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Reclaiming Virtue: How We Can Develop the Moral Intelligence to Do the Right Thing at the Right Time for the Right Reason Hardcover – April 28, 2009


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Frequently Bought Together

Reclaiming Virtue: How We Can Develop the Moral Intelligence to Do the Right Thing at the Right Time for the Right Reason + Bradshaw On: The Family: A New Way of Creating Solid Self-Esteem + Healing the Shame that Binds You (Recovery Classics)
Price for all three: $44.59

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Best Books of the Month
Best Books of the Month
Want to know our Editors' picks for the best books of the month? Browse Best Books of the Month, featuring our favorite new books in more than a dozen categories.

Product Details

  • Hardcover: 528 pages
  • Publisher: Bantam; X-Library - 1st edition (April 28, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0553095927
  • ISBN-13: 978-0553095920
  • Product Dimensions: 6.3 x 1.7 x 9.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (13 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #742,750 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Bestselling recovery expert and motivational speaker Bradshaw (Family Secrets), presents an in-depth survey of human behavior from many angles in a probing exploration of our inner guidance system. Beginning with magnificent moral moments (a black girl integrating a school smiles at a woman who spat at her), he interweaves his own tangled life experiences: he obtained advanced degrees in theology and philosophy, yet lost jobs after alcoholic binges even after a 12-step recovery program; he still felt like he was on the outside of life looking in and set out to change the direction of his life. Inviting the reader to join him on his personal journey to make sense out of the complexities and ambiguities of the moral/ethical order, Bradshaw divides his book into three potent and compelling sections: part one defines the nature of moral intelligence; the second section examines how to develop that intelligence. In the final pages, he outlines family goals and offers ways for readers to develop their children's moral intelligence. Bradshaw followers and many first-time readers will find this an extremely effective and valuable guide. (Apr. 28)
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From Booklist

Bradshaw, best-selling author and creator of the PBS series Bradshaw on the Family, explores the individual capacity to develop the moral intelligence to navigate life’s challenges and achieve virtue. He begins by defining moral intelligence, looking to philosophers from Aristotle to Thomas Aquinas for ideals of human behavior. Bradshaw follows with advice on how to develop and nurture moral intelligence, outlining the preparatory work to be done and ways to develop moral character and instill it in children. To illustrate virtue, Bradshaw offers profiles of people—historic and contemporary—who stepped up to challenges of national or personal significance: Abraham Lincoln; Henry David Thoreau; Ruby Bridges, the black girl who braved rabid prejudice to integrate public schools in New Orleans; Morrie Schwartz, former teacher and subject of the book and film Tuesdays with Morrie. Bradshaw intertwines his own life history, with extremes from virtue and piety to alcoholism and wanton licentiousness, as he looks beyond religious dogma for a deeper sense of morality. He draws on religion, psychology, and philosophy to offer a broad and nuanced perspective on virtue. --Vanessa Bush

Customer Reviews

A magnificent work - scholarly, deeply personal and intriguing.
John Dalpe
He shares wisdom from his own most vulnerable moments that we can't make sense of our lives without awareness of our feelings.
Allen Flock
For most of us, this kind of ego integrity would indeed require a significant intrapsychic restructuring in our psyches.
Thomas J. Farrell

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

18 of 20 people found the following review helpful By Allen Flock on May 26, 2009
Format: Hardcover
Reclaiming Virtue will go down in history as the most important book of the 21st century. John Bradshaw begins with 10 captivating moral moments that crystallize moral intelligence in a compelling way. He writes this book for all of us who are discouraged by the frightening absence of integrity in our social institutions and lack of humility in our leadership.

John helps us realize how dynamic we all become when claiming our internal authority for making right decisions. He validates ancient wisdom that we are vessels with an inborn moral compass- that we can call on our innate voice of conscience in these most troubling times.

John's book gives an eye widening account that our natural emotional intelligence has been scuttled by cultural rules of obedience. When our feelings have been shamed through perfectionism we can't know what moves us to make good decisions. His assertion that moral decisions are made from "affective inclination" is a ground shaking challenge to our assumption that logic, and intellectual rules constitute the foundation of moral action. He bravely goes against the grain of totalistic systems created "for our own good" that fail to account for the diversity and uniqueness that must be accepted in all of us for the human race to prevail.

John inspires us to connect through the "guardian angel" within us. He shows how to help our children develop moral intelligence by using non-shaming, strength based communication styles for building skills in emotional competence. He shares wisdom from his own most vulnerable moments that we can't make sense of our lives without awareness of our feelings. In revealing his personal suffering and journey towards virtue John Bradshaw's book stands apart. By starting with emotion Reclaiming Virtue constitutes a radical change in moral education.

Kip Flock
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Thomas J. Farrell on June 25, 2010
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
John Bradshaw's RECLAIMING VIRTUE: HOW WE CAN DEVELOP THE MORAL INTELLIGENCE TO DO THE RIGHT THING AT THE RIGHT TIME FOR THE RIGHT REASON is the most important meditation on certain key points in Aristotle's thought since Bernard Lonergan's INSIGHT: A STUDY OF HUMAN UNDERSTANDING (1957) and Eugene Garver's ARISTOTLE'S RHETORIC: AN ART OF CHARACTER (1994).

Bradshaw's 500-page magnum opus is his grand synthesis of what he has learned during his life from his own personal and professional experiences and from his reading. Bradshaw has mastered the reading material about which he writes.

RECLAIMING VIRTUE is reader friendly, including an ample index. From cover to cover, the sentences and paragraphs in the fifteen chapters of this ambitious book are clearly written and accessible. Each chapter is divided into bite-sized subsections introduced by suitable subheadings. However, even people who are familiar with Bradshaw's thought may find this 500-page text daunting to read because of the sheer number of topics covered in the various subsections. Slow reading may be the best approach to reading this book.

As the subtitle intimates, Aristotle's NICOMACHEAN ETHICS is one of the anchors and cornerstones of Bradshaw's book. For example, he quotes Aristotle on page 51: "Anybody can become angry - that is easy, but to be angry with the right person and to the right degree and at the right time and for the right purpose, and in the right way - that is not within everybody's power and is not easy."

Mutatis mutandi, anybody can be helpful - that is easy, but to be helpful with the right person and to the right degree and at the right time and for the right purpose, and in the right way - that is not within everybody's power and is not easy.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Peter Bales on February 22, 2010
Format: Hardcover
In this comprehensive work, John Bradshaw's life experience and soul shines through. He is writing this book for future generations and it is his legacy in advancing the causes of humanism and philosophy. He focuses on what it means to have moral wisdom or prudence in one's life and how we can promote it in our children. Virtue is a gift which we can develop through our repeated actions as per Bradshaw. Finding our true nature and fulfilling its mission is the recipe for a happy life. The book examines many philosophical and psychological concepts such as free will, meaning of suffering, life stages and human development, shame and others. Most of all it emphasizes that to be virtuous we need to practice in being virtuous. This is similar to building muscle by exercising on a consistent basis. Mr. Bradshaw is a truly inspirational individual with great life time achievements. He has, through his teachings and through helping others, greatly contributed to the betterment of our world. This book is a crowning achievement to his already multiple accomplishments.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By John Dalpe on June 20, 2009
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
John Bradshaw illuminates a subject that is lost in our contemporary world of complicity and personal aggrandizement - virtue.

A magnificent work - scholarly, deeply personal and intriguing. The author pulls from many fields, in addition to his own personal experiences both as a therapist and a man in recovery, to reveal the compelling necessity of personal virtue.

A fine book, well worth reading.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Payam Ghassemlou on October 11, 2009
Format: Hardcover
As always John Bradshaw keeps it real by sharing about his own struggles in life and offers great insights. Reclaiming Virtue is an important reading on developing moral intelligence.I enjoyed reading it.
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More About the Author

John Bradshaw was educated for the Roman Catholic priesthood and took advanced degrees in psychology, philosophy, and theology before becoming a professional counselor. He is the author of such major bestsellers as Family Secrets, Healing the Shame That Binds You, Homecoming, and Creating Love. He lives in Houston, Texas, and gives lectures and workshops nationwide.

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