Cover image for Happiness in America : a cultural history
Happiness in America : a cultural history
Publication Information:
Lanham, Maryland : Rowman & Littlefield, [2018]
Physical Description:
x, 185 pages ; 24 cm
Introduction -- New roads to happiness, 1920-1939 -- The paradox of happiness, 1940-1959 -- What makes you happy? 1960-1979 -- Don't worry, be happy, 1980-1999 -- Are you happy yet? 2000-2009 -- Happily ever after, 2010- -- Epilogue.
"Beyond serving as the definitive guide to happiness in this country, Happiness in America offers readers a provocative argument that challenges standard thinking. Despite popular belief, Americans have never been a particularly happy people. Our perpetual (and futile) search for happiness indicates widespread dissatisfaction and discontent with life in general, something that will come as a surprise to many. The image of Americans as a happy-go-lucky people is thus more mythology than reality, an important finding rooted in the inherent flaws of consumer capitalism. Our competitive and comparative American Way of Life has not proven to be an especially good formula for happiness, Samuel argues, with external signs of success unlikely to produce appreciably happier people. Given these findings, he suggests readers consider abandoning their pursuit of happiness and instead seek out greater joy in life." -- Publisher's description