Behaving Badly: The New Morality in Politics, Sex and Business
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“Written with brio and great charm . . . an implausibly entertaining romp through the ethical questions of our time, a kind of romantic engagement with morals that is never moralistic.”

—Andrew Solomon, Author of Far from the Tree: Parents, Children and the Search for Identity

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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