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parsed(2023-09-19) - pubdate: 09/23
pub date: 1695099600
today: 1713243600, pubdate > today = false

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The Good-Enough Life

September 19, 2023 | Trade paperback
ISBN: 9780691254685
Reader Reward Price: $23.85 info
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How an acceptance of our limitations can lead to a more fulfilling life and a more harmonious society

We live in a world oriented toward greatness, one in which we feel compelled to be among the wealthiest, most powerful, and most famous. This book explains why no one truly benefits from this competitive social order, and reveals how another way of life is possible--a good-enough life for all.

Avram Alpert shows how our obsession with greatness results in stress and anxiety, damage to our relationships, widespread political and economic inequality, and destruction of the natural world. He describes how to move beyond greatness to create a society in which everyone flourishes. By competing less with each other, each of us can find renewed meaning and purpose, have our material and emotional needs met, and begin to lead more leisurely lives. Alpert makes no false utopian promises, however. Life can never be more than good enough because there will always be accidents and tragedies beyond our control, which is why we must stop dividing the world into winners and losers and ensure that there is a fair share of decency and sufficiency to go around.

Visionary and provocative, The Good-Enough Life demonstrates how we can work together to cultivate a good-enough life for all instead of tearing ourselves apart in a race to the top of the social pyramid.

About this Author

Avram Alpert is a writer and teacher. He has worked at Princeton and Rutgers Universities, and is currently a research fellow at the New Institute in Hamburg. His books include A Partial Enlightenment: What Modern Literature and Buddhism Can Teach Us about Living Well without Perfection. His work has appeared in publications such as the New York Times, the Washington Post, and Aeon.

ISBN: 9780691254685
Format: Trade paperback
Pages: 336
Publisher: Princeton University Press
Published: 2023-09-19


"A Financial Times FT Critics' Book of the Year"

"A Choice Outstanding Academic Title of the Year"

"This book found me at just the right time. . . . [The Good-Enough Life] offers a bit of an antidote or a countercultural approach to designing communities and systems. . . [It's a] philosophical, semi-political, pro-social, contemplative approach to designing a new way forward."---Alyson Stoner, New York Magazine

"[Alpert's] vision of a good-enough world is energizing."---Lily Meyer, The Atlantic

"The Good-Enough Life leaves no meritocracy standing. . . . [A] jolt of reorientation."---Emily Ogden, Los Angeles Review of Books


[W]e should bestow social recognition . . . .on common moral qualities, not on uncommon talent. It should be good enough just to be good enough . . . . [This is] Alpert's case, and he makes it well.

"---Andrew Stark, Times Literary Supplement

"Read this book, breathe a sigh of relief, and then go take a nap."---Rana Foroohar, Financial Times

"This is an amazing and deeply inspiring book. Alpert employs a prose style that is wrought like fine gold jewelry. There is scarcely a page from which this reader does not wish to quote and share Alpert's wisdom with others."

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