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The Art of Fairness Reviews

The Art of Fairness by David Bodanis

The Art of Fairness: The Power of Decency in a World Turned Mean

David Bodanis

Score pending

2 reviews

Imprint: Little, Brown
Publisher: Little, Brown Book Group
Publication date: 5 Nov 2020
ISBN: 9780349128214

A thrilling study of the key elements of great - and fair - leadership, illuminated by real stories from history

4 stars out of 5
20 Nov 2020

"Can-do narration makes the most of this book’s argument that decent, fair-minded people can succeed"

He is a gifted storyteller with a genius for unearthing the unexpected, and the brief lives — some famous, most not — that make up the bulk of his book are ideal for audio listening. His examples of the “power of decency” include how Danny Boyle ensured that his 2012 Olympics opening ceremony was such a spectacular surprise; an ex-Roedean debutante fighting a rearguard action against the Japanese with a loyal band of Indian guerrillas in the Second World War; how the Empire State Building was completed in a year thanks to fair-minded working practices; and the making of Game of Thrones without any Weinstein nastiness. Roger Davis, a fine producer as well as narrator of audiobooks, tells the tales with jaunty, can-do chutzpah. “The path to greatness doesn’t require crushing displays of power or tyrannical ego. Simple fair decency can prevail.”


4 stars out of 5
Christina Patterson
15 Nov 2020

"A cheering reminder that you don’t have to be nasty to succeed"

Bodanis is a superb storyteller and his account of these two transitions is riveting. His description of the techniques Goebbels used — discrediting the press, calling democratic institutions “fake”, silencing dissent — is chillingly familiar and shows how easy it is for things to go horribly wrong. His account of Roosevelt’s new-found empathy for the disadvantaged also shows us how things can go right.