This is a delightful book about how to behave well coming from a very original thinker who had plenty of opportunities to try out responses to rudeness. It was written in the early nineteen- eighties so some of it is still contemporary but some isn’t at all (the parts that have dated are mostly about how women are expected to behave). Some of the polite lies advocated go a bit far in my opinion and I’m not sure they would be wise. There is much good advice in this book that is still relevant and it’s written so amusingly I’m likely to remember it. It’s a great book for those who struggle with defining the boundaries of what they think is acceptable behaviour. It has the splendid aim of making people enjoy other people’s company. I think anyone could read it and find something relevant that can help them in their dealings with others.
This part seemed extremely relevant for life right now: “We must live a life where we do have time for others. We must reduce our activities so that we are never living at the very edge of our nervous or physical energy; then we will always have the time to behave nicely”.
This isn’t a twee book about pointless rules that divide people into classes, it’s an incisive and inclusive book about how to treat people in order to be treated well oneself.