Fishing in Utopia: Sweden and the Future That Disappeared
by Andrew Brown
From the 1960s to the 1980s, Sweden's social democratic model was the envy of every country in Western Europe. From the outside, at least, it ... Show synopsis From the 1960s to the 1980s, Sweden's social democratic model was the envy of every country in Western Europe. From the outside, at least, it appeared to be a prosperous, generous, egalitarian country that took care of its employees, operated a wide-ranging welfare system and offered shelter to immigrants, from Iran and the Middle East to the former Yugoslavia and Chile. It had a stable industrial economy that prized energy conservation and the environment. How could it fail? Andrew Brown lived there as a child in the 1960s. Ten years later, he returned: he married a Swedish woman and worked in a timber mill, raising his small son, first of all in a housing estate on the edge of Gothenberg, and then in a makeshift chalet in the forest. Fishing was his passion and his escape from a country and its people that alternately oppressed and fascinated him. He returned to live in England at the beginning of the 1980s, but he kept going back.This book tells his story, and woven into it is the landscape of Sweden, its rivers and forests with their attendant mythology, as well as the workings of a political and social system that seemed, for a decade or so, to have made Sweden into a modern utopia.