Audio book Review: How I Learned to Understand the World by Hans Rosling

March 1, 2021

About:

How I Learned to Understand the World by Hans Rosling is a memoir, translated from Swedish, which the author talks about events that helped him shape his thinking. Mr. Rosling is a world renowned physician and data analysts who helped change the world in small, and big ways. This memoir was published posthumously as Dr. Rosling sadly passed away from cancer in 2007.

Audio book Review: How I Learned to Understand the World by Hans Rosling
My rating for How I Learned to Understand the World  – 5

Buy How I Learned to Understand the World from Amazon.com*
More books by Hans Rosling*

Thoughts:

Books which bring different perspectives are always, to me, a good idea to read. Sometimes they’re not as enlightening, or entertaining, as I might like them to be, however I try to make an effort. How I Learned to Understand the World by Hans Rosling is both enlightening and entertaining, bringing forth a new perspective in a relatable manner, backed by personal anecdotes and data which could easily be found online.

Dr. Hans Rosling talks a little about his upbringing in Sweden, how his education as a physician, as well as working in Mozambique, help him revolutionize his thinking, and ours as well. Together with his son and daughter in law, Dr. Rosling has created the Trendalyzer software system, which creates animated graphics of data over time, and the helped found the Gapminder Institute.

I have to say that thinking back on it, I enjoyed most of the book very much. I enjoyed the little, day-to-day anecdotes and challenges of a white, skinny, European doctor and his family living in a third world country. Dr. Rosling was a fact based, analysis geek who made decisions based on factual and available data, and not preconceived notions – something we sorely need more of in the world. I also enjoyed his anecdotes of meeting the rich and famous after he had made a name for himself, all told with a proverbial wink and a smile including an awkward meeting with Fidel Castro.

In the forward of the book Agneta Rosling, the author’s widow, writes that “some of the stories are left out, as we thought these would only be interesting in the Swedish context”. I certainly understand the editorial choice, but I would have liked to hear those stories, maybe with an added context to explain it to us non-Swedes. That’s too bad because I do enjoy Swedish literature. That might would have been doable in an eBook, but in an audio version, or even a print version, it wouldn’t have been practical.

The book is written along with journalist Fanny Härgestam, who recorded and formed Dr. Rosling’s thoughts and stories into a coherent narrative for readers. The audiobook is narrated by Simon Slater, an award-winning English narrator, actor, and composer.

Buy How I Learned to Understand the World from Amazon.com*
More books by Hans Rosling*

Zohar — Man of la Book
Dis­claimer: I got this book for free.
*Ama­zon links point to an affil­i­ate account

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How I Learned to Understand the World by Hans Rosling
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Wrap Up

How I Learned to Understand the World by Hans Rosling

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