An Uncommon History of Common Courtesy: Customs, Quirks, and Social Snafus Around the World

Author(s): Bethanne Patrick

Lifestyle | No Category

"Say Please and Thank You" gives a lively insider's look at dos and don'ts down the street or halfway around the world. Every day we encounter situations in which we follow, often without question, conventional rules or folk wisdom in order to maintain hidden social norms or not give offence. Around the world, these have slight but often significant differences - what can be acceptable in one country can be a horrible gaffe in another. With engaging and artfully presented text, including sidebars on media experts throughout history, social gaffes, and archaic manners, this book is as entertaining as it is informative. It includes topics such as Courtesies and Greetings, Communication and Correspondence, Dining and Entertaining, Hierarchies and Protocol, Hospitality and Occasions, Amusements and Institutions, Boundaries and Cultural Differences, New Technology and Old Manners. Whether you are planning a trip abroad or just want a fascinating, to browse through, find out what is universal and what is merely a product of one's own culture.


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"The sharply designed and strikingly illustrated book offers page-length discussions of everything from "Ring Kissing" to "Close Talkers." Concise biographies of significant figures in the history of good behavior are interspersed tactfully throughout: Erasmus, Mrs. Beeton, Lady Bird Johnson." -"Washington Post""Refinement in table manners signals that a person has taken time to consider what best suits other people, whether they're seated at left or right, or across the table," declares the brand-new "An Uncommon History of Common Courtesy: How Manners Shaped the World" (National Geographic, $40) by Bethanne Patrick. "No wonder that elaborate dinners are often a precursor to being hired in large, formal companies -- he or she who demonstrates deft precision with cutlery will usually practice the same when faced with a crucial deal." "-Chicago Tribune"

Bethanne Patrick is a writer and book critic who blogs as The Book Maven. A graduate of Smith College with a master's from the University of Virginia, she hosts an online author interview show for PBS affiliate WETA. Her features, profiles, and reviews have appeared in "The Washington Post, Publishers Weekly, ""The Writer, " and "People."

General Fields

  • : 9781426208133
  • : National Geographic Society
  • : National Geographic Society
  • : October 2011
  • : books

Special Fields

  • : Bethanne Patrick
  • : Hardback
  • : 304