A Requiem for Manners

By |2018-06-22T14:43:07-05:00October 15th, 2013|Tags: , |

On April 9, 1865, General Robert E. Lee met General Ulysses S. Grant at the McLean House in Appomattox, Virginia, for the purpose of surrendering the Army of Northern Virginia. Lee had asked for the meeting and had prepared by putting on his finest uniform: a new, long dress coat with a high collar [...]

Edmund Burke on Manners

By |2014-04-24T10:30:53-05:00December 28th, 2012|Tags: , |

Edmund Burke It took Edmund Burke a very little time to decide that French Revolutionary philosophy posed a massive threat to civilization and social stability throughout Europe. By the end of his life, eight years after the storming of the Bastille, his fears of Jacobin contagion had led him to ask for [...]

Being Civil in Mean Times

By |2014-01-02T12:56:32-05:00September 10th, 2012|Tags: |

We live in mean times. While many of us do not daily experience the kind of civic ugliness featured on the evening news, or common place in Op ed sections of national newspapers, if we simply look and listen, we catch the mean spirited discourse all too common. Forget that this is even an [...]

Civility: Reading Each Other

By |2016-01-01T21:21:40-05:00July 9th, 2012|Tags: |

  National Endowment for the Humanities Chair Jim Leach spent most of 2010 on a Civility Tour of America, hosting events and discussions about the importance of the humanities for reintroducing civil discourse to American culture. Leach sees civility as a key part of a functioning society, and I agree. But whatever we mean [...]