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A Bigger Prize by Margaret Heffernan

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CHAPTER 4

Angry Birds

At the end of the nineteenth century, if you had been looking for a society characterized by competitiveness and social mobility, Norway would not have been your first choice. A stolidly conservative place, its greatest artist, Henrik Ibsen, so hated his country’s stultifying conventions that he spent most of his productive life abroad, creating a new theater aimed at exploding traditional ideas of hierarchy and dominance. While he secured the relative quiet of self-imposed exile, Ibsen’s homeland seethed with debate about social status, power, and influence, and it was there that the subject of competition found its first ...

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