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How to Be Danish: A Journey to the Cultural Heart of Denmark (Englisch) Gebundene Ausgabe – 4. Februar 2014

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"Patrick Kingsley’s introduction to Denmark...makes fascinating cultural connections between everything from the Nordic food revolution to Danish modern design and the Muhammad cartoon controversy." (New York Times)

"[A] delightful guidebook." (Wall Street Journal)

“Kingsley is an eloquent and inquiring observer.” (Sunday Times (UK))

“A brilliant introduction to the coolest country in Europe." (Trine Kjaer)

“Engagingly written and incisively reported...Kingsley renders the quality and complexity of life in Denmark with an outsider's fresh perspective and a journalist's sharp instincts.” (Kirkus Reviews (starred review))

"Part reportage, part travelogue...a delightful guide." (The Chicago Tribune)

Über den Autor und weitere Mitwirkende

Patrick Kingsley is the Egypt correspondent for The Guardian, having been a feature writer for the newspaper for two years. In 2009 he was named journalist of the year at the Guardian Student Media Awards, and in 2012, MHP Communications named him one of the top five young journalists to watch. Kingsley’s work has also appeared in Wired, Time Out, Daily Mail, and The Sunday Times (London). He lives in Cairo, Egypt.

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Amazon.com: HASH(0x8e864bb8) von 5 Sternen 16 Rezensionen
26 von 27 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
HASH(0x8e848e28) von 5 Sternen Denmark for Beginners 4. Februar 2014
Von takingadayoff - Veröffentlicht auf Amazon.com
Format: Gebundene Ausgabe
This would be a good airplane book. It's not too long and it can be read in chunks without losing the thread. It repeats just often enough to remind you of important points without being tedious. You can read it in any order. And when you're through, you feel as if you have a decent introduction to Denmark and an idea of what you'd like to learn more about.

Patrick Kingsley is a reporter and he interviewed quite a few people for the book. He covers furniture, TV, education, the relative lack of income inequality, cuisine, transport, immigration, and more. I intended to just read a few sections and skip the parts I didn't care as much about, but I ended up reading the whole thing.

Denmark seems like the model of Scandinavian democratic socialism, where university is free for all and everyone bicycles to work. But then there's the anti-immigrant party and those dark TV shows and novels about serial murderers. Just like anywhere else in the world, Denmark is a country of contradictions and as globalization and financial downturns have affected everyone, Denmark is struggling with change.

A nice quick crash course in modern Denmark.
17 von 18 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
HASH(0x8e8561bc) von 5 Sternen Window into an alternate universe 2. März 2014
Von Reader Rabbit - Veröffentlicht auf Amazon.com
Format: Gebundene Ausgabe
Brief, lively, very readable book. Yet still provides plenty of substance about the origins and contradictions of the mysterious alternate universe called Denmark.

This is a country so cooperative that -- thanks to strong unions and a redistributive tax system -- doctors and lawyers average less than twice a garbage collector's salary. Statistically, it's the most egalitarian country on the planet. But despite the very generous welfare state, many immigrant refugees feel isolated and excluded.

There's a 180% excise tax on buying a car, and some 2/3 of trips in København (a/k/a "Copenhagen," don't call it Frisco) are reportedly made by bicycle. Yet Denmark's deeply ingrained green culture -- bike lanes everywhere, pedestrianized streets, neighborhoods centrally heated for efficiency, and manufacture of about half the world's wind turbines -- dates only to the 1970s. It was a small, resource-poor nation's pragmatic response to getting whacked by that decade's oil-price shocks.

Danes are ruthlessly committed to honesty. They'll meticulously avoid giving you a bad deal, or selling you any product they don't have faith in, or withholding information. But they'll also stare at you disapprovingly -- and cops will swiftly give you a ticket -- for jaywalking on a street with zero traffic.

Danes are stereotyped as Scandinavia's most outgoing people, and Denmark frequently leads international surveys (and definitely Disneyland) as "the happiest place on Earth." But interviewees clarify that they're really more like "content." And let's face it, Sweden is more fun. (More competition, lower prices, greater acceptance of foreign transplants, and you bet it's OK to jaywalk politely.)

Some of these contradictions are in the book; others are things my hosts told and showed me in København. The book reveals their origins in a secularized Lutheran culture; a once-great empire downsized to a small, homogenous, boutique nation; and particularly, in a cooperative agriculture and mass-education movement that swept and transformed the country in the mid-1800s, when Denmark's then-absolute monarchy ceded power to its parliament.

North American readers should just be aware that this is written by a British newspaperman, for a very British audience. You can easily get past constant references to Danish TV exports "Borgen" and "The Killing" (which were highly visible on the BBC), and idioms like the percentage of a given population "in work" (employed). But you might need to look up equivalents for "sixth form" (something like school grades 11-12), and "redundancies" (layoffs).

Also, for a short book, it has outsize repetition of certain statistics -- some of which the author acknowledges. E.g., you'll read several times over that only bout 45% of Danish immigrant women are "in work," compared to 70% of the homegrown kind. It's still a worthwhile read, and one you can devour in an evening or two.
11 von 12 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
HASH(0x8e856414) von 5 Sternen Great Danes 28. Mai 2014
Von Amazon Customer - Veröffentlicht auf Amazon.com
Format: Kindle Edition
After several vacations around Europe, a couple years ago I picked Denmark mostly at random for a 10-day trip. I was intrigued by the unique people, culture, and contrasts. The Danes are hugely progressive in social services (subsidized education, health care, day care, etc.), yet reactionary and xenophobic against foreigners, especially Muslims. Their renowned school of design is miniminalist and purely functional, but also puts out wild, sci-fi iconic pieces like the egg chair. Their cuisine has long consisted of simple herring and brown bread, yet is being revolutionized and reinvented by a few bold chefs. Whereas all other Scandinavian countries oppressively tax alcohol, beers flow freely and deliciously in Denmark. And although they are ranked the happiest people in the world, their entertainment industry paints a bleak, severe picture of the country (like The Killing).

This book is a great introduction for anyone who's curious to learn more about the fascinating people of Denmark.
9 von 10 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
HASH(0x8e82b0f0) von 5 Sternen Hurried job, but will give you Denmark envy 12. Juli 2014
Von Kiki - Veröffentlicht auf Amazon.com
Format: Kindle Edition Verifizierter Kauf
Reads as if it were written hurriedly, perhaps as a feature article for a Sunday newspaper (and given that the author is a newspaper journo, this was possibly its inception). But he knows his audience: fanboys and -girls of contemporary Danish drama, and it is full of fascinating details about the Danish mindset and way of life. It just seems in parts as if had he waited for more research or interviews, the end result could have been a little better.
7 von 8 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
HASH(0x8e82b4bc) von 5 Sternen There's a better alternative 30. Dezember 2014
Von Vagabondage - Veröffentlicht auf Amazon.com
Format: Gebundene Ausgabe Verifizierter Kauf
Interesting, but less so than Jonathan Cape's "The Almost Nearly Perfect People," which I read just before this one. My mother and her family were Danish immigrants to the US and I've spent a fair bit of time in Denmark and grown up with a strong sense of Danish-American identity. There was little in this book that I didn't already know. Unlike Cape, Kingsley has not lived in Denmark, which might account for the superficiality (and slenderness) of the book. So while this one is entertaining, I'd suggest you read Cape's instead.
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