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Revisiting 'The Soul of Civility' with Alexandra Hudson on Wednesday's Access Utah

Alexandra Hudson
/
St. Martin's Press

Alexandra Hudson was raised to be hospitable and kind to all. But her experience in politics showed her how people can weaponize “niceness” to achieve their own selfish ends, which led her to an important realization: there is a fundamental difference between politeness and civility. While politeness smooths over differences with superficial good manners, true civility means recognizing the innate dignity of others—which sometimes means respecting people enough to tell them they’re wrong. In The Soul of Civility: Timeless Principles to Heal Society and Ourselves, Hudson scours the human experience, offering a sweeping history of social norms and giving readers insight from hundreds of civility handbooks across history and the globe. She discovers that while the challenges to civility today are dire, they are not new. And the solution is just as timeless as the problem: the principles of civility and human flourishing are remarkably unchanging and have been discovered and rediscovered across time and place.
Alexandra O. Hudson is a writer, popular speaker, and the founder of Civic Renaissance, a publication and intellectual community dedicated to beauty, goodness and truth. She was named the 2020 Novak Journalism Fellow, and contributes to Fox News, CBS News, The Wall Street Journal, USA Today, TIME Magazine, POLITICO Magazine, and Newsweek. She earned a master’s degree in public policy at the London School of Economics as a Rotary Scholar, and is an adjunct professor at the Indiana University Lilly School of Philanthropy. She is also the creator of a series for The Teaching Company called Storytelling and The Human Condition. She lives in Indianapolis with her husband and children.

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Tom Williams worked as a part-time UPR announcer for a few years and joined Utah Public Radio full-time in 1996. He is a proud graduate of Uintah High School in Vernal and Utah State University (B. A. in Liberal Arts and Master of Business Administration.) He grew up in a family that regularly discussed everything from opera to religion to politics. He is interested in just about everything and loves to engage people in conversation, so you could say he has found the perfect job as host “Access Utah.” He and his wife Becky, live in Logan.