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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

4.5 out of 5 stars 15 customer reviews

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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
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  • Healing the Shame that Binds You (Recovery Classics)
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  • Bradshaw On: The Family: A New Way of Creating Solid Self-Esteem
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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
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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: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (15 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #654,821 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

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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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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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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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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This book contains a wealth of insight about how to live with courage and integrity in these challenging times. I recommend it highly. I am re-reading it now, for the third time. There is so much in here to assimilate. Every time I read a passage, I pause to reflect on my own life and those of the hundreds of people I have counseled over the years. I recognize that I never really understood shame until I read Bradshaw. And his take on willpower, impulse control, lying, and stealing has been very valuable in my work. The book is also an excellent resource for serious parents--parents who want to know how to raise an emotionally intelligent child with high self-esteem based on healthy choices. I love the intelligent, non moralistic tone to the book. It makes you think more deeply about yourself and your choices.
Susan Campbell, Ph.D.
Author of Getting Real: 10 Truth Skills You Need To Live An Authentic Life
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