cover image Dignity: The Essential Role It Plays in Resolving Conflict

Dignity: The Essential Role It Plays in Resolving Conflict

Donna Hicks. Yale Univ., $27.50 (240p) ISBN 978-0-300-16392-6

In this well-organized, thoughtful book, Hicks presents a fascinating look at dignity%E2%80%94a birthright and the baseline for positive human interaction. Having spent more than two decades working with warring leaders to mend ravaged relationships, Hicks had plenty of time to put "The Dignity Model" to test. Hicks begins with 10 essential elements of dignity, touching on everything from inclusion, to safety, to acknowledgement. She cites Nelson Mandela and Desmond Tutu as examples of leaders who give others the benefit of the doubt naturally. Hicks then outlines 10 temptations to violate dignity, using two recent public scandals (John Edwards and Mark Sanford) to illustrate the human inclination to "save face." The book concludes with advice on healing relationships with dignity. With its accessible tone, pithy observations and lessons, and Hicks's argument that the "quest for dignity is as common in the boardroom as in the bedroom," this book is a must-read for all. (Sept.)