Customer Reviews for

The Best American Essays of the Century

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 8, 2002

    A must-read book for aspiring college students

    This should be required reading for senior high school English class. Joyce Carol Oates and Robert Atwan have compiled some of the best essays including authors from various cultures.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted May 8, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    Not too long; not too short; just right ....

    A nice spread. Goes to show that writing well is diverse in purpose. It's seems harder to give time to reading for pleasure nowadays. There are so many ways. But if you appreciate a good read, skip through it, and give it a couple tastes. Some of them seem like short stories, or a syndicated columnist's "Thought for the Day". I was surprised in their diversity. And enjoyed quite a few. Here's a few I liked - 1901 Mark Twain "Corn-pone Opinions" page 1 *; 1903 W.E.B. Du Bois "Of the Coming of John" page 6; 1923 Ernest Hemingway "Pamplona in July" page 98; 1925 H.L. Mencken "The Hills of Zion" page 107 *; 1937 James Thurber "Sex Ex Machina" page 153; 1961 Donald Hall "A Hundred Thousand Straightened Nails" page 252 *; 1981 Gretel Ehrlich "The Solace of Open Spaces" page 467; 1969 Michael Herr "Illumination Rounds" page 327 *; 1970 Maya Angelou "I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings" page 342; 1993 John Updike "The Disposable Rocket" page 549 *. << * Special mentions. In particular, Twain and Mencken were high school favorites. "The Hills of Zion" was new to me. Or maybe I just forgot.>> Things read differently now than when I was in school. I know the writing hasn't changed.

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