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In Praise Of Public Life

The Honor And Purpose Of Political Science

About The Book

In a vigorous defense of public life, Senator Joseph Lieberman defines the duty, the honor, and the privilege of the public lives of politicians in the face of perennial American cynicism.

Americans have always been suspicious of government and have misunderstood and mistrusted those in public life. This attitude is even more prevalent as the boundaries that once separated public and private have fallen. Lieberman argues that some of the public's mistrust is based on a misconception of what public life is and why we need it. He describes life as he has lived it over three decades in the public eye with all its purpose, privileges, pressures, and pleasures.

Lieberman asks fundamental questions about what standards of behavior should be expected of politicians in the sharply partisan, big-money, search-and-destroy atmosphere of politics today. Who should set these standards? Is there room for a public figure to "be human," to "make mistakes"? Is there a line beyond which the personal behavior of a public official is nobody's business? Do citizens have an obligation to understand and determine the responsibilities of public life?

Drawing widely from his own experience as a politician and his pride in public service, Lieberman makes a passionate, hopeful argument for the value of public life. He believes it plays a place necessary role in our democracy and more Americans need to embrace it if we are to sustain our self-government.

About The Author

Photograph © Charlotte Sellmyer

Joseph I. Lieberman (1942–2024) was a United States senator representing Connecticut. As the 2000 Democratic vice presidential candidate, he made history as the first Jewish American to run for national office on a major-party ticket. He authored several books, including In Praise of Public LifeAn Amazing Adventure, and The Gift of Rest.

Product Details

  • Publisher: Simon & Schuster (September 18, 2000)
  • Length: 176 pages
  • ISBN13: 9780684867755

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