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September 12 , 2008

The Secrets of Happiness

Three Thousand Years of Searching for the Good Life


Unhappy is the story of happiness. More than two thousand years ago, when the ancient Greeks first pondered what constitutes "the good life," happiness was considered a civic virtue that demanded a lifetime's cultivation. Not just mere enjoyment of pleasure and mere avoidance of suffering, true happiness was an achievement, not a birthright. Now, in an age of instant gratification and infinite distraction, history professor Richard Schoch takes a refreshingly contemplative look at a question that's as vital today as ever: What does it mean to be happy? Schoch consults some of history's greatest thinkers – from Aristotle to Thomas Aquinas to Buddha – in his quest to understand happiness in all its hard-won forms. Packed with three thousand years' worth of insights, many long forgotten, The Secrets of Happiness is a breath of ancient wisdom for anyone who yearns for the good life.

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