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When No One Sees: The Importance of Character in an Age of Image Paperback – July 5, 2000


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Product Details

  • Series: Trinity Forum Study Series
  • Paperback: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Navpress Publishing Group (July 5, 2000)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1576831590
  • ISBN-13: 978-1576831595
  • Product Dimensions: 9.1 x 7.4 x 0.7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #482,593 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

About the Author

DR. OS GUINNESS' deep concern is taking things that are academically important and making them practical to a wider audience, especially matters of public policy. He has been involved in several projects in this area, including a BBC television documentary on the presidential election in 1980, a major public opinion survey, and the American Express study on the United States, America in Perspective. He is a senior fellow of the Trinity Forum in McLean, Virginia, whose interactive seminars led to the writing of When No One Sees. Os has written and edited more than fifteen books, including The American Hour (Free Press), Invitation to the Classics (Baker), The Call (Word) and Time for Truth (Baker). Former resident of England and Switzerland, Os lives in McLean, Virginia.

More About the Author

OS GUINNESS (DPhil, Oxford University) is an author and social critic. Born in China, he was educated in England at the Universities of London and Oxford. He moved to the United States in 1984, and has been a Guest Scholar at the Woodrow Wilson Center and a Visiting Fellow at the Brookings Institution. He was the lead drafter of both the Williamsburg Charter and the Global Carter of Conscience, as well as the founder of the Trinity Forum. He has written more than 25 books, including The Call, The American Hour, Time for Truth, Unspeakable, The Case for Civility, A Free People's Suicide, and his latest: The Global Public Square. He lives with his wife Jenny in McLean, Virginia..

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

15 of 15 people found the following review helpful By Michael Erisman on July 5, 2005
Format: Paperback
Os Guinness has a knack for taking difficult and complex subjects and capturing and presenting information that allows small chunks of the philosophy to be grasped and pondered deeply. This book is no exception. The fact that it is also a study guide is even more effective in delivering the message while directing the reader to several key questions to consider in each section.

One of the best aspects of the book are the hundreds of quotes and essays, all around the central theme of the importance of character. While our culture often acts to create an "end justifies the means" behavioral set, never before has character been so important, or so difficult to really practice and live.

The book begins with some essays from famous leaders; from Plato to George Washington, Winston Churchill to Machiavelli, and compares and contrasts what each felt about the importance of character, and how it was to be demonstrated. Much of the material is pretty well known, yet the ability to so easily read and discuss different styles and approaches is well worth the effort.

My favorite sections were on the "Cultural Erosions of Character" in which the many examples of how society pushes and changes the definition and meaning in life impacts what we define as important at all. From advertising, to media, the pressure to conform is greater than ever, but in some ways has always existed.

One of the best essay's in my opinion is called the "Revenge of Failure" wherein Henry Fairlie rips the "legend of our times", as envy at its worst. No longer content to envy what others have and we do not, we now attempt to destroy in others that which we cannot achieve ourselves.
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Thomas M. Loarie TOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on May 20, 2005
Format: Paperback
Five years ago, Pat Richie, former Chaplain of the Championship 49ers, pioneered a weekly executive development/fellowship program here in Danville, CA (San Francisco's famed "East Bay"). Participants meet on Friday morning for breakfast and discussion of an assigned reading assignment relating to leadership. With Pat facilitating, participants learn leadership fundamentals from one another's experience and observations. The discussions are faith-based, robust and enlightening.

Guiness' "When No One Sees" has been the book of choice this past year. It has been an excellent choice. It begins "by exploring the place of character in our Western Heritage, from the ideas of the Bible and Plato to Machiavelli and James Madison, and in real life, from Alexander the Great to Winston Churchill.

Guiness' "then looks at the uncomfortable but inspiring role of suffering in forging - and exposing - character and at modern examples of erosion of character today."

The discussion then moves on to "an essential point: the cultivation of character - a powerful theme for centuries in Western Civilization and a key component of the 'good life' and 'good society.'"

The author forces the reader (in our case, the group) to examine and self-determine whether or not character matters. If so, what are the correct practices, insights, and habits that lead to strong, value based character. And what are the underlying spiritual truths about character that are available to all - truths that are profound, practical, revolutionary, and timely.

"When No One Sees" is not light, bedtime reading. It is deep, thoughtful, and stimulating.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Teresa on April 6, 2006
Format: Paperback
This book is another in a long line of books that continue to feed my appetite for serious discussion on the movers and shakers of history. I would say that this book is like a wonderful appetizer to vital historical and philosophical studies. It's perfect for a small group and likely to cause some heated debate. It definitely causes reflection on the differences between cultural Chrisitanity and Christianity through conviction. In a climate where working life and decisions therein are a sort of stage and life behind that curtain is accepted as a completely different arena of actions and ideas, this book is a spark that will definitely light a flame in your soul. What is your source and where do you stand?
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Ray Mccollum on September 23, 2006
Format: Paperback
As one who's been hiring and firing in the public and private sector for almost 40 years, I can tell you this book is a gift we ought to give every staffer. It's basically a highly readable workbook, a tool for understanding the true nature of human character and how to develop it. The reader will be greatly impacted if the material is treated as a personal devotional guide, reading it slowly, meditatively, contemplatively. Guinness touches the very essence of the subject. Who we are "when no one sees" is who we truly are.

Highly recommended.
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