And the Pursuit of Happiness (Hardcover)
October 2010 Indie Next List
“Maria Kalman loves America and so do I. It's hard not to be warmed from the inside out when reading her latest poetic installment of art and prose, the story of democracy and our Founding Fathers. This book is beautiful, optimistic, and inspiring. Benjamin Franklin would be proud.”
— Rachel Haisley, The King's English, Salt Lake City, UT
With her trademark style, wit, sensitivity, and spontaneity, Maira Kalman guides a whirlwind tour of American democracy.
"And the Pursuit of Happiness" is beloved artist and author Maira Kalman's yearlong investigation of democracy and how it works. Energized and inspired by the 2008 elections, on inauguration day Kalman traveled to Washington, D.C., launching a national tour that would take her from a town hall meeting in Newfane, Vermont, to the inner chambers of the Supreme Court.
As we follow Kalman's wholly idiosyncratic journey, we fall in love with Lincoln alongside her as she imagines making a home for herself in the center of his magisterial memorial; ponder Alexis de Tocqueville's America; witness the inner workings of a Bronx middle-school student council; take a high-speed lesson in great American women in the National Portrait Gallery; and consider the cost of war to the brave American service families of Fort Campbell, Kentucky. The observations she makes as she travels charm and inform, and-as we have come to expect with Kalman-the route is always one of fascinating indirection.
Kalman finds evidence of democracy at work all around us. And the cast of characters we meet along the way is rousing good company, featuring visits from Benjamin Franklin, Eleanor Roosevelt, and many others. "And the Pursuit of Happiness" is a remarkable tribute to our history and a powerful reminder of the potential our future holds, from a true national treasure.
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About the Author
Maira Kalman is the author-illustrator of numerous picture books, including Looking at Lincoln and Thomas Jefferson. She is also the illustrator of the Printz Honor Winning Book Why We Broke Up by Daniel Handler. Her artwork has appeared on a dozen New Yorker covers, and her watches, clocks, accessories and paperweights have been featured at the Museum of Modern Art store. She lives in New York City.