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Rereading America : Cultural Contexts for Critical Thinking and Writing

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Bedford/St. Martin's
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Customer Reviews

Great textbook  March 14, 2011

I rented this text book for my Comp II and so far it looks to be interesting, rethinking and examining the concept of education in America. It also allows students to explore immediate social, cultural and political issues that are close to their lives with its refreshingly original and fun readings. This text brings in multiple perspectives from margins of the society that deserve to be heard and discussed.

Rereading America : Cultural Contexts for Critical Thinking and Writing: 5 out of 5 stars based on 1 user reviews.


Rereading America remains the most widely adopted book of its kind because of its unique approach to the issue of cultural diversity. Unlike other multicultural composition readers that settle for representing the plurality of American voices and cultures, Rereading America encourages students to grapple with the real differences in perspectives that arise in our complex society. Selections model writing from a wide variety of disciplines and genres, and each chapter features a selection that explores how the media sells the myth in question.

With extensive editorial apparatus that puts readings from the mainstream into conversation with readings from the margins, Rereading America provokes students to explore the foundations and contradictions of our dominant cultural myths.

"The material is current and thought-provoking, thereby inspiring lively class discussion."-Carolyn E. Rubin-Trimble, University of HoustonóDowntown

Author Biography

Gary Colombo is professor of English at Los Angeles City College. He has published Mind Readings: An Anthology for Writers (2002), and with Bonnie Lisle and Sandra Mano, Frame Work: Culture, Storytelling and College Writing (1997), both for Bedford/St. Martins.

Robert Cullen is professor of English at San Jose State University. He supervises Teaching Associates in the university’s lower-division writing sequence and has taught a wide range of courses in American literature, American Studies, composition, and pedagogy.

Bonnie Lisle teaches in the UCLA Writing Programs. With Gary Colombo and Sandra Mano she is the author of Frame Work: Culture, Storytelling and College Writing (Bedford/St. Martins, 1997).

Table of Contents

Chapter 1: Harmony at Home: The Myth of the Model Family
A Family Tree, Freedom from Want, and Freedom from Fear
Norman Rockwell
Looking for Work
Gary Soto
What We Really Miss About the 1950s
Stephanie Coontz
Aunt Ida Pieces a Quilt
Melvin Dixon
An Indian Story
Roger Jack
*The Color of Family Ties: Race, Class, Gender, and Extended Family Involvement
Naomi Gerstel and Natalia Sarkisian
Visual Portfolio
Reading Images of American Families
*Proposition 8: The California Marriage Protection Act
*8 Is Not Hate: The Meaning of a Proposition
Jennifer Roback Morse
*Proposition 8 Hurt My Family - Ask Me How
Marriage Equality USA
What Is Marriage?
Evan Wolfson
*My Big Fat Straight Wedding
Andrew Sullivan
Chapter 2: Learning Power: The Myth of Education and Empowerment  
From Report of the Massachusetts Board of Education, 1848
Horace Mann
Idiot Nation
Michael Moore
Against School
John Taylor Gatto
"I Just Wanna Be Average"
Mike Rose
From Social Class and the Hidden Curriculum of Work
Jean Anyon
Visual Portfolio
Reading Images of Education and Empowerment
The Achievement of Desire
Richard Rodriguez
Para Teresa
Inés Hernández-Ávila
Learning to Read
Malcolm X
Still Separate, Still Unequal
Jonathan Kozol
*In the Basement of the Ivory Tower
Professor X
Chapter 3: Money and Success: The Myth of Individual Opportunity
From Ragged Dick
Horatio Alger
The Lesson
Toni Cade Bambara
Horatio Alger
Harlon L. Dalton
*Living It: Tim Blixseth
Robert Frank
Serving in Florida
Barbara Ehrenreich
*Class in America – 2006
Gregory Mantsios
Visual Portfolio
Reading Images of Individual Opportunity
Framing Class, Vicarious Living, and Conspicuous Consumption [Media Selection]
Diana Kendall
*From The Missing Class
Katherine S. Newman and Victor Tan Chen
*Tent City, USA
Maria L. LaGranga
*From America’s New Working Class
Kathleen R. Arnold
Stephen Cruz
Studs Terkel
Chapter 4: Created Equal: The Myth of the Melting Pot  
From Notes on the State of Virginia
Thomas Jefferson 
Causes of Prejudice
Vincent N. Parrillo
C.P. Ellis
Studs Terkel
James McBride
*Loot or Find:  Fact or Frame? [Media Selection]
Cheryl I. Harris and Devon W. Carbado
Visual Portfolio
Reading Images of The Melting Pot
Models of American Ethnic Relations:  A Historical Perspective 
George M. Fredrickson
Sherman Alexie
*Deconstructing America
Patrick J. Buchanan
The Crossing
Rubén Martínez
*The End of White America? [Media Selection]
Hua Hsu
Child of the Americas
Aurora Levins Morales
Chapter 5: True Women and Real Men: Myths of Gender  
How the Americans Understand the Equality of the Sexes
Alexis de Tocqueville
Jamaica Kincaid
Becoming Members of Society:  Learning the Social Meanings of Gender
Aaron H. Devor
The Story of My Body
Judith Ortiz Cofer
"Two ways a Woman Can Get Hurt":  Advertising and Violence [Media Selection]
Jean Kilbourne
From Fly-Girls to Bitches and Hos [Media Selection]
Joan Morgan
Visual Portfolio
Reading Images of Gender
*"Bros Before Hos":  The Guy Code
Michael Kimmel
*The Descent of Men
Dan Kindlon
*The Death of Macho
Reihan Salam
*A Boy's Life
Hanna Rosin
Chapter 6: This Land is Your Land: American Myths of Nature
*From Walking
Henry David Thoreau
*From An American Childhood
Annie Dillard
*Climbing the Tree of Health
Richard Louv
*The Artifice of the Natural [Media Selection]
Charles Siebert
*From As the World Burns: 50 Simple Things You Can Do to Stay in Denial
Derek Jensen & Stephanie McMillan
*The End of Nature
Bill McKibben
*Visual Portfolio
Reading Images of Nature
*Save the Whales, Screw the Shrimp
Joy Williams
*Moving Heaven and Earth
Graeme Wood
*In Search of Justice
Nydia M.Velasquez
*Talking to the Owls and Butterflies
John (Fire) Lame Deer and Richard Erdoes
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