Sunday, August 24, 2008

Excerpt from Above all Earthly Powers

Excerpt from Above All Earthly Powers, by David Wells, p. 50

Change in focus from character to personality.

Warren Susman noticed this…in popular advice manuals that were published just before the turn of the 20th century. When it was the virtues that were being pursued, and good character was the desired end, then the words used in these manuals were typically citizenship, duty, democracy, work, building, golden deeds, outdoor life, conquest, honor, reputation, morals, integrity, and above all, manhood. As the shift to focusing life around personality occurred, the language in these manuals also changed. Now the words most commonly used were fascinating, stunning, attractive, magnetic, glowing, masterful, creative, dominant, forceful. It was a shift away from the older moral concern with personal restraint and sacrifice to the new concern with self-realization and self-expression. It was a shift away from ones inner moral fabric and toward how one felt or how one appeared to others.

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