New from United Press

The book division of Alpina Business Books/United Press has released “The Age of Absurdity: Why Modern Life Makes It Hard to Be Happy” by Michael Foley.

The good news is that the great thinkers from history have proposed the same strategies for happiness and fulfillment. The bad news is that these turn out to be the very things most discouraged by contemporary culture. This knotty dilemma is the subject of The Age of Absurdity — a wry and accessible investigation into how the desirable states of wellbeing and satisfaction are constantly undermined by modern life. Michael Foley examines the elusive condition of happiness common to philosophy, spiritual teachings and contemporary psychology, then shows how these are becoming increasingly difficult to apply in a world of high expectations. Our age attempts to achieve war without casualties, social welfare without taxes, rights without responsibilities, glory without effort, sex without commitment, running shoes without running, a thesis without effort and sweet grapes without seeds.

Today even the most ordinary human activities — work, relationships, growing up — have turned into a source of existential fear and self-hatred. But rather than denouncing and rejecting the age, Foley presents an entertaining strategy of not just accepting but embracing today's world — finding happiness in its absurdity.