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Summary

David Mitchell sets out on a vigorous but impeccably polite investigation into the confusing world of manners. Are they really in decline, as many would have us believe? Or are we just throwing off the shackles of the Victorian obsession with etiquette? 

Over the course of the series, David eats his lunchtime sandwiches with children in a primary school and later goes to a street market to see manners - good and bad - in action. He explores where our manners come from with Professor Steven Pinker from Harvard University and the author Henry Hitchings. What do we mean by 'civility' and 'good manners' in public places? Why are people still pinching vicars' bottoms, and what can the state do to improve standards of public behaviour? And, David asks, how is the digital age changing our sense of public space?

Produced by Chris Ledgard.

©2018 David Mitchell (P)2018 Random House Audiobooks

What listeners say about Behaving Ourselves

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More a podcast than a book

This is a fairly short radio show, not a proper book. It's still pleasant thanks to David Mitchell's trademark humour.

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Minor Correction

Just pointing out that Blyth, Scrooby and Ranskill are in South Yorkshire David. They're almost on the Nottinghamshire boarder. Unless, coincidentally, there happens to be three identically named places in North Yorkshire and all three are next to each other. Then I will display appropriate good manners and apologies for this crazy mistake.

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Cheers Dave...

I’m so sorry about the headline. It seemed funny at the time but now I feel like a moron. I have the same misgivings about greeting people and what etiquette to adopt and just feel awkward. I do emphasise on this.
The book doesn’t help me with this problem, but now I know it’s not just me. So, thank you DAVID

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present ďaý values

love the Mitchell's so thoroughly enjoyed ĺistening to him reading this book. lovely voice and well educated reasoning and discussions.

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  • MJCLAXDEN
  • 24-05-21

Fascinating Subject Matter! Pithy! Insightful!

This was a breezy - yet deeply contemplative - look at societal norms and the role that manners play as a social lubricant. The past, present, and future are explored with just enough depth to make it interesting and light hearted enough to make it entertaining. David Mitchell's delivery is outstanding!