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by Eric Felten
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Americas
  • Author:
    Eric Felten
  • ISBN:
    1439176868
  • ISBN13:
    978-1439176863
  • Genre:
  • Publisher:
    Simon & Schuster; First Edition edition (April 26, 2011)
  • Pages:
    320 pages
  • Subcategory:
    Americas
  • Language:
  • FB2 format
    1567 kb
  • ePUB format
    1909 kb
  • DJVU format
    1217 kb
  • Rating:
    4.5
  • Votes:
    428
  • Formats:
    lit doc lrf mobi


Let me know if you think I got it right in my analysis or if you have another point of view.

Only 8 left in stock (more on the way). Eric Felten writes The Wall Street Journal’s well-regarded culture column, Postmodern Times. For four years, he wrote the Wall Street Journal’s celebrated cocktail column, How’s Your Drink?, which won a Beard Foundation award for Best Newspaper Writing on Wine, Spirits, or Beer. A jazz singer and trombonist, his TV concert special has been seen on PBS stations nationwide.

Eric Felten, an entertaining man who has written on the making of cocktails, has produced a book on the virtue of loyalty. It is a serious book, though not conveyed in the spirit of the classroom, but as if it were introduced and accompanied by one or more of his well-conceived drinks. If only the philosophy professors could relax and submit to the charm of Felten’s book-its nicely balanced arguments and its many examples, both everyday and literary-they might see how much it contributes to the understanding of virtue, particularly modern virtue.

Loyalty: The Vexing Virtue. As Felten writes in his thoughtful and entertaining book, loyalty is vexing. It forces us to choose who and what counts most in our lives-from siding with one friend over another to favoring our own children over others. It forces us to confront the conflicting claims of fidelity to country, community, company, church, and even ourselves.

Felten illustrates the push and pull of loyalties- from the ancient Greeks to. .When is loyalty right, and when does the virtue become a vice? As Felten writes in his thoughtful and entertaining book, loyalty is vexing.

The foundation of our greatest satisfactions in life, loyalty also proves to be the root of much misery. 0 5 Kirjailija: Eric Felten. Saatavilla e-kirjana. A witty, provocative, story-filled inquiry into the indispensable virtue of loyalty-a tricky ideal that gets tangled and compromised when loyalties collide (as they inevitably do), but a virtue the author, a prizewinning columnist for The Wall Street Journal, says is as essential as it is impossible. It forces us to choose who and what counts most in our lives-from siding with one friend over another to favoring our own children over others

Loyalty: The Vexing Virtue.

As Felten writes in his thoughtful and entertaining book, loyalty is vexing.

The other virtues vex, too, but loyalty’s vexations make us doubt it’s really a.What Eric Felten shows is that loyalty is a symptom of human nature caught in imperfection-a human nature not changed but obscured.

The other virtues vex, too, but loyalty’s vexations make us doubt it’s really a virtue. Though he writes his book to revive loyalty in our liberal, technological society, Felten doesn’t bring out just how modern politics has made the old loyalties especially difficult. The logic of consumption has now spread far beyond the market in material goods. In accepting loyalty’s vexations, we accept the reality of human nature and its limitations.

A witty, provocative, story-filled inquiry into the indispensable virtue of loyalty—a tricky ideal that gets tangled and compromised when loyalties collide (as they inevitably do), but a virtue the author, a prizewinning columnist for The Wall Street Journal, says is as essential as it is impossible. Felten illustrates the push and pull of loyalties— from the ancient Greeks to Facebook—with stories and scenarios in which conflicting would-be moral trump cards trap the unlucky in painful ethical dilemmas. The foundation of our greatest satisfactions in life, loyalty also proves to be the root of much misery. Can we escape the excruciating predicaments when loyalties are at loggerheads? Can we avoid betraying and being betrayed? When looking for love and friendship—the things that make life worthwhile—we are looking for loyalty. Who can we count on? And who can count on us? These are the essential (and uncomfortable) questions loyalty poses. Loyalty and betrayal are the stuff of the great stories that move us: Agamemnon, Huck Finn, Brutus, Antigone, Judas. When is loyalty right, and when does the virtue become a vice? As Felten writes in his thoughtful and entertaining book, loyalty is vexing. It forces us to choose who and what counts most in our lives—from siding with one friend over another to favoring our own children over others. It forces us to confront the conflicting claims of fidelity to country, community, company, church, and even ourselves. Loyalty demands we make decisions that define who we are.

Kazijora
With all of the emphasis on loyalty that we're reading about in the Trump administration, I wanted to learn more about this "virtue." Felten's book, though written well before Trump's presidency, was illuminating for me, and I'm glad to have read it. He examines loyalty's many facets -- in the military, in marriage, in friendship, and so on -- the pros and cons and why this "virtue" is so "vexing." I was impressed with his wide-ranging research and captivating quotes. But I would have liked to see deeper thoughts and more grappling. For example, his chapter on loyalty in marriage seemed too pat to me, and his chapter on loyalty in friendship seems to ignore women's loyal and supportive friendships altogether. I recommend this book, but it's not (of course) the last word on loyalty.
Frey
In these disturbing times, this topic is much overdue and very relevant for those in modern society who often value greed and ego over ethics, trust, honour and loyalty.

Fortunately, it is not a polemic about current events; instead, Felten masterfully cites history and philosophy to underline the traditional values of the United States. In Great Britain, for example, "loyalty" was one's duty to the king; the king's duty was duly outlined in law and custom dating from at least the Magtna Carta.

The United States is different. Loyalty in America is built around the rights of people to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness; these are based on loyalty to the Constitution and laws of the society, not on abstract religious values or obedience to specific personalities.

Thus, Felten shows how ancient Greek drama 'Antigone' is as relevant to modern Americans as to the original Greek audiences. In brief, he argues that a society based on numbers and greed is less worthy than one based on basic values such as loyalty, reliability, honour and trust.

Instead of blind obedience, which Felten cites as the downfall of some recent presidents and business leaders, he asserts, "So, too, the man who loves his cdountry will try to save his country, not only from assault, but also from its own worse instincts."

The delight is Felten's ability to switch effortlessly from social theorists such as Thorstein Veblen to the sports rivalry between the Yankees and Boston Red Sox. As Veblen might have written in regard to sports, the "highest and final appeal is for the death, damage, discomfort and destruction of the party of the second part."

Felten states, "This may be a pretty good description of the relationship between the Yankees and the Red Sox, but I'm not sure it captures the true nature of patriotism."

Instead, "... nations are not in zero-sum struggles ... The surest way to promote the success of my own country may well be to promote a broadly enjoyed prosperity around the world.

Instead of praising "freedom fries" as a test of loyalty, he writes, "I can wish America well without wishing France ill, just as I can wish my own family well without needing my neighbour to suffer."

It's this blending of examples, metaphors, analogies and original insight that make his book relevant, interesting, easy to read and yet subtly profound.
Gio
One of my favorite fictional characters was Simon Tam in the show Firefly. To me he is the embodiment of this virtue. He gives up everything to find, protect and heal his sister and becomes almost saintly in his devotion. He is an intelligent, pampered young man with great future ahead of him, but he throws his advantages away because his sister needed him and no one else was willing to help.
Many of my favorite stories are stories about loyalty, including real life ones from the peasant girl Ruksana Kauser saving her parents from terrorists with her ferociously protective rage, to Mary Ann Patten bringing the Clipper Ship Neptune's Car around Cape Horn when her husband was sick. For me even the virtue of tolerance is in many ways an outgrowth of this(which would probably be counterintuitive to those suspicious of loyalty); I can appreciate other religions and countries largely because other people care about them. I am not the only one. It is often the case that warriors on opposing sides will admire each other-and mutually despise traitors. I know as a historian that loyalty is one of the few things that can make ordinary people to look like saints. And that few vices are as universally despised as treachery. I certainly have that negative sort of self-righteousness to go with what I admire; I actually refused to read Josephus because it was written by a traitor and Anna Karenna because the heroine was an adulteress. All this does not mean I personally would do something spectacular when put to the test. It does mean that it is something I would like to think I would do. As an intellectual it might be expected I would be more proud of virtues associated with that class(such as hunger for knowledge). The fact is, in many ways I would rather be loyal. I know well that if loyalty can make ordinary people into saints it can make them into devils. Many intellectuals fear this. The condemnations of religion and nationalism, while often hyperbolic, are not totally misplaced. And the fashionable making of "whistleblowers" into heroes is not misplaced either; society is better off if corruption is revealed(of course that is not the best argument; society needs prisons too...) and many of these were very courageous. However even "whistleblowers" and "dissenters" and the like are often motivated by loyalty to something else. The White Rose League in Nazi Germany was one of the most courageous examples of dissent in history. It was also lead by a brother and sister. And there is also a curious quality that even in the worst villains, loyalty is sometimes considered a temptation but also a curious saving grace. It is no accident that Godfather is one of America's most popular films.

In this book, Eric Felten explores the nature of loyalty. It deals with it's complications and temptations as well as it's strengths. Eric talks of different kinds of loyalty, to kin, to spouse, to friends, to country, and to God. Some of the stories he tells are amazing, like the Strausses dying together in the Titanic. But conflicting loyalty can be tragic. One example was of a man who saw his wife and son drowning, and having to make a choice saved the wife. Eric notes that conflicting loyalty is tragic, but points out that the risk must be taken and it is an error to centralize one's loyalties to anything. The classic example he gave was the declaration "if I had to choose between betraying my country and betraying my friend I hope I should have the courage to betray my country". Eric points out the obvious reply that this depends on what your country and your friend want. If your friend is a Jew and your country is Nazi Germany you should certainly choose your friend. If your friend is a spy and your country only desires it's legitimate security interests then perhaps your country should come first. Eric's solution is that wisdom must be applied in choosing who and what you are loyal to, so that such things are not likely to happen. However as he would certainly admit, this is not insurance against tragedy. Nothing is. But one can work at it. One of the most interesting points Eric makes is that is that he believes that the chief vice of adultery is not that it gives sex away where it doesn't belong but that it gives loyalty away. Some shocking examples of this were a woman that had absolute discretion about the names of her temporary lovers but treated her husband with disdain. And a Frenchwoman, the wife of a dignitary who was told openly by her husband that he intended to turn her out on the streets for the sake of his mistress. When she shot him, the court gave her a light sentence on the general agreement that he got what he deserved. The stereotypically adulterous French would pass over keeping a mistress, but not this.

One point Eric made was to address the stereotyped conflation of loyalty with stupidity. He points out that this is false; that an intelligent person can be loyal, in fact he will apply his intelligence to the object of his loyalty. The example he gives is in examining a Victorian tale of an American agent assigned to carry a message to a powerful Latin American VIP. That man could not have done his job by being dumb.

All in all this is a good book. It gives a much needed examination of a virtue which is perhaps less respected in our individualistic society, but which no society can get along without. It shows the strengths and limitations of loyalty and teaches an old lesson, that loyalty must work as a team with other virtues. For like any virtue, if it becomes an obsession to the exclusion of other needed qualities it becomes corrupt. But that is no reason to expunge it. Without loyalty we could not really get on in life.
Kiutondyl
This is a great book! It is well written and interesting. It discusses aspects of loyalty that I had never considered. I was stunned to learn of various ways that others see loyalty and make decisions based on their perception of loyalty. The way I perceive loyalty was discussed too. I just never realized that there was any other way to view it. Interesting. Made me think. Didn't change my feelings about loyalty, but did create a new level of awareness in me. I would highly recommend this book for anyone interested in this subject.
Brol
I would not recommend this book and I am planning to return my copy. The material unfortunately does not advocate for loyalty which I eagerly thought it would. Instead, it comments, in every chapter, in the traps and contradictions of loyalty and takes every statement every made on loyalty literally. Not a book to get if you want to believe in the value of loyalty.