Reviewers agree that Layard, a leading British economist and well-known government advisor, raises fundamentally important questions that we all tend to ignore in our strivings to achieve on a daily basis. The author supplies ample data to show that capitalisms emphasis on individualism and competition has helped to diminish the feeling of a common good among people of different classes and societies. The critics disagree, however, on Layards recommendation of state- and church-oriented intervention to reverse the patterns of behavior that are not, in so many eyes, contributing to happiness. Since "happiness studies" is a new science (see Gregg Easterbrooks The Progress Paradox
*** Mar/Apr 2004), it stands to reason that the early tomes of this philosophy would stir controversy. Just dont let it dampen your day.
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Unorthodox, devastatingly straightforward and more provocative of actual thought than 90% of books said to be "thought-provoking". If happiness isn't a political issue, what's the point of politics? -- Andrew Marr A remarkable book ... which effectively trashes the claim of economics to guide policy for a good society ... read it, and take heart -- Simon Caulkin Observer Fascinating ... argues that we should make happiness, not growth, the object of our economic policies -- John Kay Financial Times
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