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Publisher's Summary

This is a book about 10 "Great Ideas". Each chapter is an attempt to savor one idea that has been discovered by several of the world's civilizations - to question it in light of what we now know from scientific research, and to extract from it the lessons that still apply to our modern lives.
©2006 Jonathan Haidt; (P)2007 Gildan Media

Critic Reviews

"I don't think I've ever read a book that laid out the comtemporary understanding of the human condition with such simple clarity and sense." (The Guardian, UK)
"A delightful book...by some margin the most intellectually substantial book to arise from the 'positive psychology' movement." (Nature)
"Fascinating stuff, accessibly expressed." (Booklist)

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

Overall

  • 4.2 out of 5.0
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Performance

  • 4.2 out of 5.0
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Story

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A splendid achievement!

The author has managed to synthesize a large amount of ancient and contemporary wisdom with cutting-edge knowledge in a very elegant and intelligent way.

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  • Julia
  • FLORISSANT, MO, United States
  • 05-22-13

So Grounded & Inspiring: Fast Favorite

It is not all the time that a non-fiction book gives me that feeling at the end "oh god, no one else around just experienced that. It CAN'T be over!" SAVOR THIS ONE

This author is seasoned, clearly practices his insights and has looked at humankind from an extensive number of angles, from academia to Hindi temples to the insights of the hive mentality of bees to our own feelings of connections to the whole.

I cannot recommend this author and book enough.

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  • Janet
  • Callahan, FL, United States
  • 05-13-13

Could not get into this book.

What would have made The Happiness Hypothesis better?

Maybe the narrator. Just hard for me to listen to. Boring.

Has The Happiness Hypothesis turned you off from other books in this genre?

I will more selective from now on with all my credits and purchases.

What reaction did this book spark in you? Anger, sadness, disappointment?

Boring

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The worst narration ever!

What disappointed you about The Happiness Hypothesis?

The quite poor narration.

Would you be willing to try another book from Jonathan Haidt? Why or why not?

Depends on narrator

How did the narrator detract from the book?

He sounded bored with the topic. So was I after listening to him.

What reaction did this book spark in you? Anger, sadness, disappointment?

I think information is good. I must return and labor through the narration to listen more.

Any additional comments?

Please do notr ever use this narrator again unless he has good direction which he follows.

2 of 4 people found this review helpful

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Thought-provoking

This is an amazing book. It uses a sound scientific approach, evaluating data and coming to counter-intuitive conclusions. Those solid conclusions provide a kind of reinforcement for what, in many cases, we already knew, but weren't always able to articulate, particularly in justifying decision making with family and friends. This is solid analysis, not squishy self-help. It's a great listen. The narration is perfect in that I was never consciously aware of the fact that I was listening to an audiobook. Rather, I just felt like someone was sitting in the passenger seat of my car on my drive to work, telling me about this interesting new report they had seen. I read this book after reading Delivering Happiness because the Zappo's CEO said this book was one of the most influential he'd read.

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  • MarLa
  • Auburn, WA, United States
  • 04-06-13

Part 1 of 2: What a fun and well synthesized read.

What made the experience of listening to The Happiness Hypothesis the most enjoyable?

Jonathan Haidt is a master storyteller! He succeeds in making many key conclusions of both ancient and modern great thinkers/researchers readily accessible to the reader/listener. If you like this one...it is a foundational work for his book: The Righteous Mind: How good people are divided over politics and religion.

Any additional comments?

Check out his TED talks. <br/>I especially liked: "The Righteous Mind - The Moral Roots of Liberals and Conservatives". <br/>NOTE: (his last name sounds similar to: kite & exactly like height)

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Control your inner elephant

This was an interesting read on the characteristics that combine to make people happier. The author pulled from ancient books and beliefs to discuss commonalities on what they say about being happy. The central thought of the book is that the mind is like a rider a top an elephant that is our will. The rider can coax and try to influence the elephant but it doesn't always do what the mind wants it to. Inspiring read

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  • Arlen
  • Calabasas, CA, United States
  • 02-25-13

Life changing

Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

This is an insightful, no nonsense, and easy to understand. I have already recommended it to all my friends. A must listen.

What did you like best about this story?

The organization of the material into simple ideas.

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  • Jeni
  • Pearland, TX, United States
  • 02-22-13

Excellent!

Sometimes I am concerned about nonfiction in the car, since I often want entertainment, not information, to and from work. However, I found myself listening to this totally arresting book well beyond the car...while doing chores, or cooking, or...whatever!
Jonathan Haidt presents his Happiness Hypothesis so that even lay people can get it, and benefit. There were many aha moments...I used the bookmark feature on my phone for the first time so I could go back and capture the websites he referenced and other data one cannot highlight with a marker on a soft copy while driving.
As a matter of fact, I am considering purchasing the hard copy for my second dose of happiness...I am sure that even though I hit rewind a gazillion times, I missed important stuff.
I even had one spectacular epiphany when he quoted Kahlil Gibran: "Work is love made visible." I will spare you the details, just know that there is surely something here to enhance anyone's understanding of their own situation in life.
And the narrator...another great find. Now I am looking for more George Wilson reads, just loved his delivery. Since the book is written in the first person, and delivered in the writer's first person, there were a few times when I had to remember, hey, that's not Jonathan talking!
Not sure if I should say here, but JH has at least one vid on TED talks, give it a look. Even there I took a full page of notes. (Yes I have to take notes...CRS setting in quickly)
Happy Trails!

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Life, the Universe and Everything

Although a bit long towards the end I really enjoyed listening to this book. It's written in an engaging and entertaining style yet packed full of well researched content. The author has tried to answer all the questions of the ages referencing all the great sages from history, religious teachings and modern day scientific findings while importantly linking these with psychology and anthropology. Such a rich tapestry of information I thoroughly enjoyed listening and learning from this book and daresay will be returning again for another listen.