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Gross National Happiness

Wednesday May 2008


Arthur C. Brooks Louis A. Bantle Professor of Business and Government Policy, Maxwell School of Public Affairs, Whitman School of Management, Syracuse University

Happiness is not just a personal issue—it is a matter of national concern. America’s founders believed that the pursuit of happiness was a measure of the effectiveness and morality of the state.

Today, we know that happy people work harder, are more charitable, have better marriages, are better parents, act with greater integrity, and are better citizens than unhappy people. It is time to reclaim happiness as an American cultural and policy priority—and a standard by which we judge our leaders.

In his new book, Arthur C. Brooks examines vast amounts of evidence and empirical research to explode the myths about happiness in America and uncover the truth about who is happy, who is not, and—most importantly—what makes them so.