A Trooper in the air

For fans of Hugh Hewitt, this book will come across as Hewitt at his best.  Wisdom ranging from Thucydides to the “Fetching Mrs. Hewitt” is sprinkled throughout his practical-philosophical book “The Happiest Life.”  Hewitt spends half of the book articulating seven gifts (encouragement, energy, enthusiasm, empathy, good humor, graciousness, and gratitude) that can be bestowed through seven relationships (parents, spouses, family members, friends, teachers, coworkers, and church members).  The latter cluster of seven relationships are further unpacked through the second part of the book.  Full of wisdom and wit, the book is engaging a portion of the time.

Hewitt’s work is a very whimsical read and his graciousness came through page after page.  However, this whimsy was quickly displaced with a repetitive narration of his personal stories and name dropping.  The gifts he delineated are worth the price of the book; however, I found the second half of the book to be rather dull.

Hewitt wove together anecdotes and personal stories quite well; I walked away with a better understanding of him as a person.  However, as mentioned above, this big strength is also one of the major detriments to his work.  It seemed as if he would namedrop liberally, inserting conversations and relationships throughout his work.  While there are some helpful illustrations among the relationships, I found it to be nearly unbearable the further I went in the book.

I did find Hewitt’s use of the classics to be quite refreshing and his use of thinkers across the spectrum was a nice surprise.  My guess is that if you enjoy western philosophy and the Judeo-Christian tradition, then you will also enjoy portions of this book.  With the exception of the repetitive name dropping, this book is nice to skim through and dive down deep into certain gifts he raised.

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Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher through the BookLook Bloggers <http://booklookbloggers.com> book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 <http://www.access.gpo.gov/nara/cfr/waisidx_03/16cfr255_03.html> : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

Photo: Kristina Alexanderson via Compfight