Ikea's heart of darkness: A tale of racism, lies and Swedish meatballs


Ikea looks like a model of openness and visibility. From its voluminous warehouse-size stores to its furniture's clean lines, the retailer presents a vision of honesty and total disclosure. Even founder and President Ingvar Kamprad (pictured) seems to be an open book: a simple farmer's boy from rural Sweden who overcame dyslexia and alcoholism to become one of the world's wealthiest men. Yet, even as he's risen to the top of the business world, he still has an old Klippan sofa and a Billy bookshelf in his living room, showing that he remains a humble, salt-of-the-earth type who hasn't forgotten his roots.

Not according to Johan Stenebo. Kamprad's former personal assistant, Stenebo reveals in a new book published in Sweden that the budget-furnishings monolith seems to have quite a few sordid secrets. The Truth About Ikea has yet to be translated into English, yet it's already sent ripples through the media, as Ikea fans learn that all may not be sunshine and meatballs at their favorite cheap, simple, eco-friendly big-box home-furnishings store.