About Ruth Whippman

Ruth Whippman is an author, journalist and documentary film maker from London, living in the USA.

Her work has appeared in the appeared in The  New York Times the Guardian, the Independent and the F-word amongst other places and she is a regular featured blogger at both the Independent and the Huffington Post.  Her book, The Pursuit of Happiness and Why It’s Making Us Anxious, is published by Hutchinson, Penguin, in the UK and will be released in the US under the title America the Anxious, How Our Relentless Pursuit of Happiness is Creating a Nation of Nervous Wrecks by St Martin’s Press, Macmillan in October 2016.  You can pre-order the US edition here.  The Sunday Times’s review of the book described Ruth as a “whip-sharp British Bill Bryson.”  Private Eye  turned Ruth and her book into a cartoon.

Before starting to write full time, she spent several years as a Producer and Director at the BBC, first in the Current Affairs Department, on programmes  including Panorama, Newsnight and the Money Programme, and later moving into the Documentaries department where she worked on award winning series such as Child of Our Time and made several one off observational documentary films.   Later, she produced and directed several documentaries and factual entertainment shows for both the BBC and Channel 4, including working as Senior Producer on multi- award winning show The Apprentice and developing the series Bringing Baby Home for Channel 4.

You can follow her on twitter at @ruthwhippman

Praise for Ruth Whippman’s work:

“A whip-sharp British Bill Bryson…Like Bill Bryson, Whippman has a willingness to play up cultural differences to comic effect….She also has Bryson’s sharp ear for language and its potential for absurdity.

This is not merely a personal voyage of enlightenment, however, nor an extended eye-roll at wacky Americans. The book’s serious underpinning is a warning about how happiness is being weaponised by governments and employers, directed towards their people to make them work harder and longer.

With warm wit and chilling logic, The Pursuit of Happiness shows that the human desire for contentment can be manipulated and distorted until it is barely recognisable.”- The Sunday Times (The Pursuit of Happiness and Why It’s Making Us Anxious.)

She writes with a light touch….Her conclusions are amusing and offer a useful commentary on this age of materialism and gloating.- The Times, The Pursuit of Happiness and Why It’s Making us Anxious

“The book is a wickedly funny read but for all the laughs it feels incredibly vital.” – Hillingdon Libraries blog, The Pursuit of Happiness and Why It’s Making Us Anxious

“People often assume that to make a funny documentary you just have to be there when something funny happens – but that isn’t true. You have to cut it funny too – and Ruth Whippman had done it here with sufficient assurance to suggest that she has a career in comedy, should business programming lose its appeal….it was as good as The Office, and you can’t say better than that.” – The Independent, The Motivators, BBC2

“A wonderfully entertaining documentary”- The Independent on Sunday, The Motivators, BBC2

“Wow. Ruth Whippman sure served up a wonderful addition to The NY Times’ Anxiety series with this past weekend’s “Guilt Trip.” It’s good enough to make one feel guilty for not having written it oneself… Har har har. But she expresses the daily reality of guilt and (little ‘l’) law in such undeniable and funny terms that if you can’t relate, we probably lost you a long time ago.”- Mockingbird’s David Zahl on Ruth Whippman’s New York Times essay, Guilt Trip.




  1. This blog rocks. You are definitely on my RSS lead and I just hope Milliband and co are reading and listening. Funny and evidence based…not that is a combination to reckon with.

  2. Heard your radio interview on the CBC tapestry. It was enlightening and right on! Should say ” North America the Anxious. ” My parents are British and immigrated to America. I think they would agree with you. Looking forward to your book Ruth.

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