The Journal of Value Inquiry

, Volume 45, Issue 4, pp 483–485 | Cite as

Arthur Dobrin, The Lost Art of Happiness

Prometheus Books, 2011. ISBN 1616142553, 9781616142551 $17, Pbk
  • Emily Barranco
Book Review

If the art of happiness was lost, Arthur Dobrin has rediscovered it. In his latest work “The Lost Art of Happiness” Dobrin gives the reader a sincere and well informed account of what happiness is all about and how to get it. He weaves together historical figures, personal wisdom, scientific data and theoretical insight for a rich and cohesive story that speaks to our times and our current vision of happiness.

There are a lot of happiness books on the shelves right now but Dobrin separates himself from the pack with his unique yet intuitive take on the subject. “True happiness” he explains, “is the accumulation of soul-sustaining relationships” (p. 18). There are many things that can bring momentary happiness but lasting happiness is found in communities of people. Dobrin bemoans the rise of individualism in which we forget how our personal traits are to be experienced as parts within the whole. He punctuates these points with stories of war veterans in solitary confinement, and exiles...

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.University of California, DavisDavis USA

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