America Is Not A Happy Country | Connecticut Public Radio

America Is Not A Happy Country

Mar 28, 2019

The annual U.N. World Happiness Report was released last week on World Happiness Day. (I'm a little unhappy that we missed it.) 

It may be no surprise that the happiest countries have a few traits in common: people in happy countries value social and cultural connections, trust their government to work for them, and like to help others more than people in less happy countries. They also vote in greater numbers and donate more time and money to causes important to them. America didn't make the top ten.

Leo Canty took a 44,000-mile trip through 2018's ten happiest countries. We talk with Leo about what he discovered in his talks with people who live in those places.  

Also this hour: The comic strip "Cathy" resonated with a generation of young women when it first appeared in the comic pages in 1976. It gave voice to women's confusion and grief that their newfound 'liberation' remained stubbornly tethered to the expectations of a still dominant patriarchy. The strip ran for 34 years and in almost 1,400 newspapers before ending its run in 2010. 

For Cathy Guisewite, creator of the eponymous comic strip, happiness has always been a step out of reach for her and her namesake. 

We talk with Cathy and Leo about the search for happiness. 


  • Cathy Guisewite  - Creator of comic strip, “Cathy,” which ran in almost 1,400 newspapers for 34 years, and the author of many books, most recently, Fifty Things that Aren’t My Fault: Essays From The Grown-Up Years
  • Leo Canty - Retired labor, political and communications activist and a member of The Courant’s Voices Board of Contributors

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Colin McEnroe and Chion Wolf contributed to this show.