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And the Pursuit of Happiness [Paperback]

Maira Kalman
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
RRP: 11.80
Price: 11.78 & FREE Delivery in the UK. Details
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Product details

  • Paperback: 471 pages
  • Publisher: Penguin Books; Reprint edition (30 Oct 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0143122037
  • ISBN-13: 978-0143122036
  • Product Dimensions: 23.1 x 15.5 x 2.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 815,050 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description

And the Pursuit of Happiness Energized and inspired by the 2008 elections, celebrated illustrator Kalman traveled to Washington, D.C., launching a year-long investigation of American democracy and its workings. The result is an artist's idiosyncratic vision of history and contemporary politics. Full description

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Wonderful Book 16 Mar 2012
I've never come across a book like this before. The best way I can think to describe it is to say it's like a children's picture book, only for adults. There is little writing in this book which is taken up with a mixture of illustrations and photographs (mostly illustrations) which are on the subject of democracy in the United States both past and present.

Kalman writes and illustrates about many American historical figures including Benjamin Franklin, Thomas Jefferson, Abraham Lincoln and, of course, George Washington but also goes on a journey meeting living Americans who help keep democracy in the US alive and kicking. Kalman speaks about these people and her own experiences in America from a uniquely personal and warm perspective which adds to the charm of the book.

Kalman doesn't fall into the trap of pretending America is perfect and doesn't do a lot of overt flag waving but does praise America and its history in a much more muted but no less impactive and profound way. I was amazed how much she was able to say through her illustrations. There is humour and some lovely words which I enjoyed immensely

I found the book informative, touching and above all; fun!

Highly recommended
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Love it! 27 Feb 2012
By Marion
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
I just love Maira Kalmans illustrations, sense of humour and the way she sees things and tells stories. Very inspiring and interesting!
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 4.8 out of 5 stars  29 reviews
35 of 42 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Pursuit of Our Humanity 17 Oct 2010
By John Woods - Published on
I am just now ordering this, but I already know it's great because it's from the pieces Maira did for the New York Times. They are wonderful, almost stream-of-consciousness illustrations with words that always touched my intellect and my humanity. The themes are mostly from U.S. history, and they always sneak up on your mind and emotions in unexpected ways. I frequently posted a comment at the Times after reading one of these, thanking her in one way or another for what she did. You cannot go wrong ordering this book. In these cynical times, it's good to have intelligent observations that move us in a positive and non-manipulative way. Thank goodness for talented folks like Maira Kalman.
18 of 21 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A breath of fresh air! 30 Oct 2010
By Freddy Q - Published on
At a time when everyone around me seems to hate how the United States has become the Not "it" country. I found the book that restores my love for it.
Being a student that wants to change this country for the better, this book shows me what it was before this mess came around. This book has humor,art history all mixed with a feeling of warmness. Great thanks to the Colbert Report for introducing me to this amazing artist and writer.
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars fabulous 25 Nov 2010
By Loribee - Published on
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
I am an avid Maira Kalman fan -- her words, her art, her children's books. While waiting for the release of this volume, I took an unexpected trip to San Francisco and stumbled upon an exhibit of Kalman's work at the Contemporary Jewish Museum. Nothing could compare to seeing the original works, and having this book as a keepsake upon my return home. Her wit and wisdom is a sheer joy; her art inspirational!
6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Unique View Of History 28 Nov 2010
By Sandra Kirkland - Published on
And The Pursuit Of Happiness is artist Maira Kalman's celebration of democracy and the founding fathers. Part art book, part graphic novel, the reader will be drawn through her exploration of what democracy means in the United States, and learn about the lives of many of the prominent men who created our amazing system of government.

Many readers will recognize Kalman's unique artistic renderings. She is a frequent provider of New Yorker magazine covers. She illustrates children's books, and her work has been featured in museums and by designers in their lines. She uses vibrant colors and Grandma Moses-like depictions of scenes for striking illustrations that are memorable. Inspired by the inauguration of Barack Obama, this book is her tribute to the democracy and the people that made his election possible.

There are chapters devoted to various Founding Fathers. The book is organized by months. January is devoted to the Obama inauguration. February is devoted to Abraham Lincoln while March celebrates the philosophical underpinnings of democracy and its forms such as town halls. April is about the laws of the land. May discusses our military and the price we owe these brave defenders of freedom. June discusses Thomas Jefferson and his many interests, while July is devoted to Benjamin Franklin and other scientists and inventors. August is about the explorers who discovered America and the issues surrounding immigration today. September talks about cities; specifically New York City. October covers Congress, while November is devoted to our national foods. December is reserved for George Washington.

This book is recommended for all readers. Everyone will learn new facts and the knowledge is imparted in a breezy fashion that make the learning fun. The illustrations are vivid, brilliant, amazing. Maira Kalman has created a visual feast and we are the richer for it.
10 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Perfect 17 Oct 2010
By D. Millman - Published on
Another tour de force from our very own National Treasure! This is a wonderful, beautiful, joyous book.
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