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Your'e Too Kind: A Brief History of Flattery

by

Your'e Too Kind: A Brief History of Flattery Cover

 

Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

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.

Synopsis:

From the primates to the ancient world all the way to Hollywood, "You're Too Kind" presents a primer on flattery--where it originated, its development through the ages, and its myriad uses in contemporary culture.

About the Author

Richard Stengel is the editor of Time.com, and has contributed to The New Yorker, The New York Times, The New Republic, and GQ. He is the author of January Sun and collaborated with Nelson Mandela on Long Walk to Freedom. He lives in New York City with his wife and two sons.

Table of Contents

Contents

Introduction

A Word or Two on the Etymology of Flattery

Chapter 1 Everyone Has a Hierarchy

Chapter 2 You Can Take It with You

Chapter 3 Flatter Me or Else

Chapter 4 Flattery Is Undemocratic

Chapter 5 The Invention of Romantic Flattery

Chapter 6 The Courtier's Guide to How to Flatter

Chapter 7 American Transparency

Chapter 8 How Flattery Won Friends and Influenced People

Chapter 9 The Science of Ingratiation

Chapter 10 The Capitals of Modern Flattery

Epilogue: How to Flatter Without Getting Caught

Appendix

Notes

Acknowledgments

Index

Product Details

ISBN:
9780684854922
Author:
Stengel, Richard
Publisher:
Simon & Schuster
Location:
New York
Subject:
History
Subject:
Anthropology - Cultural
Subject:
Popular Culture
Subject:
Customs & Traditions
Subject:
Social history
Subject:
Flattery
Subject:
General Social Science
Subject:
Flattery - History
Subject:
anthropology;cultural anthropology
Copyright:
Edition Number:
1st Touchstone ed.
Edition Description:
B102
Series Volume:
121-01
Publication Date:
February 2006
Binding:
TRADE PAPER
Grade Level:
General/trade
Language:
English
Pages:
320
Dimensions:
8.44 x 5.5 in 15.085 oz

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Related Subjects

Children's » Activities » General
History and Social Science » Anthropology » Cultural Anthropology
History and Social Science » Sociology » General
History and Social Science » Western Civilization » General
History and Social Science » World History » General

Your'e Too Kind: A Brief History of Flattery Used Trade Paper
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Product details 320 pages Simon & Schuster - English 9780684854922 Reviews:
"Synopsis" by , From the primates to the ancient world all the way to Hollywood, "You're Too Kind" presents a primer on flattery--where it originated, its development through the ages, and its myriad uses in contemporary culture.
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