Jonathan Rauch

Books Raphael Sagalyn, +1 240 479 9610 Email Raphael Sagalyn

The Happiness Curve

book | Non-Fiction | May 2018
US & Canada → Thomas Dunne Books (Ed. Thomas Dunne)

Why Life Gets Better After 50

This book will change your life by showing you how life changes.

Why does happiness tend to get harder in your 40s? Why do you feel in a slump when you’re successful? Where does this malaise come from, regardless of your gender, race, class or nationality? And, most importantly, will it ever end?

Drawing on cutting-edge research and dozens of stories about a diverse set of people, award-winning journalist Jonathan Rauch answers all these questions. He shows that from our 20s into our 40s, happiness follows a U-shaped trajectory, declining from the optimism of youth into what’s often a long, low slump in middle age, before starting to rise again in our 50s―and then yielding unexpected contentment and wisdom.

Dismissing the popular myth of the midlife crisis, Rauch shows that the “happiness curve” does not usually indicate a period of disruption or dysfunction. Nor is it the result of bad personal choices or lack of gratitude. He reveals that the slump is completely natural, serving a vital psychological and social purpose. By shifting priorities away from competition and toward compassion, it equips you with new tools for wisdom and gratitude. You’ll develop new values and see a change in who you are.

Full of insights and data and featuring many ways to endure the slump and avoid its perils and traps, The Happiness Curve doesn’t just show you the dark forest of midlife, it helps you find a path through the trees. It also shows how we can―and why we must―do more to help each other through the woods.


Film Rights


Helen Manders manages the translation rights for The Happiness Curve

Audio Rights


The audio rights are handled by Thomas Dunne Books.

Translation Rights Sold

Jarir Bookstore
Chinese Simple
Cheers Publishing
CCC Media

Will make readers smarter and perhaps even a little more joyful.

Arthur Brooks, President, American Enterprise Institute

Do you wish to understand the arc of your life? If so, The Happiness Curve is the place to start.

Tyler Cowan, bestselling author of The Complacent Class

Essential reading for everyone over 40.

George E. Vaillant M.D., Professor of Psychiatry, Harvard Medical School

Every thinking adult should read this ... genuinely helpful guidebook to life.

Scott Stossel, author of My Age of Anxiety

[An] inspired take on midlife crises

Publisher's Weekly

This uplifting report offers hope and encouragement for aging readers doubting the longevity of bliss. Stimulating reading for those seeking enlightenment and joyfulness throughout middle age.


In a youth-obsessed culture, it may be difficult to convince some that life gets better after 50. But by supplanting dated cliches with compelling scholarship, Rauch offers a fresh and reassuring vision of aging that supersedes superficial fixations.

Pamela Newkirk
The Washington Post

A powerful and uplifting read, [The Happiness Curve] teaches us to concentrate on what is meaningful, and to let go of what holds us back. 

The Lady

Reading The Happiness Curve was sobering ... This absorbing book encourages moody midlifers to believe that things will get better. 

Damian Whitworth
The Times

Rauch fills his book with reassuring research on why a midlife malaise is normal, as well as some sound lessons on how to cultivate happiness in general.

Wall Street Journal

Raphael Sagalyn
+1 240 479 9610
Email Raphael Sagalyn
Translation Rights
Helen Manders
+44 (0)20 7393 4425
Email Helen Manders
Catherine Cho
Email Catherine Cho
Lucy Morris
+44 (0) 20 7393 4400
Email Lucy Morris