As Thanksgiving approaches, many parents rush to give their children a crash course in MANNERS. Two decades ago, in a cover story on the return of etiquette, TIME looked at America's often rocky relationship with the subject.
Despite the evidence of a revived interest in manners, a number of people would argue the exact opposite, that manners continue to get worse. "Manners have taken a beating these last 25 years," says Eppie Lederer, a.k.a. Ann Landers, the advice columnist. "It isn't just that men aren't opening car doors for women or offering them seats on subways or buses. It goes deeper than that. The high crime rate is one thing that discourages openness and courtesy to strangers" ... Fran Lebowitz, who made her mark as a caustic social critic with Metropolitan Life (1978), also feels that things are getting worse rather than better. "I don't think people have manners," she says. "I don't think people teach their children manners. I think boorishness is the order of the day. There has been a return to convention, but that's all nostalgia." --TIME, Nov. 5, 1984