by Stephen L. Carter
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Integrity by Stephen L. Carter

Why do we care more about winning than about playing by the rules?

Integrity - all of us are in favor of it, but nobody seems to know how to make sure that we get it. From presidential candidates to crusading journalists to the lords of collegiate sports, everybody promises to deliver integrity, yet all too often, the promises go unfulfilled.

Stephen Carter examines why the virtue of integrity holds such sway over the American political imagination. By weaving together insights from philosophy, theology, history and law, along with examples drawn from current events and a dose of personal experience, Carter offers a vision of integrity that has implications for everything from marriage and politics to professional football. He discusses the difficulties involved in trying to legislate integrity as well as the possibilities for teaching it.

As the Cleveland Plain Dealer said, "In a measured and sensible voice, Carter attempts to document some of the paradoxes and pathologies that result from pervasive ethical realism... If the modern drift into relativism has left us in a cultural and political morass, Carter suggests that the assumption of personal integrity is the way out."

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780465034666
Publisher: Basic Books
Publication date: 02/28/1996
Pages: 288
Product dimensions: 5.94(w) x 9.53(h) x 1.10(d)
Lexile: 1340L (what's this?)

About the Author

Stephen L. Carter is the William Nelson Cromwell Professor of Law at Yale University.

Born in 1954 in Washington, D.C., Professor Carter was educated in the public schools of New York City, Washington, and Ithaca, New York. In 1976 he received his bachelor's degree with honors from Stanford University, where he majored in history, and in 1979 he received his law degree from the Yale Law School.

Following his graduation from law school, Professor Carter served as law clerk to Judge Spottswood W. Robinson III of the United States Court of Appeals in Washington D.C., and, the next year, as law clerk to Justice Thurgood Marshall of the Supreme Court of the United States. After practicing law for a year, Professor Carter joined the Yale faculty in 1982. Three years later, he became one of the youngest members of the faculty ever voted tenure.

His critically acclaimed books include The Culture of Disbelief and Reflections of an Affirmative Action Baby. He is currently at work on Civility, the sequel to Integrity. Professor Carter lives with his family in Connecticut.



Date of Birth:

October 26, 1954

Place of Birth:

Washington, D.C.


B.A. Stanford University, 1976; J.D., Yale Law School, 1979

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Integrity 4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 2 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I'm a college student researching integrity as a social issue. I found this book very insightful on the topic it helped me to think things through. I liked his writing style, which uses many examples from current events, recent history, literature, etc., and flows logically from point to point. Most valuable of all was his attempt to show both sides. As an example, he neither sided with conservative or liberal thinking, but instead showed the strengths and failings of both. His purpose seemed to be to spur awareness without pushing an agenda of his own -- to get people to think and talk about the virtue of integrity and its place in American society. I really appreciated this non-biased, non-reactionary approach. I will read other books by this author.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I am not involved in politics, so the most important parts of the book were the definitions of integrity and the 'tests' for true integrity. Using Mr. Carters definitions, it becomes difficult to find individuals who truly live with integrity. I think more people should read the book. However, I don't think integrity matters enough to most people.