cover image Moral Compass: Stories for a Life's Journey

Moral Compass: Stories for a Life's Journey

William J. Bennett. Simon & Schuster, $35 (832pp) ISBN 978-0-684-80313-5

Like Bennett's bestselling Book of Virtues, this volume gathers hundreds of stories, poems and essays that defend or illustrate virtue and family values. Quoting Flannery O'Connor, Bennett states the book's purpose: ``You have to push as hard as the age that pushes against you.'' Compass, just as portly as its predecessor, is arranged by seven life stages and challenges: the child at home and at school; the adult in need of perseverance, compassion, family fidelity, community, responsibility and faith in God. Selections, ranging in length from just a few lines to over 15 pages, come mostly from times when masculine virtue was considered the norm and men took center stage. Most are from European or Western culture, but a not inconsiderable number are drawn from African, Asian and Latin American traditions. (Oct.)