Respect | An Exploration


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In these many-layered and masterfully written portraits, Sara Lawrence-Lightfoot reaches deep into human experience -- from the drama of birth to the solemn vigil before death -- to find the essence of respect. In her moving vision, relayed through powerfully told stories, respect is not the passive deference offered a superior but an active force that creates symmetry even in unequal relationships. The reader becomes an eyewitness to the remarkable empowering nature of respect, both given and received -- be it between doctor and patient, teacher and student, photographer and subject, and midwife and laboring mother. They will feel it in the reverent attention paid by a minister to the last moments of life, and in the Harvard Law School professor's lively curiosity about his student's extracurricular lives. Through the power of her narrative, Sara Lawrence-Lightfoot ultimately makes the reader an intimate partner in her observations of respect linking these varied and intense relationships. A book to be savored and shared, Respect has the power to transform lives.

Sara Lawrence-Lightfoot is Professor at the Harvard Graduate School of Education and MacArthur genius award winner (A named chair was created in her honor). She is the author of The Good High School (Basic), Balm in Gilead (AWL and Penguin), and I've Known Rivers (AWL and Penguin). Each of these books, as well as Respect, uses a vivid technique of portraiture, for which she has become known both to scholars and devoted readers.

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