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.

‘In his fine book The Herd, the Swedish journalist Johan Anderberg has chronicled the development of the Swedish policy and how tough it was for its architect, Anders Tegnell, to stay the course as country after country was stampeded into compulsory and comprehensive lockdowns.’

‘A gripping analysis of the Swedish response, which examines how tensions between science, policy and politics heightened as the virus held on. If any book were capable of turning scientific debate into a thriller, this one does so; and for the armchair experts on COVID-19 that many of us have become, it is a must-read.’