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The Conquest of Happiness Paperback – 31 Dec 1975

3.3 out of 5 stars 35 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Paperback: 192 pages
  • Publisher: Routledge; New edition edition (31 Dec. 1975)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0415098645
  • ISBN-13: 978-0415098649
  • Product Dimensions: 19.2 x 13 x 1.6 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (35 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,515,796 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

Review

'He writes what he calls common sense, but is in fact uncommon wisdom.' - The Observer

--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

About the Author

Bertrand Russell (1872-1970). A celebrated mathematician and logician, Russell was and remains one of the most genuinely widely read and popular philosophers of modern times.

--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.


Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
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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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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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.
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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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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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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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Format: Paperback
As others have noted this is not an edition of Russell's work but a sort of jokey GCSE crib for a crit. of the book. Nowhere within the volume is there any admission of authorship-perhaps a journalist from "The Onion" a learned publication quoted in the text.
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All the ideas mentioned in the book are valid. People who read self-help books and reflect about the way they live, will have probably thought or come across similar conclusions. It does feel good when several sources affirm your thoughts.
I was disappointed that this book was not the original. After reading through the chapters, it appeared that this book was written by someone else summarising Bertrand's ideas; he uses his own style and reads like a self-help book. He does make it more current by giving examples from our time which is good. When I bought this book I expected it to be that written by Bertrand Russell and was interested in how he writes his thoughts. If I just wanted a summary of the ideas I could have found them on the internet or youtube.
Overall it was still a good read.
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