A creative presentation of Lane's career research as an ongoing conversation between two fictitious social scientists with opposing views Robert E. Lane spent his career studying money, happiness, materialism, and humanism, and how these differ in rich and poor countries. In this book Lane illustrates his research by presenting us with a dialogue between two protagonists - two social scientists who regularly meet for lunch in a diner just off-campus. One of them is a narrowly trained economist who believes that wealth matters above all else; his companion is an eclectic, humanistically inclined political scientist who believes that the materialistic perspective is outdated and that social scientists should be thinking about other, more direct routes to human well-being. Their conversations draw from a wealth of sources; ideas from history, philosophy, psychology, and religion; and address topics such as justice, money, development, work, and happiness.
Robert Lane is a renowned political scientist, retired from Yale, who is widely known as the founder of the study of political psychology. His best known books include Political Ideology (1962), Political Life (1965), The Market Experience (1991) and The Loss of Happiness in Market Democracies (2001).