Feature

Also of interest...in ethics and ideals

Be Good; Wait; Sincerity;Resilience

Be Goodby Randy Cohen (Chronicle, $25)During the dozen years he wrote the “Ethicist” column for The New York Times Magazine, Randy Cohen exhibited “a special brand of empathy,” said Meredith Goldstein in The Boston Globe. This greatest hits collection fairly lives up to its subtitle, How to Navigate the Ethics of Everything. As you read the queries that letter-writers sent Cohen, you’ll initially be shaking your head at just how awful people can be. But, like Cohen, you realize that each one truly cares about doing the right thing. 

Waitby Frank Partnoy (PublicAffairs, $27)Frank Partnoy’s fascinating new book “offers a wonderful counterargument” to our era’s constant demand for instantaneity, said Mark Berman in The Washington Post. Partnoy isn’t recommending that we all become procrastinators, but he draws on examples from politics, finance, and sports science to help show that taking time to deliberate often results in the best decisions. “This isn’t a book of platitudes. Partnoy just wants us to think before we act or speak.”

Sincerityby R. Jay Magill Jr. (Norton, $26)You don’t need a book on sincerity to be reminded that we see less of it all the time, said Rachel Shteir in The New Republic. Yet R. Jay Magill’s “intriguing” cultural history of the concept promotes a fuller appreciation of our always-conflicted relationship with sincerity. Magill’s unpacking of contemporary attitudes toward the trait is fascinating, and he’s right not to preach or prescribe. Still, “I sincerely longed for a more ringing elevation of sincerity” than this book provides.

Resilienceby Andrew Zolli (Free Press, $26)Andrew Zolli has shined a spotlight on “an essential skill” for this age of great business volatility, said Adam Thierer in Forbes.com. Individuals and organizations that simply dig in when confronted with change fare worse than those able to exhibit flexibility without betraying their core purpose. “From jungle animal restoration efforts to the management of complex electrical grids,” Resilience walks readers through examples that highlight the strategies that succeed.

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