America Now: Short Essays on Current Issues

  • ISBN13:


  • ISBN10:


  • Edition: 13th
  • Format: Paperback
  • Copyright: 2019-09-24
  • Publisher: Bedford/St. Martin's

Note: Supplemental materials are not guaranteed with Rental or Used book purchases.

Purchase Benefits

  • Free Shipping Icon Free Shipping On Orders Over $35!
    Your order must be $35 or more to qualify for free economy shipping. Bulk sales, PO's, Marketplace items, eBooks and apparel do not qualify for this offer.
  • eCampus.com Logo Get Rewarded for Ordering Your Textbooks! Enroll Now
  • Buyback Icon We Buy This Book Back!
    In-Store Credit: $11.81
    Check/Direct Deposit: $11.25
    PayPal: $11.25
List Price: $85.32 Save up to $44.74
  • Rent Book $51.19
    Add to Cart Free Shipping Icon Free Shipping

    *This item is part of an exclusive publisher rental program and requires an additional convenience fee. This fee will be reflected in the shopping cart.

Supplemental Materials

What is included with this book?


America Now makes it easy for you to bring brief, thought-provoking essays on contemporary topics into your classroom, with reliable pedagogy and an expert reader's knowledge of what works for students.

As series editor for The Best American Essays, Robert Atwan constantly scours a wide range of publications, bringing to America Now an unrivaled focus on today’s best writing. Instructors tell us that their students want to respond to the essays in the book, and they praise the high-quality reading and writing instruction, critical thinking and reading questions, and model student essays that help them do so. Over half of the readings in America Now are new to this edition and published since 2018, making it truly a book for today's composition course.

Table of Contents

Introduction: Expressing Opinions with Clarity, Confidence, and Civility

What Is America Now?

What Are Opinions?

How Do We Form Opinions?

From Discussion to Writing

The Practice of Writing

What Is "Correct English"?

Writing as a Public Activity

The American Political Spectrum: A Brief Survey

Free, Open, and Civil Discussion: The Challenges Today

Writing for the Classroom: Two Annotated Student Essays

Kati Mather, The Many Paths to Success — with or without a College Education

Erika Gallion, What’s in a Major?


The Visual Expression of Opinion


Joe Rosenthal, Flag Raising At Iwo Jima (Photograph)

Thomas E. Franklin, Three Firefighters Raising the Flag (Photograph)

Alan Díaz, Elián González (Photograph)

Political Cartoons

R. J. Matson, Government Listens to Its Citizens

Nate Beeler, Gay Marriage

Opinion Ads

Ad Council, Feed the Pig

Writing as Empowerment


Language: Do Words Matter?

In Brief—Sound Bites: What’s in a Name?

*Gene Weingarten, Thoughts and Prayers

Sarah Elliott, Women, Stop Apologizing; Be Confident (Student Essay)

LOOKING CLOSELY: Establishing Your Main Point


*Spotlight on Data and Research: Jonah Engel Bromwich, Tell Us What to Call the Generation after Millennials (Please)

*Sylvia Taschka, What’s Wrong with Hitler Comparisons?

America Then… 1951: Langston Hughes, That Word Black

Discussing the Unit


Free Speech: Is It Endangered on Campus?

*In Brief—Open Letter: The James Madison Program in American Ideals and Institutions, Think for Yourself: Some Thoughts and Advice for Our Students and All Students

*Wendy M. Williams and Stephen J. Ceci, There Are No Good Alternatives to Free Speech on Campus

*Spotlight on Data and Research: Knight Foundation, Eight Ways College Students’ Views on Free Speech Are Evolving

*The American Civil Liberties Union, Speech on Campus

*Danny Bugingo, A Need for Safe Spaces (Student Essay)

LOOKING CLOSELY: Moving from Specific to General

America Then... 1997: Wendy Kaminer, A Civic Duty to Annoy

Discussing the Unit


U.S. History: How Do We Remember Our Past?

In Brief—Cartoon: Bill Bramhall, Mt. Rushmore: Student Activists Demanded Their Removal

Ernest B. Furgurson, The End of History?

*Spotlight on Data and Research: Rosalind Bentley, Are Southerners Losing Support for the Confederate Flag?

*Dasia Moore, When Does Renaming a Building Make Sense? (Student Essay)

LOOKING CLOSELY: Effective Argument: Organizing Points Systematically


Michael I. Niman, As Confederate Flags Fall, Columbus Statues Stand Tall

America Then… 1493: Michele De Cuneo, Violence in the Virgin Islands

Discussing the Unit


Immigration: Is It Our Most Serious Issue?

In Brief—Etymology: Francie Diep, Why Did We Ever Call Undocumented Immigrants "Aliens"?

*Laila Lalami, Blending In

*Sravya Tadepalli, Say It Right: When People Mispronounce Your Name (Student Essay)

LOOKING CLOSELY: Posing a Question


Eric Foner, Birthright Citizenship Is the Good Kind of American Exceptionalism

*Spotlight on Data and Research: Scott Rasmussen, The Immigration Mess

*William C. Anderson, Solidarity Abolishes Borders

*America Then… 1883: Emma Lazarus, The New Colossus

Discussing the Unit


Identity: How Does It Shape Our Sense of Self?

*In Brief—Proposal: Gish Gen, A New High School Course: Identity 101

*Susan Power, Native in the Twenty-First Century

*Saadia Faruqi, Cut from the Same Cloth

Negin Farsad and Dean Obeidallah, The Muslims Are Coming!

Tadeu Velloso, Brown (Student Essay)

LOOKING CLOSELY: Describing a Defining Moment


*Suzanne Fields, Submerged in a Din of Identity Politics

Spotlight on Data and Research: Matthew Bulger, What Makes an American?

America Then… 1782: J. Hector St. Jean de Crèvecoeur, The Melting Pot

Discussing the Unit


Race: Why Does It Still Matter?

In Brief—Prose Poem: Claudia Rankine, You and Your Partner…

Robin DiAngelo, White America’s Racial Illiteracy: Why Our National Conversation Is Poisoned from the Start

Dawn Lundy Martin, Weary Oracle

*Destry Adams, Why Students Should Care about Affirmative Action (Student Essay)

LOOKING CLOSELY: Conceding the Merits of an Opposing Viewpoint

*Annette Gordon-Reed, America’s Original Sin: Slavery and the Legacy of White Supremacy

*Spotlight on Data and Research: Chandra D. L. Waring, Black and Biracial Americans Wouldn’t Need to Code-Switch If We Lived in a Post-Racial Society

*America Then… 1986: Brent Staples, Just Walk On By: A Black Man Ponders His Power to Alter Public Space

Discussing the Unit


Guns: Can the Second Amendment Survive?

In Brief—Poem: Jane Vincent Taylor, New Law Makes Local Poet Nervous

The New York Times Editorial Board, End the Gun Epidemic in America

John A. Fry, Allowing Guns Won’t Make Campuses Safer

Brittney Christ, We Should Be Allowed to Protect Ourselves (Student Essay)

LOOKING CLOSELY: Effective Openings: Establishing a Clear Context for an Argument


*Dahleen Glanton, Stop Saying We Can’t Do Anything to Stop Mass Shootings. We Can.

*Mona Charen, No Names

*Spotlight on Data and Research: Megan Brenan, Ten Takeaways about Americans’ View of Guns

America Then... 1981: Paul Fussell, A Well-Regulated Militia

Discussing the Unit


Feminism Today: What Are the Challenges?

*In Brief—Advertisement: We Should All Be Feminists

*Suzanna Danuta Walters, Why Can’t We Hate Men?

*Roxanne Roberts, In the Middle

*Amanda Nelson, Barbie Is Exploiting Frida Kahlo’s Legacy (Student Essay)

LOOKING CLOSELY: Effective Persuasion: Expressing an Opinion Clearly and


Spotlight on Data and Research: Elizabeth Aura McClintock, The Psychology of Mansplaining

*Will McPhail, Mansplaining (Cartoon)

America Then...1972: Judy Brady, I Want a Wife

Discussing the Unit


Gender: What Are the Issues Today?

In Brief—Report: American Dialect Society, The Word of the Year Is Singular They

*Alex Myers, How #MeToo Taught Me I Can Never Be a Man

*Adison Eyring, A Narrowing Definition of Gender Will Marginalize Trans, Intersex Communities (Student Essay)

LOOKING CLOSELY: Making Distinctions


*Spotlight on Data and Research: Aamer Madhani, Poll: Approval of Same-Sex Marriage in U.S. Reaches New High

*Julie Compton, Boy or Girl? Parents Raising "Theybies" Let Kids Decide

*America Then… 1995: Katha Pollitt, Why Boys Don’t Play with Dolls

Discussing the Unit


The News Media: How Well Does It Serve the Public?

*In Brief—How to Spot Fake News: The International Federation of Library Associations (IFLA), How to Spot Fake News

*Spotlight on Data and Research: American Dialect Society, Word of the Year: Fake News

*Charles Carr, Reinstate the Fairness Doctrine!

*Ryan Fawwaz, Seeking Truth Is Intertwined with Journalistic Advocacy (Student Essay)

LOOKING CLOSELY: Supporting Opinions with Specific Examples

*America Then...1938: Dorothy Thompson, Mr. Welles and Mass Delusion

Discussing the Unit


Patriotism: Is It Obsolete?

*In Brief—Comic: Jen Sorensen, Patriotism vs. Nationalism

*José Azel, Patriotism vs. Nationalism

*Jonette Christian, Is Patriotism Obsolete?

*Spotlight on Data and Research: Tom Jacobs, Patriotic Americans Are Pro-Immigration

*Roshae Hemmings, Burning Shoes to #BoycottNike Won’t Change That Fact That Kaepernick and His Kneeling Aren’t Going Anywhere (Student Essay)

LOOKING CLOSELY: Using Quotations Effectively


America Then… 1852: Frederick Douglass, from What to the Slave Is the Fourth of July?

Discussing the Unit


Political Polarization: How Disunited Is the United States?

*In Brief—Print Ad: Thomas J. Donohue, Putting the "Civil" Back into Civil Society

*Livia Gershon, Should Politics Be Civil?

*Avi Tuschman, Political Evolution: Why Do Young Voters Lean Left? It’s in the Genes

*Angel Diaz, How the Overton Window Theory Explains Today’s Extreme Political Rhetoric (Student Essay)

LOOKING CLOSELY: The Art of Argument: Using a Theory to Make Your Point

*Spotlight on Data and Research: The Hidden Tribes of America, America’s Seven Political Tribes

America Then...1787: Benjamin Franklin, I Agree to This Constitution, with All Its Faults

Discussing the Unit

Supplemental Materials

What is included with this book?

The New copy of this book will include any supplemental materials advertised. Please check the title of the book to determine if it should include any access cards, study guides, lab manuals, CDs, etc.

The Used, Rental and eBook copies of this book are not guaranteed to include any supplemental materials. Typically, only the book itself is included. This is true even if the title states it includes any access cards, study guides, lab manuals, CDs, etc.

Rewards Program