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Switzerland - Culture Smart! by Kendall MaycockThere is far more to Switzerland than beautiful scenery, chocolate, watches, faceless bankers, and spotless cities. The real Switzerland is full of surprises and anything but bland. This small, rugged, landlocked country at the heart of Europe has been a confederation since the first three cantons came together in a defensive alliance in 1291. Four national languages are spoken within its borders. Its present twenty-six cantons are largely autonomous and retain their individual characters. In this grassroots democracy real power lies with the people, who exercise it directly through frequent referendums. "Swissness" is, above all, a spirit of independence and of communal involvement. Although it is a model of peace and multicultural cooperation, with one of the highest standards of living in Europe, Switzerland's prosperity has been hard-won. Historically neutral, it maintains a semi-detached relationship within the European Union. In 2014, a national referendum supported quotas on EU migrants. Despite the several hundred thousand EU nationals living and working within its borders, and almost half a million Swiss working in the EU, this small, resource-poor country appears determined to retain its independence. Culture Smart! Switzerland provides an historical perspective, explores Swiss values and attitudes, and looks at the cultural continuity of festivals and traditions. It helps you navigate the workplace, the neighborhood, and the social scene. It offers crucial insights into Swiss business culture, and more generally on differences in communication style. Swiss people are not always easy to get to know. Proud, industrious, fair-minded, and creative, they respect the individual, which means that while they appreciate clear thinking and direct talking, they avoid confrontation. They will never intrude, yet will willingly help out if asked. Make the effort, and people will respond. Warmth, decency, intelligence, and wit are among the many hidden riches of this fascinating society.
Historical Dictionary of Switzerland by Leo SchelbertSwitzerland's exceptional scenic beauty of valleys, lakes, and mountains, its central location on international trade routes, and its world famous banking system are just a few elements that have contributed to its rise in the global market. It consists of twenty-six member states, called cantons and it's actively engaged in the maintenance of peace among nations. The history of the Swiss Confederation is as rich and varied as its culture and people. This updated second edition of Historical Dictionary of Switzerland features the nation's multicultural and democratic traditions and institutions, its complex history, and its people's involvement in past and present world affairs. This is done through a list of abbreviations and acronyms, a chronology, an introduction, appendixes, maps, a bibliography, and over 500 cross-referenced dictionary entries on important persons, places, events, and institutions, as well as significant political, economic, social, and cultural aspects. This book is an excellent access point for students, researchers, and anyone who wants to know more about Switzerland.
Publication Date: 2014-05-21
Coming Out Swiss by Anne HerrmannAnne Herrmann, a dual citizen born in New York to Swiss parents, offers in Coming Out Swiss a witty, profound, and ultimately universal exploration of identity and community. "Swissness"--even on its native soil a loose confederacy, divided by multiple languages, nationalities, religion, and alpen geography--becomes in the diaspora both nowhere (except in the minds of immigrants and their children) and everywhere, reflected in pervasive clichés. In a work that is part memoir, part history and travelogue, Herrmann explores all our Swiss clichés (chocolate, secret bank accounts, Heidi, Nazi gold, neutrality, mountains, Swiss Family Robinson) and also scrutinizes topics that may surprise (the "invention" of the Alps, the English Colony in Davos, Switzerland's role during World War II, women students at the University of Zurich in the 1870s). She ponders, as well, marks of Swissness that have lost their identity in the diaspora (Sutter Home, Helvetica, Dadaism) and the enduring Swiss American community of New Glarus, Wisconsin. Coming Out Swiss will appeal not just to the Swiss diaspora but also to those drawn to multi-genre writing that blurs boundaries between the personal and the historical.
Publication Date: 2014-04-01
Creating Wilderness by Patrick KupperThe history of the Swiss National Park, from its creation in the years before the Great War to the present, is told for the first time in this book. Unlike Yellowstone Park, which embodied close cooperation between state-supported conservation and public recreation, the Swiss park put in place an extraordinarily strong conservation program derived from a close alliance between the state and scientific research. This deliberate reinterpretation of the American idea of the national park was innovative and radical, but its consequences were not limited to Switzerland. The Swiss park became the prime example of a "scientific national park," thereby influencing the course of national parks worldwide.
Publication Date: 2014-07-30
Swiss Sensibility by Anna RoosContemporary architecture in Switzerland is influenced by Peter Zumthor and Herzog & de Meuron, recipients of the Swiss Pritzker Prize, as well as a number of other prominent architects. The book presents 25 buildings in Switzerland designed by 16 influential Swiss architects: The range covers high-density urban developments through to rural sites in the alpine environment, with examples of traditional craftsmanship and materials, and modern construction technology and engineering. Large-format photographs illustrate the buildings' proportions, materials, and details. Four authors analyze the Swiss building culture and its high architectural quality from an insider's and an outsider's point of view. In a detailed interview, Peter Zumthor explains his approach to architectural design.