How to Be a Gentleman Revised and Updated: A Contemporary Guide to Common Courtesy Hardcover – Jan 2 2012
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About the Author
John Bridges, author of How to Be a Gentleman, is also the coauthor, with Bryan Curtis, of seven other volumes in the best-selling GentleManners series. He is a frequent guest on television and radio news programs, always championing gentlemanly behavior in modern society. Bridges has appeared on the Today Show, the Discovery Channel, and CBS Sunday Morning, and has been profiled in People magazine and the New York Times.
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Top Customer Reviews
Now, having said that, there are some glaring problems w/ this book.
I.) The suggestion that a man should NEVER turn down an invitation is nuts. The author gave the reader the out in the event of illness or death in the family. Come on, there are times, for whatever reason, that you have to respectfully decline.
2.) Drink beer from a CAN!?! How did that slip in there? First, at a truly formal occasion you simply don't suck down the suds. At any other occasion it is more than acceptable, but how hard is it to put it in a glass? Drinking beer from a can in your living room by yourself (or w/ your wife) after a long hard week, sure that's fine, but elsewhere drink from a glass.
3.) There is one point that states simply, "If a gentleman can afford to do so, he should have someone else clean his home." Why? There is a fine line between snobbery and etiquette and this crossed it. If it said if the man and his wife are to busy to keep a house clean, then that would make a lot of practical sense. Otherwise, it's a waste.
4.) The other gives the reader full liberty to not wear socks in many occasions, but says w/o question he must wear a undershirt. Though I live in the North and always wear the two aforementioned articles, I could see why a gentleman from Dixie would not want to wear an undershirt during the summer. Socks are a must, IMHO.
5.) The quib about always bringing condoms was both out of place and inappropriate in my opinion. Such sexual matters are both personal and vary depending on a gentleman's religious background. It didn't belong in this book.
Unfortunatly, the majority of the book consists of 1 line advice. "A gentleman does this. A gentleman never does this" etc.
While the description says you will learn how to order a bottle of wine, it is glossed over quickly. It explains the theatre of wine presentation, but fails to give any simple recommendations regarding what types of wine are recommended for different foods and occasions.
Here's the advice from "A gentleman goes to the opera". Turn your cell phone ringer off and don't leave your seat. Oh, and don't applaud until you are sure a set is completed.
The author recommends not being the first to arrive at a party and not being more than 15 minutes late. In my opinion, a gentleman is never late, period.
In short, try to find a general etiquette book. I am sure that many who are attracted to a book of this type are interested in acting as a gentleman as to distinguish themselves for the opposite sex. Look elsewhere.
Bridges showed me how awkwardly I made introductions and handled myself at the dinner table. Armed with his advice, I now introduce people more smoothly and facilitate an ice-breaker conversation (something I used to overlook). I now handle social dinners with grace and don't get flustered when I see my plate flanked by numerous specialized utensils, and I've noticed acknowledging glances from friends - especially female ones.
Thank you notes are another good tip. Since reading How To Be a Gentleman, I've started sending casual thank you notes via E-mail after a night out. I at first wondered if this would come across as stuffy, but these short "had a great time see you soon" notes have proven to be the perfect icing for friendships.
I especially liked Bridges' examples of what to say - and what not to say - in certain situations. We've all put our foot in our mouth and spoke without thinking first. Bridges offers good advice for avoiding these situations.
Bridges occasionally sounds starchy, such as when he says that "if the salad fork is in the wrong place [the gentleman] does not make a scene." This might sound condescending, but some people might get a little pretentious with their newfound gentleman's status. I thought it was appropriate for Bridges to throw in an occasional ego check along the way.Read more ›
Most recent customer reviews
They say that you cannot teach common sense. This may or may not be true but manners is not something you are born with, it is something you learn. Read morePublished 6 months ago by E. Vallee
The book is very informative for non westerners to survive in the west say the least. It might look like common sense to well-educated people.Published 16 months ago by B. Li
I breezed through this book in a couple of hours. It's got some great tips and is never dull. Short little one-liners throughout.Published on April 1 2010 by Sam Ribtor
A portion of the book is common sense, a portion gives practical guidelines for entertaining, a portion is about consideration for others and a portion is simply archaic or... Read morePublished on April 9 2004 by S. Andersen
What it means to be a "gentlemen" is always a matter of opinion. But John Bridges offers us a well-balanced path, addressing most areas of life in a brief 150 page book... Read morePublished on April 6 2004 by Edward J. Vasicek
A couple of interesting details here and there, a simple reference book for the occasional gentleman.Published on Dec 2 2003
The biggest complaint people have against books on etiquette and manners is that most of what's in them is common sense. Read morePublished on Nov. 4 2003 by Scott E. Allen
In an increasingly uncivilised world its nice to see that there are more of us who wish to engage in civility. Read morePublished on Oct. 14 2003 by Jay M. Lutsky
This book is wonderful at seeing beyond the minutiae of ordinary books on etiquette, and cutting to the core of what is truly useful in daily life.Published on Sept. 9 2003 by Matthew Ford