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In Pursuit : Of Happiness and Good Government Paperback – May 1, 1994


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 300 pages
  • Publisher: ICS Press (May 1994)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1558152970
  • ISBN-13: 978-1558152977
  • Product Dimensions: 9 x 6 x 0.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,508,653 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Murray, a senior research fellow at the Manhattan Institute for Policy Research and the author of Losing Ground , launches a relentlessly unfocussed argument which includes the thesis that Jeffersonian democracy is perfectly applicable in the contemporary United States. Assuming that the pursuit of happiness should be a criterion in making public policy, he explores the enabling conditions of that pursuit (access to material resources, safety, self-respect prominent among them), then draws a fuzzy linkage between them and the concepts of challenge, competency and autonomy. His conclusion is that the pursuit of happiness is rooted in Edmund Burke's "little platoons" of work, family and community, and that the government, in order to encourage, nourish and protect these elemental functions, should keep interference to a minimum. He argues for "a radically more decentralized and limited government." Alas, Murray does not say how this might be brought about. First serial to National Review; Conservative Book Club dual main selection.
Copyright 1988 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Library Journal

Murray's best seller, Losing Ground: American Social Policy 1950-1980, touted the virtues of small government. In this latest work, again sure to please conservatives and provoke liberals, he proposes that government not try to make people happy, but instead provide "enabling conditions" that ease their pursuit of happiness. These conditions notably include minimal welfare to provide merely the staples of life. Further attention to needy persons, he contends, should be provided by communities and local institutions. He acknowledges that his approach is especially difficult in poor inner cities with their alienation, impersonality, etc., but he nonetheless believes that typical governmental welfare only perpetuates poverty. A sophisticated treatment with potential broad appeal. David Steiniche, Missouri Western State Coll., St. Joseph
Copyright 1988 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

12 of 12 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on September 4, 1999
Format: Paperback
While his first book, _Losing Ground..._, made an argument that was based on an array of social science data, Murray here employs the mode of reasoning used by classical economists such as Say and Smith: common sense. When you get through his thought experiments, you'll find that you return to them again and again. Quite an invigorating book.
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on February 14, 1997
Format: Paperback
Whenever Charles Murray writes, people listen. His book In Pursuit of Happiness and Good Government is no exception. This book gives a wake up call to anyone who has crafted or believed in modern political policy. The main problem the author views with our country's present policy system is the lack of understanding the point of our policies. He brilliantly asserts the reason behind anything the government does is the pursuit of happiness; a main point of the Declaration of Independence.

To read the rest of this review, or to look at others, go to the World Wide Web Book Review at their NEW web address: [...]
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By Thomas F. Worthy on February 19, 2014
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Arrived on time and in great condition. Hope to finish it before Obama destroys economy completely!
Impeachment time~! Write your Congressman/woman . . . enough of the tyrant is enough!
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