Enter your mobile number or email address below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.
To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number.
The Civility Solution: What to Do When People Are Rude Hardcover – June 10, 2008
The Amazon Book Review
Author interviews, book reviews, editors picks, and more. Read it now
It is an honor to recommend this fabulous book! P.M. Forni's thoughtful discussion of the importance of civility in today's hectic world will surely help readers find viable solutions for dealing with a variety of rude situations. (Peggy Post, director of the Emily Post Institute and author of Emily Post Etiquette, 17th Edition)
Pier M. Forni will be remembered as one of the greatest generals in our nation's struggle for civility. (Smithsonian Magazine)
About the Author
DR. P.M. FORNI is an award-winning professor of Italian Literature at Johns Hopkins University. In 2000 he founded The Civility Initiative at Johns Hopkins and over the years has continued to teach courses on the theory and history of manners. His book Choosing Civility (2002) has sold more than 100,000 copies. Reports on his work have appeared on The New York Times, The Times of London, The Washington Post, The Wall Street Journal, and The Los Angeles Times. He has been a on a number of radio and television shows, including ABC's World News Tonight, CBS Sunday Morning and BBC's Outlook. For years he was a regular on-the-air contributor to the Baltimore NPR affiliate station and the nationally syndicated radio show The Satellite Sisters.
Top customer reviews
There was a problem filtering reviews right now. Please try again later.
Deal with rudeness badly or ineffectively and we suffer psychological and even physical stress. Deal with it well, as Forni puts it, with civility, and our self-respect, character, and relationships improve.
If this is true, then you have to wonder why the psycho-professions have not flooded the world with such manuals. Why is it that the topic has only drawn the attention of sociologists and etiquette experts? The skill is surely more important than getting in touch with your inner spirituality.
Rudeness aims at one's place in society. In a community like New York where the extraordinary mix of peoples and cultures makes any determination of status and standing ambiguous at best, rudeness is a way to see how we stand in relation to others on the social hierarchy. Rudeness tests who is up and who is down, who is in and who is out, who is putting on airs and who is up to the task.
Ups and downs are part of the way we talk about these issues. We want to stand up for ourselves when others are trying to put us down. And Dr. Forni correctly asserts, we want to do so without making fools of ourselves, without engaging in histrionic displays, without diminishing ourselves. We need to reply to rudeness without becoming aggressive, contentious, litigious,or argumentative.
When someone is rude, we do not want to slap him down; we want to offer him the opportunity to recognize his fault and to back down voluntarily.
Perhaps Dr. Forni is too optimistic that civility can diminish the sting of rudeness and restore relationship harmony. I have often been accused of the same thing myself. We know that civility may not be an appropriate response to every act of rudeness, it is surely the place to start. Before trying other ways to respond we need to exhaust the resource of civility.