By: Walter Hoving
Illustrated by: Joe Eula
Publisher: Delacorte Press Books for Young Readers
Publication Date: August 2011
Reviewed by: Amy Lignor
Review Date: August 28, 2011
Ah, to have manners once again. Once upon a time, teenagers - as well as adults - had completely perfect manners at the dinner table. Now, there seems to not only be a lack of manners in the world, but the concept of the 'dinner table' has also disappeared.
In this fantastic re-release of a book that, fifty years ago, spoke about the necessity to keep your elbows off the table, which fork to use for each course, and other gems of wisdom, teenagers can have a clear, concise look at how the world used to be.
Although some will say that this book, or this type of book, is no longer necessary, they would be absolutely wrong. In this world where English conversation has become, “How r u?”; and laughter has become LOL, there is nothing more important than taking the time to bring back the age of class, manners, and appropriate behavior. In that world, fifty years ago, there were also things wrong in life. There was the Great Depression, Prohibition, Mobsters, War - all kinds of interesting news reels would pop up in front of the feature film in the local movie theatres. But there was no talk of terrorists, drug-addled teenagers, killing in the streets, gang wars, and the internet did not run everyone’s life. It also wasn't the accepted form of communication between people. This was a time that reminds everyone of getting dressed up for dinner and sitting around the table with family, talking to the children as people discussed their day and how the schoolwork was going. Every evening enjoying life as a family, as they planned for their futures.
Yes, this re-release means far more than just what fork to use during the salad course, it means bringing back a time that we never should have lost in the first place. The chapters are concise and witty, told by a man who ran the most 'classy' establishment that still exists today - Tiffany & Co.; with illustrations by a prominent fashion artist whose work appeared in many publications, from Harper’s Bazaar to Vogue.
Quill Says: A nice gift for any teenager. Perhaps, seeing a world that once was filled with charm and elegance would have all of us trying our best to make the future a bit brighter…and better.