Thursday, April 8, 2010

The Nature of Happiness - book review

The Nature of Happiness by Desmond Morris, is a brief little book describing the author's beliefs about various types of happiness.

I think it's worth including in a list of books to read about happiness, though I find it to be quite a superficial opinion piece.  There are a few interesting observations; some sound, simple advice;  and a collection of nice quotations from famous authors, but otherwise the book really lacks substance.  There is almost no reference to research;  there are many sweeping statements, such as about evolutionary underpinnings of happiness-related behaviour, yet without a rigorous development of these ideas, and perhaps without a sense of understanding the voice or perspective of those to whom he is referring.

It is always surprising to me how a minor text of this type could warrant a glowing review from a major newspaper:
"At last, a highly intelligent, serious exploration of a subject as universal as it is illuminating and fascinating read."  The Times


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