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Saving Civility

52 Ways to Tame Rude, Crude & Attitude for a Polite Planet

Sara Hacala

6 x 9, 240 pp, Quality Paperback


Large Print edition also available from

A “Best Spiritual Book of the Year.”   
Spirituality & Practice

Is bad behavior the new normal?
How do we change it?

“Each of us has the power to make the planet a more hospitable, pleasant, caring, and safe place to live.... It starts with respecting others and recognizing their right to be here. Saving Civility is about how we contribute to society and work together—locally and globally—with greater respect, awareness, understanding, and acceptance of one another. A polite planet embodies a worldview of a civilized society—one that is enlightened and empathetic.”

—from the Introduction

Cyberbullying, hostile and polarizing political infighting, and tasteless and tactless behavior may be on the rise, but it doesn’t have to be this way. Sara Hacala, a certified etiquette and protocol consultant, offers a definitive look at what civility means and how it can change the nature of everyday interaction. She goes beyond a superficial discussion of proper manners to present civility as a mind-set that encompasses values and attitudes that help you embrace your connections to others and repair society. Tapping the wisdom of ancient spiritual luminaries as well as the latest social science research, she provides fifty-two practical ways you can reverse the course of incivility and make the world a more enriching, pleasant place to live.

“Timely—more necessary now than ever.... [M]akes an impressive case that civility is a lot more than just good table manners.... A surprisingly important book [that] should be required reading for our society.”

New York Journal of Books

“Insightful … goes beyond platitudes about the importance of treating one another with respect to practical, everyday advice…. An important resource guide for work, home and travel…. An appeal to the spirit, and a call for compassion and grace.”

Kerry Kennedy, president, Robert F. Kennedy Center for Justice and Human Rights

“In a cacophonous world increasingly made more unsettling by thoughtlessness, discourtesy and plain old-fashioned rudeness, Sara Hacala doesn’t just moan about our modern boorishness, she shows us how we can start being more kind and gentle to one another.”

Frank Deford, NPR commentator and author

“Emphasizes creating connections with other people.... Urges readers to smile, listen to others, and respect their boundaries, while advising them to try to see themselves as others see them.”

Library Journal

“[Illustrates how] respect, courtesy [and] consideration … can make a huge difference in your life and in the lives of those around you. Civility is not dead, and this book will help ensure it’s here to stay!”

Linda Kaplan Thaler, CEO and CCO,The Kaplan Thaler Group;
bestselling author with Robin Koval,The Power of Nice: How to Conquer the Business World with Kindness

“A must read!... [To] treat people well with trust, dignity and respect … will never go out of fashion and has its own just rewards in the end.”

Jack Mitchell, CEO, Mitchell Family of Stores; bestselling author,
Hug Your Customers and Hug Your People

“Ardent and persuasive…. Penetrating analysis about the dearth of polite conduct in our society … offers cogent solutions that are easy to understand and adopt…. Extensive research … adds impact and credibility to this much-needed antidote to our national malaise…. America needs this book!”

Sybil Steinberg, former Publishers Weekly Forecasts editor

“Provide[s] an antidote [to incivility], a compendium of helpful suggestions for acting and communicating with civility in every phase of our lives.”

Rev. Charles L. Currie, SJ, president, Association of Jesuit Colleges and Universities

“A wonderful guide to building a culture of character and a challenge to all of us to be part of the solution instead of part of the problem…. A [delightful] how-to manual for living well and adding to the quality of the lives of everyone around us. Reading it makes you feel good about being a member of the human family.”

Thomas Lickona, director, Center for the 4th and 5th Rs (Respect and Responsibility),
State University of New York; author, Character Matters

“Loaded with great practical strategies for living more civil, rewarding, richer lives…. Makes a compelling case for how individuals and society benefit from civility.”

Christine Porath, professor, Georgetown University; co-author, The Cost of Bad Behavior

“A wise and engaging discussion about the transformative powers of conduct, connectivity and cooperation. Packed full of practical ideas … offers small steps we can all take that can ultimately change our lives and our world.”

Rev. Susan Sparks, senior pastor, Madison Avenue Baptist Church, New York City;
author, Laugh Your Way to Grace: Reclaiming the Spiritual Power of Humor

“Chances are you need to read this book. We are losing our civility and with it our society. Sara Hacala just might be able to save both.”

Rabbi Rami Shapiro, author, The Sacred Art of Lovingkindness: Preparing to Practice

“Commonsense simple … user friendly. I guarantee you’ll adopt [these] methods and feel better for it.”

Nelle Nugent, Broadway producer

“Compelling, inspiring and practical … concrete actions you can do today.”

Tim Koller, partner, McKinsey & Company; author, Value: The Four Cornerstones of Corporate Finance

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