The Conquest of Happiness by Bertrand Russell (1930)

The only self-help book you will ever need.




The book talks about common causes of discontentment and unhappiness in our lives, issues that stand apart from acquiring basic necessities of living. The first half  of book elaborates on various causes of unhappiness such as fatigue, boredom, envy, competition, fear of public opinion, persecution mania etc, and the second gives solutions to tackle these issues.

The idea in book is simple: lead a balanced life, have as many varied interests as possible, acquire skills that can be constantly updated, and to put effort in things without any expectations in return. If one does these things they can lead a satisfied and a happy life.

The writing is quintessential Russell, clear, concise and engaging with many illustrative examples. The clarity with which Russell communicates his ideas connect readily with the reader. Also, the fact that despite writing this book eighty-years ago, the causes of happiness he lists out still hold true and this reflects the timelessness of the book. If one reads this, they don’t need to buy another self-help book ever.

Rating: 4/5

Publisher: George Allen & Unwin  

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