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The Importance of Being Civil:
The Struggle for Political Decency
John A. Hall

Book Description | Table of Contents
Introduction [in PDF format]


"As would be expected from an intellect of such standing, this is a masterful work. It is rich in ideas, and Hall's readings of authors such as Adam Smith, Alexis de Tocqueville, Raymond Aron, Erving Goffman and Daniel Bell are profoundly insightful. There is little question that the book makes a major contribution to contemporary debates on civility and civil society."--Jason Edwards, Political Theory


"This highly original book is a major contribution to the study of civility and civil society, as well as sociological theory, nationalism studies, the history of ideas, and political theory. With impeccable scholarship, great erudition, rich prose, and a rare ability to integrate sophisticated historical and sociological analysis with specific recommendations, Hall provides a new understanding of civility."--Siniša Malešević, University College Dublin

"Instead of going down the well-established route of analyzing the institutional networks of civil society, this book puts civility at the center of inquiry and, from there, moves outward to its changing relations with state, nation, and empire. Admirably comparative, it makes a major contribution to the subject and current debate. I know of no book quite like this one."--Frank Trentmann, Birkbeck College, University of London

"This important and engaging book explores the surprisingly diverse range of issues in which civility plays a key role. The book will be immensely useful to both specialists interested in developing new theories and general readers trying to make sense of an evocative but elusive concept."--Bernard Yack, Brandeis University

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File created: 4/24/2017

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