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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.

Author: Andri Snær Magnason


"This book had an enormous impact in Iceland when it came out. After Icelandic politicians had sold Icelandic nature cheap to some of the industrial giants of this world without the people's consent, the Icelandic people were upset. We didn't get a chance to defend ourselves. Or our nature. I have a feeling this is a universal problem that our generation will find solutions to. This book is one of these solutions." 
- Björk

"In wry and entertainingly digressive prose, Magnason confronts a global problem from a national perspective. Dreamland reads like a sort of Icelandic No Logo, teaching us valuable lessons about capitalism, sustainability and the ways in which the world can develop deep into the twentieth century." - Toby Lichtig, Times Literary Supplement 

"Dreamland, a devastating polemic that puts Iceland's environmental issues into a global perspective. The book has sold 18,000 copies — the equivalent, in percentage terms, of 18 million copies in the United States." - New York Times
"So here they all were, one big unhappy family. The environmentalists were trying to save Iceland. The industrialists were trying to save Iceland. Everyone was trying to save Iceland. "A mental civil war," somebody called it. A war of dreams.… Dreamland - A Self-Help Manual for a Frightened Nation, a surprise, runaway best-seller exposed the spell…" 
The National Geographic Magazine

"His modest charm figures into his writing, which juggles reasoned talk of carbon emissions with aspirational ideas for how we might think about living in a world with changing wants and needs." The Onion

"Magnason's Dreamland provokes thought by telling us things we did not know and have therefore not had the opportunity to deliberate or discuss openly." - Vigdís Finnbogadóttir, former President of Iceland

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