Flourish: A Visionary New Understanding of Happiness and Well-Being. By Martin Seligman. Free Press; 368 pages; $26. Nicholas Brealey Publishing
The idea that it is the business of governments to cheer up their citizens has moved in recent years to centre-stage. Academics interested in measures of GDH (gross domestic happiness) were once forced to turn to the esoteric example of Bhutan. Now Britain’s Conservative-led government is compiling a national happiness index, and Nicolas Sarkozy, France’s president, wants to replace the traditional GDP count with a measure that takes in subjective happiness levels and environmental sustainability.