The case for civilized behaviour in a barbarous world. You know what it's like: whether it's the leafblower blaring at 7am or the queue-jumper cutting in at the cinema, there's nothing like an act of rudeness to spoil the day. But why do so many of us get worked up about these examples of incivility? Isn't that just life? Do manners really matter, anyway? Yes! says Lucinda Holdforth in this passionate and elegant essay, drawing on history's great writers and thinkers to argue, unashamedly, that manners are absolutely essential to civilisation. Holdforth wrests the case for good manners away from the knife-and-fork snobs, the exclusivist bores and the corporate fakers, to show how courtesy protects our rights and freedoms, strengthens our communities, and adorns our individual humanity. She shows us that privacy can co-exist with neighbourliness, that intellectual freedom can flourish within agreed social rules, and that civility saves us from over-legislation. Bold, brimming with anecdote and brilliantly conceived, Why Manners Matter is as witty as it is timely, and as forceful as it is charming. This important yet thoroughly entertaining little book will ensure you never take courtesy for granted again.