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The Good Life: The Moral Individual in an Antimoral World
     

The Good Life: The Moral Individual in an Antimoral World

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by Cheryl Mendelson
 

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The Good Life is a deeply reasoned but entertaining polemic about how the notion of morality has been co-opted by the political right, as the culture increasingly embraces the shallow charms of celebrity, gives a pass when it comes to failings in the realm of marital fidelity, and lives comfortably with the notion that we are all driven, more or less, by greed

Overview

The Good Life is a deeply reasoned but entertaining polemic about how the notion of morality has been co-opted by the political right, as the culture increasingly embraces the shallow charms of celebrity, gives a pass when it comes to failings in the realm of marital fidelity, and lives comfortably with the notion that we are all driven, more or less, by greed and the desire for power over others. Mendelson, who is for gay rights, sexual equality, labor unions, and the strong regulation of business and finance, is decidedly conservative when it comes to personal morality. She believes that while the right manages to effectively portray its opponents as socialist slackers, it claims a moral superiority it doesn't at all exhibit, lacking, as she says, moral compassion, one of the essential moral virtues. Provocative, inspiring, and deeply grounded, The Good Life shows that while the moral life is a hard road, the more of us who recognize that it is out there to be attempted, the better our culture will be.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
This powerful, thorough book preaches “moral mentality.” By following a moral geography mapping the good, moral life, Mendelson(Home Comforts) correctsoversimplified, misleading notions of morality. The author allows that the word “moral” suffers ambiguities, which, she regrets, has resulted in its co-opting by the political right. She is not neutral in her gritty analysis. She names names from Right to Left, from Cheney to Mamet. A professor of philosophy at Barnard College, Mendelson distinguishes among premoral, antimoral, and immoral; she discusses torture and abortion under “pseudomoral.” In 10 chapters, she marks among other coordinates the intersections of morality with democracy, family, money, and culture. She assesses the damage of being uncaringly cool or incurably narcissistic; she assails academe in one chapter and carves up puddin’-headed pundits in the last chapter, a long, often impenetrable disquisition. The headnotes—quotes from Hume, Leonard Cohen, Nietzsche and others—support her theories as much as multiple examples from literature (Shakespeare, Dickens, the Brontës), law, and life. Her style, clean and sharp and heavily footnoted, does not suffer minds “immune to reason.” Agent: Geri Thoma, Markson Thoma Literary Agency. (June)
From the Publisher

“Powerful, meaningful, and thorough…. She is not neutral in her gritty analysis….Her style, clean and sharp...does not suffer minds ‘immune to reason.'” —Publishers Weekly (starred)

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781608198351
Publisher:
Bloomsbury USA
Publication date:
06/05/2012
Sold by:
Barnes & Noble
Format:
NOOK Book
Pages:
320
File size:
2 MB

Meet the Author

Cheryl Mendelson is the author of the bestselling Home Comforts: The Art and Science of Keeping House (Scribner, 1999), which succeeded in updating the nineteenth-century home "manuals" for the twenty-first century. Mendelson, who received her Ph.D. in philosophy from the University of Rochester and her J.D. from Harvard Law School, has practiced law in New York City and teaches philosophy at Barnard College. She grew up in Appalachian Pennsylvania, the oldest girl in a farming family, so hers was the life of preparing breakfast for farmhands when she was nine, and learning the home "arts" from her grandmothers. With these powerful roots she also learned about marriage and morality and went on to pursue their study; in fact those two subjects are where she has set her sights for this next stage of her writing life. Her next book proposes to be the most entertaining, useful, and thorough book ever written on the subject of marriage, to be published by Bloomsbury in 2013.
Cheryl Mendelson is the author of the bestselling Home Comforts: The Art and Science of Keeping House, as well as three novels. She received her Ph.D. in philosophy from the University of Rochester and her J.D. from Harvard Law School. She has practiced law in New York City and teaches philosophy at Barnard College. Her next book, on the subject of marriage, is to be published by Bloomsbury in 2013. She lives in New York City with her husband and son.

Brief Biography

Hometown:
New York, New York
Date of Birth:
August 6, 1946
Place of Birth:
Jefferson, Pennsylvania
Education:
B.A., University of Florida, 1968; Ph.D., University of Rochester, 1973; J.D., Harvard University, 1981

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The Good Life: The Moral Individual in an Antimoral World 2 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 1 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago