An Introduction to BE GOOD by Randy

About the Book


The New York Times Magazine’s original “Ethicist” Randy Cohen helps readers locate their own internal ethical compasses as he delivers answers to life’s most challenging dilemmas—timeless and contemporary alike. Organized thematically in an easy-to-navigate Q&A format, and featuring line illustrations throughout, this amusing and engaging book challenges readers to think about how they would (or should) respond when faced with everyday moral challenges, from sex and love to religion, technology, and much more. Sure to ignite brain cells and spark healthy debate, Be Good is a book to refer to again and again.


What struck me most was his claim that, despite our quickly changing world of social media and altered interpersonal communications, ethics themselves have not changed much over time. Etiquette changes; social mores shift. But whether you're a Googler or a gladiator, the basic line stays the same: When in doubt about how to act, be good. We all know (pretty much) what that means.
Cohen's humor (he is a three-time Emmy Award-winner as a writer for David Letterman) makes his replies fun as well as informative.
- Denver Post
One may not always agree with Cohen’s own arguments, but what matters is that he won’t let us get away with always acting, however subtly, in our own self-interest. He makes us think about our behavior and, more often than not, shows us how to follow what Lincoln called “the better angels of our nature.
- Washington Post
[B]lends nuanced ethical discussions with gentle humor.
- Publishers Weekly

Meet the Author

Randy Cohen


Randy Cohen established himself as the author of the popular “The Ethicist” column in the New York Times Magazine, which he wrote for twelve years. He has appeared regularly on NPR, and is host of the radio series Person Place Thing. He lives in New York City.