Integrity   -     By: Stephen L. Carter
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Harper Perennial / 1997 / Paperback

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Product Description

(PUBHarperCollins)Now in softcover! What we need, says Carter, is an integrity that encompasses all aspects of life---public, private, and spiritual. This can be done by discerning right from wrong, acting on what we've decided, and telling others that we're acting accordingly. "Good in many ways,"---First Things. 288 pages, softcover.

Product Information

Format: Paperback
Number of Pages: 288
Vendor: Harper Perennial
Publication Date: 1997
Dimensions: 7 1/2 X 5 X .75 (inches)
ISBN: 0060928077
ISBN-13: 9780060928070

Publisher's Description

Why do we care more about winning than about playing by the rules?

Integrity - all of us are in favor of it, but nobody seems to know how to make sure that we get it. From presidential candidates to crusading journalists to the lords of collegiate sports, everybody promises to deliver integrity, yet all too often, the promises go unfulfilled.

Stephen Carter examines why the virtue of integrity holds such sway over the American political imagination. By weaving together insights from philosophy, theology, history and law, along with examples drawn from current events and a dose of personal experience, Carter offers a vision of integrity that has implications for everything from marriage and politics to professional football. He discusses the difficulties involved in trying to legislate integrity as well as the possibilities for teaching it.

As the Cleveland Plain Dealer said, "In a measured and sensible voice, Carter attempts to document some of the paradoxes and pathologies that result from pervasive ethical realism... If the modern drift into relativism has left us in a cultural and political morass, Carter suggests that the assumption of personal integrity is the way out."

Author Bio

Stephen L. Carter is the William Nelson Cromwell Professor of Law at Yale University.

Born in 1954 in Washington, D.C., Professor Carter was educated in the public schools of New York City, Washington, and Ithaca, New York. In 1976 he received his bachelor's degree with honors from Stanford University, where he majored in history, and in 1979 he received his law degree from the Yale Law School.

Following his graduation from law school, Professor Carter served as law clerk to Judge Spottswood W. Robinson III of the United States Court of Appeals in Washington D.C., and, the next year, as law clerk to Justice Thurgood Marshall of the Supreme Court of the United States. After practicing law for a year, Professor Carter joined the Yale faculty in 1982. Three years later, he became one of the youngest members of the faculty ever voted tenure.

His critically acclaimed books include The Culture of Disbelief and Reflections of an Affirmative Action Baby. He is currently at work on Civility, the sequel to Integrity. Professor Carter lives with his family in Connecticut.

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  1. 5 Stars Out Of 5
    July 27, 2007
    Dr Austin McCaskill
    Some books are not worth reading once. Others are worth reading twice. Stephen Carters book Integrity is worth reading many timesnot because it difficult or inaccessible, but because it is insightful and thought provoking. Carter insists that integrity requires three steps: (1) discerning what is right and what is wrong; (2) acting on what you have discerned, even at personal cost; and (3) saying openly that you are acting on your understanding of right from wrong. Carter then develops each of these areas and demonstrates why they are not only theoretically rightthey are also advisable and even necessary to have a just society. Carter explains why living a life of integrity, and demanding it of others (especially politicians and other leaders) will result in a better life and culture for all. He applies the three steps to many areas of life, from politics to marriage, from the way bosses write letters of recommendation to the way newspaper editors choose which stories to run. Carter writes from an unapologetically Christian framework, but this is not simply a book for Christians. His intended audience is much broader, and his examples demonstrate that fact. He explains, I am, by training and persuasion, a lawyer, and so the reader should not be surprised to find many legal examples in the pages that follow. But if this is not a book about Christianity, still less is it a book about law, and certainly it is not a work of philosophy. It is, rather, a book about Americans and our society, about what we are, what we say we aspire to be, and how to bring the two closer to balance.
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