Choosing Civility by P. M. Forni – Book Review

Here is another book review by Daniel R. Murphy —
Title and Author: 
Choosing Civility by P. M. Forni

Synopsis of Content:  
Professor Forni, born in Italy and now having lived a long time in the United States, presents his 25 Rules of Considerate Conduct. This should be taught in school and should be read by anyone wanting to maintain decent and civil standards in their lives.

Without being preachy Forni explains how important civility is to insure good relations between people and to promote our own effectiveness. The rules are simple and the ones you likely learned as a child. They include rules like paying attention when someone else is speaking, acknowledging others properly, being inclusive, speaking kindly of others, apologizing earnestly, and accepting responsibility. There are more and they are worth reading. Little of this will be new to most readers but it is a good reminder of what civility requires. Our society, in its penchant for informality and self centered thinking that have arisen in recent decades, has lost sight of some of these ideas and Forni does a service to remind us of them and to explain how they serve us well.

While you may not learn a lot new from this book you will find it very useful in reminding you about the important and essential social skills that help make one more effective in dealing with others and make social exchanges far more enjoyable.

Readability/Writing Quality:  
The book is very readable. It is well organized and filled with quotations and observations that break up the text.

Notes on Author:  
Dr. P. M. Forni teaches Italian literature and civility at Johns Hopkins University. He has written a number of newspaper articles on this subject and appeared on public radio. He also founded the John Hopkins Civility Project.

Related Website:
Three Great Ideas You Can Use:  

1. Pay attention to others and listen attentively. You will honor them and increase your influence. You will also learn a lot more.

2. Speak kindly to and of others and do not speak ill. Nothing good comes of speaking ill of others and a great deal of good comes from speaking well of others.

3. Consider how what you say, and how you say it, will affect others. This does not mean that you fail to say what needs to be said and it does not mean that you become a Pollyannaish character who never challenges wrongs. It means you treat others with great respect and kindness and in the process you make social life far more agreeable and peaceful.

Publication Information:  
© 2002 by P. M. Forni
Published by St. Martin’s Press. 196 pages in paperback.

Rating for this Book:
Over All Rating:    Very Good.
Writing Style:    Well written. Easy to follow.
Usefulness:    Very useful in insuring a civil life.
Difficulty:    Not difficult but may challenge one’s beliefs and bad habits – a good thin.

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Wishing you Success and Prosperity,

Daniel R. Murphy

Wishing you well,

Daniel R. Murphy
Educating people for building wealth, adapting to a changing future and personal development.