The debates presented in Point/Counterpoint are among the most interesting and controversial in contemporary American society,but studying them is more than an academic activity.They affect every citizen; they are the issues that today’s leaders debate and tomorrow’s will decide. The reader may one day play a central role in resolving them. Why study both sides of the debate? It’s possible that the reader will not yet have formed any opinion at all on the subject of this volume but this is unlikely. It is more likely that the reader will already hold an opinion, probably a strong one,and very probably one formed without full exposure to the arguments of the other side. It is rare to hear an argument presented in a balanced way, and it is easy to form an opinion on too little information; these books will help to fill in the informational gaps that can never be avoided. More important, though, is the practical function of the series: Skillful argumentation requires a thorough knowledge of bothsides though there are seldom only two, and only by knowing what an opponent is likely to assert can one form an articulate response.