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5.0 out of 5 starsThe smartest book on happiness we have ever read
Reviewed in the United States on March 10, 2016
The smartest book on happiness we have ever read. Warning, though: this fine drink of aged wine has its floating pieces of cork. What we mean is that Russell, unfortunately, had a number of sexist views that were part of his culture and from which he didn't quite extricate himself totally. So be prepared for these small and occasional passages. But please don't toss the wine just because of the easily extractible cork pieces.
Bertrand Russell wrote this masterpiece almost a century ago, yet it is valid today in its full length. It is actually mind-blowing how little has changed in society and human nature in such a long time. Inner complex workings of the mind and emotions that create dysfunctional behavior and therefore prevent us from connecting with others and enjoying living are explained simply, directly and thoroughly. Value of the material is very high considering how short this book is, you can read it in matter of hours, but what you learn will serve you forever. Publication explains complex aspects in a way that is very easy to understand. This work represents philosophical and psychological excellence and has been written to the highest standard in self-help publications. I recommend this book to everyone, because everyone can learn something from it.
5.0 out of 5 starsExcellent. Most people have a reason to be happy ...
Reviewed in the United States on April 25, 2018
A person reading this book would never guess it was written back in 1930 in England. He wrote it to draw people out of the depressive state due to the effects of economic depression in England at the time. All he writes is just as applicable today and in every decade since. Excellent. Most people have a reason to be happy but just do not know how to be; what we find as depressive is often not so much, compared with the reasons for our happiness that do surround us and which we need to recognize and incorporate into our life. It is not a lengthy book and can be read in a few hours.
5.0 out of 5 starsBertrand Russell's Classic About Happiness Being A Choice...
Reviewed in the United States on December 1, 2020
A great Philosopher wrote a great book about happiness as more of a choice than anything else. Russell did not buy into the theories of depression. One way of looking at the book is the idea of reducing your needs in this world. Simplifying your life is a theory that Russell would agree with. To him happiness is a moral imperative of society & the individual. I would not agree with the man's political views. I am no Socialist. But I do agree with his social views on life & the attitude that one needs in this world. Another way of looking at the book is through the "lens" of the power of positive thinking. I never read Norman V. Peale, but Russell has similar views on many things. It's a must read for those who are unhappy & possibly unfulfilled in this world. I consider myself happy but still found the book highly interesting. I actually found out about the book by watching a Philosophy student talk about Philosophy theories & Philosophers on I think You Tube. The only Philosopher I have read a lot about was Aristotle, & I read a lot of his books/theories. It says a lot about a book, when people are still reading it 90 years after it was published.
Definitely not a book.... it's a bunch of short clips or phrases with examples from the 1930s that drag on and are completely irrelevent to today. Instead, if you're interested in this type of knowlege, Stoicism, free thinking, liberation from negative thoughts, etc. I recommend reading the book "Happy" by Derren Brown. Good Luck.
3.0 out of 5 starsIntelligent, if somewhat long-winded
Reviewed in the United States on August 28, 2018
Russell’s analysis of the man aspects and caveats of happiness (and unhappiness) are wise, he makes many points that will stick with the reader as he looks back at his own life. Although written in modern English - which can make this work of philosophy somewhat more accessible - his discussions can be long and drawn out, in some chapters to the point of tedium. Recommended, although not always a relaxing read.
4.0 out of 5 starsEs más difícil ser feliz cuando se busca la verdad
Reviewed in the United States on April 15, 2020
Aunque el autor admite que en la conquista de la felicidad se puede lograr negando la realidad, nos motiva a lograr la felicidad a través de la verdad aconsejandonos examinar el mundo más allá de nosotros mismos y a mantener nuestra mente ocupada con actividades de provecho.
4.0 out of 5 starsAnalytic Philosophy Meets Pop Psychology
Reviewed in the United States on July 19, 2001
This is a wonderful book, despite the passage of considerable time. Written shortly after WWI, there are occasional references to people and things no longer on the modern radar scope. And, as philosophical writing goes, Russell is better than most in constructing intelligible sentences and paragraphs that don't require repeated reading to understand. This book is about life. Russell uses his analytic empiricism to discuss typically pop-psychological issues: Boredom, Excitement, Envy, Sin, Persecution, Public Opinion, Zest, etc. But his approach, dated back in time, is refreshingly new and helpful in the present. Indeed, Russell shows himself redolent in wisdom, the true aim of philosophy, and tackles issues that are at the core of what constitutes happiness and its opposites. Because Russell appeals to his empirical views analytically arrived, there is a sense of wonderment and awe at such simple solutions to difficult problems in modern life. These solutions aren't dressed in pop-ism, but in a perennial philosophy that takes wisdom, not pop-up tapes of life, seriously. The Atlantic Monthly claimed this book to be a "primer of self-regeneration . . . a most excellent book." This praise is not unwarranted, and given that commonsense is the center of the whole enterprise, its wisdom will endure not only when it was written in the 1920s, but today, and tomorrow.
5.0 out of 5 starsTHIS IS NOT THE EDITION YOU'RE LOOKING FOR!
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on February 7, 2014
The Conquest of Happiness is, of course, another Lord Russell classic. However, the edition that you perhaps see above (Amazon blends reviews of different editions), specifically the one which features these statements on the cover: "TIMELESS Concepts for TODAY" and "Media-Eight Self Help Classics", whose publisher (scroll down) is listed as Media Eight International, this edition is most likely not the edition you want. This is a sort of guide to Russell's original book, with a commentary on the elements, distilling what they think necessary for the ultimate self-help work out, not for a jaunt through the philosophical woods. Not a word of this book is from Bertrand Russell.
The edition you really want, and no other, is the Routledge Classics edition:
The Conquest of Happiness (Routledge Classics)
Disregard any other edition you find, it is most likely not the edition you're looking for! (I found out the hard way...via a refund process)
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on December 28, 2018
Written in 1930, nearly ninety years ago, this book remains as important and relevant as ever. We have more than we need, most of us, we have shelter, food, and many of us have families, hobbies, relative wealth and ease - so why would so few of us in the world say we are truly happy? Russell was born to an aristocratic family and became an Earl on the death of his older brother in 1931, but he was no conformist - his views on religion and relationships were unorthodox, and he was married four times, at one point having an affair with his children's nanny, who he subsequently married. He was also a historian, mathematician, writer, social critic, political activist, and Nobel laureate. It is clear from examples we can all supply that wealth does not equate to happiness, and Russell provides his view on how to achieve a happy life, in a style that is entirely accessible and often dryly humorous. This is not some dry tome but full of what Russell himself describes as "zest," an ongoing interest in, and attachment to life, the natural world, people you find "congenial," with luck your work, and something in life that you regard as absorbing. Above all, a close relationship, ideally a physical one. And an avoidance of envy and worry combined with a realistic view of our own unimportance - but how? I found a YouTube clip of an interview with Russell aged eighty, and his flame was still strongly burning. Some of the references are dated, naturally - not many of us still have maidservants - but the principles remain the same, and I imagine no reason why they will not always.
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on December 30, 2015
I would recommend with no reserve this book to anyone that can read it. Although it is old, its ideas are still pertinent and apply to everybody's life. This book gives to question our way of living, to think ...
5.0 out of 5 starsBe enlightened with this portable wonder
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on January 4, 2019
I don’t think there is enough space to review the book in itself, which I have read in Italian at least 5 times, now I wanted to read it in the mother tongue of the author and appreciate the nuances of the language. The book seems to be fine right size and quick delivery.