The Herd: How Sweden chose its own path through the worst pandemic in 100 years

A real-life thriller about a nation in crisis, and the controversial decisions its leaders made during the COVID-19 pandemic.

First, the government instituted no restrictions. Then, it didn’t order the wearing of face masks. While the rest of the world looked on with incredulity, condemnation, admiration, and even envy, a small country in Northern Europe stood alone. As COVID-19 spread across the globe rapidly, the world shut down. But Sweden remained open.

The Swedish COVID-19 strategy was alternately lauded and held up as a cautionary tale by international governments and journalists alike — with all eyes on what has been dubbed ‘The Swedish Experiment’. But what made Sweden take such a different path?

In The Herd, journalist Johan Anderberg narrates the improbable story of a small nation that took a startlingly different approach to fighting the virus, guiding the reader through the history of epidemiology and the ticking-clock decisions that pandemic decision-makers were faced with on a daily basis.