The Good Life and Its Discontents
The American Dream in the Age of Entitlement
A New York Times Business Book Bestseller
"Shrewd and optimistic. . . . [The Good Life and Its Discontents] combines first-rate analysis with persuasive historical, political and sociological insights."
--The New Republic
Today Americans are wealthier, healthier, and live longer than at any previous time in our history. As a society, we have never had it so good. Yet, paradoxically, many of us have never felt so bad. For, as Robert J. Samuelson observes in this visionary book, our country suffers from a national sense of entitlement--a feeling that someone, whether Big Business or Big Government, should guarantee us secure jobs, rising living standards, social harmony, and personal fulfillment.
In The Good Life and Its Discontents, Samuelson, a national columnist for Newsweek and the Washington Post, links our rising expectations with our belief in a post-Cold War vision of an American utopia. Using history, economics, and psychology, he exposes the hubris of economists and corporate managers and indicts a government that promises too much to too many constituencies. Like David Reisman's The Lonely Crowd and John Kenneth Galbraith's The Affluent Society, the result is a book that defines its time--and that is sure to shape the national debate for years to come.
"A smart, balanced epitaph for an era--with a few clues for what's ahead."
"Lucid [and] nonsectarian . . . Samuelson traces how the reasonable demand for progress has given way to the excessive demand for perfection."
--The New York Times
From the Trade Paperback edition.
- Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group, January 2011
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