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American manners - a contradiction in terms? Not so, says the doyenne of American etiquette, in this portrayal of the revolutionary drama of America's home-grown customs. Driven by dreams of equality for all and stardom for each, Americans have always been eager to test the standards of social behaviour and create their own rules for interaction. In this perceptive and historically-informed book, America's expert on manners reminds her readers that when the Founding Fathers created a revolution in the name of individual liberty and equality, they also took a stand against hierarchical European etiquette in favour of simplicty over ceremony and personal dignity over obsequiousness to rulers. In this book, Judith Martin plays homage to American manners and recounts with wit how this etiquette of egalitarian respect was fashioned. [via]