The Good Life The Moral Individual in an Antimoral World

Cheryl Mendelson

Bloomsbury USA




320 Pages



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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.


Praise for The Good Life

"Powerful, meaningful, and thorough . . . She is not neutral in her gritty analysis . . . Her style, clean and sharp . . . does not suffer minds 'immune to reason.'"—Publishers Weekly (starred)

Reviews from Goodreads



  • Cheryl Mendelson

  • Cheryl Mendelson is the author of the bestselling Home Comforts: The Art and Science of Keeping House, as well as three novels. She received her Ph.D. in philosophy from the University of Rochester and her J.D. from Harvard Law School. She has practiced law in New York City and teaches philosophy at Barnard College. Her next book, on the subject of marriage, is to be published by Bloomsbury in 2013. She lives in New York City with her husband and son.