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In "Value Judgments", Ellen Goodman takes the measure of contemporary American life with the originality, common sense, and humane insight that have made her one of our most trusted and admired commentators. This book collects more than 120 of the best pieces from Goodman's renowned column, revealing her striking mind and sharp wit as she applies them to a range of topics as broad as America itself. Her enduring subject, she tells us in the book's introduction, is "the world as we experience it, a place where life spills over the retaining walls"-- and whether she is reflecting on the abortion wars, the changing roles of men and women, or the tensions and consolations of marriage and family life, her distinctive blend of cool reasonableness and sudden intuition strikes the reader again and again as the voice of our common wisdom. In everything she writes, Goodman is in search of our values, our "ethics and standards, the qualities in life that mean the most to us. The things that matter." Always genuine, continually provocative, surprising, and beguiling, "Value Judgments" leaves the reader with a refreshed and deepened understanding of the complex world that is ours.