You're Too Kind: A Brief History of Flattery

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Simon and Schuster, 05.02.2002 - 320 Seiten
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.
 

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YOU'RE TOO KIND: A Brief History of Flattery

Nutzerbericht  - Kirkus

A comprehensive, humorous, and insightful history of man's sycophantic behavior.Time editor Stengel (January Sun, 1990) directs his account to the "perfect, gentle reader" (i.e., you and me) and ... Vollständige Rezension lesen

LibraryThing Review

Nutzerbericht  - edella - LibraryThing

Apparantly, flattery is in our genes. Richard Stengel takes us on a tour of flattery through the ages, from chimps to the God of the Old Testament, to the middle Ages, and on to Monica Lewinsky's love letters to the "Big Creep". According to Richard Stegel flattery is a form of survival. Vollständige Rezension lesen

Inhalt

Introduction
11
A Word or Two on the Etymology of Flattery
26
Everyone Has a Hierarchy
31
You Can Take It with You
49
Flatter Me or Else
66
Flattery Is Undemocratic
89
The Invention of Romantic Flattery
109
The Courtiers Guide to How to Flatter
131
How Flattery Won Friends and Influenced People
193
The Science of Ingratiation
218
The Capitals of Modern Flattery
241
How to Flatter Without Getting Caught
271
Appendix
275
Notes
281
Acknowledgments
297
Index
299

American Transparency
161

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Über den Autor (2002)

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.

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