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Library JournalIn this sequel to The American Reader, mother-and-son editors Diane Ravitch (education, NYU) and freelance critic and writer Michael Ravitch have included not only the most notable poems, essays, speeches, and songs in English history but also works that emphasize democracy and patriotism. The anthology opens with the speech by Queen Elizabeth I promising victory against the overwhelming power of the Spanish Armada and concludes with two of Winston Churchill's well-known speeches to the House of Commons. Between these historic bookmarks stands the work of such giants as William Shakespeare, William Wordsworth, and John Keats. George Orwell's "From England Your England" appears, as do poems by World War I patriots Rupert Brooke and Wilfred Owen. Also included are selections from the writings of Mary Wollstonecraft, Virginia Woolf, and Emmeline Pankhurst. Brief biographies accompany each writer's work. Covering a span of more than 300 years, this anthology shows why the language and ideas of the British Isles have had such an impact on the world. Libraries should ask themselves, though, whether they need another collection of British literature. Recommended with some reservations.
—Nancy R. Ives