The Book of Virtues: A Treasury of Great Moral Stories
Responsibility. Courage. Compassion. Honesty. Friendship. Persistence. Faith. Everyone recognizes these traits as essentials of good character. In order for our children to develop such traits, we have to offer them examples of good and bad, right and wrong. And the best places to find them are in great works of literature and exemplary stories from history. William J. Bennett has collected hundreds of stories in "The Book of Virtues, " an instructive and inspiring anthology that will help children understand and develop character -- and help adults teach them. From the Bible to American history, from Greek mythology to English poetry, from fairy tales to modern fiction, these stories are a rich mine of moral literacy, a reliable moral reference point that will help anchor our children and ourselves in our culture, our history, and our traditions -- the sources of the ideals by which we wish to live our lives. Complete with instructive introductions and notes, "The Book of Virtues" is a book the whole family can read and enjoy -- and learn from -- together. The Book of Virtues: A Treasury of Great Moral Stories, sometimes shortened to The Book of Virtues (ISBN 0-684-83577-0), is an anthology edited by William Bennett. It was published on November 1, 1993 by Simon & Schuster and was followed by The Moral Compass: Stories for a Life's Journey, in late 1995. The book is intended for the moral education of the young and is divided into different virtues: self-discipline, compassion, responsibility, friendship, work, courage, perseverance, honesty, loyalty, and faith. A spinoff for young audiences called The Children's Book of Virtues also came out in 1995. A year later, it served as the basis for a PBS Kids TV series. Bennett had served as Secretary of Educationfor President Ronald Reagan and often made school trips during his tenure. According to Bennett, the Book of Virtues grew out of conversations with teachers, who expressed difficulty in communicating common moral principles to diverse student bodies. The Book of Virtues includes passages from C. S. Lewis's 1943 philosophy book The Abolition of Man, which may give a good indication of its underlying philosophy.