The Book of Virtues: A Treasury of Great Moral Stories

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This article is about the book by William Bennett. For the Chinese classic text, see Tao Te Ching.

The Book of Virtues: A Treasury of Great Moral Stories, sometimes shortened to The Book of Virtues (ISBN 0-684-83577-0), is an anthology edited by William Bennett. It was published on November 1, 1993 by Simon & Schuster and was followed by The Moral Compass: Stories for a Life's Journey, in late 1995.

The book is intended for the moral education of the young and is divided into the different virtues: self-discipline, compassion, responsibility, friendship, work, courage, perseverance, honesty, loyalty, and faith.

A spinoff for young audiences, The Children's Book of Virtues, also came out in 1995. It served as the basis for a PBS Kids TV series, a year later.

Bennett had served as Secretary of Education for President Ronald Reagan and often made school trips during his tenure. According to Bennett, the Book of Virtues grew out of conversations with teachers, who expressed difficulty in communicating common moral principles to diverse student bodies.[1]

The Book of Virtues includes passages from C. S. Lewis's 1943 philosophy book The Abolition of Man, which may give a good indication of its underlying philosophy.


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