The basic premise of the book is that as a society we’re behaving like the crowd in Hans Christian Andersen’s story of the Emperor’s New Clothes. We all see what’s wrong but everyone goes along with it, too busy living their lives. The book is written from the perspective that when that boy grew up, how might he view society and the world and just as he had pointed out that the emperor lacked clothes what else might he have pointed out.
The book is unique in its basic premise gives it license to take a broad honest view of the way we live, work and play. It’s uncommon in the breadth of its scope, lack of any taboo subjects e.g. tackling race and the wearing of the burqa and in its honesty.
There are no similar books. Although there is a huge market of self-help books aimed at people, this book is unique as a self-help book for the world.
Each of the main strands in the book might easily be the subject of entire books e.g. on Politics, Trade, Religion, Mixed Economies, Global Warming, Happiness etc. The book deals with each of these succinctly and gets to the heart of the matter, uncovering the issues.
However it’s not simply a catalogue of criticisms or issues, the book is written with a positive attitude and thinking outside the box or as the author puts it swimming “diagonal lengths”! It contains entirely original thinking on all of these topics and proposes new well thought out innovative and practical solutions to what are often seen as intractable problems of our age. In so doing, in a calm, logical and measured manner, the book challenges the way we view the world around us, creating a compelling agenda for change.