The Civility Wars

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Media Outlet: The New Yorker

There is no tidy history of the civility movement, only moments that illustrate the word’s meandering evolution. For example, civility has been debated within the legal world since the early seventies, when judges and lawyers grew concerned with unruly courtrooms and popular impressions that their profession was stocked with crass, win-at-all-cost opportunists.

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Hua Hsu is a New America fellow, working on a study of immigrant culture and American ideas around diversity. He is an associate professor at Vassar College, a contributor to the New Yorker, and an executive board member of the Asian American Writers Workshop.