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The Good Life: The Moral Individual in an Antimoral World

by Cheryl Mendelson, Adjunct Associate Professor of Philosophy

Bloomsbury Publishing, 2012

The Good Life is a deeply reasoned, readable, and exciting polemic about the hijacking of the idea of morality by the political right and about the distortions of it in American culture—in business, social life, law, science, and academia. Cheryl Mendelson puts her finger on a current that runs through American life today, one of pervasive, often covert hostility to the moral, that leads to unhappiness in personal lives as well as to the policies favoring cruelty and greed that afflict our times. She writes from a perspective that favors both liberal political ideals—such as civil rights, sexual equality, gay rights, labor unions, and effective regulation of business and finance—and staunch personal decency, precisely because all these serve the real purposes of morality. The Good Life portrays morality as it really is: a source of clarity and satisfaction in emotional life, equity and justice in public life, and integrity and strength in both. Inspiring, temperate, and insightful, The Good Life offers a moving account of morality and a warm appreciation of the people who still understand what it is about.