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The Secrets of Happiness

Three Thousand Years of Searching for the Good Life

About The Book

Unhappy is the story of happiness. More than two thousand years ago, when the ancient Greeks first pondered what constitutes "the good life," happiness was considered a civic virtue that demanded a lifetime's cultivation. Not just mere enjoyment of pleasure and mere avoidance of suffering, true happiness was an achievement, not a birthright. Now, in an age of instant gratification and infinite distraction, history professor Richard Schoch takes a refreshingly contemplative look at a question that's as vital today as ever: What does it mean to be happy? Schoch consults some of history's greatest thinkers -- from Aristotle to Thomas Aquinas to Buddha -- in his quest to understand happiness in all its hard-won forms. Packed with three thousand years' worth of insights, many long forgotten, The Secrets of Happiness is a breath of ancient wisdom for anyone who yearns for the good life.

About The Author

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Richard Schoch (pronounced Shook, rhymes with “book”) is professor of drama at Queen’s University Belfast in Northern Ireland. An American, he graduated summa cum laude from Georgetown University and received his PhD in drama and humanities from Stanford University. He is the author of seven books, including The Secrets of Happiness. He is the recipient of fellowships from the Whiting Foundation, The Folger Shakespeare Library, the Stanford Humanities Center, and is a regular reviewer for The Times Literary Supplement (London). Before launching his academic career, Schoch directed plays in New York City and Washington, DC, and worked for the New York Public Library for the Performing Arts.  

Product Details

  • Publisher: Scribner (November 14, 2006)
  • Length: 256 pages
  • ISBN13: 9780743298445

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