And the Pursuit of Happiness

Front Cover
Penguin Group (USA) Incorporated, 2010 - Political Science - 471 pages
208 Reviews
With her trademark style, wit, sensitivity, and spontaneity, Maira Kalman guides a whirlwind tour of American democracy.

And the Pursuit of Happiness is beloved artist and author Maira Kalman's yearlong investigation of democracy and how it works. Energized and inspired by the 2008 elections, on inauguration day Kalman traveled to Washington, D.C., launching a national tour that would take her from a town hall meeting in Newfane, Vermont, to the inner chambers of the Supreme Court.

As we follow Kalman's wholly idiosyncratic journey, we fall in love with Lincoln alongside her as she imagines making a home for herself in the center of his magisterial memorial; ponder Alexis de Tocqueville's America; witness the inner workings of a Bronx middle-school student council; take a high-speed lesson in great American women in the National Portrait Gallery; and consider the cost of war to the brave American service families of Fort Campbell, Kentucky. The observations she makes as she travels charm and inform, and-as we have come to expect with Kalman-the route is always one of fascinating indirection.

Kalman finds evidence of democracy at work all around us. And the cast of characters we meet along the way is rousing good company, featuring visits from Benjamin Franklin, Eleanor Roosevelt, and many others. And the Pursuit of Happiness is a remarkable tribute to our history and a powerful reminder of the potential our future holds, from a true national treasure.

Watch a Video

What people are saying - Write a review

User ratings

5 stars
124
4 stars
62
3 stars
17
2 stars
5
1 star
0

Genius. Like a prose poem with illustrations. - Goodreads
The art is sweet; the writing spare, but warm. - Goodreads
amazing paintings, only have looked at the pics so far - Goodreads
It was a mix of art, photography and a kind of prose. - Goodreads
The MRE's -- Meals Ready to Eat -- come with a Hooah! - Goodreads
Easy read and I loved the artwork. - Goodreads

Review: And the Pursuit of Happiness

User Review  - Chris - Goodreads

I've never come across a book like this before. The best way I can think to describe it is to say it's like a children's picture book, only for adults. There is little writing in this book which is ... Read full review

Review: And the Pursuit of Happiness

User Review  - Cassandra Freeland - Goodreads

I admit it: I bought this book for the pictures. Kalman wrote one of my favorite picture books, Smartypants. This book didn't disappoint. I loved the illustrations, coupled with historical facts and ... Read full review

Related books

Other editions - View all

About the author (2010)

In her own words: "born. bucolic childhood. culture-stuffed adolescence. played piano. stopped. danced. stopped. wrote. discarded writing. drew. reinstated writing. married Tibor Kalman and collaborated at iconoclastic yet successful design studio. wrote and painted children's books. worried. took up Ping-Pong. relaxed. wrote and painted for many magazines.  cofounded the Rubber Band Society. amused. children: two. dog: one.

Bibliographic information