GROSS NATIONAL HAPPINESS: WHY HAPPINESS MATTERS FOR AMERICA -- AND HOW WE CAN GET MORE OF IT
By Arthur C. Brooks
Basic Books, 288 pages, $26.95
I opened the cover of Arthur C. Brooks book to find talking points for how readers can contribute to Americas gross national happiness, the first two being to vote Republican and get religion. This startling religio-political pronouncement is derived from surveys on happiness that ask people to rate themselves as very happy, pretty happy, or not too happy. People who regularly attend religious services respond that they are very happy consistently more frequently than those who do not, as do political conservatives in contrast to political liberals. Do higher scores of very happy mean the same as happiness?