The Pursuit of Happyness, Paperback Book
3 out of 5 (4 ratings)


The astounding yet true rags-to-riches saga of a homeless father who raised and cared for his son on the mean streets of San Francisco and went on to become a crown prince of Wall StreetAt the age of twenty, Milwaukee native Chris Gardner, just out of the Navy, arrived in San Francisco to pursue a promising career in medicine.

Considered a prodigy in scientific research, he surprised everyone and himself by setting his sights on the competitive world of high finance.

Yet no sooner had he landed an entry-level position at a prestigious firm than Gardner found himself caught in a web of incredibly challenging circumstances that left him as part of the city's working homeless and with a toddler son.

Motivated by the promise he made to himself as a fatherless child to never abandon his own children, the two spent almost a year moving among shelters, "HO-tels," soup lines, and even sleeping in the public restroom of a subway station.

Never giving in to despair, Gardner made an astonishing transformation from being part of the city's invisible poor to being a powerful player in its financial district.

More than a memoir of Gardner's financial success, this is the story of a man who breaks his own family's cycle of men abandoning their children.

Mythic, triumphant, and unstintingly honest, The Pursuit of Happyness conjures heroes like Horatio Alger and Antwone Fisher, and appeals to the very essence of the American Dream.


  • Format: Paperback
  • Pages: 320 pages
  • Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers Inc
  • Publication Date:
  • Category: Autobiography: business & industry
  • ISBN: 9780060744878

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Showing 1 - 4 of 4 reviews.

Review by

A Good Read, But Not the Father of the Century I'd Heard He WasGardner's story is interesting and worth reading just to see the leap from where he came from to where he took himself.It was not, however, at all what I expected given the fanfare surrounding this guy as Father of the Century. I was surprised to find that the vast majority of their time on the streets was due to his choice to pursue his own stable of clients rather than work under an experienced broker.At least he's honest -- he openly admits that he cheated on his wife, that they were homeless because he wouldn't work for the established brokers, and that he gave his son to the son's mother and moved to New York City to make even bigger bucks (getting his son back a year or two later, I believe).

Review by

Very interesting insight to a truly inspiring success story. Chris Gardner tells a very sad story of his life but shows that determination and will power can turn anyone's life around.

Review by

This was an incredible story of hard work and patience in the face of adversity. A lot to be learned here. I don't think his strong suit is writing books though.

Review by

I was uneasy going into this book. The movie made Gardner to be an American hero, moving up from homelessness into riches. The full story as Gardner tells it is much more grim. I won’t itemize Gardner’s list of crimes, but it’s enough to say, I think, that the movie omits or glosses over most of the shadier events of his life. And, no, as you might expect, even with a writer helping him, Gardner is not good at setting down the story of his life. I was left with the feeling that Gardner is just a man who wanted to become rich and did so. His greatest accomplishment was to do this without tossing aside his kids when it would have been easy to do so.

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