In Praise of Flattery
Christine Schwartz Hartley
In Praise of Flattery (Stages)
by Willis Goth Regier
$21.95 List Price
I am not about to flatter Willis Goth Regier by using one of the hundreds of quotations in his latest book, In Praise of Flattery, to start this review in style. Instead, I will begin by saying that in cramming twenty years of research into a precious few pages, he has created a wobbly book.
With its catchy title and easy format—nine short chapters subdivided into 128 rules such as “Flattery is spoiled by excess” (Rule 12) and “To reach high or deep, a flatterer needs time, or many times” (Rule 63)—In Praise of Flattery could almost pass as a point-of-purchase quickie. On the other hand, given that Regier is director of the University of Illinois Press and that the last thirty pages are split equally between a bibliography and notes with additional quotations (most in the original language), this volume could
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