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Publisher Description

Self-help books don't seem to work. Few of the many advantages of modern life seem capable of lifting our collective mood. Wealth—even if you can get it—doesn't necessarily lead to happiness. Romance, family life, and work often bring as much stress as joy. We can't even agree on what "happiness" means. So are we engaged in a futile pursuit? Or are we just going about it the wrong way?

Looking both east and west, in bulletins from the past and from far afield, Oliver Burkeman introduces us to an unusual group of people who share a single, surprising way of thinking about life. Whether experimental psychologists, terrorism experts, Buddhists, hardheaded business consultants, Greek philosophers, or modern-day gurus, they argue that in our personal lives, and in society at large, it's our constant effort to be happy that is making us miserable. And that there is an alternative path to happiness and success that involves embracing failure, pessimism, insecurity, and uncertainty—the very things we spend our lives trying to avoid. Thought-provoking, counterintuitive, and ultimately uplifting, The Antidote is the intelligent person's guide to understanding the much-misunderstood idea of happiness.

November 13
Farrar, Straus and Giroux

Customer Reviews

Jon Boss ,

No research- just personal musings

This book is nothing more than long-form journal entries and travel writings. It seems as though the author takes his pick of anecdotes and uses them to construct his argument- none of which are factually based. He read up on some history and decided that certain people were happy, then wrote hypotheses about them and attempted to pass it off as fact. Really a waste of time.

ResponsibilityU2 ,

The Antidote

On page 173 there is a startling comment that does not sequence, that comes (seemingly) out of nowhere: "Christians develop more negativity towards Jews". It disgusted me and I wonder why the author made that interjection. if you're going to say "so", wouldn't the reverse also hold true? What about any and all the other religions?
At that specific point I developed a distrust and a distaste for "The Antidote", wonderful and seemingly as valuable as many of the earlier observations had been.

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