The Words We Live By

Overview

At one time, this nation held a profound and simple faith in the power of words. Today we have become so engulfed in public cynicism that the whole notion of "words to live by" seems to us impossibly naive.

Brian Burrell's splendid collection shows that many of the phrases we once lived by can still have resonance today. A comprehensive, fascinating treasure trove of American common sense and whimsy, The Words We Live By presents a sentimental rediscovery of a lost era in ...

See more details below
Paperback (Reprint)
$19.30
BN.com price
(Save 19%)$23.99 List Price
Other sellers (Paperback)
  • All (9) from $1.99   
  • New (7) from $5.91   
  • Used (2) from $1.99   
The Words We Live By

Available on NOOK devices and apps  
  • NOOK Devices
  • NOOK HD/HD+ Tablet
  • NOOK
  • NOOK Color
  • NOOK Tablet
  • Tablet/Phone
  • NOOK for Windows 8 Tablet
  • NOOK for iOS
  • NOOK for Android
  • NOOK Kids for iPad
  • PC/Mac
  • NOOK for Windows 8
  • NOOK for PC
  • NOOK for Mac
  • NOOK Study
  • NOOK for Web

Want a NOOK? Explore Now

NOOK Book (eBook)
$17.48
BN.com price

Overview

At one time, this nation held a profound and simple faith in the power of words. Today we have become so engulfed in public cynicism that the whole notion of "words to live by" seems to us impossibly naive.

Brian Burrell's splendid collection shows that many of the phrases we once lived by can still have resonance today. A comprehensive, fascinating treasure trove of American common sense and whimsy, The Words We Live By presents a sentimental rediscovery of a lost era in American history. From fraternal loyalty oaths to marriage vows, corporate mottoes to monument inscriptions, Ben Franklin to Henry Ford, Americans for generations have committed their most cherished ideals to print, often in charming and plain-spoken language that perfectly represents our provincial, pragmatic, and romantic national character.

Burrell's work was inspired by his father, an obsessive collector of words and a chronic nostalgia buff who traveled widely with his family, introducing them to the landmarks, monuments, and other symbols of America's past. Throughout his life, he clipped or wrote down memorable phrases, quotes, mottoes, and quips, both the silly and the profound, the playful and the maudlin. Burrell has lovingly compiled his father's collection of scrapbooks, complementing them with extraordinary research into the origins of America's civic ethics, to produce a truly memorable and inspirational work of historical reference. More than just a compendium of classic American wit and wisdom, The Words We Live By brings this material to life with poignantly told stories, forgotten anecdotes, and deeply considered meditations on the meaning of the words that have shaped the American nation.

Read More Show Less

Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781451646757
  • Publisher: Free Press
  • Publication date: 6/11/2011
  • Edition description: Reprint
  • Pages: 384
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 0.90 (d)

Meet the Author

Brian Burrell is a lecturer in mathematics at the University of Massachusetts at Amherst. He is author of Merriam Webster's Pocket Guide to Business and Everyday Math. Raised in Lexington, Massachusetts, he currently lives in Northampton.

Read More Show Less

Table of Contents

CONTENTS

Preface

Introduction

Ready-made opinions in American culture

PART ONE: THE WORDS

1. Do Unto Others

Words of Respect: The Evolution of the Golden Rule

2. We Hold These Truths

Words of Belief and Conviction: Creeds and Other Professions of Faith

3. So Help Me God

Words of Obedience: Loyalty Oaths and Pledges of Allegiance

4. 'Til Death Do Us Part

Words of Consent: Oaths of Citizenship, Rites of Secret Initiation, Temperance Pledges, and Wedding Vows

5. On My Honor I Will Do My Best

Words of Good Intent: Codes of Ethics and Conduct

6. To Thine Own Self Be True

Words of Experience: The Secrets of Success, Advice from Parents, and the Gospel According to Murphy, Parkinson, and Others

7. Semper Fi

Fighting Words: Mottoes, Maxims, and Slogans

8. In God We Trust

Words of Common Currency: The National Mottoes

9. Neither Snow Nor Rain Nor Heat Nor Gloom of Night

Words Set in Stone: Architectural Inscriptions of the American Renaissance

PART TWO: THE TEXTS

Golden Rules

Creeds

Oaths, Vows, and Pledges

Codes of Ethics and Conduct

Advice and Rules of Life

Mottoes, Maxims, and Slogans

Inscriptions

Sources, Notes, and Comments

Acknowledgments

Index

Read More Show Less

Customer Reviews

Be the first to write a review
( 0 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(0)

4 Star

(0)

3 Star

(0)

2 Star

(0)

1 Star

(0)

Your Rating:

Your Name: Create a Pen Name or

Barnes & Noble.com Review Rules

Our reader reviews allow you to share your comments on titles you liked, or didn't, with others. By submitting an online review, you are representing to Barnes & Noble.com that all information contained in your review is original and accurate in all respects, and that the submission of such content by you and the posting of such content by Barnes & Noble.com does not and will not violate the rights of any third party. Please follow the rules below to help ensure that your review can be posted.

Reviews by Our Customers Under the Age of 13

We highly value and respect everyone's opinion concerning the titles we offer. However, we cannot allow persons under the age of 13 to have accounts at BN.com or to post customer reviews. Please see our Terms of Use for more details.

What to exclude from your review:

Please do not write about reviews, commentary, or information posted on the product page. If you see any errors in the information on the product page, please send us an email.

Reviews should not contain any of the following:

  • - HTML tags, profanity, obscenities, vulgarities, or comments that defame anyone
  • - Time-sensitive information such as tour dates, signings, lectures, etc.
  • - Single-word reviews. Other people will read your review to discover why you liked or didn't like the title. Be descriptive.
  • - Comments focusing on the author or that may ruin the ending for others
  • - Phone numbers, addresses, URLs
  • - Pricing and availability information or alternative ordering information
  • - Advertisements or commercial solicitation

Reminder:

  • - By submitting a review, you grant to Barnes & Noble.com and its sublicensees the royalty-free, perpetual, irrevocable right and license to use the review in accordance with the Barnes & Noble.com Terms of Use.
  • - Barnes & Noble.com reserves the right not to post any review -- particularly those that do not follow the terms and conditions of these Rules. Barnes & Noble.com also reserves the right to remove any review at any time without notice.
  • - See Terms of Use for other conditions and disclaimers.
Search for Products You'd Like to Recommend

Recommend other products that relate to your review. Just search for them below and share!

Create a Pen Name

Your Pen Name is your unique identity on BN.com. It will appear on the reviews you write and other website activities. Your Pen Name cannot be edited, changed or deleted once submitted.

 
Your Pen Name can be any combination of alphanumeric characters (plus - and _), and must be at least two characters long.

Continue Anonymously

    If you find inappropriate content, please report it to Barnes & Noble
    Why is this product inappropriate?
    Comments (optional)