app page Link to the kindle app page
Enjoy a great reading experience when you buy the Kindle edition of this book. Learn more about Great on Kindle, available in select categories.

Enhance your purchase

The Amazon Book Review
The Amazon Book Review
Book recommendations, author interviews, editors' picks, and more. Read it now.

Frequently bought together

  • The Nordic Theory of Everything: In Search of a Better Life
  • +
  • The Little Book of Hygge: Danish Secrets to Happy Living (The Happiness Institute Series)
  • +
  • The Finnish Way: Finding Courage, Wellness, and Happiness Through the Power of Sisu
Total price:
To see our price, add these items to your cart.
Choose items to buy together.

Editorial Reviews


"...meticulously researched. [Partanen] offers a clear, informative, fact-filled survey of the differences between American and Nordic childcare, health care, education, elder care and taxation arrangements. It could be a game-changer in national conversations about the roles that governments should play in their citizens' lives." (Seattle Times)

"An engaging fusion of reportage and memoir." (O, the Oprah Magazine)

"...Partanen is good at blending the individual stories of her friends in the cold,hard facts of national statistics... Partanen is a careful, judicious writer and she makes a careful, judicious case." (New York Times Book Review)

A Best Nonfiction Book of Summer 2016 (Bustle)

A Book You Desperately Need to Add to Your 'To-Read' Pile This Summer (Gizmodo)

"Partanen's pride in her homeland and genuine concern for the struggles of middle-class Americans infuse her book with candor and charm, and her perceptions about American struggles feel spot-on." (Booklist)

"A passionate and intelligent argument." (Publishers Weekly)

"This highly readable and entertaining work is timely, as the conversation about inequality and the role of social services in this country has never been more relevant." (Library Journal)

A Best Book of Summer 2016 (O, the Oprah Magazine)

"If Americans really understood how bad we have it-how unjust and wrong headed our child care, education, and public health policies are-we'd take to the streets. Anu Partanen rips up the stale stereotypes about Nordic welfare states and shows us all the kinds of human flourishing we're missing out on.This is a dangerous book. Don't let it fall into the wrong hands." (Judith Shulevitz, author of The Sabbath World)

"In her careful, evenhanded series of thoughtful essays, Partanen, who just became an American citizen, parses the recipe for Nordic success that even the self-congratulatory 'exceptional' American may want to ponder and adapt. . . . An earnest, well-written work worth heeding, especially in our current toxic political climate." (Kirkus Reviews)

"This is a wonderful, hopeful book about what American society can be-not by adopting Nordic 'socialism,' but by embracing the values that have allowed Nordic citizens to enjoy more freedom and quality than in present-day America. The American Dream was once an inspiration to the world. Anu Partanen shows us how to rediscover it." (Robert B. Reich, Chancellor's Professor of Public Policy at University of California, Berkeley, and former U.S. Secretary of Labor)

"In this election year,
Partanen's sensible book should be required reading for those who wonder why so many Americans feel resentful and alienated." (Foreign Affairs)

"A MUST READ, SUMMER 2016" (New York Post)

From the Back Cover

Moving to America in 2008, Finnish journalist Anu Partanen quickly went from confident, successful professional to wary, self-doubting mess. She found that navigating the basics of everyday life was much more complicated and stressful than anything she encountered in her homeland. At first, she attributed her crippling anxiety to the difficulty of adapting to a freewheeling new culture. But as she got to know Americans better, she discovered they shared her deep apprehension. To understand why life in the United States is so different than that in Finland, Partanen began to look closely at both.

In The Nordic Theory of Everything, Partanen compares and contrasts life in the United States with life in the Nordic region, focusing on four key relationships—parents and children, men and women, employees and employers, and government and citizens. She debunks criticism that Nordic countries are socialist “nanny states,” revealing instead that it is we Americans who are far more enmeshed in unhealthy dependencies than we realize. As Partanen explains, the Nordic approach allows citizens to enjoy more individual freedom and independence than the American way.

Partanen wants to open Americans’ eyes to how much better things can be—to provide the opportunity to live a healthy, safe, economically secure, upwardly mobile life for everyone. Offering insights, advice, and solutions, The Nordic Theory of Everything makes a convincing argument that we can rebuild our society, rekindle our optimism, and restore true freedom to our relationships and lives.

Audible Holiday Deal
Save 46% on your first 4 months. Get this deal

Product details

  • Publisher ‏ : ‎ Harper Paperbacks; Reprint edition (June 27, 2017)
  • Language ‏ : ‎ English
  • Paperback ‏ : ‎ 448 pages
  • ISBN-10 ‏ : ‎ 0062316559
  • ISBN-13 ‏ : ‎ 978-0062316554
  • Item Weight ‏ : ‎ 11.2 ounces
  • Dimensions ‏ : ‎ 1.01 x 5.31 x 8 inches
  • Customer Reviews:
    4.6 out of 5 stars 834 ratings

About the author

Follow authors to get new release updates, plus improved recommendations.

Customer reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars
4.6 out of 5
834 global ratings
How are ratings calculated?

Top reviews from the United States

Reviewed in the United States on July 17, 2016
Verified Purchase
Customer image
5.0 out of 5 stars A "Must-Read" Book
By Dr.C.J.Singh.Wallia on July 17, 2016
by Anu Partanen
Reviewed by C J Singh (Berkeley, California)
A "Must-Read" Book
Noticing the high praise by Robert Reich, Chancellor’s Professor of Public Policy at UC Berkeley, I purchased a copy last week. Yesterday, at the Books Inc Store, Berkeley, I attended the author’s lively presentation. She answered audience questions with precise knowledge, concision, and grace.

“THE NORDIC THEORY OF EVERYTHING: In Search of a Better Life," documented with more than 400 research citations and written in highly engaging style is an excellent example of lucid critical analysis.

The widely held stereotype in the US of Nordic countries is that they are “nanny states” that discourage individuality and impose high taxes. In fact, the Nordic countries foster enhanced adult individuality by minimizing dependencies on family members and employers. And their Nordic countries' taxes are comparable to the US taxes.Just how they accomplish is convincingly detailed in the book.

The subtitle “In Search of a Better Life” accurately describes the author’s view-point and tone. An immigrant to the US who arrived from Finland eight years ago, now in love with the country of her adoption, she is also proud of her heritage. Rightly so, the Nordic countries have been consistently top-ranked as the happiest. The US is not even in the top ten.

Partanen offers suggestions based on the “The Nordic Theory of Love” (Chapter 2): for better “Family Values for Real" (Chapter 3); for children “Attaining Educational Success” (Chapter 4); for better health care “How Universal Health Care Could Set You Free” (Chapter 5). The titles and subtitles of the next four chapters are also equally apt: “Ask What Your Country Can Do for You”; “Bringing Back the American Dream”; “Business as Unusual: How to Run a Company in the Twenty-First Century”; “The Pursuit of Happiness: It’s Time to Rethink Success.”

Recently, I posted an update of my review of the earlier edition of the most widely adopted college textbook in the US: Diane Hacker and Nancy Sumner’s “A Writer’s Reference: Eighth Edition.” Anu Partenen’s “THE NORDIC THEORY OF EVERYTHING: In Search of a Better Life” merits just as wide adoption for all college students.Not only for college students, I whole-heartedly recommend this book to all readers.

(May I add that
after having posted reviews of more than 120 books on, this is the first that I recommend as a "must-read.") -- C J Singh
Images in this review
Customer image
Customer image
172 people found this helpful
Report abuse
Reviewed in the United States on December 8, 2018
Verified Purchase
Customer image
5.0 out of 5 stars Should be required reading for young Americans!
By Susan PD on December 8, 2018
My husband and I were lucky enough to spend a year in Finland on a Fulbright ('88-'89) when our kids were 12, 6 and 4. We fell in love with the country and the people and consider it our second home. When we lived there, I was amazed nearly every day by what I learned about the Finnish social system-- things that the Finns themselves often took for granted (until I let them know that Americans did NOT think health care/education/basic sustenance etc. were a human right). As a result of their humane social system, I found most people there more relaxed about themselves, their family life and their futures than almost any American I knew. Finally Anu Partenan has written a meticulously researched book that explains exactly what we witnessed and the philosophy behind it. I loved the book, found it profoundly true, and just ordered a stack of copies for the young people on my holiday list as I truly believe it is what we need to be fighting for. When I lived in Finland, I often said "if American women (in particular but men too) knew what my Finnish friends had, they'd be rioting in the streets." Read it and share it.....maybe even send it to your member of Congress this holiday season.
Images in this review
Customer image
Customer image
48 people found this helpful
Report abuse
Reviewed in the United States on September 26, 2016
Verified Purchase
54 people found this helpful
Report abuse

Top reviews from other countries

George Pearson
4.0 out of 5 stars Excellent if you’re American, good if you’re not
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on June 14, 2020
Verified Purchase
8 people found this helpful
Report abuse
N. Eustace
5.0 out of 5 stars An excellent, englightening read.
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on April 28, 2018
Verified Purchase
13 people found this helpful
Report abuse
5.0 out of 5 stars easy read and really informative
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on June 13, 2019
Verified Purchase
2 people found this helpful
Report abuse
R. Roy
5.0 out of 5 stars Wonderful comparison of USA and Nordic life
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on September 15, 2019
Verified Purchase
2 people found this helpful
Report abuse
Peter D
4.0 out of 5 stars Brits take warning.
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on June 10, 2021
Verified Purchase