This remarkable collection of original personal essays by the thirteen U.S. senators retiring in 1996 is a historic and intimate look into how our government works — and isn’t’t working — today. Not in our lifetimes have so many senators voluntarily left office all at once., among them our most able and distinguished legislators. Written in the spirit of Dwight D. Eisenhower’s historic farewell address of 1961, these essays draw on the personal experiences and interests of the senators, who speak frankly to the country about the most important problems we face as we move toward the twenty-first century. Their forceful views, especially on the decline of civility and the collapse of the center in our politics, convey a sense of urgency that Americans cannot afford to ignore.

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