50 Essays: A Portable Anthology is the best-selling value-priced reader in the country because its virtues don't stop at the price.
Its carefully chosen selections include enough classic essays to reassure instructors, and enough high-interest and high-quality contemporary readings to keep things lively and relevant for students. The editorial apparatus is more extensive than in competing value readers, but still is flexible and unobtrusive enough to support a variety of approaches to teaching composition.
This collection provides diversity of background, diversity of age, diversity of issue, and, despite a recurrent whiny complaint on this page, diversity of political opinion. Some of its essays are personal and introspective, while others are public and informative. Some ruminate on an idea, while others endorse a position. Some test ideas, while other argues positions.
In its third edition, 50 Essays continues to offer selections that instructors enjoy teaching, at a price students won't resist, but with more editorial emphasis than before on the critical thinking and academic writing skills of today's composition courses.