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How to Be a Gentleman: A Timely Guide to Timeless Manners Hardcover – Bargain Price, April 8, 2008

4.1 out of 5 stars 49 customer reviews

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Hardcover, Bargain Price, April 8, 2008
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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

John Bridges, author of How to Be a Gentleman, is also the coauthor, with Bryan Curtis, of seven other volumes in the best-selling GentleManners series. He is a frequent guest on television and radio news programs, always championing gentlemanly behavior in modern society. Bridges has appeared on the Today Show, the Discovery Channel, and CBS Sunday Morning, and has been profiled in People magazine and the New York Times.
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 240 pages
  • Publisher: Thomas Nelson; Rev Exp edition (April 8, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1401603351
  • ASIN: B00AK3MTTC
  • Product Dimensions: 8.3 x 6.6 x 0.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (49 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #268,193 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This book is detailed in its identification of manners but unfortunately not a comprehensive guide to etiquette. Bridges' approach is to identify and state the correct course of action for a gentleman. To his credit, the book does go through a lot of situations in which men will find themselves in our modern day. However, what this book requires to make it excellent is a comprehensive explanation of *why* these manners have become 'gentlemanly' custom. Other etiquette books I have read excel in explaining the reason why things are so rather than simply stating 'A gentleman will...' as begins almost every paragraph in this book. Because of this, it feels as though Bridges is simply providing a cheat sheet in the test of socialising rather than truly teaching one how to be a gentleman...

... then again, that might be exactly the reason you want to read this book.
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Format: Hardcover
This book should be required reading for every man. My husband has much better manners after reading it. It's full of little 1-4 sentence rules. I think something like Emily Post would have intimidated him, but this was just the ticket. He liked it so much that he bought copies for his bachelor friends and told them to read it if they wanted to impress the ladies.
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Format: Hardcover
That may be the most important lesson this book sets out to teach because as the authors put it in the introduction, "Simply acting like a gentleman is not enough. It is being a gentleman that is important." Or to put it another way, if your gentlemanly behavior is attracting favorable attention, chances are that you are doing it wrong...

or for the wrong reasons.

Much of this material will be familiar to those knowledgeable about traditional etiquette, but much of it is as new as the latest technology. Cell phone usage, including camera phone usage and texting, are covered, as is the proper use of email, along with more traditional guidance about formalwear (how to tie a bow tie with diagrams), how to know which fork to use and how to set a dinner table properly (with diagrams) so as to prevent confusion about the former, etc.

I was particularly struck by the wisdom of the advice concerning smoking. It begins with the common courtesy taught more than a century ago and segues into the modern era of restrictions, finishing up with VERY important advice on how to be a gentlemanly NONsmoker. The same evenhandedness is displayed when the topic is dietary restrictions, whether imposed for health, religious, or political reasons. It is quite refreshing to see both nonsmokers and vegetarians reminded that gentlemanly behavior is their obligation, too.

Defects? I noted very few. How to eat an artichoke would have benefitted from a diagram in addition to the detailed instructions, a topical index would have been nice, and there are always minor things over which gentlemen may disagree agreeably. The only two truly discordant notes might have been attempts at humor, which elsewhere in the book is usually well done.
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Format: Hardcover
As a married man, I'm constantly in a state of conflict. Left to my own devices, I'm perfectly content to shovel food, guzzle beer, emit various gasses and generally befoul my surroundings like the coothless savage half-shaven chimp I am. But with the missus around, I'm compelled to be on my best behavior -- for the next forty to sixty years. Or until I drop dead of an aneurysm from trying to remember which fork to eat salad with, or which indistinguishable shade of white I'm supposed to paint the bathroom. Clearly, I need some help.

This book was just what I was looking for -- a clear and detailed explanation of how to behave civilly and graciously in almost any social situation. If I could just apply the lessons from this book to my life, my wife couldn't help but be proud of me.

Unfortunately, I started reading it during dinner on the couch watching TV, and got pizza sauce all over the first few pages. Some of the middle bits are sort of blurred from when I accidentally spilled beer on it, and a few pages near the end are... well, missing. Let's just say that there are certain advantages to reading a book in the bathroom when a toilet paper emergency arises, and leave it at that.

What's left is great information, and I'm sure it'll really be useful.

Also, all things considered, it's probably lucky I didn't opt for the Kindle edition this time.
3 Comments 47 of 68 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
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Format: Hardcover
In this book, author John Bridges gives his advice on how to be a gentleman. For the most part, the book is built around a series of short homilies, each of which covers a subject such as: A Gentleman Attends a Wedding, How to Seat a Table, How to Leave a Tip, and much more. Connecting the homilies are a series of maxims that give advice in the form of: a gentleman does not..., a gentleman keeps..., etc.

While some of this book sounds out-of-date in the modern scene, containing as it does so much information on formal dining, it is a goldmine of advice for all social occasions. If you wish to polish your image, then I would recommend this book to you. It is short, and to the point, and very informative.
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