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When Conscience Calls: Moral Courage in Times of Confusion and Despair (Paperback)
What is moral courage? Why is it important and what drives it? An argument for why we should care about moral courage and how it shapes the world around us.
War, totalitarianism, pandemics, and political repression are among the many challenges and crises that force us to consider what humane people can do when the world falls apart. When tolerance disappears, truth becomes rare, and civilized discourse is a distant ideal, why do certain individuals find the courage to speak out when most do not?
When Conscience Calls offers powerful portraits of ordinary people performing extraordinary acts—be it confronting presidents and racist mobs or simply caring for and protecting the vulnerable. Uniting these portraits is the idea that moral courage stems not from choice but from one’s identity. Ultimately, Kristen Renwick Monroe argues bravery derives from who we are, our core values, and our capacity to believe we must change the world. When Conscience Calls is a rich examination of why some citizens embrace anger, bitterness, and fearmongering while others seek common ground, fight against dogma, and stand up to hate.
About the Author
Kristen Renwick Monroe is the Chancellor’s Distinguished Professor of Political Science at the University of California, Irvine, and the Founder/Director of the UCI Interdisciplinary Center for the Scientific Study of Ethics and Morality.
“When Conscience Calls is a stunning tour de force on the concept of moral courage. Its brilliance lies in how Monroe moves to the heart of what psychodynamic psychology brings to the understanding of moral courage and its relation to ordinary human beings. Beautifully written and clear, When Conscience Calls reflects deep thought, careful writing, and great intelligence.”
— James Glass | University of Maryland
"Highly readable and of great interest, Monroe has written a book that addresses the issue of what constitutes moral courage across diverse settings. Both in its approach and content, it is a distinctive and original text that continues an impressive record of vital and engaging work from the author."
— Paul Nesbitt-Larking | Huron University College
“Monroe is the world’s authority on who, why, and how people do good things in the face of evil. When Conscience Calls offers foundational insights into individuals’ moral courage, weaving together fascinating narratives from major figures and everyday people to highlight humanity’s strengths.”
— James Druckman | author of "Who Governs? Presidents, Public Opinion, and Manipulation"