P. M. Forni
Authority on Civility and Manners

A native of Italy, P.M. Forni is a Professor of Italian Literature at Johns Hopkins University, where he heads the Civility Initiative and where he has been recognized with awards for outstanding teaching. He is a graduate of the University of Pavia and received his Ph.D at UCLA.


His book Choosing Civility: The Twenty-Five Rules of Considerate Conduct has sold more than 100,000 copies. It has been called a “simple, practical, perfectly measured, and quietly magical handbook on the lost art of civility and compassion”, and was featured on Oprah. He also wrote The Civility Solution: What To Do When People Are Rude, and most recently, The Thinking Life: How to Thrive in the Age of Distraction. The Civility Solution was recommended as a “fabulous book” by Peggy Post, director of the Emily Post Institute, as a thoughtful and practical discussion of the importance of civility in today’s hectic world. Reports on his work have appeared in, among others, The New York Times, The Washington Post, The Los Angeles Times, The Wall Street Journal, The Times of London, the Corriere della Sera, and O Magazine.


Forni has published widely on Italian literary icon Giovanni Boccaccio (1313-1375). In 1997 he co-founded the Johns Hopkins Civility Project, an aggregate of academic and community outreach activities aimed at assessing the importance of manners, civility and politeness in contemporary societies. In 2000 he founded the Civility Initiative at Johns Hopkins. Professor Forni was a Fellow at Villa I Tatti, the Harvard Center for Italian Renaissance Studies in Florence. Also in Florence, he directed the academic program of the Charles S. Singleton Center for Italian Renaissance Studies at Villa Spelman.

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The Thinking LifeHow to Thrive in the Age of Distraction
St. Martin's Griffin

How do we turn off the noise of daily life, turn on our brains, and begin to engage in that fundamental human activity known as thinking again? P.M. Forni, America's civility expert has given some thought to how we can successfully think our way through a greatly distracting world and live a better life. In The Thinking Life, he looks at the importance of thinking: how we do it, why we don't do it enough and why we need to do more of it. In twelve short chapters, he gives readers a remedy for the Age of Distraction, an age fueled by social networking overload, compulsive texting and an omnipresent stream of cellphone calls.

Trade Paperback
The Civility SolutionWhat to Do When People Are Rude
St. Martin's Griffin

Many of us find ourselves confronted with rudeness every day and don't know how to respond. P.M. Forni, the author of the acclaimed Choosing Civility, has the answer. In The Civility Solution, he provides more than one hundred different situations, and shows us how to break the rudeness cycle.

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Choosing CivilityThe Twenty-five Rules of Considerate Conduct
St. Martin's Griffin

Most people would agree that thoughtful behavior and common decency are in short supply, or simply forgotten in hurried lives of emails, cellphones, and multi-tasking. In Choosing Civility, P. M. Forni identifies the twenty-five rules that are most essential in connecting effectively and happily with others.Choosing Civility is a simple, practical, perfectly measured, and quietly magical handbook on the lost art of civility and compassion.

Life is a Relational Experience Civility, Ethics and Quality of Life: Forni's talk on the importance of civility in everyday life, and how the way we conduct ourselves is directly related to our quality of life and self.
The Future of Civility in the Medical Workplace Dr. Forni speaks extensively to medical groups on the importance of civility in the profession, and how hospitals, clinics, and practices can help to make the medical profession more civil.
The Costs of Incivility and the Benefits of Fostering Civility in the American Workplace Dr. Forni's lecture on the benefits of fostering civility in the workplace, and how companies can grow and thrive in so doing.

Check out Dr. Forni’s Johns Hopkins University Civility Project.

Read an excerpt of Choosing Civility on Oprah.com.

Praise for The Thinking Life
"Insightful meditation on how changing the way we think can improve our daily lives. ... A deft exploration that urges us to think before speaking."
-Kirkus, Starred Review

"An eloquent introduction on how to lead a more conscientious, thoughtful life."
—Ben Casnocha, author, My Start-Up Life

Praise for The Civility Solution
“Pier M. Forni will be remembered as one of the greatest generals in our nation's struggle for civility.”
—Smithsonian Magazine

“It is an honor to recommend this fabulous book! P.M. Forni’s thoughtful discussion of the importance of civility in today’s hectic world will surely help readers find viable solutions for dealing with a variety of rude situations.”
—Peggy Post, director of the Emily Post Institute and author of Emily Post Etiquette, 17th Edition