• Anger and Forgiveness

  • Resentment, Generosity, Justice
  • By: Martha C. Nussbaum
  • Narrated by: Karen White
  • Length: 15 hrs and 49 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook
  • Release date: 02-05-2016
  • Language: English
  • Publisher: Audible Studios
  • 4.5 out of 5 stars 4.3 (3 ratings)

Publisher's Summary

Anger is not just ubiquitous; it is also popular. Many people think it is impossible to care sufficiently for justice without anger at injustice. Many believe that it is impossible for individuals to vindicate their own self-respect or to move beyond injuries without anger. To not feel anger in those cases would be considered suspect. Is this how we should think about anger, or is anger above all a disease, deforming both the personal and the political?
In this wide-ranging book, Martha C. Nussbaum, one of our leading public intellectuals, argues that anger is conceptually confused and normatively pernicious. It assumes that the suffering of the wrongdoer restores the thing that was damaged, and it betrays an all-too-lively interest in relative status and humiliation. Studying anger in intimate relationships, casual daily interactions, the workplace, the criminal justice system, and movements for social transformation, Nussbaum shows that anger's core ideas are both infantile and harmful.
Is forgiveness the best way of transcending anger? Nussbaum examines different conceptions of this much-sentimentalized notion in both the Jewish and Christian traditions and in secular morality. Some forms of forgiveness are ethically promising, she claims, but others are subtle allies of retribution: those that exact a performance of contrition and abasement as a condition of waiving angry feelings. In general, she argues, a spirit of generosity (combined, in some cases, with a reliance on impartial welfare-oriented legal institutions) is the best way to respond to injury. Applied to the personal and the political realms, Nussbaum's profoundly insightful and erudite view of anger and forgiveness puts both in a startling new light.
©2016 Martha C. Nussbaum (P)2016 Audible, Inc.
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful
5 out of 5 stars
By Cat Owner on 06-04-2018

Highest Praise

What did you love best about Anger and Forgiveness?

What a book! It has been a delicious conversation with a companionable guide, like a long trip through the terrain and culture of the country which is anger. The author takes us through the resentful wish to harm the offender, the urge to extract an apology and the most uncanny generosity of spirit. And she takes us through the different areas of personal life, work life, criminal justice and national freedom movements of Mandela, King and Gandhi.

What was the most compelling aspect of this narrative?

The scope of the conversation was truly comprehensive, it was not confined to just the personal realm of psychology.

Have you listened to any of Karen White’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

The narrator's excellent reading made the book all the more delightful. She holds a poise in her tone that is very much like the author's---you can watch Martha Nussbaum delivering lectures online. She seemlessly delivered words from Greek to Hindi to South African languages. Very impressive. She made it all seem natural.

If you were to make a film of this book, what would the tag line be?

If I were going to make a movie of this book, I would call it "Like Something Written in Water: Generosity of Spirit in the Face of Harm."

Any additional comments?

Early on in listening to this, I got the book. I'd listen while doing my exercise walking, then go back and read. Then sometimes I'd sit with the book and listen to the narrator read it to me. That was great. I read and listened back and forth over a number of months, so enjoyable, so rich for contemplation. I am still talking about this to my friends in law, social work, mediation, clergy, therapy, race awareness... The author is truly distinguished and the subject matter touches all of us.

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