The art of apologising is, to many, a lost art. Politicians find it particularly so as it is often hard for them to feel genuinely contrite. On the other hand, there are the serial apologisers who like a quiet life. Here Davidson tries to unpick what distinguishes a good apology from a dodgy one, when to say you are sorry and how to do it graciously. A much needed book.
'Just say you are sorry'. It has become one of the drumbeats of the age. Fresh apologies are demanded every week: from broadcasters, politicians, errant spouses, disgraced bankers, myopic referees. Sometimes an apology is forthcoming, and honour is satisfied. But, for many people, the S-word proves a bridge too far: they shrink from using it even when common sense tells them that they should. How have we got ourselves into such a tangle over a simple two-syllable word? The English used to be world-champion apologisers: a nature of inveterate sorry-sayers. Now we hardly know if we are coming or going. Written by serial apologiser Max Davidson, a man who believes in saying he is sorry, then waiting to be told what he is sorry for. "Sorry!" examines the origins and history of the word 'sorry'; dissects some of the reasons that apologies are seen as a sign of moral weakness; explores the religious notion of sincere contrition; considers the legal consequences of admitting liability; and, casts a sceptical eye over the fashion among politicians for apologizing for things that happened in the distant past. Some famous apologies are saluted; some famous failures to apologise deplored. Praise for "It's Not the Winning That Counts" by Max Davidson: 'A simple but brilliant idea executed with great skill and judgment' - Marcus Berkmann, "Daily Mail". 'A collection of sporting stories whose plots and punch lines quicken the step and lift the heart' - Jim White, "Daily Telegraph".