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One topic -- the American national purpose -- is discussed in this group of individual essays by nine writers: John K. Jessup, Adlai Stevenson, Archibald MacLeish, David Sarnoff, Billy Graham, John W. Gardner, Albert Wohlstetter, James Reston, and Walter Lippmann. Each in his own way and supported by his own beliefs treats, agrees or disagrees with, expounds, and attempts to solve the nation-wide uneasiness concerning the presence or disappearance of a unifying national purpose (an elevating and universally significant aspiration or endeavor). This has always, in one form or another, been characteristic of and essential to America's social and cultural advancement, as well as to the maintenance of her position of international leadership. Lucidity, shrewdness, optimism, pessimism, idealism, and disillusionment all enter into these views on such aspects of the American current situation as: social and political apathy; general complacency and withdrawal; the importance of a working model of free society; the scrutiny of the ""...public aspect of American liberty as the organizing principle of a great social order""; the internal presence and outward publicizing of American materialism; America's placating and defensive attitude toward Russia; conformity, and so on. This book of essays on so vital and complex an issue is of the utmost interest to each and every American citizen, whether or not he is aware of the problems which are dealt with genuinely and seriously.

Pub Date: Sept. 12th, 1960
Publisher: Holt, Rinehart & Winston