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The Hidden Pleasures of Life by Theodore Zeldin

The Hidden Pleasures of Life

Popular Science   Lifestyle & Health   

Sue Baker's view...

Why do so many people lead sad and empty lives, devoid of other people? Our modern way of life has led to more people living alone than ever before. Yet, as Theodore Zeldin shows, the enriching benefits of human company are what makes us fully rounded human beings. ~ Sue Baker

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Who is Sue Baker

The Good Book Guide logo The Good Book Guide Review. While pop philosophers and academics continue to tackle the big questions concerning religion, morality and the problem of racial intolerance and religious extremism, Oxford scholar Theodore Zeldin concerns himself with the personal challenges we face on a daily basis, specifically why so many people feel unappreciated and work hard at something that they find ultimately unrewarding. Each of his chapters opens with the voice of an individual from an earlier epoch and civilisation offering a possible answer to why we often feel isolated, powerless and undervalued, what we seek to gain from belonging to a group, a nation or religion, the lessons to be learned from relationships, the dynamics of the family and work place and, finally, their reflections on the passing of time and the process of aging. Neither a feel-good philosophy, nor a quick fix, but an erudite and truly revelatory method for revaluating our aims in life.
~ Paul Roland


The Hidden Pleasures of Life by Theodore Zeldin

What is the point of working so hard? What can replace the shortage of soulmates? What else can one do in a hotel? Through these questions, and many others, Zeldin demonstrates that both the greatest problem and the greatest opportunity of the twenty-first century lie in our relationships with others. With endless examples from his unparalleled research and his experiences with the giants of modern business and politics, this book reveals how our society is full of untapped potential for human interactions. Zeldin illuminates how our lives can be enriched by the realisation that it is only by truly relating to others that we get a taste, even just a nibble, of what it is possible to experience as a human being.


As a philosopher and a historian Zeldin defies convention and categorisation ... There is certainly much prophetic in this engaging book -- John Thornhill Financial Times Zeldin is an engaging travel companion, flitting between biography and philosophy with an easy charm -- Natalie Haynes Independent A challenge and a success ... He is particularly good and funny on work and the apparently catastrophic affair we are having with management science -- Hannah Dawson Literary Review Eclectic, ambitious and highly thought-provoking -- Ian Critchley Sunday Times

About the Author

Theodore Zeldin is an Oxford academic, and the author of numerous works of non-fiction including Conversations and An Intimate History of Humanity. Amongst his awards and honours he is a Commander of the Legion d'Honneur, a Fellow of the British Academy and of the Royal Society of Literature, he holds a C.B.E., and has won the Wolfson Prize, Britain's top literary award for History.

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Book Info

Publication date

30th November 1999


Theodore Zeldin

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Popular Science
Lifestyle & Health



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