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Dreamland: A Self-Help Manual for a Frightened Nation [Paperback]

Nicholas Jones , Andri Snaer Magnason
4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)

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Product details

  • Paperback: 292 pages
  • Publisher: Citizen Press; Second edition (19 Jun 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0955136326
  • ISBN-13: 978-0955136320
  • Product Dimensions: 19.8 x 2.4 x 15.3 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 139,936 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

Dreamland - A Self-Help Manual for a Frightened Nation powerfully combines personal reflection and investigative exposé in a unique and fascinating look into the conflicted national psyche of contemporary Iceland. With sharp humour and keen insight, Andri Snær Magnason explores and challenges the traditional mindset currently shaping the country's development - suggesting the possibility of an alternative vision and giving voice to a new generation that understands the power of ideas in both resisting and creating sustainable change. The book has sparked intense debate over whether Europe's biggest area of unspoiled nature should be turned into an industrial park of aluminium smelters and hydro-electric plants. The area in question is the country of Iceland, where the government's extensive plans to sell state land and exploit inexpensive clean hydro-electric power for the benefit of multinational aluminium interests is a stark local example of today's global realities: Who ultimately owns the rights to the world's natural resources and land? the people? the government? the highest bidder? Dreamland is a book about ideas. But Dreamland is not about ideology, nor about traditional politics. Dreamland is not a book about CO2 emissions. Dreamland does not tell you not to own a car. Dreamland does not tell you how to behave. But Dreamland - A Self-help Manual for a Frightened Nation, will definitely make you think.

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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Wake up Iceland! 3 Oct 2008
My siblings gave me a copy of Dreamland for my birthday when I was in Iceland in 2006. As an environmental scientist who has lived abroad for almost 30 years I was fascinated that - finally - Andri Snaer was waking up the icelandic nation to what has been going on with regard to the relationship between "cheap" energy and the selling off of the unique nature of the island. In my own work related to environment and sustainability I have come to understand that awareness raising and truth telling is at the heart of leading change. Dreamland indeed soon became an all-time best seller in Iceland selling over 20,000 copies. For a nation of 300,000 this equates to selling 4 million copies in the UK.

Dreamland looks at ideas, what constitutes reality as well as ethics and the environment. Andri Snaer demonstrates love for nature, the nation and future generations. But he is also funny and makes you think. This is defininetely the most important environmental book published in Iceland and I'm certain that it will make many people in the English speaking world think also. The iconic musicians Bjork and Sigurros as well as National Geographic have taken up the baton from Dreamland and raised awareness about the issues discussed in the book.

I recommend Dreamland to everyone who cares about the planet and future generations. I also recommend it to anyone who wants to lead change towards a fairer and more sustainable future.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars in Dreamland 24 July 2008
I came across the book on a recent trip to Iceland and thoroughly enjoyed its mix of humour, politics and rather grave subject matter - the flattening of Icelandic nature to make way for aluminium smelting plants so the rest of the word can carry on throwing away tin cans all day, every day.

But its not all serious (its less of a serious book about politics, more of a discussion down the pub about important things that you care about) and there are enough funny observations, witty asides and interesting explorations of things we take for granted to keep me reading solidly for several hours at a time.

If you have any interest in Iceland, nature, the environment or politics then I promise you won't regret buying Dreamland. I loved it.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Dreamland deals with subjects that can give most people a glazed look in a manner that makes them interesting and enthralling being written in generally short pithy chapters with wide margins for notes making it easy to read.

It is full of witty observations and word picture illustrations that make the reader view things they thought they knew about in a completely different light as the author takes the reader on a journey that questions the nature of reality and views it from a different perspective. In some cases it takes the skill of a comedian to show how ridiculous a position has been taken by organisations that are supposed to know better! The book made me laugh/cry and I was completely hooked - It was a page turner that could not be put down - gripping the reader!

The author looks at the underbelly of business and democracy and shows the reality of the greed of big business and govenment. It details the destruction of our planet in following the heavy industrial trail of carnage involved in smelting aluminium - questioning the relationships that are involved, the hiding of truth for gain, for expediency. It explains facts in a context that is easily grasped by both experts and the ordinary man/woman in the street. It questions our values as humans not as conditioned by lies - IT MAKES THE READER THINK DEEPLY!

The narrative leaves you breathless, stunned and amazed with facts and information - as an experienced engineer it provided me with information I was not aware of in fields I have had partial involvement with - it is without doubt one of the greatest works of the 21st century - truely ground-breaking.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Dreamland documentary 21 July 2011
By Ciara
On a visit to Iceland, I went to see the documentary based on this book expecting a film on the financial crisis. It turned out to be much more significant. You can always make more money but it's hard to reclaim a drowned valley. The film had me close to tears at several points. As a result I felt obliged to order the book. Iceland may be at the jagged edge of this issue but it will effect most of the world sooner or later. When you have sold your land, your nature, your people.. what is left?
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