The Good Life
Trade Paperback
The Good Life - Hugh Mackay


Format: Trade Paperback
Pub date: 01/05/2013
Category: Society & social sciences / Cultural studies
Imprint: Macmillan Australia
Pages: 272
Price: $29.99

"No one can promise you that a life lived for others will bring you a deep sense of satisfaction, but it's certain that nothing else will."

Hugh Mackay has spent his entire working life asking Australians about their values, motivations, ambitions, hopes and fears. Now, in The Good Life, he addresses the ultimate question: What makes a life worth living?

His conclusion is provocative. The good life is not the sum of our security, wealth, status, postcode, career success and levels of happiness. The good life is one defined by our capacity for selflessness, the quality of our relationships and our willingness to connect with others in a useful way.

Mackay examines what is known as the Golden Rule through the prisms of religion, philosophy, politics, business and family life. And he explores the numerous and often painful ways we distract ourselves from this central principle: our pursuit of pleasure, our attempts to perfect ourselves and our children, and our conviction that we can have our lives under control.

Argued with all the passion and intelligence we have come to expect from one of Australia's most prolific and insightful authors, The Good Life is a book that will start conversations, ignite arguments and possibly even change the way we live our lives.

Shortlisted for ABIA General Non-fiction of the Year 2014
Shortlisted for Indie Awards 2014


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?.


Shortlisted for ABIA General Non-fiction of the Year 2014
Shortlisted for Indie Awards 2014
14 August 2016
Bendigo Writer's Festival: Hugh Mackay is always right at the front of the next wave of urgent public discussion, examining social trends, asking questions, posing challenges. In his new book, he tackles the big unexamined topic of our time: what comes after the traditional idea of God. Hugh argues that, while our attachment to a traditional idea of God may be waning, our desire for a life of meaning remains as strong as ever. He talks to Julie Rudner about our desire for a life of meaning.
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