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AT CENTURY'S END
  AT CENTURY'S END
  Table of Contents
  Foreword
  Preface

  THE CHANGING GLOBAL ORDER
  Table of Contents
  Foreword
  Preface


Foreword:

I once wrote to New Perspective Quarterly that I would be proud to produce on the air what it puts in print. That is true now, more than ever. I have a hard time thinking without it. I sense, though, that we're approaching a Gettysburg, a moment of truth, for quality journalism like that of NPQ.

Once newspapers and periodicals drew people to the public square. They provided a culture of community conversation. The purpose was not just to represent and inform, but to signal, tell a story, and activate inquiry. When the press abandons that function, it no longer stimulates what the American philosopher John Dewey termed "the vital habits" of democracy "the ability to follow an argument grasp the point of view of another, expand the boundaries of understanding, debate the alternative purposes that might be pursued."

I know times have changed, and so must publishing. I know that it's harder these days to be a publisher, caught between the entertainment imperatives that are nurtured in the cradle and survival economics that can send good publications to the grave. But the effort must go on.

That our system is failing to solve the bedrock problems we face is beyond dispute. One reason is that our public discourse has become the verbal equivalent of mud wrestling. The anthropologist Marvin Harris says the attack against reason and objectivity in America today "is fast reaching the proportion of a crusade." America, he says, "urgently needs to reaffirm the principle that it is possible to carry out an analysis of social life that rational human beings will recognize as being true, regardless of whether they happen to be women or men, whites or blacks, straights or gays, Jews or born again Christians." Lacking such an understanding, of social life, "we will tear the United States apart in the name of our separate realities."

Taken together, these assumptions and developments foreshadow the catastrophe of social and political paralysis.

People want to know what is happening to them, and what they can do about it. Listening to America, you realize that millions of people are not apathetic; they want to understand the world around them; and they will respond to a press that stimulates tile community without pandering to it, that inspires people to embrace their responsibilities without lecturing or hectoring them, and that engages their better natures without sugarcoating ugly realities or patronizing their foibles.

Over the years a decade now NPQ has stuck to this high road, defended the high ground. No mud wrestling here. The results speak for themselves. This collection reads like a walk through the history of the post Cold War years with the best minds and most authoritative voices at your side.

NPQ remains a measure for others. Readers will certainly be rewarded for their efforts here.

BILL MOYERS