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66 of 69 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars He never intended this as a "philosophical masterpiece"
One of the reviewers complained that this was not a "philosophical masterpiece". Of course it isn't. It's an excellent work of popular psychology aimed at the layman. As Russell himself commented:
"Unsophisticated readers, for whom it was intended, liked it... Highbrows, on the contrary regarded it as a contemptible pot-boiler..."
These words...
Published on 3 Feb 2002

versus
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars False advertisement . Beware.
A case of misleading advertising. This is not the book you are looking for. Borrowing words from another review not a word in this book was written by Bertrand Russell .
Published 4 months ago by Nitsan Lehavi


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66 of 69 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars He never intended this as a "philosophical masterpiece", 3 Feb 2002
By A Customer
One of the reviewers complained that this was not a "philosophical masterpiece". Of course it isn't. It's an excellent work of popular psychology aimed at the layman. As Russell himself commented:
"Unsophisticated readers, for whom it was intended, liked it... Highbrows, on the contrary regarded it as a contemptible pot-boiler..."
These words are from Russell's autobiography.
The contention of the same reviewer that Russell was a deeply unhappy man is a plump over-simplification of the truth that anyone who is brilliant and intellectually rigorous as Russell was will never - in Russell's own words - find consolation in philosophy. Never satisfied by anything less then what could be backed up by fact he suffered from the corresponding lack of assurance that certainty brings. This does not mean his life was without joy or he was generally unhappy. Read and enjoy, and if you are a highbrow unable to go beyond Principia Mathemetica, at least try to recall that you are a human being for whom cerebration is a part time job and that there is more in Russell then is dreamt of in your philosophy.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars THIS IS NOT THE EDITION YOU'RE LOOKING FOR!, 8 Feb 2014
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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)

M.J.P.
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38 of 41 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An Excellent Read and Practical, 4 Dec 2006
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Lark (North Coast of Ireland) - See all my reviews
(TOP 1000 REVIEWER)   
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I have to say that when I bought this book I was pretty skeptical and even cynical about the topic matter, having read Russell's History of Western Philosophy and some of the other titles in the Routledge Classics and expecting something similar.

I was very pleasantly surprised and intend to re-read this book annually, Russell wrote this book for a mass audience, combining philosophy, psychology and common sense Russell first surveys what he believes to be the main causes of unhappiness, byronic unhappiness, competition, boredom and excitment, fatigue, envy, the sense of sin, persecution mania and fears of public opinion, and then proceeds to consider the possible sources of happiness Zest, affection, the family, work, impersonal interests and effort or resignation.

Some of it can appear dated and the work of the age in which it was written, for instance I think that he wrote about a sense of sin at a time where this could be a great deal more troubling to the conscience than present day, then again I remind myself that there are probably people and places where this remains very much the case today.

I cant fault Russell in his ultimate conclusion that to be happy one should live objectively, have a wide range of interests and be as sincerely and genuinely interested in and warm towards others, engaging with the world instead of retreating from it where possible. The book is full of great advice about how living after this fashion can permit you to cope with the sources of unhappiness which Russell perceives.

Russell also, in his wisdom, does not pretend to have all the answers and when he does touch upon the topic of psychology does say that it is possible that on occasion more professional advice and assistance could be called for, something that I think is very much lacking in other self-help genres or treatise.

I would also recommend this book as very readable, its jargon free, the pace is excellent and I enjoyed it as much as any book of its kind or more light reading like genre fiction.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars False advertisement . Beware., 29 April 2014
By 
Nitsan Lehavi "the visualiser" (London,uk) - See all my reviews
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A case of misleading advertising. This is not the book you are looking for. Borrowing words from another review not a word in this book was written by Bertrand Russell .
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars My book for "the island", 15 Aug 2009
By 
That was for sure one of the best books I've ever read (and I read a lot). Though written in 1930 it is still so true. Russell writes in so simple terms and is very balanced and down to earth. I wouldn't read any "self help" stuff, but this book is just brilliant. And he is so humorous the same time and very much to the point. Read it!
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6 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Do-it-yourself guide to happiness, 8 Jan 2004
Half DIY happiness guide and half philosophy of human behaviour. On the whole a complete must read. Russell manages to condense into a short and enjoyable book his personal views on why we are happy or unhappy. He identifies causes of unhappiness and gives practical remedies for them. He shows us the sources of happiness and helps us profit from them. A deeply penetrating book I found most of it very relevant and practical both for understanding yourself and others, and for being happier. Read it, it gives us the education for life we should get at school. And remember enthusiasm is one of the most important source of happiness, live with enthusiasm and you will enjoy
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Charming and quaint, 22 Nov 2011
I purchased this book after reading the chapter on envy in "Search for roots" by Primo Levi - who described reading Bertrand Russell as comparable to a discussion with a charming companion and the book certainly has charm and wit. Although some references have not stood the test of time (eg discussions of dealings with unhappy domestic staff), it is surprising how many of his topics in the book are still relevant today

While there are no "profound truths" in the book, it was refreshing to read what is basically a treatise on common sense (which seems to have been as lacking when the book was written, as it is today), written with style and intelligence.

I would recommend the book and plan to read more of his work in the future
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1.0 out of 5 stars POOR BOOK DESCRIPTION, 13 Jun 2014
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THIS BOOK IS NOT THE BERTRAND RUSSELL TEXT I WANTED BUT SOME SUMMARISED 'COMMENTARY' ABOUT THE BOOK.
WRONGLY DESCRIBED IN THE ADVERTISEMENT AND TOTALLY MISREPRESENTED.
VERY WRONG AND POOR SERVICE FROM AMAZON.
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1.0 out of 5 stars Not as advertised, 12 Jun 2014
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The book I received was not Bertrand Russell's Conquest of Happiness, but a modern commentary on it, which refers to it, but contains none of the original's text. The "read inside this book" link on the site is completely misleading. I was disappointed and felt I had been tricked into buying something I didn't want. I am returning the book and requesting a refund.
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5.0 out of 5 stars A bible for non-believers, 1 April 2014
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Imagine if a great philosopher took the time to write a self help book for the modern middle classes. We are fortunate enough that Bertrand Russell took the time to do just that. This is a book one should read every five years to ensure that one's endeavours are always aligned with the pursuit of wholesome fulfillment and genuine happiness.
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The conquest of happiness
The conquest of happiness by Bertrand Russell (Unknown Binding - 1937)
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