Book Review – The Happiness Hypothesis

The Happiness Hypothesis: Finding Modern Truth in Ancient Wisdom

By Jonathan Haidt, Published 2006

It’s impossible to summarize one’s life work (this book) in a short review, but so be it. Haidt’s book is pointed to by many as the definitive book on happiness. He draws on the full history of psychology as well as many religious traditions and aligns common threads with research. The book is expansive in its coverage and to the interested reader, offers many launching pads for further reading.

Written by a Jewish Atheist, Haidt moves beyond antagonizing those who’s beliefs he disagrees with, which is so common in current writings. Rather than defining them as irrational, he considers why psychology can explain the different perspectives and how they contribute to happiness. This book does not try and cannot answer the deepest questions of life. It’s good to see the different perspectives.

Rating: ♦♦♦◊◊

Recommendation: Read because it is a good resource for many of the contained topics but search elsewhere for how to live.

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