Behaving Badly: The New Morality in Politics, Sex and Business
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“There is a case to be made that a serious subject needs to be approached both with sensitivity and a strong dose of humour if it is to hold our attention and make us think. This Collinsworth has done magnificently on the complex issues of morality.”

—Christine Loh, Under Secretary, Legislative Council of Hong Kong

What is the relevance of morality today?

Addressing this question with self-effacing wit and unremitting resourcefulness, Eden Collinsworth enlists the famous, the infamous, and the heretofore unheard-of to unravel how we make moral choices in an increasingly complex—and ethically flexible—age.

To call these unsettling times is an understatement: our political leaders are less and less respectable; in the realm of business, cheating, lying, and stealing are hazily defined; and in daily life, rapidly changing technology offers permission to act in ways inconceivable without it. Yet somehow, this hasn’t quite led to a complete free-for-all—people still draw lines around what is acceptable and what is not. Collinsworth sets out to understand how and why. In her intrepid quest, she seeks out, among others, a prime minister, the editor of the Financial Times, a holocaust survivor, a pop star, and a former commander of the U.S. Air Force and grapples with the impracticality of applying morals to foreign policy; precisely when morality gets lost in the making of money; what happens to morality without free will; whether “immoral” women are just those having a better time; why celebrities have become the new moral standard-bearers; and if testosterone is morality’s enemy or its hero.

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