Baltasar GraciÃ¡n'sArt of Worldly Wisdomoffers practical advice on how to make your way in a chaotic world, and how to make it well. The three hundred aphorisms contained here, first published asOraculo Manual y Arte de Prudenciain 1647, remain remarkably relevant today. The political and social upheavals of Spain's Golden Era bear a striking resemblance to 21st century reality--political transformations, economic battles that pit local interests against global forces, competing religious outlooks seeking to shape secular worlds, and new technologies torn between democratization and centralization. GraciÃ¡n's aphorisms, as much poetry as instruction, address us today as practical guides for civility in an often uncivil world, and may serve as invitations to participate in making an uncivil world as civil as possible.
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January 21, 2008
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