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Why Switzerland?, first published in 1976, offers a unique analysis of the structures that make Switzerland work and provides a short, concise "working model" for the visitor or student. Linking an analysis of the microeconomy to the major features in politics, history, religion and language, it shows how a "bottom up" society has survived in a world of "top down" states. For this new edition Jonathan Steinberg has completely revised and extended his text, and a number of unusual and attractive illustrations have been added.
Preface; 1. Why Switzerland?; 2. History; 3. Politics; 4. Language; 5. Wealth; 6. Religion; 7. Identity; 8. Why Switzerland matters; Appendix: How to vote for the lower house of Parliament (Nationalrat) in Switzerland.
Posted June 23, 2002
This work, first published more than a quarter-century ago and twice revised, most recently in 1996, succeeds because the national Swiss characteristics which it explores are essentially timeless and unchanging. While tracing the begrudging and belated enfranchisement of women and the gradual integration of Roman Catholic and Jewish minorities who once were isolated, the author conveys the underlying tensions beneath a remarkably successful experiment in coexistence. As one who lived and worked in Switzerland for more than eight years, and whose own memoir, Living Among The Swiss, was published in January 1999, I can attest that Mr. Steinberg's generalizations ring true to my own experience and observations, and that they are supported by a myriad of political and sociological details that one would normally expect to learn only from a highly educated native. The prose, though scholarly, is highly readable, and evidences deep thought and mature reflection.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.