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Words and Values: Some Leading Words and Where They Lead Us Paperback – January 27, 2005

ISBN-13: 978-0761831020 ISBN-10: 0761831029

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Editorial Reviews


A brilliant and desperately needed book. (The New York Times)

A marvel. (Baltimore Sun)

A valentine for word lovers, this informed and witty study of language...explains why and how words can lead us astray in every aspect of life from affairs of the heart to affairs of state. (Los Angeles Times)

Rosenthal offers reasoned arguments in support of her…opinions and does much to open our eyes to the sea of cant in which we swim. (The Boston Globe)

The book is original and stimulating, contains informative notes, and is recommended for all academic libraries. (CHOICE)

By tracing how the meanings of familiar words such as 'self,' 'potential,' and 'values' have changed, Peggy Rosenthal illuminates the dramatic cultural transformation that has occurred over the last half-century and offers insights into the social problems that have accompanied it. The result is a uniquely rewarding reading experience not only for social historians and students of language, but for all who seek to understand contemporary life and times. (Vincent Ryan Ruggiero, author of Making Your Mind Matter)

Semantics with a sting…A deft performance. (Kirkus Reviews)

About the Author

Peggy Rosenthal, independent scholar, has a doctorate in literature and writes widely on popular culture and the language of public discourse. Focusing most recently on how poetic language enriches the human spirit, she offers courses and workshops around the country on poetry as a resource for reflection.

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More About the Author

I've long enjoyed writing about how poetry can enrich our spiritual lives. This interest began with an anthology I co-edited in 1998 called Divine Inspiration: The Life of Jesus in World Poetry, published by Oxford University Press. Two years later, Oxford published my cultural analysis, The Poets' Jesus, which looked at mostly contemporary poetry from around the world, focusing on how Jesus has been represented in various cultures. From this book, I turned to smaller reflection guides, based on my experience co-directing retreats on using poetry for meditation. St. Anthony Messenger Press (now Franciscan Media) published two of these guides: Praying the Gospels through Poetry: Lent to Easter (2002) and Praying through Poetry: Hope for Violent Times (2003).

This latter book was one of my responses to 9/11. Another was to compile the anthology Imagine a World: Poetry for Peacemakers for Pax Christi USA in 2005; and to collect relevant poems by Denise Levertov, in Making Peace for New Directions Publishing in 2006.

Since then, I've branched out from poetry to other creative arts. With my husband, the Islamic scholar George Dardess, I co-authored Reclaiming Beauty for the Good of the World: Muslim & Christian Creativity as Moral Power (Fons Vitae, 2010). And my passion for knitting led me to write Knit One, Purl a Prayer: A Spirituality of Knitting for Paraclete Press (2011).

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Words and Values: Some Leading Words and Where They Lead Us
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