By Clare O'Dea
In The Naked Swiss: A Nation Behind 10 Myths, journalist Clare O’Dea promises to change the way the world thinks about modern Switzerland – and give Swiss readers much to think about too. In 10 fact-based chapters O’Dea investigates positive myths of modern Switzerland (The Swiss are Rich/Brilliant/Have the Perfect Democracy) with the same sharp journalistic eye she uses to assess negative ones (The Swiss are Crooked Bankers/Xenophobic/Helped the Nazis). It is a view of Switzerland that will surprise even many Swiss readers.
O’Dea – a ten-year veteran at Swissinfo, and now Swiss herself – introduces readers to a cast of real Swiss, painting a lively country through many anecdotes. It is a Switzerland of the 21st century – a Switzerland of working mothers, banks gone bankrupt, and multicultural football teams. The Naked Swiss is a book that isn’t afraid to address past shame and present national crises.
The author speaks five languages, has visited all 26 cantons, and is the mother of three Swiss children, and her deep knowledge of the country is on display page after page.
The Naked Swiss - which received praise from Switzerland’s conservative weekly news magazine Die Weltwoche - promises to be the most important book about Switzerland for international readers for the next several years to come.
“Switzerland is often too perfect to be true, as Clare O’Dea observes in this entertaining book on how the country ticks.” Ralph Atkins, Financial Times
“Clare O’Dea’s writing is informative without being too dry, and her clear, well-structured style means that this is a fascinating read, occasionally funny, but never boring. It is an excellent social and historical portrayal of the Swiss nation.” Judith Griffith, nudge-book.com
" … concisely written and highly readable overview of the Swiss people and culture … marvelous “Fergal Lenehan, Dublin Review of Books
“Impressive. I thought I knew a little about Switzerland. Now I know how little I knew.”
-Wolfgang Koydl, bestselling author of Die Besserkönner: Was die Schweiz so besonders macht
“Fast-moving and entertaining, The Naked Swiss presents a wealth of new material on the well-worn clichés about Switzerland and lays many (Swiss) myths to rest.”
-Margaret Oertig, author of Beyond Chocolate: Understanding Swiss Culture
“A fascinating book about Switzerland, that contains many new insights, clears away the clichés, and delivers a convincing explanation of many assumptions...Very few Swiss could write in as refined and precise a way about their homeland as Clare O’Dea. A pleasure to read!”
-Claude Baumann, author of the biography Robert Holzach: Eine Schweizer Bankier und seine Zeit (A Swiss Banker in His Time)