You're Too Kind: A Brief History Of Flattery  -     By: Richard Stengel
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You're Too Kind: A Brief History Of Flattery

Simon & Schuster / 2001 / Paperback

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Product Description

(Author Richard) "Stengel has written not merely a popular history of flattery but also a guide to its employment. He does the latter with tongue slightly in cheek- yet the truth is that his counsel, and that of many others whom he quotes, can be used to good purpose." - The Washington Post

Product Information

Format: Paperback
Number of Pages: 320
Vendor: Simon & Schuster
Publication Date: 2001
Dimensions: 8 X 5 (inches)
ISBN: 0684854929
ISBN-13: 9780684854922
Availability: Usually ships in 24-48 hours.

Publisher's Description

Okay, who was the first flatterer? If you guessed Satan, you'd be close, but according to You're Too Kind, flattery began with chimpanzees, who groom each other all day long. In fact, flattery is an adaptive behavior that has helped us survive since prehistoric times.
Our flattery is strategic praise, and to illustrate its myriad forms, Richard Stengel takes us on a witty, idiosyncratic tour, from chimps to the God of the Old Testament to the troubadour poets of the Middle Ages, all the way through Dale Carnegie and Monica Lewinsky's adoring love letters to her "Big Creep."
Flattery thrives in hierarchical settings like royal courts or Fortune 500 boardrooms, and it flows both upward and downward. Downward is usually easier, but studies show it works best on those who already have high opinions of themselves.
Stengel sees public flattery as an epidemic in our society, and private praise as being all too scarce. Most often, though, flattery these days is just a harmless deception, a victimless crime that often ends up making both the giver and the receiver feel a little better. In short, flattery works.

Editorial Reviews

Elissa Schappell Vanity Fair Winningly smart and ever so charming.
Jonathan Yardley The Washington Post Stengel has written not merely a popular history of flattery but also a guide to its employment.
Jonathan Yardley

The Washington Post

Stengel has written not merely a popular history of flattery but also a guide to its employment.

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