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Loyalty

The Vexing Virtue

A witty, provocative, story-filled inquiry into the indispensible virtue of loyalty—a tricky item that gets tangled and compromised when loyalties collide (as they do), but a virtue the author, a prize-winning columnist for The Wall Street Journal, says is both essential and impossible.

A witty, provocative, story-filled inquiry into the indispensable virtue of loyalty—a tricky ideal that gets tangled and compromised when loyalties collide (as they inevitably do), but a virtue the author, a prizewinning columnist for The Wall Street Journal, says is as essential as it is impossible.

Loyalty is vexing. It forces us to choose who and what counts most in our lives. It forces us to confront the conflicting claims of fidelity to country, community, company, church, and even ourselves. Loyalty demands we make decisions that define who we are.

"If only the philosophy professors could relax and submit to the charm of Felten’s book—its nicely balanced arguments and its many examples, both everyday and literary—they might see how much it contributes to the understanding of virtue, particularly modern virtue."

—“Defining Ideas,” Harvey C. Mansfield, Harvard University

“... the range of examples and illustrations is formidable.” National Review