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The Naked Swiss: A Nation Behind 10 Myths

3.92  ·  Rating details ·  99 ratings  ·  14 reviews
Cross-cultural journalist Clare O'Dea goes in search of the truth behind the clichés that clothe modern Switzerland. Did the Swiss really help the Nazis? Are Swiss women living a charmed existence or are they stuck in the past? Are the Swiss crooked bankers? How can you be neutral if you own more guns than almost any other country? And how did these people get so rich?
Paperback, 232 pages
Published October 3rd 2016 by Schwabe AG, Bergli Books
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Sep 13, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The 33’rd book of my project “one country visited, one nation discovered via a book”. I also discovered I am a very slow reader. Started this book soon after Covid “forced” me to do car trips around home with this particular one ending up in Switzerland for a couple of days. In one library in Basel I have asked plainly the bookkeeper if he had any books containing the name of the country, or the people or one of the city I have visited in the title. But it could not be a cooking book nor a trave ...more
Sep 08, 2017 rated it liked it
Interesting overall, though not as in-depth as I would've liked. I think what was lacking were some additional interviews/stories from the 'man in the street.' It's all well and good to have politicians and bankers interviewed for how they perceive some of these myths, but they're obviously biased. The book often mentions some of the intolerance, but there are no personal anecdotes which correlate with the attitudes of those Swiss who vote for such intolerant propositions.

I also felt the book co
Apr 12, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: switzerland
My 2nd edition of The Naked Swiss had a bonus 11th myth. Here's the list:

1. The Swiss Are Swiss
2. The Swiss Are Rich
3. The Swiss Are Xenophobic
4. The Swiss Are Brilliant
5. The Swiss Are Sexist
6. The Swiss Are Neutral
7. The Swiss Helped the Nazis
8. The Swiss Are Boring
9. The Swiss Are Crooked Bankers
10. The Swiss Have the World's Best Democracy
11. The Swiss Are European

Clare O'Dea is an Irish woman who has lived in Switzerland for over a decade, and has a Swiss husband and Irish-Swiss kids. She w
Niall McArdle
Nov 14, 2016 rated it it was amazing
A wonderful, insightful, thoroughly-researched and engagingly-written examination of Switzerland an its people by Clare O'Dea, an Irish journalist who has lived there for more than a decade.

I knew next to little about Switzerland before reading the book, beyond the usual stereotypes (chocolate, Swiss banks, Nazi gold, somewhat dull people). But this is a fascinating look at a country that most people tend to overlook, and you can learn a lot from it.

Switzerland occupies a curious position in Eur
Feb 10, 2020 rated it liked it
Since I’ve been in Switzerland for 20 years, I don’t think I belong to the target audience. The myth busting provided little new information for me, as would be the case for most who follow Swiss news or have lived here for a few years. Likely of interest to those who are considering moving to Switzerland or who have recently arrived.
Jun 26, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: history
I thought I knew "enough" about Switzerland until I read this book! However, I was very surprised about the sexism chapter in particular. Overall, Clare O 'dea presents the facts about Switzerland in such a fun and interesting way. In this book, there is a surprising story or a fact for everyone, even for the Swiss:) ...more
Juan Mari
Oct 02, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Una visión distinta de un país

Es un libro ameno y muestra aspectos de la vida, organización y mitos y falsos mitos del mismo. Permite conocer la filosofía detrás de la neutralidad política externa del mismo.
Nov 12, 2018 rated it liked it
As I am living in Switzerland, it was a first way to learn about their way of thinking. But after 2 years here, I find that not everything in this book was true!
Helen Palmer
Apr 04, 2021 rated it really liked it
Awesome book, well researched
Feb 22, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: switzerland, own
A very informative and well-researched book.
Apr 20, 2020 rated it it was amazing
I really enjoyed this book. It was fully of interesting history and facts. I think the author did a good job of trying to explain complex situations in a balanced way.
Oct 09, 2016 rated it it was amazing
A thoroughly entertaining and enlightening read about Switzerland and the Swiss people which clarifies many of the myths surrounding the country and its people, including that they are rich; they are neutral and that they are boring.

Clare O'Dea does an excellent job of presenting the facts behind these myths and her writing style is informative without being dry. I learnt so much about the Swiss that no longer will I solely think of cuckoo clocks, chocolate and banks when I think of the country
Sarah Fitzgerald
Nov 14, 2016 rated it it was amazing
The Naked Swiss by Clare O'Dea is a really fantastic book -well-researched, informed, entertaining and engaging. It manages to strike an elusive balance, one that many non-fiction writers find so difficult. It's rich with information but also has a lightness of touch which makes it a pleasure to read. It addresses controversy without being gratuitous or sensationalist. It casts an objective and evidence-based eye on its target subject, but also reveals a real affection for and pride in Switzerla ...more
Dec 31, 2016 rated it liked it
I thought this was informed, balanced and insighful. I liked especially the chapters about Sexism and Democracy. They certainly provided me with some points for thought and it was a very interesting concept to be reading about my own country from a "Wahlschweizer" perspective. I would have liked to see more references to the data used, but I do see how it might have been too disruptive to the reading experience. ...more
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Originally from Dublin, Ireland, Clare's career as a journalist spans two decades and three countries. Most recently, she worked at the international news service of the Swiss Broadcasting Corporation in Bern, where she covered Swiss politics, culture and business news for nine years.
A former Irish Times journalist, Clare had a varied career in Dublin working in radio, television, print and theat

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