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Book Image Not Available
Book details
  • Genre:BIOGRAPHY & AUTOBIOGRAPHY
  • SubGenre:Cultural Heritage
  • Language:English
  • Pages:346
  • eBook ISBN:9789197969536

Probably The Best Country On Earth

A Tale of Twos – Countries, Peoples, Destinies: A Personal Journey of Learning by an American in Sweden

by James Michael Wine

Book Image Not Available
Overview
James Michael Wine weaves a personal journey of learning, at turns humorous, political, poetic and insightful, as he claims that Sweden is probably the best country on Earth. Love brought him to the North, but it was the use of “Sweden” as a code word for something notorious or evil during the 2008 US presidential election - which no doubt will be used again in 2012 - that triggered this book. Digging through his life in the two cultures for reasons behind this code, Wine comes across a Swedish fact so mind-boggling to his American mind that it compels him to explore this moment on the planet and how each country grapples with the momentous challenges never before faced by civilization.
Description
James Michael Wine weaves a personal journey of learning, at turns humorous, political, poetic and insightful, as he claims that Sweden is probably the best country on Earth. Love brought him to the North, but it was the use of “Sweden” as a code word for something notorious or evil during the 2008 US presidential election - which no doubt will be used again in 2012 - that triggered this book. Digging through his life in the two cultures for reasons behind this code, Wine comes across a Swedish fact so mind-boggling to his American mind that it compels him to explore this moment on the planet and how each country grapples with the momentous challenges never before faced by civilization. “As always things seem to come down to twos. The one that didn’t need to do it but did and the one who should have done it and won’t. Sweden’s total CO2 emissions are a pittance compared to the staggering amounts that American activity has pushed up into into the wild blue yonder. In the grand scheme of things it probably doesn’t matter what Sweden does, numbers-wise. Yet they felt compelled to do right by themselves and the world. As an American, I have to ask myself, why did the Swedes do that? Then, how did they do that? Finally, why the hell didn’t we do that? Instead of the promised bold American leadership, we are left to witness a pathetic farce in the US Senate and a midterm election that brought 48 climate deniers into Congress. Instead we have to withstand the whiny voices that would restore honor to a country that has shirked its responsibilities. Instead we put up with political forces that spread fear by invoking the code word Sweden. I can only take comfort in Winston Churchill’s observation and hope like hell it’s still true: ‘You can always count on Americans to do the right thing — after they’ve tried everything else.’ Would that one could change the United States into Sweden, if only to restore the honor that one deserves by doing the right thing right for the right reason. Something grand indeed. In my book, this responsible stand and those effective actions make Sweden, right now, probably the best country on Earth.”
About the author
James Michael Wine was born in Pikeville, Kentucky in 1954 together with twin brother Charlie. They grew up in the US, Luxembourg, Ivory Coast and Switzerland, the sons of an American ambassador serving President Kennedy. Educated in political science and literature, Jim met his wife Eva Jonasson, an artist from Västerås, Sweden in 1973. In the 70s and 80s Jim wrote four books of poetry and with his brother, a musician, composed seven works of poesia per musica, including “a peace” which premiered at the Corcoran Gallery of Art in 1986. In 1990, on advice from Leonard Bernstein, the brothers started an arts company and worked in media for social change, producing the first ever TV spot from a Macintosh to remember John Lennon on MTV and creating the “Hands Without Guns” campaign. They also produced a film version of Tomas Tranströmer’s poem “Östersjöar,” which premiered at the Cooper Union in NY in 1993, broadcast by Swedish Television in 1994. In 1998 Jim and Eva moved to Stockholm. Jim served on the board of the Peace Appeal Foundation (US) and since 2005 he has been a senior advisor to the Tällberg Foundation, a global think tank in Sweden.
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