America the Anxious: How Our Pursuit of Happiness Is Creating a Nation of Nervous Wrecks Read Online Free - Are you happy? Right now? Happy enough? As happy as everyone else? Could you be happier if you tried harder?
After she packed up her British worldview (that most things were basically rubbish) and moved to America, journalist and documentary filmmaker Ruth Whippman found herself increasingly perplexed by the American obsession with one topic above all others: happiness. The subject came up everywhere: at the playground swings, at the meat counter in the supermarket, and even—legs in stirrups—at the gynecologist.
The omnipresence of these happiness conversations (trading tips, humble-bragging successes, offering unsolicited advice) wouldn’t let her go, and so Ruth did some digging. What she found was a paradox: despite the fact that Americans spend more time and money in search of happiness than any other nation on earth, research shows that the United States is one of the least contented, most anxious countries in the developed world. Stoked by a multi-billion dollar “happiness industrial complex” intent on selling the promise of bliss, America appeared to be driving itself crazy in pursuit of contentment.
So Ruth set out on to get to the bottom of this contradiction, embarking on an uproarious pilgrimage to investigate how this national obsession infiltrates all areas of life, from religion to parenting, the workplace to academia. She attends a controversial self-help course that promises total transformation, where she learns all her problems are all her own fault; visits a “happiness city” in the Nevada desert and explores why it has one of the highest suicide rates in America; delves into the darker truths behind the influential academic “positive psychology movement”; and ventures to Utah to spend time with the Mormons, officially America’s happiest people.
What she finds, ultimately, and presents in America the Anxious, is a rigorously researched yet universal answer, and one that comes absolutely free of charge.
|Title||:||America the Anxious: How Our Pursuit of Happiness Is Creating a Nation of Nervous Wrecks|
|Number of Pages||:||256 pages|
October 04, 2016
Although I wouldn’t personally consider this book to be considered a light, the subject matter, this takes a light approach to the American “pursuit of happiness.”
Moving from London to the San Francisco Bay Area was more than a climate change for Ruth Whippman. She was completely unprepared for...
January 29, 2017
But the more conversations I have about happiness, the more I absorb the idea that there's a glittering happy-ever-after out there for the taking, the more I start to overthink the whole thing, compulsively monitoring how I am feeling and hyper-parenting my emotions. Am I happy? Right at this mom...
November 30, 2016
I call this niche genre anti-self-help. (Two other great examples are Smile or Die by Barbara Ehrenreich (also known as Bright-Sided) and Promise Land by Jessica Lamb-Shapiro; for more on the positive psychology movement see One Simple Idea.) Whippman has a particularly interesting perspective as...
May 28, 2017
This book will be a comfort to anyone who has ever felt guilty about not feeling happy enough.
Ruth Whippman is a British journalist who moved to California when her husband got a job there. She became fascinated by America's obsession with the pursuit of happiness, even though it doesn't seem to...
August 22, 2016
Is it possible to hunt down a happy life, or is the Great American Search for Happiness creating a nation of nervous wrecks?
A lighthearted investigation into the American obsession with happiness. When Ruth Whippman moved from London to San Francisco, it was a big culture shock. The American "d...
September 01, 2016
I absolutely loved this book. It's really not a "self-help" book so much as an examination of our current self-help culture, in which we're constantly told to keep gratitude journals and pay for meditation classes and improve ourselves in a perpetual quest for happiness--yet, as Whippman points o...
October 11, 2016
Welp. That was concerning. Excellent, too. I was already very much aware that happiness had become a commodity for my generation and began this audiobook with the firm intention to catch Ruth Whippman's bias and put her thesis in perspective and guess what? Whippman does a good job at doing that...
September 23, 2016
This book was one of the best books I've read all year. It's hard-hitting journalism about the various ways in which Americans try to find (and hold onto) happiness, with a personal story behind it that makes the ride all the more engaging. What is happiness? How do we get it? Do studies show tha...
August 02, 2016
The Anxiety of Happiness is highly enjoyable. Ruth Whippman's descriptions of family life, texting, and drinking wine in the park - to pick a random three examples - made me laugh out loud with pleasure and recognition.
What makes this a particularly satisfying read, though, and lifts this book a...
August 31, 2016
I was so looking forward to reading this book, because I've really enjoyed Ruth Whippman's essays in the Guardian, NY Times, Time Magazine etc. I took it with me on a solo weekend trip to Portland and devoured it in a couple of days, staying up way too late to finish chapter after chapter. I lit...