In praise of flattery

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Publisher:
University of Nebraska Press,
Pub. Date:
c2007.
Language:
English
Description
Where would we be without flattery? Hobbes deemed it an honorable duty and Meredith called it the “finest of the arts.” Alexander the Great applied it as imperial policy; Caesar and Cleopatra were masters of it; and Napoleon devoured it like candy. But flattery also has influential enemies. Cicero called flattery “the handmaid of vice” and Tacitus compared it to poison. In a work as erudite as it is entertaining, Willis Goth Regier looks into flattery as an element as flammable (and as taken for granted) as oxygen. Giving flattery light, attention, and care, Regier treats readers to hundreds of historical examples drawn from the highest social circles in politics, romance, and religion, from the courts of Byzantium and China to Paris, Rome, and Washington, DC. Because flattery must please, it is playful and creative, and Regier’s book makes the most of it, moving with light steps, now and then pausing to take in the view. Ambitious flatterers even seek to flatter God, a practice Regier treats with trepidation. This is a book for those who would understand the history, tactics, and pleasures of flattery, not least the thrill of danger. “O, flatter me, for love delights in praises.”—Shakespeare “The whole World and the Bus’ness of it, is Manag’d by Flattery and Paradox; the one sets up False Gods, and the other maintains them.”—Sir Roger L’Estrange “Just praise is only a debt, but flattery is a present.”—Samuel Johnson “In this disorganized society, in which the passions of the people are the sole real force, authority belongs to the party that understands how to flatter.”—Hippolyte Taine
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ISBN:
9780803213999
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full_title in praise of flattery
author regier willis goth
grouping_category book
lastUpdate 2017-08-14 05:04:35AM

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series Stages
series_with_volume Stages
title_display In praise of flattery
title_full In praise of flattery [electronic resource] / Willis Goth Regier
title_short In praise of flattery