Moral Courage

Front Cover
HarperCollins, 2005 - 308 pages
5 Reviews

Why did a group of teenagers watch a friend die instead of putting their own reputations at risk? Why did a top White House official decide to come clean and accept a prison sentence during Watergate? Why did a finance executive turn down millions out of respect for her employer? Why are some willing to risk their futures to uphold principles? What gives us the strength to stand up for what we believe?

As these questions suggest, the topic of moral courage is front and center in today's culture. Enron, Arthur Andersen, the U.S. Olympic Committee, abusive priests, cheating students, domestic violence -- all these remind us that taking ethical stands should be a higher priority in our culture. Why, when people discern wrongdoing, are they sometimes unready, unable, or unwilling to act?

In a book rich with examples, Rushworth Kidder reveals that moral courage is the bridge between talking ethics and doing ethics. Defining it as a readiness to endure danger for the sake of principle, he explains that the courage to act is found at the intersection of three elements: action based on core values, awareness of the risks, and a willingness to endure necessary hardship. By exploring how moral courage spurs us to strive for core values, he demonstrates the benefits of ethical action to the individual and to society -- and the severe consequences that can result from remaining morally dormant.

Moral Courage puts indispensable concepts and tools into our hands, equipping us to respond to the increasingly complicated moral challenges we face at work, at home, and in our communities. It enables us to make clear, confident decisions by exploring some litmus-test questions:

  • Is the benefit worth the risk?
  • Am I motivated by my desire to uphold my beliefs or just to impose them on others?
  • Will my actions create collateral damage among those with no stake in the outcome?

While physical courage may no longer be a necessary survival skill or an essential rite of passage out of childhood, few would dispute the growing need for moral courage as the true gauge of maturity. Treating this subject not as an esoteric branch of philosophy but as a practical necessity for modern life, Kidder deftly leads us to a clear understanding of what moral courage is, what it does, and how to get it.

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Review: Moral Courage

User Review  - Terry Jacobs - Goodreads

Good research on universal human values and some good working definitions. The book is dense and the mix of research, analysis, and exposition can make his points difficult to follow at times. He ... Read full review

Review: Moral Courage

User Review  - SMWF - Walmart

I purchased this book for a friend whose life has been very altered over the past four years. As they are bouncing back in life and will have tougher decisions to make in the future I thought this ... Read full review

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The Picket Line — 16 July 2007
Rushworth Kidder tries to define and develop moral courage in his book on the subject, but a whiff of sycophancy comes off the pages and spoils the project.
sniggle.net/ Experiment/ index.php?entry=16Jul07

Moral Courage; Moral Courage
Moral courage. It is a concept that is not often talked about, but we certainly notice when ... Defining moral courage is not just an intellectual exercise. ...
www.ethics.org/ erc-publications/ ethics-today.asp?aid=712

Moral Courage: A Hallmark of Relationship Centered Leadership ...
My friend and colleague, Tom Wojick with The Renewal Group, is offering a free teleconference: Moral Courage: A Hallmark of Relationship Centered Leadership ...
wildresiliencyblog.wordpress.com/ 2008/ 02/ 15/ moral-courage-a-hallmark-of-relationship-centered-leadership/

Moral Courage .
“Moral Courage for a University Ethics Capstone Class?” ... book also entitled Moral Courage by Rushworth M. Kidder (2005; author of How Good People Make ...
www.uni.edu/ universitas/ fall06/ art_chatham.pdf

Moral Courage
The story of what happened next is a tale of moral courage—a lack of it among teammates who ... In the annals of moral courage, this is a small story. ...
www.moral-courage.org/ pdfs/ moral_courage_11-03-2001.pdf

Institute for Global Ethics--Moral Courage
Ethical decision-making skills and ethical fitness
www.globalethics.org/ pub/ moral_courage_top.html

IEC Journal: Training (to Attend)
Our one-day Moral Courage Seminar is an interactive, small-group immersion course, based on Rushworth Kidder's latest book, Moral Courage. ...
www.iecjournal.org/ iec/ training_to_attend/ index.html

CDA · Canadian Military Journal
Moral Courage is Rushworth Kidder’s newest book, an examination of both the structures of a value system and that element – moral courage – that makes any ...
www.journal.forces.gc.ca/ engraph/ vol7/ no1/ 15-Book3_e.asp

Washington Speakers Bureau
With governance under the microscope as never before, the difference between talking ethics and doing ethics lies in two words: Moral Courage, the title of ...
www.washingtonspeakers.com/ speakers/ for_print.cfm?SpeakerId=4293

Rushworth Kidder | Moral Courage, Digital Distrust: Ethics in a ...
His latest book, Moral Courage, Digital Distrust: Ethics in a Troubled World, uses real-life stories from business, education, government, sports, ...
forum.wgbh.org/ wgbh/ forum.php?lecture_id=2017

About the author (2005)

Rushworth M. Kidder was a professor of English at Wichita State University for ten years before becoming an award-winning columnist and editor at the Christian Science Monitor. The author of ten books on subjects ranging from international ethics to the global future, he won the 1980 Explicator Literary Foundation Award for his book on the poetry of E.E. cummings. He and his wife, Elizabeth, live in Lincolnville, Maine.

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