17 August 2011

The Times Book of Modern Manners: Perfect Behaviour In An Imperfect World (John Morgan)

God knows we need all the help we can get...
'John Morgan's "Modern Manners" column in Saturday's Times is one of the paper's most popular and talked-about features. Morgan's succinct and witty replies to readers' anxieties about the numberless pitfalls of correct behaviour today pull in sackfulls of post from around the globe. The "creme de la creme" of this correspondence has now been selected by Morgan to appear in this book. Believing that civilized conduct can never be instilled at too young an age and that only those who have, sadly, left us need no longer aspire to the loftiest social heights, Morgan (1959-2000), the arbiter elegantum of our age, passes his inimitable judgements on behaving flawlessly from the cradle to the grave. Greetings, marriages, divorces, entertaining, sexual diplomacy, manners on the move and bereavement: all find their way under Morgan's finely focused social microscope.'

6 comments:

Anonymous said...

This is a great book, sorely needed. However . . . American culture has become so crass and rude that many of the most basic elements of civil behavior are now lost. How did we get to this point?

It's not a matter of knowing, for example, when to use which fork during a formal dinner. Rather, again only as an example, it's knowing enough to show up on time, dressed like an adult (at least to take the baseball hat off in the host's living room and to cover up the "wifebeater"), and to reciprocate after accepting a plurality of invitations. It's knowing not to scream into your phone when others are trying to carry on a conversation ; it's knowing not to bring your dog to my house and allow him to defecate on my neighbor's lawn. I could go on . . .

RulingPart said...

Bravo! Here's something I can applaud! I'm searching Amazon as we speak.

White Horse said...

Indeed, a needed tome for many. Reminds me of my uncle who prior to marrying his current wife (a Carnegie), was obliged to attend manner school with his daughter from another marriage.

Anonymous said...

Unfortunately, it's most likely that only those who least need it will be interested in it. The wogs out there just don't give a damn.

Yankee-Whisky-Papa said...

A wise woman once told me: "Fashion is for people with no style, and manners are for those with no breeding."

Anonymous said...

The reason why people in the USA and around the world could benefit from books like Mr. Morgan's should be intuitively obvious to all readers of this site.

Since the early 1960's we have engaged in a protracted orgy of doling out rights and privileges to hordes of people claiming a grievance agsinst the established social order.

In reaction, the lily livered executives, financiers, university presidents and other "opinion leaders" seized the opportunity to gain control by shoving political correctness down our throats. Any one who objected was labelled a defacto racist, homophobe, mysoginist or worse.

Polite discourse was upended by a new expressive "Do Your Thing" mentality that was exacerbated by the implosion of discipline within the workplace and within educational institutions of all times.

People who respected the Traditional American Way were decried as stuffy, arrogant or aloof. Rude behavior, substance abuse and wanton sexual lisciviousness became the new standard of behavior.

Have you recently interviewed a recent Ivy grad for a job? Most show up dishelved, aloof and arrogant with poor manners and communication skills coupled with an uncanny ability to don attire more befitting a homeless hobo than a person possessing an elite education.

Its obvious to me that the idiots now rule the Insane Asylum and Ohio State's E. Gordon Gee is one of the morons calling the shots per today's article about him in today's NYT!