America Now Short Readings from Recent Periodicals

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  • Edition: 11th
  • Format: Paperback
  • Copyright: 2015-03-13
  • Publisher: Bedford/St. Martin's

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Supplemental Materials

What is included with this book?


America Now makes it easy for you to get brief, accessible, and thought-provoking essays into your classroom, with trustworthy, reliable pedagogy and an expert reader's knowledge of what works in the classroom.

As series editor for Best American Essays, Robert Atwan constantly scours a wide range of periodicals, bringing to America Now an unrivaled focus on the best writing of today. 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.

 Every reading in America Now is new to this edition, making it truly a book for today's composition course. And now with the new edition, you can meet students where they are: online. To package LaunchPad Solo for Readers and Writers free with America Now, use 978-1-319-01552-7.

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 Monthly, 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. Social Media: What Do We Gain? What Do We Lose?  

Callie Schweitzer, The Digital Ties That Bind: Love, Loss and Oversharing in the Internet Age (TIME, February 11, 2014)

Spotlight on Research: Clive Thompson, The Parent Trap: How Teens Lost the Ability to Socialize (Wired, January 2014)

Student essay: Yzzy Gonzalez, Technology Taking Over? (University Times, California State University, Los Angeles, February 11, 2013)

Andrew Santella, This Is Not about You (Notre Dame Magazine, Summer 2013)

America Then…1854: Henry David Thoreau, Nothing Important to Communicate? (from Walden)


2. Do Words Matter?

Deborah Tannen, ‘Bossy’ Is More than a Word to Women (USA Today, March 11, 2014)

Spotlight on Research: Arika Okrent, Everybody in Almost Every Language Says "Huh"? HUH?! (Smithsonian Magazine, March 2014)

Dan Snyder, Letter from Washington Redskins Owner Dan Snyder to Fans (Washington Post, October 9, 2013)

Student essay: Greg Nasif, Washington, Yea! Redskins, Boo! (The Diamondback, The University of Maryland, October 13, 2011)

Scott Russell Sanders, Language Versus Lies (The Progressive, January 2013)

America Then...1953: Langston Hughes, That Word Black (The Chicago Defender, November 3, 1951)


3. Freedom of Expression: Is It Threatened on Campus?

Jennifer Medina, Warning: The Literary Canon Could Make Students Squirm (New York Times, May 17, 2014)

Student Debate:

Brianne Richson, Colleges Should Adopt Trigger Warnings (The Daily Iowan, University of Iowa, May 6, 2014)

Jon Overton, Beware the Trigger Warning (The Daily Iowan, University of Iowa, May 7, 2014)

Michael Bloomberg, from "Commencement Speech at Harvard University" (MikeBloomberg.com, May 29, 2014)

America Then…1997: Wendy Kaminer, A Civic Duty to Annoy (The Atlantic, September 1997)


4. Diversity: How Much Do We Value It?

Haya El Nasser, The Changing Face of America (USA Weekend, September 30, 2013)

Christine Granados, True Colors (Texas Monthly, May 2014)

Student Essay: Hailey Yook, Positive Stereotypes Are Hurtful, Too (The Daily Californian, University of California, Berkeley, March 10, 2014)

Barry Lopez, Six Thousand Lessons (Prairie Schooner, Summer 2013)

America Then...1891: Nation Editorial: from: "The Proper Sieve for Immigrants"

5. Race: Does It Still Matter?   

Naomi Zack, More Than Skin Deep (Oregon Humanities, Summer 2013)

Spotlight on Research: W. Ralph Eubanks, from Color Lines (The American Scholar, Spring 2013)

Student Essay: Jana King, In Living Color (The Daily Reveille, Louisiana State University, March 14, 2014)

Ben S. Carson, Gray Matter, the Stuff that Really Matters (The Washington Times, March 12, 2014)

America Then…1963: Martin Luther King, I Have a Dream

6. Guns: Can the Second Amendment Survive?

Diane Dimond, Kids and Guns and Public Safety (Rockland County Times, January 25, 2014)

Brian Doyle, Dawn and Mary (The Sun Magazine, August 2013)

Cartoon: Matt Bors, "An Ex-Cop Shot a Dude…" (The Nation, February 10, 2014)

Poem: Jane Vincent Taylor, New Law Makes Local Poet Nervous (This Land, February 1, 2013)

Student Debate:

Christina Tenuta, Responsible Gun Ownership Saves Lives (Loyola Phoenix, Loyola University Chicago, October 2, 2013)

James Stancliffe, Guns Act as Force Multiplier, [En]dangering Everyone (Loyola Phoenix, Loyola University Chicago, October 23, 2013)

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


7. College Sports: Should Student Athletes Be Paid?

Dave Zirin, The Shame of the NCAA (The Nation, April 1, 2013)

Cartoon: Bramhall, Northwestern University Football Players Unionize (March 28, 2014)

Spotlight on Research: Alex Prewitt, Large Majority Opposes Paying NCAA Athletes, Washington Post-ABC News Poll Finds (Washington Post, March 23, 2014)

Student Essay: Tim Ajmani, Compensation for College Athletes? (The Corsair, Pensacola State College, April 25, 2012)

America Then...1979: Red Smith, The Student Athlete


8. What Is a Traditional Marriage?

Richard V. Reeves, How to Save Marriage in America (The Atlantic, February 2014)

Rebecca Solnit, More Equal Than Others (Financial Times, May 24, 2013)

Mona Charen, Modern Family? (Townhall.com, February 28, 2014)

Student Essay: Holly Nall, Mixed Relationships Offer Diversity (Golden Gate Xpress, San Francisco State University, April 1, 2013)

America Then...1910: Emma Goldman, Marriage and Love (from Anarchism and Other Essays)

9. Environment/Climate

Bill McKibben, A Moral Atmosphere (Orion, March/April 2013)

James Hansen, Acceptance Speech for 2013 Science Prize (The Nation, May 27, 2013)

Spotlight on Research: Judith Shulevitz, Why Do People Deny Science? (The New Republic, October 21, 2013)

Charles Krauthammer, The Myth of ‘Settled Science’ (New York Daily News, February 21, 2014)

Student Essay: Macon Fessenden, Hydrofracking: Getting the Facts Straight (Pipe Dream, Binghamton University, November 8, 2013)

America Then…1962: Rachel Carson, A Fable for Tomorrow (from Silent Spring)


10. American Politics—Must We Be Partisan?

Avi Tuschman, Political Evolution: Why Do Young Voters Lean Left? (Bloomberg Businessweek, April 21-27, 2014)

Laura Meckler and Dante Chinni, How Where We Live Deepens the Nation’s Partisan Split (Wall Street Journal, March 21, 2014)

Chris Chan, It’s Time We Demanded More (Gilbert Magazine, Sept/Oct 2013)

Student Essay: Anna Berenson, Politics for the Rest of Us (The Bates Student, Bates College, October 9, 2013)

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


11. Feminism: What Are Today’s Gender Issues?

Marisa Meltzer, The Last Feminist Taboo (Elle, January 2014)

Heather Havrilesky, ‘Don’t Act Crazy, Mindy’ (New York Times Magazine, March 17, 2013)

Sayantani DasGupta, Bad Girls, Bad Babies, Bad Bumps (Atrium, Winter 2014)

Christina Hoff Sommers, No, Women Don’t Make Less Money than Men (The Daily Beast, February 1, 2014)

Student Essay: Emily Potter, #YesAllWomen (Daily Nexus, University of California, Santa Barbara, May 30, 2014)

America Then...1914: Floyd Dell, Feminism for Men


12. Our Battered Economy: Is the American Dream Over?

Barack Obama, On the Decline of Economic Mobility (from speech delivered December 4, 2013)

James Surowiecki, The Mobility Myth (The New Yorker, March 3, 2014)

Greg Beato, The Myth of Economic Immobility (Reason, May 2014)

Eve Tushnet, You Can Go Home Again (The Weekly Standard, Sept 2, 2013)

Student Essay: Gray Whisnant, Make It Rain: A Universal Basic Income Should Be the Next Front of the War on Poverty (The Cavalier Daily, University of Virginia, January 15, 2014)

America Then…1890: Jacob Riis, from "The Bend" (How the Other Half Lives)

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