Civility: Manners, Morals, and the Etiquette of Democracy

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9780060977597: Civility: Manners, Morals, and the Etiquette of Democracy

Carter considers the nature of civility and incivility, examining how it is reflected in and reinforced by our language and culture, explaining the role of the family and religion, and concluding with a summary of the basic rules of civility. The book draws on examples ranging from Internet virus infectors to the Christmas creche in the town square. In this followup to Integrity, Yale law professor Stephen Carter continues to meditate upon the prepolitical qualities on which a healthy society is based. Why do people show poorer manners today than in previous ages? How did we come to confuse rudeness with self-expression and acting on our rights? Carter looks at these and other important questions with a combination of his personal experiences and an extremely long shelf of reading material, all the while maintaining an informal writing style that continuallybut politelyengages the reader, inviting him or her to think about these issues along with Carter. There are important messages here about generosity and trust, about respecting diversity and dissent, and about resolving conflict through dialogue rather than mandate. Stephen Carter would never be so uncivil as to demand your attention, but Civility most definitely compels.

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