The Conquest of Happiness Book Summary - The Conquest of Happiness Book explained in key points
Listen to the Intro

The Conquest of Happiness summary

Discover Timeless Wisdom and the Secrets to Conquering Happiness

4.5 (105 ratings)
16 mins

Brief summary

Brief Summary in English:The Conquest of Happiness by Bertrand Russell offers insightful reflections on the pursuit of happiness in modern society. It explores the causes of unhappiness and provides practical advice on achieving a fulfilling and contented life.

Table of Contents

    The Conquest of Happiness
    Summary of 5 key ideas

    Audio & text in the Blinkist app
    Key idea 1 of 5


    Many of us are fortunate enough to be in a position where we’re no longer driven by a fear of failing to source our next meal. Even if you aren’t dining on champagne and caviar, if you’re reading this, you probably aren’t struggling to access water and bread.

    When our basic physical needs are met, our attention turns toward higher psychological needs. As a result, the fear that drives a great deal of us today is a fear of failing to impress and surpass our peers.

    Now, this may seem like a cynical statement, but consider that we’re wired this way. In our ancestors’ day, those deemed “successful” were more appealing to the opposite sex – and therefore, their bloodlines were more likely to continue and survive.

    But while part of this desire is innate, part is imposed. Especially in the individualistic Western world, “success” has become somewhat of a religion, and the gospels of society have persuaded people into believing that attaining success is the highest good.

    Both influences result in many of us straining and struggling through our days, taut and tense, pursuing every advantage over our family, friends, and colleagues. Is it any wonder we feel so grim and anxious?

    We aren’t to blame for our competitive drive. Social conditioning and its narratives are formidable obstacles for anyone to overcome. By acknowledging this, however, we can choose a more conducive mindset – one more aligned with lasting happiness.

    First, it helps to recognize that a hunger for success isn’t inherently evil. On the contrary, a satisfying life requires some of this drive. But the emphasis on competitive success is doing us a disservice. 

    So, start to see if you can shift your measurement of success from external to internal metrics. Can you find intrinsic fulfillment in your life and work, irrespective of how you rank in relation to those around you? 

    If you can, you’ll become acquainted with the rare and beautiful state of “enough.” In this state, happiness naturally springs forth – no chase is required. As common sense often champions, less, in this case, really is more. 

    Want to see all full key ideas from The Conquest of Happiness?

    Key ideas in The Conquest of Happiness

    More knowledge in less time
    Read or listen
    Read or listen
    Get the key ideas from nonfiction bestsellers in minutes, not hours.
    Find your next read
    Find your next read
    Get book lists curated by experts and personalized recommendations.
    Shortcasts New
    We’ve teamed up with podcast creators to bring you key insights from podcasts.

    What is The Conquest of Happiness about?

    The Conquest of Happiness (1930) explores the pursuit of human happiness. It dissects common obstacles to happiness, such as competition and fatigue, as well as the various factors that contribute to it. Equal parts philosophical and practical, you’ll come away with a deepened understanding of, and preparedness for, a fulfilling life. 

    The Conquest of Happiness Review

    The Conquest of Happiness (1930) by Bertrand Russell is a thought-provoking exploration of the human pursuit of happiness and the obstacles that often stand in our way. Here's what makes this book worth reading:

    • Offers practical advice on finding happiness, rooting it in insightful analysis of human nature and the causes of unhappiness.
    • Presents compelling arguments for the importance of self-awareness, personal growth, and the pursuit of meaningful goals in our quest for happiness.
    • Engages readers with its persuasive storytelling, using relatable examples and anecdotes that bring the complexities of human existence to life.

    Who should read The Conquest of Happiness?

    • Anyone wanting to increase their sense of fulfillment
    • Individuals interested in the development of the personal happiness movement
    • Philosophy enthusiasts seeking an understanding of Russell’s perspective

    About the Author

    Bertrand Russell was a pioneering twentieth-century British philosopher and logician. Winner of the 1950 Nobel Prize for Literature, Russell published over 2,000 articles and 70 books – including Principia Mathematica, The Problems of Philosophy, and A History of Western Philosophy – during his life. 

    Categories with The Conquest of Happiness

    Book summaries like The Conquest of Happiness

    People ❤️ Blinkist 
    Sven O.

    It's highly addictive to get core insights on personally relevant topics without repetition or triviality. Added to that the apps ability to suggest kindred interests opens up a foundation of knowledge.

    Thi Viet Quynh N.

    Great app. Good selection of book summaries you can read or listen to while commuting. Instead of scrolling through your social media news feed, this is a much better way to spend your spare time in my opinion.

    Jonathan A.

    Life changing. The concept of being able to grasp a book's main point in such a short time truly opens multiple opportunities to grow every area of your life at a faster rate.

    Renee D.

    Great app. Addicting. Perfect for wait times, morning coffee, evening before bed. Extremely well written, thorough, easy to use.

    People also liked these summaries

    4.7 Stars
    Average ratings on iOS and Google Play
    32 Million
    Downloads on all platforms
    10+ years
    Experience igniting personal growth
    Powerful ideas from top nonfiction

    Try Blinkist to get the key ideas from 7,500+ bestselling nonfiction titles and podcasts. Listen or read in just 15 minutes.

    Start your free trial

    The Conquest of Happiness FAQs 

    What is the main message of The Conquest of Happiness?

    The main message of The Conquest of Happiness is how to find happiness and satisfaction in life.

    How long does it take to read The Conquest of Happiness?

    The reading time for The Conquest of Happiness varies, but it takes several hours. The Blinkist summary can be read in just 15 minutes.

    Is The Conquest of Happiness a good book? Is it worth reading?

    The Conquest of Happiness is a valuable read for those seeking to understand the keys to a fulfilling life.

    Who is the author of The Conquest of Happiness?

    The author of The Conquest of Happiness is Bertrand Russell.

    What to read after The Conquest of Happiness?

    If you're wondering what to read next after The Conquest of Happiness, here are some recommendations we suggest:
    • Clear Thinking by Shane Parrish
    • Superforecasting by Philip E. Tetlock & Dan Gardner
    • The Mind of the Artist by William Todd Schultz
    • Facing Codependence by Pia Mellody with Andrea Wells Miller & J. Keith Miller
    • Show the Value of What You Do by Patricia Pulliam Phillips & Jack J. Phillips
    • The Mindful Way Through Depression by Mark Williams
    • Women Who Run with the Wolves by Clarissa Pinkola Estés
    • Capital and Ideology by Thomas Piketty
    • Put Happiness to Work by Eric Karpinski
    • The Open Society and Its Enemies by Karl R. Popper