Happiness on the Shelf

Are you happy today? If not today, are you happy with your life generally?

If you’re wondering why that question matters, and you tend to think about pursuing happiness as a poetic flourish rather than a  mission statement, you might want to look at the United Nations’ (UN) declaration in support of its 4thInternational Happiness Day, March 20.  In April 2012, the UN held its first High Level Meeting on “Happiness and Well-Being: Defining a New Economic Paradigm,” which was chaired by Prime Minister Jigme Thinley of Bhutan. The government of Bhutan’s position is that happiness is so important to its people that it doesn’t measure GNP or GDP; it measures the happiness of its people instead. Finding that idea intriguing, the UN investigated. In 2013, the UN created its annual celebration with Resolution 66/281 “…as a way to recognise the importance of happiness in the lives of people around the world.” The UN recognizes that happiness is important to gross national income, and that happiness should also be a fundamental goal of people—and the governments of the people—worldwide. The UN works to support that goal with this anniversary and with policy support.

[Memorial Hall. Quotation from James Madison, beginning "The safety and happiness of society ...." Library of Congress James Madison Building, Washington, D.C.] / Photo by Patricia Highsmith [//hdl.loc.gov/loc.pnp/highsm.03167]

[Memorial Hall. Quotation from James Madison, beginning “The safety and happiness of society ….” Library of Congress James Madison Building, Washington, D.C.] / Photo by Patricia Highsmith [//hdl.loc.gov/loc.pnp/highsm.03167]


The Law Library’s collection supports the goal of happiness too. In the world’s largest law library, every legal scholar can find something to support their scholarship—and what scholar isn’t made happy with books? The Law Library holds books on happiness, both on happiness in legal careers and on happiness in the law as various laws interpret it. Whether your understanding and philosophy of happiness is influenced by Aristotle,  Averroes, Hobbes, Buddha or these guys, there’s some happiness here on the shelf just for you.

K372.F57 1982 Fischer, Michael W. Verheissungen des Glücks: Studien zur Rechts- und Sozialphilosophie des Fortschritts.

K380.B765 2015  Bronsteen, John, Christopher Buccafusco, and Jonathan S. Masur.  Happiness and law.

Κ487.P65 Ρ57 2001 Ripoli, Mariangela, 1953-  Itinerari della felicità: la filosofia giuspolitica di Jeremy Bentham, James Mill, John Stuart Mill.

K487.S6 F45 2005  Felicidad: un enfoque de derecho y economía.

K564.H37 D76 2016  Le droit au bonheur.

KF297.B725 2013  Brown, Liz. Life after law : finding work you love with the J.D. you have.

KF300.L48 2010  Levit, Nancy and Douglas O. Linder.  The happy lawyer: making a good life in the law.

KF300.N47 2010 Nerison, Rebecca. Lawyers, anger, and anxiety : dealing with the stresses of the legal profession.

KF480.R67 2009 Rothstein, Laura F. Disabilities and the law, 4th ed. – includes essay on the pursuit of happiness

KF8915 .R669 2016 Rosenberg, Lawrence D., Deborah A. Topol, MD, and David A. Soley.  The trial lawyer’s guide to success and happiness.

KF9325.A93 2003 Abramson, Paul R., 1949-  Sexual rights in America : the Ninth Amendment and the pursuit of happiness.

KJV619 .F36 2009 Family, gender, and law in early modern France.

KNQ74 .U54 2003 Understanding China’s legal system : essays in honor of Jerome A. Cohen.   — includes essay on the pursuit of happiness

KPA2720.P96 1970 Pyon, U-chʻang, 1914- Chal salgi wihan haengjong. The short cut way to the administration of happiness.

About David Simon

Hi, I am David a fun, entertaining and lovely guy. I love reading, talking, writing and observing the night skies.

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