Each essay in this collection treats a particular historical or contemporary topic of civic concern. Some are centered on current family crises and issues; the ""family wage"", child abuse, the ""new eugenics""; others look to the wider national and international polity. Yet each, insistently, returns to common themes; the many faces and forms of power; struggles for autonomy as well as deep commitment to human sociality and community. All are rooted in Jean Bethke Elshtain's profoundly human perspective. In the last section of this book, related essays on women's power and powerlessness on patriotism, and on war, track a movement from domestic politics to foreign affairs. They are cautionary tales which simultaneously express realizable hopes and honour those, like the Mothers of the Disappeared in Argentina, who have taught us, through their desperation and triumph, what it means to fashion a politics of hope and justice against a politics of vengeance and despair.