Star-Spangled Manners: In Which Miss Martin Defends American Etiquette (for a Change)

Overview

"Wonderfully wicked....A bracingly sensible guide to living peaceably together."—Francine Prose, Elle

In this "wryly perceptive, historically informed" (BookPage) new book, America's leading expert on civility reminds her Gentle Readers that when the Founding Fathers created a revolution in the name of individual liberty and equality, they also took a stand against hierarchical European etiquette in favor of simplicity over ceremony, and ...

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Star-Spangled Manners: In Which Miss Manners Defends American Etiquette (For a Change)

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Overview

"Wonderfully wicked....A bracingly sensible guide to living peaceably together."—Francine Prose, Elle

In this "wryly perceptive, historically informed" (BookPage) new book, America's leading expert on civility reminds her Gentle Readers that when the Founding Fathers created a revolution in the name of individual liberty and equality, they also took a stand against hierarchical European etiquette in favor of simplicity over ceremony, and personal dignity over obsequiousness to our rulers.

Hailed by George Will as "The National Bureau of Standards," Judith Martin, who has "made etiquette writing an exercise in wit" (Book), recounts here how Americans fashioned this etiquette of egalitarian respect—a fascinating story that spans from the misunderstood origins of our table manners to the much overlooked legacy of African slaves to etiquette.

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Editorial Reviews

Elle
Wonderfully wicked....A bracingly sensible guide to living peaceably together.— Francine Prose
BookPage
“Wryly perceptive [and] historically informed.”
Booklist
“Peerless....analyzes every aspect of American life and the rituals that both define and undermine our culture.”
Smithsonian
“A well-argued essay that describes a specifically American etiquette.”
Boston Globe
“A fascinating genealogy and spirited defense of our rough-and-ready American manners.”
Book Magazine
“[Martin] has made etiquette writing an exercise in wit.”
The Daily Observer
“A quick and entertaining romp through American history and mores. Highly recommended.”
Wall Street Journal
“Incisive...Amusing.”
San Diego Union-Tribune
“A well-reasoned and insightful treatise on the American character, and the American character's manners.”
Christian Science Monitor
“A fascinating account of how we have arrived at the standards of etiquette we follow—or disregard—today. Those who pay attention will be rewarded with keen insights.”
Rainbow Electronic Review
Filled with good and fun education. It's a romp with a reasonable justification to why we do what we do.— Maggie Ramirez
Charleston Post and Courier
“[Martin] has a keen eye and merry wit.”
Elle - Francine Prose
“Wonderfully wicked....A bracingly sensible guide to living peaceably together.”
Rainbow Electronic Review - Maggie Ramirez
“Filled with good and fun education. It's a romp with a reasonable justification to why we do what we do.”
San Diego Union Tribune
“A well-reasoned and insightful treatise on the American character, and the American character's manners.”
Francine Prose - Elle
“Wonderfully wicked....A bracingly sensible guide to living peaceably together.”
Maggie Ramirez - Rainbow Electronic Review
“Filled with good and fun education. It's a romp with a reasonable justification to why we do what we do.”
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780393325010
  • Publisher: Norton, W. W. & Company, Inc.
  • Publication date: 10/19/2003
  • Edition description: First Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 319
  • Product dimensions: 5.60 (w) x 8.30 (h) x 0.80 (d)

Meet the Author

Judith Martin, born a perfect lady in an imperfect society, is the author of the “Miss Manners” columns and best-selling books, two novels, and a travel book on Venice. She and her husband live in Washington, DC.
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