There is a lot to like about Seligman’s newest book Flourish. This is a follow up to his previous books Learned Optimism and Authentic Happiness and it is a far better book.  In it he outlines buckets of research on what helps people be happy. I especially like the PERMA model of well-being (Positive emotion, Engagement, Relationships, Meaning (purpose), and Accomplishment).  You get the side benefit of Seligman’s perspective on research, grantsmanship and an interesting history of the positive psychology movement.  It’s very likely that Seligman will, in a hundred years, hold the place as the father of positive psychology and the renaissance of all that is good about the science of psychology.

He’s not a dramatic writer, but he is a solid writer and you can, through reading his book, gain a great understanding of the difference between academic psychology and popular psychology.  Also, you can see a little bit of the back story of how research in academia actually gets done.  For all those people who think that professors do nothing but sit around and talk about big ideas, you will see from the trials and travails that Seligman describes that being a productive research faculty is hard work.  Most of all, you’ll learn what you can do to make yourself a happier person. His chapters on post-traumatic growth and comprehensive soldier fitness are his best.  I strongly recommend it.

Quibble:  His chapter on the teaching of positive psychology is his least strong.