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My many selves: the quest for a plausible harmony

My many selves: the quest for a plausible harmony

Booth, Wayne C

In his autobiography, My Many Selves, Wayne C. Booth is less concerned with his professional achievements--though the book by no means ignores his distinguished career--than with the personal vision that emerges from a long life lived thoughtfully. For Booth, even the autobiographical process becomes part of a quest to harmonize the diverse, often conflicting aspects of who he was. To see himself clearly and whole, he broke the self down, personified the fragments, uncovered their roots in his experience and background, and engaged those selves and experiences in dialogue. Basic to his story and to its lifelong concern with ethics and rhetoric was his Mormon youth in rural Utah. In adulthood he struggled with that background, abandoning most Mormon doctrines, but he retained the identity, ethical questions, and concern with communication that this upbringing gave him. The uncommon wisdom and careful attention that empower Wayne Booth's many other books cause My Many Selves to transcend its genre, as the best memoirs always do. The book becomes a window through which we who read it will see our own conflicts, our own ongoing struggle to live honestly and ethically in the world. Wayne Booth died in October 2005, soon after completing work on this autobiography

eBook, Paperback, Hardback, Electronic resource, Book. English. Biography. Electronic books.
Published Logan, Utah : Utah State University Press 2006

This resource is available electronically from the following locations


Statement of responsibility: Wayne C. Booth
ISBN: 0874215358, 0874216311, 0874216338, 9780874215359, 9780874216318, 9780874216332
Note: Print version record.
Note: Includes bibliographical references and index.
Physical Description: 1 online resource (xiv, 321 pages) : illustrations
System: Master and use copy. Digital master created according to Benchmark for Faithful Digital Reproductions of Monographs and Serials, Version 1. Digital Library Federation, December 2002.
Subject: EDUCATION Higher.; Critics.; BIOGRAPHY & AUTOBIOGRAPHY Literary.; TRAVEL Special Interest Literary.; Booth, Wayne C.; Critics United States Biography.; United States.; LITERARY CRITICISM General.
Restrictions: Use copy Restrictions unspecified
Reproduction: Electronic reproduction. [S.l.]: HathiTrust Digital Library, 2010.
Local note: JSTOR Books at JSTOR Open Access


  1. Preface
  2. Part One My Toughest "Self-Splits" and What Produced Them
  3. Chapter One A Devout Mormon Is Challenged by Rival Selves
  4. Chapter Two A Pious Moralist Confronts a Cheater
  5. Chapter Three The Cheerful Poser Comforts a Griever
  6. Chapter Four My Many Selves Confront the Man Who Believes in LOVE
  7. Chapter Five Ambition vs. Teaching for the Love of It
  8. Chapter Six The Hypocritical Mormon Missionary Becomes a Skillful Masker, and Discovers "Hypocrisy-Upward"
  9. Chapter Seven The Puritan Preaches at the Luster While the Hypocrite Covers the Show.