Failures of Forgiveness: What We Get Wrong and How To Do Better

Princeton Univ. Sept. 2023. 240p. ISBN 9780691223193. $27.95. PHIL
Deciding whether to forgive someone can be a fraught topic for many readers. In this thoughtful book, Emotion and Society Lab director Cherry (philosophy, Univ. of California, Riverside; The Case for Rage: Why Anger Is Essential to Anti-Racist Struggle) explores many aspects and nuances of the concept of offering mercy and grace to others. The author argues that forgiving people does not mean letting go of all grievances; it can also include holding onto anger or accepting that a relationship will never be the same. The book also explores the many ways that forgiveness can be given and explains why it may or may not be appropriate for someone to ask for it and why it might appropriately be withheld. Cherry draws upon examples from real life and from literature. She does not shy away from examining potential social or political ramifications of calls for forgiveness from external parties.
VERDICT Best for academic and public libraries where psychological or philosophical works are popular. This will attract readers eager to delve into forgiveness in its many forms.
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