Journey of Purpose


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Reflections on the Presidency, Multiculturalism, and Third Parties

Paul Tsongas

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In this inspiring book, one of the most respected senior figures in American politics defines his political philosophy for the country as we approach the end of the twentieth century. For many years Paul Tsongas, the former United States senator from Massachusetts and 1992 Democratic presidential candidate, has stressed the virtues of economic growth, fiscal responsibility, and social inclusiveness. He now tells us how we can achieve these goals if responsible politicians and ordinary citizens view the future as a "journey of purpose."

Tsongas begins with a personal account of his 1992 political campaign, revealing why he entered the race for president, how he felt as the campaign foundered for lack of funds, and the lessons he learned. He next discusses the need for a multicultural meritocracy in the United States, presenting his opinions on gays in the military, affirmative action, and other controversial subjects. Finally he offers his interpretation of the 1994 election that swept the Republican Party into power in both the Senate and House, asserting that the election should be seen not as a mandate for Republican ideology but rather as a massive rejection of Democratic policy. Tsongas suggests that there is a vast number of Americans who are socially liberal and fiscally conservative, who are not satisfied with the programs of either major party, and whose needs might be filled by a third party, and he articulates principles that this party might follow. He concludes by challenging America's young people to broaden the view of who Americans are and what Americans can be, to make their own lives a journey of purpose.

Paul Tsongas was a U.S. congressman from 1974 to 1978 and a U.S. senator from 1979 to 1984. He is cofounder, with former Senator Warren Rudman, of the Concord Coalition and is a partner in the law firm of Foley, Hoag, and Eliot in Boston. He is the author of The Road from Here: Liberalism and Realities in the 1980s, Heading Home, and A Call to Economic Arms: Forging a New American Mandate.

"In the hurricane moment of American politics, Paul Tsongas is a valuable observer at the eye of it all—calm but insistent, wise, practical, and candid about the odds of our national success. Journey of Purpose offers the urgent lesson that our storm-racked ship of state bears not only the freight of our own generation but the fate of all the generations still to come."—Mario Cuomo

"In his latest book Paul Tsongas challenges America to renew its commitment to future generations by replacing politics as usual with a philosophy based on economic security and social inclusion. This formula for revitalizing our national community is informed by cogent political analysis, and it appeals not just to the mind of citizens and politicians but also to the spirit of our great nation."—Senator Bill Bradley

"Read this book to learn more about Paul Tsongas, the courageous budget-balancer of the 1992 campaign."—David Mayhew, author of Divided We Govern

"Paul Tsongas is as straightforward in his writings as he was in his deliberations as a U.S. Senator and later as a candidate for President of the United States of America. He represents good old fashioned common sense and has always put his energies where his mouth is."—Lowell P. Weicker, Jr.

"A manifesto for third-party success."—Booklist

"A deeply meditation on contemporary American politics."—Paul Starobin, LUCE

ISBN: 9780300105315
Publication Date: January 11, 1996
122 pages, 4 7/8 x 8 1/2