Monday, January 29, 2007

Not Just the Angry Lawyer: An American Culture of Anger

Posted by Alan Childress

After posting this on Rob Rosen's book chapter on anger in the practice of law and its embodiment in A Few Good Men, and after Nancy Rapoport further noted Judge Judy's role in this legal culture phenomenon, I came across a blog post here on a new book by anthropologist Peter Wood called A 159403053701_aa240_sclzzzzzzz_v46417411_ Bee in the Mouth:  Anger in America Now.   Anger is everywhere, and its newer forms and excesses are, the author argues, not just a passing phase.  It is now seen as "authentic" and "empowering."  You just are not keeping it real if you don't openly and viscerally despise your opponent.

The book is reviewed in detail by ethicist Stanley Kurtz on this National Review on-line site, who (like Wood to some extent) further blames the "us" that otherwise won Time Magazine's Person of the Year:  "New Anger is nowhere more at home than in the blogosphere, where so far from being held in check, look-at-me performance anger is the path to quick success," writes Kurtz.  Many of the examples and quotes by Wood and reviewer Kurtz seem to fit equally well to the law profession world decried by observers like Rosen and Rapoport.

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