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Miss Manners' Guide to Domestic Tranquility: The Authoritative Manual for Every Civilized Household, However Harried Paperback – October 17, 2000


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 384 pages
  • Publisher: Three Rivers Press; 1st Pbk. Ed edition (October 17, 2000)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0609805398
  • ISBN-13: 978-0609805398
  • Product Dimensions: 9 x 7.1 x 1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.4 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (12 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #508,894 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

The world gets more confusing every day, and now even our family life can be unbearably complicated. There's one person who knows how to keep her poise in any social situation, and, fortunately for the rest of us, she has condensed her household wisdom into Miss Manners' Guide to Domestic Tranquility. Including questions from her column's readers, her delicately witty answers, and original essays on topics like "Child Rearing" and "Sabotaging Festivity" (one of these is a good thing, the other bad), the Guide is well-organized enough to use as a reference but also entertaining enough to browse on the way to grandma's house.

Miss Manners' style navigates the passage between refined and precious with ease, and is consistently endearing. She has correctly divined that the only way modern Americans will pay attention to etiquette advice is to couch it in gently humorous language, yet her seriousness pervades each sentence. Her advice on subjects ranging from resolving family feuds to surviving reunions to paying relatives for professional services is straightforward, unambiguous, and as pleasant as a flawless tea party. If you have a family, consider Miss Manners' Guide to Domestic Tranquility your instruction manual. --Rob Lightner --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Library Journal

In her never-ending quest for civility to all, with malice toward none, Miss Manners here tackles the most ticklish of relationships: those at home. Pointing out that mutual respect and consideration must be the cornerstone of any domestic establishment, she considers the myriad facets of living with family, friends, guests, and society in general in this latest offering to her Gentle Readers. She demonstrates the fine art of being courteous without being a doormat by reminding us that consideration of people is more important than that of money; that greed, no matter how cleverly embroidered, is still greed; and that concession in any form must be reciprocal. Best of all is Martin's sweetly genteel rapier wit. She provides a gentle reminder to boors of all types that they are not fooling anyone except themselves. Recommended for all public libraries.ASusan B. Hagloch, Tuscarawas Cty. P.L., New Philadelphia, OH
Copyright 1999 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Customer Reviews

4.8 out of 5 stars
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See all 12 customer reviews
They are well written with just the right amount or wit and information.
VTmilkmaid
As I learned in my midwestern girlhood, the most important rule of etiquette is to make people feel comfortable, to think of others, to be tactful and kind.
Karen Sampson Hudson
Should be required reading and taught in every high school (freshman year would be best) in the land.
A Ward

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

46 of 47 people found the following review helpful By Allen Smalling TOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on February 12, 2000
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Any new Miss Manners book is like a breath of spring, and this new tome, much larger than the previous "Basic Training" series, is that much more welcome. As the title suggests, this work is home-centered but it has a decidedly modern cast and deals with such current issues as the stay-at-home worker, the geographically distant family, the blended stepfamily, and the temporarily secured help. In typical Miss Manners style, she lampoons such modern innovations as the leaf blowers (if everyone has one, it results in a leaf stalemate); the questions she answers seem about evenly divided between the just-plain-rude and the ultra-rude. (Among the latter: people who are "invited" out to dinner at a restaurant and then told to pony up their share of the check; the woman who arranged her own "surprise" party; the trespassing vacationers who can't recognize a non-invitation to their friends' beach house.)
As always, Miss Manners strikes a good balance between lecturing and answering, and between sound judgment and humor. This book is a wonderful resource whether it's your first Miss Manners book or your latest in a long line.
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27 of 28 people found the following review helpful By Elizabeth G. Melillo VINE VOICE on November 3, 2000
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Miss Manners books are refreshing in their honesty. Where many current works of "etiquette", which take modern rudeness and trends, assume they are correct, and only amplify them, Miss Manners has a genuine approach of courtesy. I'd like to place this volume on the shelf of 90% of the people I meet.
The good sense in the "manners" is clear and delightful. Miss Manners deals with genuine social interaction - not the "advertising" that much supposedly social communication is today. It would be a much more pleasant world if, in accord with Miss Manners directives, people stopped the "public service announcements."
Nonetheless, for a fan of Judith Martin's writing such as I am, I've noticed that the great wit shown in such previous works as the "Guide to Excruciatingly Correct Behaviour" has declined. This book does not have anything to match the humour of previous ones.
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26 of 27 people found the following review helpful By Karen Sampson Hudson on October 15, 2002
Format: Paperback
Judith Manners does a marvelous job of presenting manners to the busy family of today, where courtesy and consideration could get lost in the shuffle of demanding schedules. She has a light touch but it is underlined with authority; she writes humorously but her topics are serious. Firmly, gently, and unerringly, she writes of how to behave in every situation. (She could have been the quintessential Southern Belle of an earlier era.)
As I learned in my midwestern girlhood, the most important rule of etiquette is to make people feel comfortable, to think of others, to be tactful and kind. Miss Manners has this goal in mind as she writes on such diverse topics as answering machines and call waiting, entertaining in-laws and dealing with family differences, and being a good house guest. Politeness and courtesy lubricate all social relations, and social relations may sometimes be taxing but are utterly necessary to our mental and emotional health. This is Miss Manners' well-articulated creed.
As a mother who has raised four teenagers, I especially liked her attitude toward laying down the law in adolescent years: Give your children something to rebel against, as they need this desperately. At some level they will recognize this as a sign that parents do care about them, and as they mature they will begin to realize that setting limits is what loving parents do.
This advice to parents about teens is a good example of the tongue-in-cheek wisdom of Miss Manners, presented in an entertaining way. Her book is lengthy but the pages fly by because of her light, friendly approach. Highly recommended.
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Amy Cortright on May 14, 2002
Format: Paperback
I'm a big fan of Miss Manners' mix of dry wit and common sense. In this book, she tackles everything from dealing with in-laws to throwing parties where all the guests feel welcome. There are also amusing anecdotes on the history of certain overwrought practices (such as the myriad forks popular at Victorian dinners)and essays on gift registries, opn house style parties, and uninvited guests. The title says it all: there is enough information in this book to help any household run more smoothly.
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful By "amf1234" on May 5, 2004
Format: Paperback
I've read some horrible "etiquette" books in the past few months, written by people who confuse fashion with courtesy and retaliatory revenge with civil public behavior. Miss Manners is the real deal. This book belongs in every household. Long may she wave.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By A Ward on February 2, 2005
Format: Paperback
Should be required reading and taught in every high school (freshman year would be best) in the land. The World would be a far, far better place if this were so.
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