Charmed, I'm sure
by William Norwich, Vogue, November 2013
On a recent visit to her West Village brownstone.
I tell Liv Tyler that I was as surprised
as anybody to hear that she had
written a manners book. It's a sentiment
she's heard before. "People think of me as
more rock'n'roll than Rockefeller," she says, laughing.
But it's not polite to assume you know somebody -
or something - prior to a little investigation, so let me
say straight off: Tyler's book, Modem Manners: Tools
In Take You to the Top (Potter Style), is one of the best
manners guides l've ever read. It isn't camp or twee; it's
neither nostalgic nor hectoring. Its philosophy is the
Golden Rule of kindness and courtesy, translated for an
age that seems to consider the very notion of manners
hopelessly old-fashioned. In short, this compendium
of wisdom and direction provides everything needed
to excel in one's business and social life.
Tyler wrote the book with her maternal grandmother,
Dorothea Johnson, who as the founder of the prestigious
Protocol School of Washington and the author
of the best-selling Little book of Etiquette has been saving
diplomats from faux pas since the 1970's. Many of
Tyler's formative years were spent with her grandmother,
who's visiting today from her home in Maine.
Far from viewing the world of etiquette as merely...
well, mannered. Johnson sums up her claer-eyed and
eminently practical take on the matter in impressively
"I think that good manners will get you where you want
to go," she says, smiling politely, "faster than a speeding
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