Why Read: The Uses and Abuses of Literature for Life

Overview

In this important book, acclaimed author Mark Edmundson reconceives the value and promise of reading. He enjoins educators to stop offering up literature as facile entertainment and instead teach students to read in a way that can change their lives for the better. At once controversial and inspiring, this is a groundbreaking book written with the elegance and power to change the way we teach and read.

Read More Show Less
... See more details below
Paperback (Reprint)
$9.61
BN.com price
(Save 35%)$15.00 List Price

Pick Up In Store

Reserve and pick up in 60 minutes at your local store

Other sellers (Paperback)
  • All (21) from $3.99   
  • New (8) from $8.07   
  • Used (13) from $3.99   
Why Read?

Available on NOOK devices and apps  
  • NOOK Devices
  • Samsung Galaxy Tab 4 NOOK
  • NOOK HD/HD+ Tablet
  • NOOK
  • NOOK Color
  • NOOK Tablet
  • Tablet/Phone
  • NOOK for Windows 8 Tablet
  • NOOK for iOS
  • NOOK for Android
  • NOOK Kids for iPad
  • PC/Mac
  • NOOK for Windows 8
  • NOOK for PC
  • NOOK for Mac
  • NOOK for Web

Want a NOOK? Explore Now

NOOK Book (eBook)
$9.99
BN.com price
(Save 16%)$11.99 List Price
Sending request ...

Overview

In this important book, acclaimed author Mark Edmundson reconceives the value and promise of reading. He enjoins educators to stop offering up literature as facile entertainment and instead teach students to read in a way that can change their lives for the better. At once controversial and inspiring, this is a groundbreaking book written with the elegance and power to change the way we teach and read.

Read More Show Less

Editorial Reviews

Philadelphia Inquirer
"Thoughtful…striking…Edmundson lobbies for demonstrating literature's importance by teaching it through asking big, risk-taking philosophical questions."
Washington Post Book World
"Why Read? is an encomium to literature and reading, a passionate argument…Edmundson is dead on target."
Boston Globe
"Edmundson's an engaging teacher, earnest, knowledgeable, witty."
Raleigh News and Observer
"Why Read? makes passionate arguments for literature's soul-making potential."
Booklist
"Edmundson's many-faceted argument is forthright, rigorous, and inspiring as he convincingly links literature with hope, and humanism with democracy."
Willamette Weekly
"An engaging blend of social criticism, self-improvement wisdom, and appeal to fellow humanities professors…Edmundson writes with a rare combination of force and humility."
KLIATT
Edmundson, a professor at the University of Virginia, offers a stinging indictment of recent trends in the teaching of the humanities as well as a spirited call for a "renewed democratic humanism" as an alternative approach. Noting that the percentage of students receiving degrees in the humanities has dropped from 21 to 13 percent from 1968 to 1993 and that the percentage continues to decline, Edmundson fears that a "true liberal education barely exists in America now." The consequences are grave not only for individual students but for society as well. Instead of creating opportunities for students to challenge their core beliefs, to discover who they are and what they can do, colleges have become "like American culture...ever more devoted to consumption and entertainment." To reverse this trend, Edmundson states his central belief that literature is "the major cultural source of vital options for those who find that their lives fall short of their highest hopes." He describes his vision for what he wants for his students by quoting Ralph Waldo Emerson's essay, "Circles": "'The life of man is a self-evolving circle, which, from a ring imperceptibly small, rushes on all sides outwards to new and larger circles, and that without end.'" To enable students to create their own circles is the challenge Edmundson presents to his fellow educators. It is especially critical in this age of easy access to information that students understand the differences between information, knowledge, and wisdom. Edmundson recognizes that there are risks in this approach to teaching. Students are empowered to make choices, and they may make bad choices. He believes that it is far more dangerous for studentsnot to understand that they have the obligation to make those choices at all. This is a book that every teacher of the humanities should read. KLIATT Codes: A--Recommended for advanced students and adults. 2004, Bloomsbury, 146p., Ages 17 to adult.
—Anthony Pucci
Read More Show Less

Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781582346083
  • Publisher: Bloomsbury USA
  • Publication date: 9/5/2005
  • Edition description: Reprint
  • Pages: 160
  • Sales rank: 320,755
  • Product dimensions: 5.82 (w) x 8.20 (h) x 0.44 (d)

Meet the Author

Mark Edmundson is NEH/Daniels Family Distinguished Teaching Professor at the University of Virginia. A prizewinning scholar, he is the author of several book, including the widely praised memoir, Teacher: The One Who Made the Difference.. He has written for the New Republic, the New York Times Magazine, the Nation, and Harper's, where he is a contributing editor.

Read More Show Less

Customer Reviews

Be the first to write a review
( 0 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(0)

4 Star

(0)

3 Star

(0)

2 Star

(0)

1 Star

(0)

Your Rating:

Your Name: Create a Pen Name or

Barnes & Noble.com Review Rules

Our reader reviews allow you to share your comments on titles you liked, or didn't, with others. By submitting an online review, you are representing to Barnes & Noble.com that all information contained in your review is original and accurate in all respects, and that the submission of such content by you and the posting of such content by Barnes & Noble.com does not and will not violate the rights of any third party. Please follow the rules below to help ensure that your review can be posted.

Reviews by Our Customers Under the Age of 13

We highly value and respect everyone's opinion concerning the titles we offer. However, we cannot allow persons under the age of 13 to have accounts at BN.com or to post customer reviews. Please see our Terms of Use for more details.

What to exclude from your review:

Please do not write about reviews, commentary, or information posted on the product page. If you see any errors in the information on the product page, please send us an email.

Reviews should not contain any of the following:

  • - HTML tags, profanity, obscenities, vulgarities, or comments that defame anyone
  • - Time-sensitive information such as tour dates, signings, lectures, etc.
  • - Single-word reviews. Other people will read your review to discover why you liked or didn't like the title. Be descriptive.
  • - Comments focusing on the author or that may ruin the ending for others
  • - Phone numbers, addresses, URLs
  • - Pricing and availability information or alternative ordering information
  • - Advertisements or commercial solicitation

Reminder:

  • - By submitting a review, you grant to Barnes & Noble.com and its sublicensees the royalty-free, perpetual, irrevocable right and license to use the review in accordance with the Barnes & Noble.com Terms of Use.
  • - Barnes & Noble.com reserves the right not to post any review -- particularly those that do not follow the terms and conditions of these Rules. Barnes & Noble.com also reserves the right to remove any review at any time without notice.
  • - See Terms of Use for other conditions and disclaimers.
Search for Products You'd Like to Recommend

Recommend other products that relate to your review. Just search for them below and share!

Create a Pen Name

Your Pen Name is your unique identity on BN.com. It will appear on the reviews you write and other website activities. Your Pen Name cannot be edited, changed or deleted once submitted.

 
Your Pen Name can be any combination of alphanumeric characters (plus - and _), and must be at least two characters long.

Continue Anonymously

    If you find inappropriate content, please report it to Barnes & Noble
    Why is this product inappropriate?
    Comments (optional)