Updated: Jan 28, 2018
Karl Pillemer went on a journey to seek advice on some of the most common and difficult questions we all face in our lives. These questions involve happiness, marriage, regret, children, and career. Two of those questions were “What makes a happy life?” and “What makes a happy marriage?” Karl went about seeking advice to these questions in a different way than most people do though.
Instead of finding a university professor, therapist, or someone who spends the majority of their time studying these topics, he went about answering these questions by finding America’s elders. These people have not studied these topics in a classroom or in an office; they lived them.
He refers to these elder people as “the experts” throughout his book, and Karl conducted lots of interviews with these experts. The age of the experts ranges from their fifties to nineties which means they cumulatively as a group have experience that dates back to The Great Depression, World War II, the Cuban Missile Crisis, Vietnam War, Civil Rights, first man in space, and many more.