Of Kindness and Courage

N°1 bestseller

“I am fraternally grateful to Carofiglio for facing a war that I am deserting.” Michele Serra, la Repubblica

“At the end, you might feel like calling an old friend you had a fight with, not to forgive them or because you’re suddenly good, but to win once and for all, finally aware of your weapons: philosophy, law and the yielding elegance of reason.” Nadia Terranova, la Repubblica

“The practice of kindness does not mean escaping conflict. On the contrary, it means accepting it, giving it rules, making it a tool of possible progress and not an event of destruction.”

Legend has it that a Japanese physician once observed that, unlike the other trees in his garden, the branches of the weeping willow did not snap under the weight of the snow. Instead of remaining rigid, they simply yielded to their burden, letting the snow slide off their branches. Their strength lay not in opposing the force of the snow but in embracing it and consequently defusing it. He applied this principle to martial arts and ju-jitsu was born.

It is this same philosophy of yielding, effortlessness and grace that writer Gianrico Carofiglio brings together in the word kindness, presenting it as an alternative response to counter-attack in the field of modern politics. As a way of disempowering your opponent and thereby defusing an aggressive situation. Kindness becomes a powerful weapon that creates instead of destroying. 

A powerful ally of kindness is courage: the courage to ask questions that engender more questions, the courage to accept a state of uncertainty which keeps your mind open and flexible, rather than cast-iron certainty which shuts off any hope of progress and possibilities. The courage to demand transparency and accountability in politics. In other words, the courage to be a mindful, responsible citizen and not a subject. Last, but not least, the courage of humour and self-deprecation.

Della gentilezza e del coraggio is a compendium of principles and methods for the practice of politics and civic responsibility, to encourage a society of mutual respect and peaceful coexistence. Written with Gianrico Carofiglio’s trademark incisiveness and lexical precision, it is a book that subverts assumptions and challenges limitations. A book that never claims to provide the answers but, instead, champions the art of questioning. A must-have mini-manual for the thinking citizen – and politician.

Read a few chapters translated in English by Katherine Gregor (PDF)

Details +

Publication date: 03.09.2020
Publisher: Feltrinelli

Press +
Editions +
De la gentillesse et du courage Les Arènes
1 September 2021
Foreign rights +

Foreign rights sold in

France: Les Arènes

By the same author +
Horizon of the Night Einaudi Stile Libero
20 February 2024
L’ora del caffè Einaudi Stile Libero
22 November 2022
Cacciatori nelle tenebre Einaudi Stile Libero

5 July 2022
Rancore Einaudi Stile Libero
29 March 2022
Manumitting Words - New edition Feltrinelli
4 November 2021
La forma delle cose - Foreword Garzanti

14 October 2021
Penelope's Discipline Mondadori - Il giallo
19 January 2021
I libri di Gianrico Carofiglio Corriere della sera

1 December 2020
Il mondo dopo la fine del mondo Laterza

22 October 2020
Testimone inconsapevole Corriere della Sera
21 July 2020
There is No Wisdom Einaudi Stile Libero

9 June 2020
L'avvocato Guerrieri - audioserie Emons

15 April 2020
Il meglio deve ancora venire - Foreword Piemme

12 November 2019
The Measure of Time Einaudi Stile Libero
5 November 2019
Don't Think of an Elephant! - Foreword Chiarelettere

2 May 2019
5 casi per l'avvocato Guerrieri Emons

11 April 2019
La versione di Fenoglio Einaudi Stile Libero
19 February 2019
Purché non sembri Natale - AA. VV. Rizzoli - BUR
6 November 2018
Feet in the Mud Gruppo Abele
7 March 2018
Three O'Clock in the Morning Einaudi Stile Libero
10 October 2017
The Cold Summer Einaudi Stile Libero
25 October 2016
Night Passengers Einaudi Stile Libero

14 March 2016
With Exact Words Laterza

10 September 2015
A Fine Line Einaudi Stile Libero
11 November 2014
A Shifting Truth Einaudi Stile Libero
24 June 2014
The House in the Woods Rizzoli
19 March 2014
The Vertiginous Edge of Things Rizzoli
21 October 2013
Ni aquí ni en ninguna parte La esfera de los libros
1 June 2013
Cocaine Einaudi Stile Libero
1 February 2013
All the stories of Guido Guerrieri Emons
1 October 2012
Il silenzio dell'onda Rizzoli
1 October 2011
There is no wisdom Rizzoli - Vintage
1 June 2011
Manumitting Words Rizzoli
1 October 2010
Temporary Perfections Sellerio
14 January 2010
The Art of Doubt Sellerio
22 November 2007
Reasonable Doubts Sellerio

1 August 2006
The Past is a Foreign Country Rizzoli
1 September 2004
A Walk in the Dark Sellerio

21 November 2003
Involuntary Witness Sellerio
30 August 2002

Rosaria Carpinelli
Consulenze Editoriali

Home Books Authors Foreign rights Stories About