I Swear: The Meaning of an Oath
I Swear: The Meaning of an Oath looks at how taking an oath may impact the obligations of the oath taker, and the perceptions and expectations of those around him. The book begins with Aeschylus – “It is not the oath that makes us believe the man, but the man the oath.” The author explores whether Aeschylus was correct through stories of diverse and varied individuals who took an oath – doctor, lawyer, priest, journalist, CIA director, “made man,” and president, to name a few. Most of the time, people are able to keep their oath. But what happens when the decision to keep an oath may result in an injustice, or a situation where others are hurt? What do your oaths mean to you, and what do they mean to those around you? Do societal pressures allow one to break his oath? What does your moral compass tell you to do when violating your oath is somehow the “right” thing to do, however wrong it is, because you’re violating it?