Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “The Conquest of Happiness” as Want to Read:
The Conquest of Happiness
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

The Conquest of Happiness

4.01  ·  Rating details ·  6,728 Ratings  ·  519 Reviews
The Conquest of Happiness is Bertrand Russell's recipe for good living. First published in 1930, it pre-dates the current obsession with self-help by decades. Leading the reader step by step through the causes of unhappiness and the personal choices, compromises and sacrifices that (may) lead to the final, affirmative conclusion of 'The Happy Man', this is popular philosop ...more
ebook, 200 pages
Published October 12th 2012 by Routledge (first published 1930)
More Details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about The Conquest of Happiness, please sign up.

Popular Answered Questions

Christopher Donaghue If you want a thoughtful answer, don't give the type of question that one would expect to find in school. We aren't here to do your homework.
Lewisjohn547 Yes. I think the first part where Russell talks about the causes of unhappiness contains some really good stuff. For example, he reminds the reader to…moreYes. I think the first part where Russell talks about the causes of unhappiness contains some really good stuff. For example, he reminds the reader to not worry about things that are outside of your control. I think it is useful to be reminded of that whenever I am worrying too much about things in my life, like when I am going to find another job. I can't control how quickly that happens and shouldn't really worry about it as there is no point as I can't do anything about it. Instead I should focus on finding appropriate jobs to apply for and to try and present myself in the best way I can on my application and in the interview. It's a useful principle to keep in mind as I find it does eliminate a lot of worry and helps me focus on things I can have an impact on. (less)
This book is not yet featured on Listopia. Add this book to your favorite list »

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
Rating details
Sort: Default
Roy Lotz
In adolescence, I hated life and was continually on the verge of suicide, from which, however, I was restrained by the desire to know more mathematics. Now, on the contrary, I enjoy life; I might almost say that with every year that passes I enjoy it more.

Like many people, I suspect, I find Russell an extremely agreeable person. And though he is, no doubt, several orders of magnitude cleverer than I am, I still identify very strongly with him. Perhaps this is only wishful thinking, but the mor
Ahmad  Ebaid
"غرضي أن أقترح علاج لحالة التعاسة اليومية والتي يعاني منها أغلب الناس في البلدان المتحضرة, والتي لا تحتمل؛ بسبب عدم امتلاكها سبب خارجي واضح, فهي تبدو لا مفر منها"


يتخصص الكتاب في معالجة التعاسة التي تصيب الأفراد ذوي سعة العيش أصحاب الحياة الكريمة. من أول الكتاب سيتسرّب لعقلك الرهبة من برتراند راسل, والهيبة من النَّص الذي يوضح مدى إلمام راسل بالموضوع

بعض نصائح راسل المحورية:
"سبب التعاسة الرئيسي يرجع لنظرتنا الخاطئة للحياة, والتي زُرعت فينا عندما كنا على حجر أمهاتنا صغارا, ونضطر لمخالفتها كبارا
peiman-mir5 rezakhani
دوستانِ گرانقدر، این کتابِ ارزشمند، از 304 صفحه تشکیل شده، و شاملِ دو بخشِ "موجباتِ بدبختی" و "در اسبابِ خوشبختی"، میباشد... زنده یاد «برتراند راسل» بزرگوار، مطالبِ خود در قالبِ 17 فصل بیان کرده است که مهمترین آنها عبارتند از: محبت-سرگرمی- کار- حسادت- رقابت- ترس- نشاط- خستگی
دوستانِ عزیز، از میانِ سرفصل های این کتاب، در زیر توضیحاتی در موردِ «حسادت» و «خستگی» که در جامعۀ ما زیاد دیده میشود و مانع از [خوشبختی] است را برایِ شما خردگرایان، مینویسم
Dec 17, 2010 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
One should respect public opinion insofar as is necessary to avoid starvation and keep out of prison, but anything that goes beyond this is voluntary submission to an unnecessary tyranny.

Bertrand Russel, cheery scientist and one of the greatest minds and personalities of the era, explains his take on human happiness and what keeps most of us from it most of the time. He explains this from a purely rational and non-theistic perspective, taking nothing for granted. This is NOT a self-help book, bu
Cover deki çikolatalı çilek bile fazlasını kurtaramadı... sanırım ben kişisel gelişim sevmiyorum...
Mar 28, 2008 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: philosophy
I was so excited to read this book, because I love Bertrand Russell. I still love Bertrand Russell. It's just too bad that his view of humanity is so narrow-minded in this work. His descriptions of people, of society make you go "whaaaaat?", and while it could be chalked up to the fact that it was written nearly eighty years ago, I think there's more to it. Russell displayed enormous depth and understanding when he wrote "A History of Western Philosophy" a decade later, and I think time really i ...more
Oct 19, 2009 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: philosophy, favorites
I read this second-hand hardcover (1930) bought at the National Book Fair XXXVI in Bangkok in 2008 and found Russell's views on happiness practical and witty. Russell famously wrote so clearly and contributively to the world that he was awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1950 (another similar case is, I think, Sir Winston Churchill), therefore, his writing style is still worth studying and applying in one's narration.

Let me show you some interesting quotes from this book:

No one is surpris
Andrei Tamaş
Dec 14, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Russell susţine că al societăţii cheag aduce nefericirea omului. Spun "societate" în sens de civilizaţie, adică ansamblul normelor care impun buna ei desfăşurare şi care, adesea, ciopârţesc din libertatea metafizică a omului (mă refer nu la libiertatea socială, ci la acea libertate subiectivă de care vorbea Hayek). În acest sens, motto-ul, citat din Walt Whitman, este sugestiv:

Cred că m-aş întoarce să trăiesc cu animalele,
Sunt atât de placide şi sigure de sine,
Stau şi mă uit la ele îndelung.
Mohamed Fawzy
Dec 13, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition

إن كنت تكره _مثلي_ الكُتب المُسماة خطأ ً كتب التنمية البشرية على شاكلة "عشرةُ مفاتيح للسعادة". إنت كنت لا تقدرُ _مثلي أيضًا_ على الدراسة المُتخصصة البحتة للسعادة من الجانب الفلسفي والنفسي والإجتماعي أيضًا .. فلا تتردد لحظة في قراءة هذا الكتاب الرائع :)

Yasmine Alfouzan
I had my doubts: how can a privileged white, male philosopher tell me, a modern-day female minority about the conquest of happiness via a book that was written before my dad was born? How could we possibly have anything in common? Color me surprised. It's striking how relevant his writing is, to our society today.

I started reading this book after a stressful year in my life where I got too caught up with feelings of anxiety and lack of achievement despite working hard most days. I will not go th
Jul 26, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Russell was very right to title this quintessential self-help book with the word "conquest", since happiness is hardly a thing that emanates from the heavens down to your precious soul - unfortunately, the opposite view has held sway for a couple thousand years. Consequently, many average people do as they're told, expecting happiness to come to them if they are obedient, i.e., enjoy mainstream media, conform one's behavior to outside groups, etc. Yet, everything of human worth is precisely outs ...more
Feb 20, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Written in Russell’s usual say-it-like-it-is style, The Conquest of Happiness gets straight to the point with an incisive view of how to be happy, that is as apt today as when it was written nearly 50 years ago.
The book is split into two halves: the first describing the main causes of unhappiness, and the second, well I think you can guess that it’s the causes of happiness.
To summarise: live in the present; enjoy the small things; don’t compete with others; avoid boredom, yet aim for moderation
Safa Fatima
May 04, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: owned
A transcendent experience, I could relate so much, it was like looking into the mirror, it called to me. A genuine book, calling it a self-help book wouldn't do it justice.

I don't know what happiness is, but Russell sure has taught me how to get there. His methods and views were so understandable, his logic irrefutable. Being a man of Science, his observations remain so accurate, I was blown away. I loved his observations about people in Science, they seemed so close to the truth. A Mathematicia
Sep 08, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Kitaptan notlar:
- Hiçbir insanın gücü sınırsız olamayacağı için, doyumsuz olanlar eninde sonunda aşamayacakları engellerle karşılaşacaklardır.
- Ölçülü güç, mutluluğu arttırabilir, ama amaç olarak benimsenirse, dışımızda olmasa bile içimizde mutlaka felakete yol açar.
- Akıllı adam, koşulları elverdiğince mutlu olur ve evreni anlamaya çalışırken acı duymaya başladığı noktada, başka düşüncelere geçer.
- Güzel şeylerin tadını sevdiğinin yanında tatmamış birisi, onlardaki büyüleyici gücü tam olarak an

It is always refreshing to hear exact scientists give their opinions about life or sociological matters. I find them a lot more refreshing than the usual quick guide to happiness by some psychologist, or the energy-inside-yourself babble by a spiritual charlatan.

Already from the introduction you understand that Russell is not writing this to make some easy money: he clearly wants to just pass on ideas that have worked for him, and that may be useful for others as well.

The book consists of two se
Cărți și călătorii
Dacă e să ne luăm numai după titlu, ne-am gândi probabil la încă o carte de self-help, ca zecile sau poate sutele de astfel de cărți apărute în ultimii ani pe bandă rulantă. Dar domnul în vârstă, distins și bonom de pe copertă parcă ne-ar spune că nu e chiar așa.

Matematician, logician, filozof și scriitor britanic, laureat al premiului Nobel pentru literatură în 1950, Bertrand Russel a strâns în volumul de față câteva observații de bun simț și sfaturi bazate pe propria experiență, menite, așa cu
هالةْ أمين

رغم أن راسل فيلسوف إلا أنه يستطيع الكتابة بشكل يضمن معه أن تصل مؤلفاته لأكبر عدد ممكن
أسباب التعاسة عند راسل متمثلة في:
المنافسة، الحسد، السأم، هوس الاضطهاد، الخوف من الرأي العام والتعب
أما أسباب السعادة متمثلة في:
اللذة، العائلة، العاطفة العمل والتوجه اللاذاتي
ولقد تحدث في كل فصل بإسهاب ستفهم معه مايعنيه
اسهابه هو ماقد يثير الملل في بعض الفصول
أحيانا تصلك الفكرة كاملة وتفهم مايريده
لكنه يستمر في الشرح والتفصيل

لكن عدا هذافهو كتاب يستحق الاطلاع بلا شك ..
Jan 12, 2010 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
its a wonderful read . with great insight and indepth studyof human behaviour the author identifies what makes a man happy or unhappy. And the solutions he offer are practicable and easy to adopt if one so one wants. its a must read for all book lovers and for those who are interested in the study of human charcter.
Feb 14, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
چقدر یک انسان میتونه اندیشمند باشه و با آثار خودش برای سایر انسانها در طول تاریخ مفید باشه؟؟؟ برتراند راسل بینظیر نوشته این کتاب رو
Francisco H. González
Russell escribió este ameno ensayo filosófico que bebe de lo cotidiano y de lo mundano en 1930 y algunas cosas que se dicen en el mismo ya están anticuadas.

La premisa es que este libro, además de que no está muy claro que nos permita conquistar la felicidad, va dirigido a todo aquel que tiene una vida aceptable, cómoda, que no pasa penurias ni enfermedades, que vive en países democráticos. Así, la labor de Russell es una cuestión, no diría cosmética, pero que se reduce a una serie de matices; r
I had to keep in mind that this book was written in 1930 by man who lived within the confines of the privileged class of white privilege. If I hadn't kept that in mind the racism and sexism would have made this book intolerable. I had to grit my teeth and move along at times.

I'm not sure Russell could write this book today, even without the racism/sexism. It would probaly be better suited in 2013 to a blog than a book. He goes through all the of the reasons he sees for unhappiness and then throu
Jo-Ann Zhou
Apr 06, 2009 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
One of the greatest chicken soup for the soul books I read so far, though frankly I haven't read a lot. The book was first published in 1930, which still applies to present life. It's an art to be happy, life long class. Below is what I quote from the book:

What I disagreed:

"A happy life must be to a great extent a quiet life, for it is only in an atmosphere of quiet that true joy can live."

What I agreed:

"Nothing is so exhausting as indecision, and nothing is so futile."

1) "Remember that your mot
Dec 15, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
أعتقد أن برتراند رسل هو فيلسوفي المفضل حتى الان .. وهو قول يحمل كثير من المبالغة. فهو كقولك العدس طعامك المفضل وأنت لم تأكل غيره في حياتك. ولكني تذوقت فلاسفة اخرين ولم أستطعم مثله

Ezgi Tülü
Son 50 sayfası boyunca süründükten sonra, en sonunda Mutlu Olma Sanatı'nı bitirdiğimi gururla söyleyebiliyorum. Başlarken kitabın eğlenceliden ziyade öğretici olacağının bilincindeydim, zaten kitaba başlama sebebim de aslında biraz buydu. İlgimi çekmeyen kısımlarında okumakta zorlansam da, genel olarak bana güzel şeyler kattığını ve farklı bakış açıları sunduğunu düşünüyorum. Hayatımda uygulamaya geçirmeyi özellikle istediğim 1-2 düşünce var.
محمد علي
Jul 24, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: to-re-read
اولا هذا ليس كتاب تنميه بشريه اوشيء من هذا القبيل بل كتاب للفيلسوف الكبير برتراند راسل

اما الرجل الغني في هذه الايام فانه من نوع مختلف فهو لا يقرا ابدا واذا كان

يقتني مجموعات من اللوحات الفنيه بقصد زياده شهرته فاللذه التي يجنيها من هذه اللوحات ليست لذه النظر اليها بل لذه حرمان رجل غني اخر من اقتنائها
انطبيعه التفكير التنافسي تغزو مناطق لا تنتمي اليها خذ علي سبيل المثال مساله القراءه هناك شعوران لقراءه كتاب ما احداهما ان تتمتع به والاخرالتباهب

دا السعاده دي شيء صعب خالص
تحتاج الى الحب
Farhan Khalid
Unhappiness, why?

Day-to-day unhappiness from which most people in civilized countries suffer, and which is all the more unbearable because having no external cause, it appears inescapable

I believe this unhappiness to be very largely due to mistaken views of the world, mistaken ethics, mistaken habits of life


Gradually I learned to be indifferent to myself and my experience

I came to centre my attention increasingly upon external objects


Sins are committed by everyone or no one

The m
P.J. Sullivan
Bertrand Russell was the quintessential rational man. In this book he applies rationality to psychology in a systematic examination of human thinking and motivations. Without denying the importance of external social forces, he concerns himself here with only those factors which lie within the power of the individual mind to change.

Discussing the psychological causes of unhappiness, he concludes that preoccupation with self is the chief culprit. The personality should be directed outward. The in
I read it because I'm into happiness books these days, but this one felt curiously dated (it came out in 1930). Its traditional philosophical approach and voice just isn't my thing.

However, if you can borrow it from the library or a friend--or if you can read a portion of it in a bookstore--it's worth reading Chapter 11: Zest.

His argument is that "the most universal and distinctive mark" of happiness is zest, which he essentially defines as a love of and curiosity about life. I like the way he
Zhiyar Qadri
Dec 15, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
insightful and lovely reflections of a genius on happiness #Mustread
finding our Anchors that genuinely give us gratefulness and zest for life is what matters.
Top 2 lessons to remember:
1- graceful accepting of an objective life however counterintuitive it maybe.
2- I will only put my favorite colors on my canvas ..
Debbie Madrid
Oct 03, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I think this book has very wise insights of life and the way we should be living.
I read it in parts to be able to absorb the information inside which is a lot.
I agree with most of his points of view.
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 next »
topics  posts  views  last activity   
Bangladesh: The conquest of happiness by Bertrand Russell epub 1 21 Jan 05, 2016 08:53AM  
  • The Meaning of Things: Applying Philosophy to Life
  • Language, Truth, and Logic
  • What Does It All Mean? A Very Short Introduction to Philosophy
  • The Importance of Living
  • Pursuit of Happiness
  • Dialogues and Letters (Ad Helviam matrem De consolatione, De Brevitate Vitæ, De Tranquillitate Animi, Epistulae morales ad Lucilium)
  • Being Good: A Short Introduction to Ethics
  • The Essential Epicurus
  • On Certainty
  • On the Meaning of Life
  • A Small Treatise on the Great Virtues: The Uses of Philosophy in Everyday Life
  • The Art of Living: The Classical Manual on Virtue, Happiness and Effectiveness
  • The Consolations of Philosophy
  • From a Logical Point of View: Nine Logico-Philosophical Essays
  • Dialogues Concerning Natural Religion and The Natural History of Religion
  • Philosophy As a Way of Life: Spiritual Exercises from Socrates to Foucault
  • Happiness: The Science Behind Your Smile
Bertrand Arthur William Russell, 3rd Earl Russell, OM, FRS, was a Welsh philosopher, historian, logician, mathematician, advocate for social reform, pacifist, and prominent rationalist. Although he was usually regarded as English, as he spent the majority of his life in England, he was born in Wales, where he also died.

He was awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1950 "in recognition of his var
More about Bertrand Russell...

Nonfiction Deals

  • Death by Living: Life Is Meant to Be Spent
    $4.99 $1.99
  • Sometimes You Win--Sometimes You Learn: Life's Greatest Lessons Are Gained from Our Losses
    $9.99 $1.99
  • The Rise of Superman: Decoding the Science of Ultimate Human Performance
    $5.99 $1.99
  • The Long Tail: Why the Future Is Selling Less of More
    $9.99 $2.99
  • The Black Count: Glory, Revolution, Betrayal, and the Real Count of Monte Cristo
    $11.99 $1.99
  • Quantum Healing (Revised and Updated): Exploring the Frontiers of Mind/Body Medicine
    $12.99 $1.99
  • Elephant Company: The Inspiring Story of an Unlikely Hero and the Animals Who Helped Him Save Lives in World War II
    $15.99 $1.99
  • Prince Charles: The Passions and Paradoxes of an Improbable Life
    $13.99 $2.99
  • Funny In Farsi: A Memoir Of Growing Up Iranian In America
    $7.99 $1.99
  • Effortless Healing: 9 Simple Ways to Sidestep Illness, Shed Excess Weight, and Help Your Body Fix Itself
    $11.99 $1.99
  • The Case for Faith: A Journalist Investigates the Toughest Objections to Christianity
    $5.99 $2.99
  • The Map That Changed the World: William Smith and the Birth of Modern Geology
    $8.99 $2.99
  • Village of Secrets: Defying the Nazis in Vichy France
    $8.49 $1.99
  • Bad Boy
    $7.74 $1.99
  • The Autobiography of Malcolm X
    $7.99 $1.99
  • Heaven is for Real: A Little Boy's Astounding Story of His Trip to Heaven and Back
    $4.99 $1.99
  • All Over But the Shoutin'
    $11.99 $2.99
  • Sous Chef: 24 Hours on the Line
    $11.99 $1.99
  • Before Happiness: The 5 Hidden Keys to Achieving Success, Spreading Happiness, and Sustaining Positive Change
    $13.99 $1.99
  • WEIRD: Because Normal Isn't Working
    $6.99 $2.99
  • Lady Almina and the Real Downton Abbey: The Lost Legacy of Highclere Castle
    $11.99 $1.99
  • The Man Who Made Vermeers: Unvarnishing the Legend of Master Forger Han van Meegeren
    $14.99 $1.99
  • Why Have Kids?: A New Mom Explores the Truth About Parenting and Happiness
    $5.99 $0.99
  • Letterman: The Last Giant of Late Night
    $12.99 $2.99
“Of all forms of caution, caution in love is perhaps the most fatal to true happiness.” 4199 likes
“One of the symptoms of an approaching nervous breakdown is the belief that one’s work is terribly important.” 495 likes
More quotes…