Twenty-First-Century Etiquette

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About the Author

Charlotte Ford is a best-selling author, successful businesswoman, and dedicated volunteer who devotes much of her time and efforts to charitable organizations. Born in Detroit to Henry Ford II, she was raised in Grosse Pointe, Michigan, and studied in Florence, Italy and at the Sorbonne in Paris. Despite her privileged background, Ford has a practical ...
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2001 Hard cover Illustrated. New in new dust jacket. Sewn binding. Cloth over boards. With dust jacket. 288 p. Contains: Illustrations. Audience: General/trade.

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Overview

About the Author

Charlotte Ford is a best-selling author, successful businesswoman, and dedicated volunteer who devotes much of her time and efforts to charitable organizations. Born in Detroit to Henry Ford II, she was raised in Grosse Pointe, Michigan, and studied in Florence, Italy and at the Sorbonne in Paris. Despite her privileged background, Ford has a practical no-nonsense approach to business. She says, "I work for success, and because money is one measure of achievement in our world, earning it is important to me."

In 1961 Ford moved to New York and joined McMillen, Inc. the prestigious interior design firm. In 1965 she married Stavros Niarchos and, after the birth of her daughter, Elena, the following year devoted her time to her private life. Ten years later, she was ready for a new professional challenge. Ford entered the fashion business and her designs for Don Sophisticates dresses and sportswear generated more than $35 million in annual sales.

Her first book, "Charlotte Ford's book of Modern Manners," (Simon & Schuster 1980) became an instant best seller and established Ford as the social arbiter of her generation. A rave review in Time magazine stated "she brings to the arid arena of do's and don'ts, a dose of good sense, a dash of wit and a dollop of compassion, none of which are standard ingredients of etiquette." Less than a decade later, public demand for an updated version resulted in another best seller, "Etiquette, Charlotte Ford's Guide to Modern Manners" (Crown 1988). Lyons Press will publish Ford's new book "21st Century Etiquette" in Fall 2001.

She is a member of the Board of Governors of the New York Presbyterian Hospital and is involved in a number of committees. She was named Trustee of the Year in September 1990 and was elected as Vice Chairperson of the Board of Trustees, the first women picked for this position. In June 2001, Mrs. Ford received the United Hospital Fund's Distinguished Trustee Award in recognition for her "extraordinary service, philanthropic support and leadership, and deep commitment to the voluntary spirit of New York City's hospital system."

Mrs. Ford is on the advisory board of The HealthCare Chaplaincy. In January 1990 she was nominated and elected to the Board of the Professional Children's School of New York. She has a deep interest in under-privileged children and sits on the Board of the Family Academy School. In June 1993 she was appointed a Trustee of the Rogosin Institute. In April 1997 she was elected to the Board of Trustees at Henry Ford Museum & Greenfield Village in Dearborn.

In June 1997 the National Kidney Foundation of New York/New Jersey named Ford, "Woman of the Year" at their Annual Awards Banquet for her commitment to The Rogosin Institute and her commitment to research in the area of kidney disease. In May 1999, she received the Second Century Award for Excellence in HealthCare, which was presented to her at the commencement exercises of Columbia University's School of Nursing.

Mrs. Ford owns OmniPresents, a catalogue-based gift business that selects the perfect gift for every occasion. OmniPresents, which began by offering services primarily during the Christmas Holiday season, has grown to encompass every holiday and gift giving need.

In addition to her daughter Elena, who is employed by the Ford Motor Company, Mrs. Ford has four grandchildren, Charlotte Anne, Callie, Alessandro, and Annabelle. She maintains a home in Southampton, New York and Sun Valley, Idaho.
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Editorial Reviews

From Barnes & Noble
In our ever-changing world, we are often confronted with situations in which we aren't sure how to act. Etiquette expert Charlotte Ford gives practical advice for handling oneself with aplomb. Rather than prescribing a set of stuffy rules, this book serves as a guiding hand through such contemporary minefields as prenups, email, and casual Fridays.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781585743377
  • Publisher: Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, Inc.
  • Publication date: 12/1/2001
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 304
  • Product dimensions: 6.23 (w) x 9.29 (h) x 1.00 (d)

Interviews & Essays

An Exclusive Interview with Charlotte Ford

Barnes & Noble.com: In many ways, manners should just be common sense. However, when I was reading your book I found myself remembering many instances when people have behaved thoughtlessly or in a way that makes others uncomfortable. Sometimes I think that the "casual" style of living has gotten out of control. What would you say is the biggest change in manners over the last 10 or 20 years?

Charlotte Ford: The biggest change in manners is how fast-paced our lifestyles have become in this technological era. But manners do not, and should not, take time -- it's a quick "please" and "thank you" or "I'm sorry." In addition, with all the new high-tech tools that we use every day, we tend not to deal with each other on a human level. Communication via email and voice mail often causes us to be abrupt and less thoughtful.

B&N.com: Although our first priority should be to look to our own behavior, when is it correct to let someone know that they may be offending others, if ever? For instance, you give guidelines on business casual dress, but what if a colleague, especially a younger one, wears skimpy outfits? I'm not talking about an office vamp but rather a person trying to be fashionable. Obviously she must not be aware of co-workers' discomfort.

CF: Honesty is the best policy, and the message should be delivered with as much tact and in as kind a manner as possible to avoid offending anyone. However, the message should be delivered from a person in a supervisory position -- it could be more hurtful coming from a co-worker.

B&N.com: What if the offender is a relation? At a birthday party a friend gave for her husband, his sister-in-law proceeded to change her baby on my friend's brand-new slipcover. My friend was infuriated but didn't say anything.

CF: Definitely speak up -- doesn't matter who it is -- and go and get something like a towel to put underneath the baby: It's not very hygienic otherwise.

B&N.com: In the book you recommend keeping in storage unwanted gifts. Are there occasions when exchanging the gift is acceptable? I'm thinking of a friend who received earrings as a bridesmaid present (the other bridesmaids received the same gift). Not only does she not have pierced ears, her ears are so sensitive she does not wear earrings at all. The earrings were from Tiffany's, and my friend would like to exchange them for something she could wear.

CF: I think she should definitely change them for something she would wear. If the bride feels hurt, that's her problem. But in general, I think that most people would not want someone to keep a gift they do not like or could not use.

B&N.com: Is there anything else you would like to add?

CF: I would define manners as basic consideration for others.

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Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted April 1, 2003

    A Waste of My Time

    I bought this book as a guide and was so disappointed. Most of it is common sense. Most topics (i.e., single parenting, gay parenting, divorced parenting) were not given enough space, and other topics (i.e., sexual harassment, single parenting) show that the author(s) need a reality check. The quizzes at the end of the chapters are silly.

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