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The New Honor Code

A Simple Plan for Raising Our Standards and Restoring Our Good Name

Read by Vikas Adam
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Cultural anthropologist and thought leader Grant McCracken proposes a radical solution for our time of unprecedented scandal: a return to honor.

What used to be shocking has somehow become the new normal. Sexual predators stalk interns at work. Parents try to buy a place for their kids in college. Leaders compromise morals for political advantage. It happens so frequently that we can no longer dismiss these cases as a few bad apples. Something in the system is rotten.

How can someone get ahead and be successful in our modern culture without compromising their morality? What makes a good man or woman in this era of scandal?

Respected cultural anthropologist Grant McCracken has the answer: a return to the ancient idea of honor. By looking at examples of honor and dishonor in popular culture and at institutions as diverse as Harvard, PBS, and Wells Fargo, he lays out not just how we got to where we are, but practical guidelines for how leaders and individuals can restore moral order to their organizations and personal lives.

Grant takes on topics like masculinity and gender roles, as well as classism and elitist attitudes. Celebrities and corporate leaders get knocked down to size while exploring just why their lack of honor can be harmful or dangerous.

New Honor Code is a sharp and insightful guide to what honor truly is, and how to incorporate it into your life.

Photograph by Yunji Ko

Grant McCracken is a cultural anthropologist. He holds a PhD from the University of Chicago. He was the founder of the Institute of Contemporary Culture at the Royal Ontario Museum, and a cofounder of the Artisanal Economies Project. Grant has taught at Harvard, the University of Cambridge, and MIT. He advises a wide variety of companies and individuals, including Google, Netflix, Nike, the Ford Foundation, Kanye West, the Boston Book Festival, and the White House (no, the other one). He lives in Connecticut with his wife and three cats. 

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