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From provocative op-ed pieces and contemporary essays by some of today's most gifted masters to editorial cartoons and clever satire, the 105 selections in Many Americas engage students and invite them to think critically about the political and cultural fault lines that divide our country. Many Americas is the first composition text to address the complex, polarizing divisions among citizens on the most important issues of our time: economic status, family values, health, religion, the environment, national security, and international relations. Taken together, the diverse selections go beyond simplistic red-state/blue-state labels to explore the social landscape and its larger contexts and examine assumptions behind attitudes. The readings not only represent a wide spectrum of politically and culturally diverse voices, they also provide a variety of rhetorical models from across the curriculum. The pedagogical apparatus guides students to hone their own thinking, writing, and argumentative skills to more effectively respond to what they read and become active participants in today's cultural and political forum. As students work through these selections, writing and discussion questions prompt them to grapple with their own values, experiences, and beliefs, while learning to respect diverse points of view.
1. Critical Thinking, Reading, and Writing Across the Cultural Divide Thinking Critically About the Many Americas William J. Bennett, "Making Americans: Immigration and Tolerance" Andrew Sullivan, "A Call to Arms" Analyzing Texts: Thomas Frank, "What's the Matter with America?" Analyzing Visual Texts: Morris Fiorina, "Culture War? The Myth of a Polarized America" Analyzing Arguments: Barbara Ehrenreich, "The Faith Factor" Analyzing Visual Arguments The Writing Process Writing Analytical Essays Writing Arguments 2. Red or Blue?: Values, Culture, and Community Rebecca Skloot, "Two Americas, Two Restaurants, One Town" David Brooks, "One Nation, Slightly Divisible" Blake Hurst, "The Plains vs. The Atlantic: Is Middle America a Backwater, or a Reservoir?" Jedediah Purdy, "The New Culture of Rural America" Leslie Savan, "Did Somebody Say 'Community'?" Bill McKibben, "Small World" 3. Voting and Values: Are We Indivisible? Mark Danner, "How Bush Really Won" Garry Wills, "The Day the Enlightenment Went Out" Andrea Elliot, "The Political Conversion of New York's Evangelicals" John Micklethwait and Adrian Wooldridge, "Faith, Fortune, and the Frontier" Wendy Kaminer, "The Real Danger Behind the Christian Right: Beware of Conservative Ecumenism" Alan Wolfe, "Scholars Infuse Religion With Cultural Light" Jon Meacham, "What the Religious Right Can Teach the New Democrats: Extremists Aside, America's Evangelicals Have A Message We All Need to Hear" Hua Hsu, "Vote or Lie" 4. The Home Front: Who is the American Family? Ted Rall, "Money Changes Everything: Coming to Terms with Father's Day" Andrew Sullivan, "Why the M Word Matters to Me" Tzivia Gover, "Jill and Jill Live on the Hill, but One Must Boil the Water" Dan Savage, "Grieving Our Infertility" Cathy Young, "Opening Marriage: Do Same-Sex Unions Pave the Way for Polygamy?" Joe Miceli, "Taking Leave" Elijah Anderson, "The Black Inner-City Grandmother in Transition" Francis Fukuyama, "How to Re-Moralize America" Stephanie Coontz, "'First Comes Love, Then Comes Marriage, Then Comes Mary with a Baby Carriage:' Marriage, Sex, and Reproduction" John Leland, "Suffering the Pornographers" 5. Getting and Spending: Shopping, Working, and Values Maggie Jones, "Migrants No More" Daniel Akst, "Buyer's Remorse" Naomi Klein, "Alt.Everything: The Youth Market and the Marketing of Cool" Sarah Anderson, "Wal-Mart's War on Main Street" Barbara Ehrenreich, from Nickel and Dimed: On (Not) Getting By in America Steven Malanga, "The Myth of the Working Poor" B.C., "Homeless in Prescott, Arizona" Scott Russell Sanders, "Common Wealth" Omri Elisha, "God Is in the Retails" Ronald Bishop, "Dreams in the Line: A Day at the Antiques Road Show" The Onion, "National Museum of the Middle Class Opens in Schaumburg, IL." 6. Faith and Reason: What Do We Believe? Natalie Angier, "My God Problem" Eric S. Cohen, "To Wonder Again" Jill Neimark, "Do the Spirits Move You" Rachel Watson, "My Story" David James Duncan, "Earth Music" Mano Singham, "The Science and Religious Wars" The Economist, "The End of the World: A Brief History" Carrie Dolan, "But Will the Klingons Understand Deuteronomy?" 7. America the Beautiful: Wilderness or Resource? Erik Assadourian, "Cultivating the Butterfly Effect" Rick Bass, "Why I Hunt" Sierra Magazine, "Strange Bedfellows or Natural Allies?" Susan Orlean, "Lifelike" Paul Roberts, "Over a Barrel" Jeffrey Bartholet, Adam Rogers, and Michael Hsu, "Alaska: Oil's Ground Zero" William Schneider, "The New Soccer Moms" Charles McCoy, "The Struggles of Otter 76" Anna Bakalis, "SUV Supporters Answer Campaign; Association Finds Own 'Jesus' to Drive Point Home" 8. The Body Politic: Public Health Tamara Odisho, "A Night in the Emergency Room" Stephanie Mencimer, "Share the Health" Eric Schlosser, "Adam and Eve" Lynn Harris, "Tex Ed" Virginia Postrel, "Smart and Pretty" Richard Klein, "Big Country" Marc Fisher, "Airlines Should Calculate Prices by the Pound" Gina Kolata, "Weight Loss Surgery May Soon Be Paid by Medicare" 9. Johnny Can't Read: The Value of an Education Dashka Slater, "The Equalizers" David L. Kirp, "Life Way After Head Start" John Tierney, "When Every Child is Good Enough" Hara Estroff Marano, "A Nation of Wimps" Whitney Joiner, "One Strike and You're Out of School" Mark Bauerlein, "Liberal Groupthink Is Anti-Intellectual" John Tierney, "Republicans Outnumbered in Academia, Studies Find" Stephen Jay Gould, "Dorothy, It's Really Oz" Charles Krauthammer, "The Real Message of Creationism" Samantha M. Shapiro, "All God's Children" Naomi Schaefer Rile, "What would Jesus do at Harvard?" Jeffrey Passe, "Like It Or Not: Social Educators Must Keep Up with Popular Culture" 10. What's the Frequency? Values, Media, and Entertainment James Poniewozik, "Has the Mainstream Run Dry?" Douglas Rushkoff, "Experimental Programming" Harry Stein, "Daytime TV Gets Judgmental" Mark Alan Powell, "Jesus Climbs the Charts: The Business of Contemporary Christian Music" M. Graham Spann, "NASCAR Racing Fans: Cranking Up an Empirical Approach" Selena Roberts, "Sports Rage Has Yet to Reach the Ovals" Mary Eberstadt, "Ozzie and Harriet, Come Back! The Primal Scream of Teenage Music" Ta-Nehisi Coates, "Just Another Quick-Witted, Egg-Roll-Joke-Making, Insult-Hurling Chinese-American Rapper." Diane Cardwell, "Yo! Or Is It Oy! Cultures Blend in Dance Clubs" 11. Safe and Secure: What Are We Afraid Of? Frank Furedi, from Culture of Fear: Risk-taking and the Morality of Low Expectation Deborah Pearlstein, "Rights in an Insecure World" Corey Robin, "When Fear is a Joint Venture" Adam Gopnik, "The Unreal Thing" David Cole, "Uncle Sam Is Watching You" Shibley Telhami, "Arab and Muslim America: A Snapshot" Anika Rahman, "Fear in the Open City" Annie Jacobsen, "Terror in the Skies, Again?" Patrick Smith, "The Hysterical Skies" Heather MacDonald, "Homeland Security? Not Yet" 12. From Outside In: America in the World Naomi Klein, "America Is Not a Hamburger: America's Attempt to 'Re-Brand' Itself Abroad Could Be A Worse Flop Than New Coke" Michael Gorra, "Innocents Abroad?" Frances FitzGerald, "The View from Out There" Lynn Hirschberg, "What Is An American Movie Now?" Edward Said, "Terror in America" Appendx. Researching Across the Cultural Divides
Posted September 5, 2014
Very helpful book and very interesting. I used this book for a college class as part of an essay assignment, I enjoyed the book alotWas this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.