Picador 1999

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Other Books by Mark Caldwell

A Short History of Rudeness

Author: Mark Caldwell

The perceived breakdown of civility has in recent years become a national obsession, and our modern climate of boorishness has cultivated a host of etiquette watchdogs, like Miss Manners and Martha Stewart, who defend us against an onslaught of nastiness. Touching on aspects of both our public and private lives, including work, family, and sex, literary and social critic Mark Caldwell examines how the rules of behavior inevitably change and explains why, no matter how hard we try, we can never return to a golden era of civilized manners and mores.

A Short History of Rudeness: Manners, Morals, and Misbehavior in Modern America

Washington Post Book World:

This thoughtful and witty book, an examination of manners American-style, [is] astute and original, the definitive book on its subject, splendidly readable ... Mark Caldwell's prose, like his insights, is entirely irresistible.



WHAT WE'RE READING: Caldwell brilliantly explores the decline and fall of good manners.


Entertainment Weekly:

Charmingly written, scrupulously researched.


The New York Times Book Review:

[A] refreshing, commonsense exploration of American manners ... readers are sure to find themselves somewhere in A SHORT HISTORY OF RUDENESS ... [Caldwell] packs in his information with unobtrusive dexterity in a style that is modest, readable, intelligent and companionable.


Library Journal:

[Caldwell's] book has that 'can't-put-it-down' quality that is the mark of an exceptionally strong prose stylist. The result is an insightful and amusing study that deserves a wide audience.


Kirkus Reviews:

An astute critical history of American manners, taste, and etiquette.


Publishers Weekly:

[A] witty and up-to-the-minute history.