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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
 
4.4

(based on 9 reviews)

Ratings Distribution

  • 5 Stars

     

    (5)

  • 4 Stars

     

    (3)

  • 3 Stars

     

    (1)

  • 2 Stars

     

    (0)

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    (0)

100%

of respondents would recommend this to a friend.

Pros

  • Deserves multiple readings (7)
  • Easy to read (6)
  • Informative (6)
  • Well written (5)

Cons

    Best Uses

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

    Reviewed by 9 customers

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    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

                    Best Uses

                    • Gift
                    • Reference
                    • 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
                    Dimensions (cm): 23.4 x 15.5  x 2.0
                    Weight (kg): 0.38