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The Mansion of Happiness: A History of Life and Death MP3 CD – Audiobook, 5 Jun 2012

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MP3 CD, Audiobook, 5 Jun 2012
--This text refers to the Paperback edition.

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Product details

  • MP3 CD
  • Publisher: Brilliance Corporation; MP3 Una edition (5 Jun 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1455882755
  • ISBN-13: 978-1455882755
  • Product Dimensions: 13.7 x 1.3 x 19 cm

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Amazon.com: 17 reviews
33 of 35 people found the following review helpful
The Game of Life, and its changing meaning 8 Jun 2012
By Book Mark - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
The guiding metaphor of this book is a board game -- or more properly, the evolution of a particular game from iteration to iteration.

The game was called Mansion of Happiness. The goal of the game was to reach Heaven -- or the Mansion of Happiness. It encouraged virtues like honesty, temperance and purity. It had its own origin in ancient eastern games of fate and karma. Milton Bradley, the great game designer, based his own The Game of Life on the Mansion of Happiness. But instead of celebrating the traditional virtues, he celebrated the American ones -- Industry, Thrift, etc.

Just as this game has changed through the centuries, so have our views of the passage of life itself. This book tracks the changing views of the stages of life in America.

The book is broken up into chapters, each exploring a stage of life, and America's changing views. In each chapter, the author looks at a couple of thinkers or historical figures. The author explores the historical transition from a cyclical view of life to a linear one.

Highly recommended for the interesting twists and turns of thought and history, for the intriguing connections between apparently unrelated themes, and for a truly thought-provoking look at the questions we ask about life. This book will make you reconsider what it is to live.
14 of 16 people found the following review helpful
All over the place 30 July 2012
By Daniel Estes - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
The Mansion of Happiness can't decide what it wants to be. With a subtitle like A History of Life and Death, this book has license to be about, well, everything. Or, in other words, nothing specific.

The beginning at least shows promise with some background info on board game pioneer Milton Bradley and the evolution of what our games tell us about ourselves. And then there's a chapter on breastfeeding. And then one on children's rights and children's libraries. And then a potpourri of subjects such as sex, politics, women's rights, workplace efficiency (?), motherhood, family planning, contraception and cryogenics. I get that we're meant to progress through the stages of life, but very little about one topic links with the next. My recommendation is to forget about discovering any overarching theme, and instead approach this work as a collection of essays.
16 of 20 people found the following review helpful
Excellent and Thoughtful Writing 14 Jun 2012
By Book Fanatic - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
This book is very interesting, it kept my attention. It is a historical view of how some people have viewed the different stages of life with a little of the author's own viewpoint mixed in. The emphasis is fairly heavily weighted towards the beginning and the ending stages or parenting. There is really not much covering that large span of middle-age where many of us will spend decades without children. It doesn't quite read like a comprehensive book upon a single subject and this puzzled me as I read it. It didn't have an overall narrative arch that I would have expected. I discovered why when I reached its end. The author says most of the chapters started out as essays in The New Yorker (she's a staff writer there). These reasons are the only reasons why I gave it 4 stars instead of 5.

Having said all of the above however shouldn't take away from what is there. Each chapter usually focuses on the thoughts or ideas of one or two important people involved in something related to that stage of life. The individual chapters taken as such are simply excellent. Lepore is an excellent writer and if you like excellent writing then you will probably like this book. It is for thoughtful people who might be thinking about life. This book has Amazon's excellent "Search Inside" feature which allows you to view the table of contents and get a taste for the writing in the book. There are a lot of pages of this book previewed and you should take advantage of that.

4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
Great Read 30 Dec 2012
By Musiccitybill - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Those looking for simple, weighty, biblical answers to life's essential questions will be disappointed. Instead, Professor Lepore portrays detailed snapshots of our nation at different ages. We are left to pull together the confusing and at times contradictory currents of American history.

She offers a carefully documented, readable, and in places humorous look at how our nation and its thinking has changed, since our founding fathers walked the earth. She gives evenhanded treatment of her subjects that counters history's fundamentalists. She writes of the history that was rather than what ought to have been.

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
Very interesting read 16 Sep 2012
By Suzie Seagull - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This book is NOT a history of anything, really, but it is a fascinating read if one enjoys well-written essays on American culture. The author is erudite, without being dry or overly academic. I learned some things and got some chuckles reading The Mansion of Happiness.
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