Civility: Manners, Morals, and the Etiquette of Democracy

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Basic Books, 1998 - Political Science - 338 pages
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Basic good manners have become a casualty of our postmodern culture. Yale law professor and social critic Stephen L. Carter argues that civility is disintegrating because we have forgotten the obligations we owe to each other, and are awash instead in a sea of self-indulgence. Neither liberals nor conservatives can help us much, Carter explains, because each political movement, in a different way, exemplifies what has become the principal value of modern America: that what matters most is not the needs or hopes of others, but simply getting what we want. Taking inspiration from the Abolitionist sermons of the nineteenth century, Carter proposes to rebuild our public and private lives around the fundamental rule that we must love our neighbors, a tenet of all the world's great religions. Writing with his familiar combination of erudition and wit, Carter examines the ways in which an ethic of neighbor-love would alter everything from our political campaigns to our fast food outlets to the information superhighway, from the way we behave in the workplace to the way we drive our cars to the way we argue about constitutional rights. He investigates many of the fundamental institutions of society - including the family, the churches, and the schoolsand illustrates how each one must do more to promote the virtue of civility.

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CIVILITY: Manners, Morals, and the Etiquette of Democracy

User Review  - Kirkus

Spirited argument for an uncontroversial position. Complaints about incivility are timeless, but Carter (Law/Yale; The Dissent of the Governed, p. 312, etc.) believes that this time the barbarians ... Read full review

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - debnance - LibraryThing

Very inspiring take on our society's urgent need for civility from an intelligent and articulate law professor. I highly recommend this book. (Yes! Believe it or not, a book on civility written by a ... Read full review


Barbarians Running Late
Do Manners Matter?
The Death of the Golden Age

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About the author (1998)

Stephen L. Carter is the William Nelson Cromwell Professor of Law at Yale University, and is the author of several acclaimed books, including Culture of Disbelief, Reflections of an Affirmative Action Baby, Integrity, and Civility. He is a leading public intellectual who appears regularly on national television and radio, and his writings have appeared in major national magazines and newspapers. He lives in New Haven, Connecticut.

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