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An all-star team of eighteen conservative writers offers a hilarious, insightful, sanctimony-free remix of William Bennett’s The Book of Virtues—without parental controls. The Seven Deadly Virtues sits down next to readers at the bar, buys them a drink, and an hour or three later, ushers them into the revival tent without them even realizing it.

The book’s contributors include Sonny Bunch, Christopher Buckley, David “Iowahawk” Burge, Christopher Caldwell, Andrew Ferguson, Jonah Goldberg, Michael Graham, Mollie Hemingway, Rita Koganzon, Matt Labash, James Lileks, Rob Long, Larry Miller, P. J. O’Rourke, Joe Queenan, Christine Rosen, and Andrew Stiles. Jonathan V. Last, senior writer at the Weekly Standard, editor of the collection, is also a contributor. All eighteen essays in this book are appearing for the first time anywhere.

In the book’s opening essay, P. J. O’Rourke observes: “Virtue has by no means disappeared. It’s as much in public view as ever. But it’s been strung up by the heels. Virtue is upside down. Virtue is uncomfortable. Virtue looks ridiculous. All the change and the house keys are falling out of Virtue’s pants pockets.”

Here are the virtues everyone (including the book’s contributors) was taught in Sunday school but have totally forgotten about until this very moment.  In this sanctimony-free zone:

Joe Queenan observes: “In essence, thrift is a virtue that resembles being very good at Mahjong. You’ve heard about people who can do it, but you’ve never actually met any of them.”
P. J. O’Rourke notes: “Fortitude is quaint. We praise the greatest generation for having it, but they had aluminum siding, church on Sunday, and jobs that required them to wear neckties or nylons (but never at the same time). We don’t want those either.”
Christine Rosen writes: “A fellowship grounded in sociality means enjoying the company of those with whom you actually share physical space rather than those with whom you regularly and enthusiastically exchange cat videos.”
Rob Long offers his version of modern day justice: if you sleep late on the weekend, you are forced to wait thirty minutes in line at Costco.
Jonah Goldberg offers: “There was a time when this desire-to-do-good-in-all-things was considered the only kind of integrity: ‘Angels are better than mortals. They’re always certain about what is right because, by definition, they’re doing God’s will.’ Gabriel knew when it was okay to remove a mattress tag and Sandalphon always tipped the correct amount.”
Sonny Bunch dissects forbearance, observing that the fictional Two Minutes Hate of George Orwell’s 1984 is now actually a reality directed at living, breathing people. Thanks, in part, to the Internet, “Its targets are designated by a spontaneously created mob—one that, due to its hive-mind nature, is virtually impossible to call off.”

By the time readers have completed The Seven Deadly Virtues, they won’t even realize that they’ve just been catechized into an entirely different—and better—moral universe.

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Exam copies are sent to professors who would like to review the book before deciding whether to use it in a class. To request an exam copy, you must fill out the form below. It will automatically be sent to a staff member.

In our efforts to stay green, reduce expenses, and maintain scholarly accessibility, we are sending examination copies as electronic downloads in the Adobe Digital Edition format for a 90-day review period. If you have any trouble accessing the book in this format, please contact us and we will send a traditional copy of the book instead.

If you chose to review the electronic version of the book and adopt the book for one of your courses, upon notification by you or your bookstore, a traditional bound book will be sent to you free of charge.

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Acknowledgments / xi

Introduction: On Virtues, Past and Present / 3
By Jonathan V. Last

Part I: The Cardinal Virtues

Chapter 1: The Seven Deadly Virtues: And the New York Times / 17
By P. J. O’Rourke

Chapter 2: Prudence: Long Live the Queen / 26
By Andrew Ferguson

Chapter 3: Justice: The One Virtue Nobody Really Wants / 38
By Rob Long

Chapter 4: Courage: The Rise of “Shelter in Place” America / 48
By Michael Graham

Chapter 5: Temperance: The Deadliest Virtue / 58
By Andrew Stiles

Chapter 6: Hope: Chicago Is a Place Called Hope / 66
By David Burge (aka Iowahawk)

Chapter 7: Charity: You Can’t Give This Stuff Away / 74
By Mollie Hemingway

Chapter 8: Faith: The Eleventh Commandment / 83
By Larry Miller

Part II: The Everyday Virtues

Chapter 9: Chastity: The Final Taboo / 95
By Matt Labash

Chapter 10: Simplicity: Or, the Many-Splendored Virtues of Hoarding / 110
By James Lileks

Chapter 11: Thrift: The Un-American Virtue / 121
By Joe Queenan

Chapter 12: Honesty: It’s Absolutely the Best Policy (Sometimes) / 129
By Rita Koganzon

Chapter 13: Fellowship: Reach Out and Touch Someone / 139
By Christine Rosen

Chapter 14: Forbearance: Opting Out of the Politicized Life / 147
By Sonny Bunch

Chapter 15: Integrity: Living by the Code of the Superman / 156
By Jonah Goldberg

Chapter 16: Curiosity: Maybe the Cat Got What It Had Coming / 165
By Christopher Caldwell

Chapter 17: Perseverance: All the Way to the End / 174
By Christopher Buckley

Author Bios / 185

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