The Power of Hope: How the Science of Well-Being Can Save Us from Despair

Princeton Univ. Apr. 2023. 200p. ISBN 9780691233437. $35. ECON
Graham (public policy, Univ. of Maryland; Unequal Hopes and Lives in Pursuit of the American Dream) uses empirical evidence to demonstrate why hope is a good metric for measuring economic and social well-being and to argue that the U.S. has a disproportionally large amount of despair, much of it caused by public policies that create insecurity, joblessness, and a lack of affordable health care and education, all of which make it difficult for some to meet even their basic needs. Drawing on research in the disciplines of economics, sociology, and psychology, Graham addresses the critical problem of despair and proposes ideas on how to restore hope in America. One idea she asks readers to consider is that hope helps one recover from setbacks, and it establishes a strong foundation for resilience. Graham argues that despair is eroding society and democracy and creating long-lasting consequences on productivity and potential.
VERDICT This public policy book belongs in social behavioral science collections and will be of great interest to scholars and general readers alike.
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