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The Mansion of Happiness

posted on July 25, 2012

At The Point, Scott Spillman reviews Harvard historian Jill Lepore’s new book, The Mansion of Happiness. Lepore traces the origins of debates “over issues like abortion, stem cell research and end-of-life care.” Spillman is critical of Lepore’s historical approach to these contentious issues, calling it “too simple, too narrow, too mechanistic, too sure of its own sufficiency.” The book’s thesis, writes Spillman, “that excavating the history of our ideas about life and death will allow us to find our way through such ‘impasses,'” neglects the “moral or religious concerns … at the root of our differences.”

Read at The Point