The great American fantasy is about leisure: wooded getaways, Caribbean cruises, white-water rafting, thelights of Las Vegas. Yet one in four Americans does not take a vacation at all. We know how to work hard but not how to play. br br What we really need, argues Al Gini, is some time off. i The Importance of Being Lazy /i takes us on family road trips, to Disneyland, on shopping sprees, on extreme sports adventures, and into the ultimate vacation - retirement -- showing why we venerate vacations and why "doing nothing" is a fundamental human necessity. br br In a witty, breezy tour of our workaholic society, where the summer at the seashore has been supplanted by the long weekend, Gini draws on studies of Americans' vacation habits as well as interviews, personal stories, and the wry observations of philosophers, writers, and sociologists from Aristotle to Mark Twain to Thorstein Veblen. br br Without true leisure, Gini says, we are diminished as individuals and as a society. i The Importance of being Lazy /i is our road map for learning how to play, doze, gaze, amble, and goof-off without guilt.