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Shared Values for a Troubled World: Conversations with Men and Women of Conscience Hardcover – April 1, 1994

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Kidder, president of the Institute for Global Ethics and a columnist for the Christian Science Monitor , here interviews 24 ethical leaders from around the globe to draft a code of ethics. The interviews--six of which appeared in the Monitor --are brief but contain much wisdom: Shojun Bando, a Japanese academic and Buddhist monk, suggests how adversity might move society toward a love without egoism; Vietnamese-born author Le Ly Hayslip worries about the corrosive effects of Western materialism; educator Jill Ker Conway warns against the increase of violence against women; attorney Newton Minow muses on how television can become a moral force. In conclusion, Kidder compiles eight vital values--love, truthfulness, fairness, freedom, unity, tolerance, responsibility and respect for life. Such an admirable list, however, offers little guidance to those wrestling with applying those values to divisive issues like abortion and affirmative action.
Copyright 1994 Reed Business Information, Inc.

From Kirkus Reviews

Is there such a thing as a universal code of ethics? A senior columnist for the Christian Science Monitor interviews 24 remarkable people from different cultures, beliefs, and walks of life and comes up with a short list of values that cross cultural boundaries. A shrinking world and technological progress, argues Kidder, mean that problems are increasingly global and demand solutions that presuppose a framework of values acceptable everywhere. Kidder (Re-Inventing the Future--not reviewed) challenges the fashionable belief that there are no universal values. He offers us the views of a diverse range of men and women who are involved in the fields of religion, education, business, literature, and politics, and who are regarded by their peers as ethical standard-bearers. We meet Federico Mayer, director general of UNESCO; Reuben Snake, a Native American tribal chief; Nien Cheng, the bestselling Chinese author; Graca Machel, Mozambique's former first lady; a Catholic priest; a Bangladeshi banker; a Buddhist monk in Japan; a Maori activist in New Zealand; and many more. Feminist historian Jill Ker Conway sees the rise of fundamentalism as filling a vacuum left by a secular education and the consequent erosion of moral value, and she looks forward to a revival of internationalism rooted in environmental awareness. Former president of Costa Rica Oscar Arias argues that demands for individual rights are less valid than a sense of responsibility derived from our inescapable interdependence with the ecosystem. In a concluding chapter Kidder picks out eight values that emerge from all the interviews including love, truthfulness, fairness, freedom, community, and tolerance. Since his approach is avowedly pragmatic, Kidder does not address philosophical problems, yet he is careful to nuance his position and to avoid the temptation of trying to prove too much. A popular but intelligent approach to a continuing concern. -- Copyright ©1994, Kirkus Associates, LP. All rights reserved.
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 332 pages
  • Publisher: Jossey-Bass; 1st edition (April 1, 1994)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1555426034
  • ISBN-13: 978-1555426033
  • Product Dimensions: 5.9 x 4.7 x 11 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 13.6 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,381,358 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Prior to founding the Institute for Global Ethics in Camden, Maine, and London, England, Rushworth M. Kidder, Ph.D., was a senior columnist for the Christian Science Monitor. For the past fifteen years he has worked to refine the guidelines for ethical decision making through the institute's mission of research, public discourse, and practical action. Kidder leads seminars, gives keynote speeches, and conducts interviews with global leaders. He is an award-winning author of eight books on subjects ranging from twentieth-century poetry to the global ethical future and is a trustee of the Charles Stewart Mott Foundation. He serves on the advisory board of the Kenan Ethics Center at Duke University, the advisory council of the Character Education Partnership, and the advisory board of Religion & Ethics Newsweekly on public television. In addition to his weekly columns for the institute's Ethics Newsline, Kidder's op-ed pieces have appeared in the Los Angeles Times, the Chicago Tribune, and the Boston Globe. He lives with his family in Lincolnville, Maine.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

4 of 5 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on September 5, 2000
Format: Hardcover
Kidder's book gives serious food for thought. Our world is very diverse. People come with different needs, different agendas, and different cultural backgrounds that color their understanding of others. We seem to disagree on so much and have minimal interest in working together. Kidder stresses that our world is getting smaller and to survive and grow, we, as a world need to find a common ground from which to work together. We need to find "universal truths". There is too much at stake if we don't: concerns that affect everyone, from damage to the environment to economic issues between the haves and the have nots. Without a common ground from which to talk, to trade, and to understand each other, we, as a species are bound to fail.
In his book, Kidder interviews 24 highly respected people from a variety of backgrounds for their perspective on universal values. From these interviews, Kidder identified several important ingredients. The eight values that most often appeared were love, truthfulness, fairness, freedom, unity, tolearance, responsibility, and respect for life.
Part of our job as community college trustees is to help our school, our administration, and our students meet the needs of a growing, changing, and ever more diverse society. How will we meet those needs? What do we need to consider? This book gives some key insights to ponder and gives me personally a much broader appreciation of "diversity". I recommend it.
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