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The Happiness Fantasy

A history of happiness

By Carl Cederström
19-minute read
Audio available
The Happiness Fantasy by Carl Cederström

The Happiness Fantasy (2018) advances a provocative thesis, encapsulated in its title: our contemporary ideas about happiness amount to a fantasy that’s increasingly out of sync with reality and unable to deliver what it promises. By taking a whirlwind tour of the history of this fantasy, we can begin to see through its illusions.

  • People who are interested in the countercultural movements and philosophies of the 1960s and 1970s
  • People who are skeptical of self-help books and seminars
  • People who are burned out by the invasion of work life into leisure time

Carl Cederström is an associate professor of organization studies at the Stockholm Business School of Stockholm University. He is the coauthor of Dead Man Working (2013), The Wellness Syndrome (2015) and Desperately Seeking Self-Improvement: A Year Inside the Optimization Movement (2018). He has also written articles for a variety of publications including the Guardian, the Washington Post, New Scientist and Harvard Business Review.

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