It may no longer be the age of Jane Austen, but good manners are never in bad form, even though social interaction may now be more relaxed. In Etiquette for Dummies, Sue Fox demonstrates a keen understanding that while manners differ from century to century and from place to place, civility and respect to other human beings are timeless and universal.
I might question a few of Fox’s perceptions on what today constitutes good manners, such as her thoughts on re-gifting. Nonetheless, her adroitness in addressing perennial problems and new ones can hardly be denied. Which fork to use may be still important, but how to respect others when using mobile technology is also important, and a new challenge. Fox doesn’t shrink from addressing either topic. In her presentation on technology, I was particularly impressed by her return to the rationale behind all etiquette: respect for a fellow human being. New technology may have new manners associated with it, yet the rationale is unchanging.
As can be expected from For Dummies books in general, Fox is straightforward in her presentation, perhaps even too straightforward. A sprinkling of a few more anecdotes would do much to flavor her solid discussion.
Etiquette may not be so celebrated as in the times of Austen and her heroines, but Etiquette for Dummies is a concrete start for anyone desirous of good manners, whose foundations are timeless.
Disclosure of Material Connection:
I received this book free for review from John Wiley & Sons, Inc. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own.