America Now : Short Readings from Recent Periodicals

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  • Edition: 9th
  • Format: Paperback
  • Copyright: 2011-02-16
  • Publisher: Bedford/St. Martin's

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With more than 50 very brief readings -- all new to this edition -- from over 40 very recent periodicals and student newspapers on 12 topics of very current interest, America Nowreflects what students are talking and writing about right now. As series editor of The Best American Essays, Robert Atwan constantly scours a wide range of periodicals, bringing to America Nowan unrivaled awareness of the best writing on today's hottest issues -- and the editorial support students need to approach it and to create solid academic writing of their own. To make these issues especially relevant for students, Atwan also explores hundreds of campus newspapers to find the best student writing on current topics. These models by their peers from across the country show students that they, too, can share ideas through their own discussion and writing.

Author Biography

ROBERT ATWAN is director of The Blue Hills Writing Institute at Curry College and the series editor of the annual Best American Essays, which he founded in 1985. His essays, reviews, and critical articles have appeared in The New York Times, The Los Angeles Times, The Atlantic, Iowa Review, Denver Quarterly, Kenyon Review, River Teeth, and many other publications. For Bedford/St. Martin's, he has also edited Ten on Ten: Major Essayists on Recurring Themes (1992), Our Times (1998), and Convergences (2009). He has coedited (with Jon Roberts) Left, Right, and Center: Voices from Across the Political Spectrum (1996), and is coeditor with Donald McQuade of The Writer's Presence (2009).

Table of Contents

Preface for Instructors
The Persuasive Writer: Expressing Opinions with Clarity, Confidence, and Civility
1. What's in a Name? 
Patrick Olsen, Does Your Pickup Truck Have a Nickname? [The Boston Globe, October 10, 2009; Cars.com, September 2009] (advertisement)
Rebecca Mead, What Do You Call It? [The New Yorker, January 4, 2010]
Brittany Bergstrom, The Fighting Sioux: The End of a Legacy? [The Spectrum, September 29, 2009] (student essay)
Debate: Does a Family Need to Share a Surname?
Liz Breslin, YES [Brain, Child, Winter 2009]
Laura Williamson, NO [Brain, Child, Winter 2010]
America Then… 1507
Who Named America?
2. Happiness: Can It Be Defined? 
Daniel Gilbert, What You Don't Know Makes You Nervous [The New York Times, May 21, 2009]
Adriana Barton, The Happy Place on the Podium [The Globe and Mail, February 18, 2010]
Walter Mosley, Get Happy [The Nation, October 5, 2009]
Tom Hewitt, Learning From Tison [The Sun Star, University of Alaska Fairbanks, December 15, 2009] (student essay)
"The Science of Happiness," from an interview with Barbara Fredrickson on cultivating positive emotions [The Sun, May 2009]
3. Is There an Ethics of Eating?
Warwick Sabin, The Rich Get Thinner, the Poor Get Fatter [The Oxford American, #68, 2010]
Amy Domini, Why Investing in Fast-Food May Be a Good Thing [Ode, March 2009]
Brian Jay Stanley, Confessions of a Carnivore [North American Review, September/October, 2009]
Jacob Swede, Remembering Johnny Appleseed [University of Minnesota Twin Cities, March 10, 2010] (student essay)
4. Photography: Can We Believe What We See? 
Rob Haggart, This Photo is Lying to You [Outside, September 2009]
Jed Perl, Picture Imperfect [The New Republic, June 17, 2009]
Elizabeth Svokos, Head to Head--Print Photographs [The Bi-College News, Bryn Mawr College/Haverford College, November 18, 2009] (student essay)
America Then… 2000
Elian Gonzales 
5. What Do We Fear? 
Steven D. Levitt and Stephen J. Dubner, What Should You Worry About? [Parade, October 18, 2009]
Irwin Savodnik, All Crisis, All the Time [The Weekly Standard, November 2, 2009]
Erica Zucco, Quit Living in Swine Fear [The Maneater, University of Missouri Columbia, September 4, 2009] (student essay)
America Then… 1955
The Cold War and the Fallout Shelter 
6. How Is Today's Media Altering Our Language? 
Clive Thompson, The New Literacy [Wired, September 2009]
Rebecca J. Rosen, This is Your Brain on the Web [Wilson Quarterly, Autumn, 2009]
Erin McKean, Redefining Definition: How the Web Could Help Change What Dictionaries Do [The New York Times Magazine, December 20, 2009]
Aprille Hanson, Stop Relying on Bloggers for News [The Echo, The University of Central Arkansas, April 7, 2010] (student essay)
Chris Clarke, How to Write an Incendiary Blog Post [Coyote Crossing, 2010]
America Then… 1844
The Telegram 
7. Gender Roles: Should Women Act More Like Men? 
Clay Shirky, A Rant About Women [Clay Shirky Blog; shirky.com, January 15, 2010]
Ann Friedman, Swagger Like Us [The American Prospect, March 2010]
Kim Elsesser, And the Gender-Neutral Oscar Goes to… [The New York Times, March 4, 2010]
Shannon Morgan, Defending Camelot: Chivalry Is Not Dead  [Arbiter Online, Boise State University, February 24, 2010] (student essay)
Tom Jacobs, Romance Novel Titles Reveal Readers' Desires [Miller-McCune Online Magazine, March 2, 2010]
8. Does Our Need for Security Threaten Our Rights to Privacy?
Jeffrey Rosen, Nude Awakening [The New Republic, February 4, 2010]
Connie Shultz, New Airport Policy: Grin and Bare It [Cleveland Plain Dealer, January 10, 2010]
Mohammed Khan, Racial Profiling Ineffective [The Daily Evergreen, Washington State University, Jan 13, 2010] (student essay)
Jay Griffiths, The Tips of Your Fingers [Orion, January/February 2010]
9. Barack Obama: What Does His Election Mean to America? 
Diane McKinney-Whetstone, The First Family [Essence, January 2009]
John Edgar Wideman, Street Corner Dreamers [Essence, January 2009]
Pearl Wong, Obama a President For All [The Santa Clara, Santa Clara University, February 25, 2010] (student essay)
Christopher Hedges, Celebrity Culture and the Obama Brand [Tikkun, January/February 2010]
10. Social Networking: How is it Transforming Behavior?
Garry Trudeau, “Hi, Dad,” Doonesbury [Syndicated, November 8, 2009]
Mary Katharine Ham, We Shall Overshare [The Weekly Standard, June 8, 2009]
Brent Baughman, Growing older in the digital age: An exercise in egotism  [The Berkeley Beacon, Emerson College, February 25, 2010] (student essay)
Elizabeth Stone, Grief in the Age of Facebook [The Chronicle Review, March 5, 2010]
11. Saving the Planet: Is It Too Late?
Bill McKibben, Waste Not Want Not [Mother Jones, May/June 2009]
Jeff Goodell, Warming Gets Worse [Rolling Stone, November 12, 2009]
Cal Thomas, Sinking 'Climate Change' [Townhall.com, June 3, 2010]
Yevgeniya Lomakina, 'Going green' Misses the Point [The Daily Collegian, University of Massachusetts, April 22, 2010] (student essay)
America Then…1985
The Warming of the World

12. Immigration: Who Is An American?
Debate: Does Immigration Increase the Virtues of Hard Work and Fortitude in the U.S.?  Tamar Jacoby, YES  [In Character, Spring 2009]
Mark Krikorian, NO  [In Character, Spring 2009]
Vincente Martinez, The Crossing [Oregon Humanities, Fall/Winter 2009]
Luis J. Rodriguez, Slurring Spanish [The Progressive, March 2010]
Elyse Toplin, Uniting Families [The Hullabaloo, Tulane University, January 29th, 2010] (student essay)
Ira Berlin, Migrations Forced and Free [Smithsonian, February 2010]
America Then…1999
Remember When This Was Heavy Traffic?

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