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Book Review: Happy Singlehood

The age of the happy, accomplished, unapologetic single person has arrived. Happy Singlehood: The Rising Acceptance and Celebration of Solo Living, by Hebrew University sociologist Elyakim Kislev, is here to herald it. There is no place for pity in Happy Singlehood. Kislev shows that single people are, on the whole, already doing well. They do not need to desperately seek coupledom to improve their lot in life. The kinds of questions we need to ask about single people, Kislev believes, include: What are they doing right? How can they do even better? And what can other people learn from them?

To answer those kinds of questions, Kislev analyzed data from hundreds of thousands of people from more than thirty nations. He also scrutinized more than 400 blog posts, more than 300 magazine and newspaper articles, and thousands of comments on Facebook posts about single life. He did interviews, too, of 142 single people from the U.S. and various European nations. Happy Singlehood, published by the University of California Press, was deeply researched and sourced, boasting an astounding 63 pages of notes and references at the end. It is a treasure trove for any scholars interested in developing expertise in the study of single people.

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