Hunting Down Happiness

What makes some countries happy as clams (or Icelanders).

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The Geography of Bliss

Eric Weiner

New York: Twelve, 2008

352 pp., $25.99 (cloth)

Happiness is a subject we can’t seem to leave alone. Philosophers, psychologists, neuroscientists, economists, historians, spiritual teachers, self-help mavens, your mother, and, admittedly, this reviewer - there’s no end to the string of experts and pseudo-experts contributing to the bibliography of bliss.

Add Eric Weiner to the list. In The Geography of Bliss, the National Public Radio correspondent trots out facts and findings gleaned from the happiness professionals. But he departs from the well-worn what-is-happiness path to embark on a different, more interesting quest: Where is happiness? What places are notable for their happy people and why?

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