A significant 20th Century characteristic of U.S. life is the revival of public discussion. There is plenty to talk about. All over the U.S., colleges, newspapers, businessmen's clubs, churches, and women's clubs arrange lectures, forums, panel discussions. Busy and learned men give their time to these gatherings in the American belief that an informed and alert citizenry is the basis of democracy.

Most such forums turn on practical problems of public policy, foreign or domestic. Behind these practical questions of what to do and how to do it lie the great issues of human destiny—the philosophic and ethical questions of...

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