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Human Goodness
Yi-Fu Tuan


“Yi-Fu Tuan is one of the most remarkable and creative forces in the intellectual life of our time.
—Simon Schama, Columbia University, author of Rough Crossings

In his many best-selling books, Yi-Fu Tuan seizes big, metaphysical issues and considers them in uniquely accessible ways. Human Goodness is evidence of this talent and is both as simple, and as epic, as it sounds. Genuinely good people and their actions, Tuan contends, are far from boring, naive, and trite; they are complex, varied, and enormously exciting. In a refreshing antidote to skeptical times, he writes of ordinary human courtesies, as simple as busing your dishes after eating, that make society functional and livable. And he writes of extraordinary courage and inventiveness under the weight of adversity and evil. He considers the impact of communal goodness over time, and his sketches of six very different individuals—Confucius, Socrates, Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, John Keats, Dr. Albert Schweitzer, and Simone Weil—confirm that there are human lives that can encourage and lead us to our better selves.

“In all his work, Yi-Fu Tuan has led us on journeys that have extended our imagination by expanding our spirit. Here he has done so again, but perhaps never so importantly as in Human Goodness. Unfailingly engaging and profound.” —Steven Grosby, Clemson University, author of Nationalism: A Very Short Introduction

“Tuan has produced a series of profiles that confirm his core assertion: humanity in the aggregate may be dispiriting, but in certain human lives a goodness prevails that has the power to instruct, inspire, and confound.” —William Howarth, Princeton University, author of Walking with Thoreau

Yi-Fu Tuan is the author of more than two dozen critically acclaimed books, including Space and Place, Topophilia, Escapism, Coming Home to China, and Dominance and Affection: The Making of Pets. His previous books published by the University of Wisconsin Press are The Good Life, Morality and Imagination, and the autobiography Who Am I? Tuan is the J. K. Wright and Vilas Professor Emeritus of Geography at the University of Wisconsin–Madison and has been honored with the Cullum Medal of the American Geographical Society, the Lauréat d'Honneur of the International Geographical Union, and the Charles Homer Haskins Lectureship of the American Council of Learned Societies..

Inquiries regarding review copies, events, and interviews can be directed to the publicity department at publicity@uwpress.wisc.edu or (608) 263-0734.

Of Related Interest
The Good Life
Yi-Fu Tuan

Who Am I?
An Autobiography of Emotion, Mind, and Spirit
Yi-Fu Tuan



Cover of book is navy blue with yellow lettering

April 2008
LC: 2007040158  BJ
176 pp.   5 1/2 x 7 1/4

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ISBN 978-0-299-22670-1
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ISBN 978-0-299-22673-2
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