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The Good Life : What Makes A Life Worth Living? - Hugh Mackay

The Good Life

What Makes A Life Worth Living?

Paperback

Published: 1st May 2013
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You hear that insistent message, echoing through the philosophical traditions of East and West: treat other people the way you'd like to be treated. The basic message never alters, whether your moral heritage is Socratic, Jewish, Christian, Islamic, Buddhist, humanistic or anything in between.

Social researcher and psychologist Hugh Mackay has spent 40 years asking Australians about their lives, loves, hopes, ambitions, fears and passions. In The Good Life, he asks and answers the ultimate question: What makes a life worth living? His conclusion, drawn from his research, is provocative and passionately argued. A good life is not measured by security, wealth, status, achievement or levels of happiness. A good life is determined by our capacity for selflessness and our willingness to connect with those around us in a meaningful and useful way.

Hugh looks at the numerous ways we get distracted from this central purpose. He examines the utopian complex, which describes our dangerous desire for perfection, and the false expectation that life will unfold according to our carefully laid plans. He highlights the things that lead us along paths to pain and confusion, notably our willingness to sacrifice others on the altar of our personal desires and ambitions. As with Hugh's previous works of non-fiction, The Good Life is a book that will start conversations, ignite arguments and possibly change the way we live our lives.

About the Author

Hugh Mackay is a prolific and well-known social researcher, writer and commentator in Australia. Hugh was a newspaper columnist for over 25 years, and is now an honorary professor of social science at the University of Wollongong. He is the author of nine books in the field of social psychology and philosophy, and five novels. Previous books include Why Don't People Listen? Reinventing Australia and What Makes Us Tick?.

REVIEW SNAPSHOT®

by PowerReviews
 
4.5

(based on 10 reviews)

Ratings Distribution

  • 5 Stars

     

    (6)

  • 4 Stars

     

    (3)

  • 3 Stars

     

    (1)

  • 2 Stars

     

    (0)

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100%

of respondents would recommend this to a friend.

Pros

  • Deserves multiple readings (8)
  • Easy to read (7)
  • Informative (6)
  • Well written (6)

Cons

    Best Uses

    • Gift (5)
    • Reference (4)
    • Older readers (3)
    • Younger readers (3)
      • Reviewer Profile:
      • Everyday reader (4), Bookworm (3), Casual reader (3)

    Most Liked Positive Review

     

    Definitely worth your attention!

    Hugh Mackay's "The Good Life" is a pearl. He goes to the very heart of what makes life satisfying, joyful and rewarding. He canvasses all the regular formulae for what...Read complete review

    Hugh Mackay's "The Good Life" is a pearl. He goes to the very heart of what makes life satisfying, joyful and rewarding. He canvasses all the regular formulae for what makes life good and finds the usual concepts and ideas seriously wanting. His conclusion is clear - a life given to the service of others is the only avenue to a life that is good, meaningful and purposeful. Throughout he offers comments and insights which he has gathered in interviews. A thoroughly stimulating and beautifully written book. Worth reading more than once!

    VS

    Most Liked Negative Review

     

    The Good Life

    I have found through reading many self help books, this was not all I expected. However, we would all see parts of ourselves in this book, at some stage.If you are unhappy with...Read complete review

    I have found through reading many self help books, this was not all I expected. However, we would all see parts of ourselves in this book, at some stage.If you are unhappy with who you are, and be honest with yourself, you will get it.
    Worth reading.

    Reviewed by 10 customers

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    5.0

    A truth about life

    By Miss Amanda

    from Melbourne, Australia.

    About Me Everyday Reader

    Verified Buyer

    Pros

    • Deserves Multiple Readings
    • Easy To Read
    • Well Written

    Cons

      Best Uses

      • Older Readers

      Fantastic book about humanity, morals and values written in a non-religious way by a writer who has researched what makes our collective LIFE work.

      Comment on this review

       
      5.0

      What's important in life

      By Carey

      from Melbourne

      About Me Bookworm

      Verified Buyer

      Pros

      • Deserves Multiple Readings
      • Easy To Read
      • Informative
      • Well Written

      Cons

        Best Uses

        • Gift
        • Older Readers
        • Younger Readers

        A good reminder about what life is really about!

        Comment on this review

         
        3.0

        The Good Life

        By Evie

        from Queensland

        About Me Everyday Reader

        Verified Buyer

        Pros

        • Informative

        Cons

        • Not What I Expected

        Best Uses

        • Gift
        • Special Needs

        I have found through reading many self help books, this was not all I expected. However, we would all see parts of ourselves in this book, at some stage.If you are unhappy with who you are, and be honest with yourself, you will get it.
        Worth reading.

        Comment on this review

         
        5.0

        Definitely worth your attention!

        By Simmo

        from Bolwarra, Victoria, AU

        About Me Everyday Reader

        Verified Buyer

        Pros

        • Deserves Multiple Readings
        • Easy To Read
        • Informative
        • Well Written

        Cons

          Best Uses

          • A Great Assessment Tool
          • Gift
          • Reference

          Hugh Mackay's "The Good Life" is a pearl. He goes to the very heart of what makes life satisfying, joyful and rewarding. He canvasses all the regular formulae for what makes life good and finds the usual concepts and ideas seriously wanting. His conclusion is clear - a life given to the service of others is the only avenue to a life that is good, meaningful and purposeful. Throughout he offers comments and insights which he has gathered in interviews. A thoroughly stimulating and beautifully written book. Worth reading more than once!

          Comment on this review

           
          4.0

          A bible for all

          By Toodyay Tony

          from Western Australia

          About Me Casual Reader

          Verified Buyer

          Pros

          • Deserves Multiple Readings
          • Inspirational

          Cons

          • Sometimes Repetative

          Best Uses

            At last a bible for the secular that is inclusive of the spiritual.
            Being in despair of the gulf of inequity between the sufferance and the self-serving, both featured heavily on nightly news, I find hope in Hugh's words of wisdom and guidance.
            The embodiment of simple altruistic existence is all around us in both young and old,  it's just not newsworthy.
            This book should be in every school library and on the compulsory reading list.
            Addressing essential simplicity (page 70):
            "Faced with so much mystery, most of us find it hard to settle for simple awe".

            Comment on this review

             
            4.0

            The Good Life may not be what you think

            By Lean on Me

            from Wimmera

            About Me Casual Reader

            Verified Buyer

            Pros

            • Easy To Read
            • Informative
            • Thought provoking

            Cons

            • Somewhat Repetative

            Best Uses

            • Reference

            After hearing several interviews with the author and being familiar with his previous publications, I wanted to read this new book. It was up to his usual standards and gave much food for thought

            Comment on this review

             
            4.0

            Excellent book

            By Rev the reader

            from Adelaide

            About Me Everyday Reader

            Verified Buyer

            Pros

            • Deserves Multiple Readings
            • Easy To Read

            Cons

              Best Uses

              • Reference

              A very insightful book about what the good life really is and what it isn't

              Comment on this review

               
              5.0

              Hugh Mackay delivers every time.

              By Meggles.

              from Hobart. TAS.

              About Me Bookworm

              Verified Buyer

              Pros

              • Deserves Multiple Readings
              • Easy To Read
              • Informative
              • Well Written

              Cons

                Best Uses

                • Gift
                • Older Readers
                • Younger Readers

                Hugh Mackay's material is always thoroughly researched but delivered with a light touch. Fascinating but not too intense. His observations and conclusions are interesting because they relate to your own circumstance and provide valuable lessons for living. Both his fiction and non-fiction are excellent. This latest non-fiction offering is no exception and offers thought provoking insights into how to live "The Good Life".

                Comment on this review

                (1 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

                 
                5.0

                I will read this again and again.

                By Gigi

                from Gold coast

                About Me Casual Reader

                Verified Buyer

                Pros

                • Deserves Multiple Readings
                • Easy To Read
                • Well Written

                Cons

                  Best Uses

                    Reset your outlook on life with this easy to read book

                    Comment on this review

                    (2 of 2 customers found this review helpful)

                     
                    5.0

                    A Book that Everyone Should Read

                    By Olly

                    from Ipswich QLD

                    About Me Bookworm

                    Verified Buyer

                    Pros

                    • Causes You To Reflect On
                    • Deserves Multiple Readings
                    • Informative
                    • Page-Turner
                    • Well Written

                    Cons

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                      • Gift
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                      • Special Needs
                      • Younger Readers

                      The author has so much to teach us

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                      ISBN: 9781742612133
                      ISBN-10: 174261213X
                      Audience: Professional
                      Format: Paperback
                      Language: English
                      Number Of Pages: 272
                      Published: 1st May 2013
                      Publisher: Pan Macmillan Australia
                      Dimensions (cm): 23.4 x 15.5  x 2.0
                      Weight (kg): 0.38
                      Edition Number: 1