The Blair Reader

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  • Edition: 5th
  • Format: Paperback
  • Copyright: 2005-01-01
  • Publisher: Prentice Hall
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Join the conversation of life The Blair Reader offers you over 100 interesting and thought-provoking readings that encourage you to think critically and make your own contribution through discussion and writing about issues that shape the world. This edition offers new non-fiction, poetry, and literature selections as well as many new visual images to make your experience richer.

Table of Contents

Family and Memory
ldquo;Those Winter Sundaysrdquo; (poetry)
ldquo;One Last Time.rdquo;
ldquo;Once More to the Lake.rdquo;
ldquo;No Name Woman.rdquo;
ldquo;Beauty: When the Other Dancer Is the Self.rdquo;
ldquo;My Father's Life.rdquo;
ldquo;The Unauthorized Autobiography of Me.rdquo;Fiction:
ldquo;The Key to My Father.rdquo; Focus: How Has Divorce Redefined the Family?
ldquo;Putting Divorce in Perspective.rdquo;
ldquo;The Unexpected Legacy of Divorce.rdquo;
ldquo;There They Go, Bad-Mouthing Divorce Again.rdquo;
Issues in Education
ldquo;The Sanctuary of School.rdquo;
ldquo;School Is Bad for Children.rdquo;
ldquo;School's Out.rdquo;
ldquo;The War against Testing.rdquo;
ldquo;Who Cares about the Renaissance?rdquo;
ldquo;Literature: Forgetting the Tradition.rdquo;
ldquo;For More Balance on Campus.rdquo;Fiction:
ldquo;The First Day.rdquo; Focus: Do We Still Need Affirmative Action?
ldquo;Remembering the Negative Side of Affirmative Action.rdquo;
ldquo;The Myth and Math of Affirmative Action.rdquo;
ldquo;Debating without Facts.rdquo;
The Politics of Language
ldquo;Two Languages in Mind, but Just One in the Heart.rdquo;
ldquo;Learning to Read and Write.rdquo;
ldquo;A Homemade Education.rdquo;
ldquo;Four-Letter Words Can Hurt You.rdquo;
ldquo;Mother Tongue.rdquo;
ldquo;The Human Cost of an Illiterate Society.rdquo;
ldquo;Propaganda under a Dictatorship.rdquo;
ldquo;Politics and the English Language.rdquo;
Focus: How Free Should Free Speech Be?
ldquo;The Free-Speech Follies.rdquo;
ldquo;A Chill Wind is Blowing in This Nation.rdquo;
ldquo;It's Time to Junk the Double Standard on Free Speech.rdquo;
Media and Society
ldquo;Informing Ourselves to Death.rdquo;
ldquo;Television: The Plug-In Drug.rdquo;
ldquo;Testifying: Television.rdquo;
ldquo;Reality TV: A Dearth of Talent and the Death of Morality.rdquo;
ldquo;The World Still Watches America.rdquo;
ldquo;The Movie That Changed My Life.rdquo;
ldquo;Why the Record Industry Is in Trouble.rdquo;
Table of Contents provided by Publisher. All Rights Reserved.


After more than twenty-five years of teaching composition, we have come to see reading and writing are interrelated activities: if students are going to write effectively, they must also read actively and critically. In addition, we believe that writing is both a private and a public act. As a private act, it enables students to explore their feelings and reactions and to discover their ideas about a variety of subjects. As a public act, writing enables students to see how their own ideas fit into larger discourse communities, where ideas gain meaning and value. In college, we believe that students are enriched and engaged when they view the reading and writing they do as a way of participating in ongoing public discussions about subjects that matter to them. We createdThe Blair Readerto encourage students to contribute to these public discussions and to help them realize that their best ideas often take shape in response to the ideas of others. Another reason we decided to writeThe Blair Readerwas that we could not find a thematic reader that satisfied our needs as teachers. We--like you--expect compelling reading selections that involve instructors and students in spirited exchanges. We also expect readings that reflect the diversity of ideas that characterizes our society and questions that challenge students to respond critically to what they have read. In short, we expect a book that stimulates discussion and that encourages students to discover new ideas and to see familiar ideas in new ways. These expectations guided us as we initially developedThe Blair Readerand as we worked on this fifth edition. What's New in the Fifth Edition? Our first goal for the fifth. edition was to sharpen the focus of each thematic chapter, thereby expanding students' insight into the issue being discussed. In this process, we took into consideration the comments of the many teachers who generously shared their reactions to the fourth edition with us. Next, we revised each chapter's Focus section, changing some questions to reflect contemporary concerns and adding new essays calculated to stimulate interest and classroom discussion. We also created two new thematic chapters, Chapter 5, "The Way We Live Now," which looks at contemporary American life, and Chapter 8, "Why We Work," which examines attitudes toward jobs and the workplace. To reflect our expanding emphasis on visual literacy, we added new images to the Focus section of each chapter. In Chapter 5, the entire Focus section now consists of a collection of visuals (followed by questions) that illustrates how men's and women's fashions have changed over the last hundred years. Finally, we refined and updated the suggestions for Internet research that appear at the end of each chapter. As we worked on the fifth edition, we added readings designed to sharpen the focus of each chapter and to increase student interest and involvement. Among the selections that are new to this edition are Diane Ravitch's "Literature: Forgetting the Tradition," Goodwin Liu's "The Myth and Math of Affirmative Action," Christina Hoff Sommers's "For More Balance on Campuses," Louise Erdrich's "Two Languages in the Mind, but Just One in the Heart," Tim Robbins's "A Chill Wind Is Blowing in This Nation," Salmon Rushdie's "Reality TV: A Dearth of Talent and the Death of Morality," Henry Lewis Gates, Jr.'s "Delusions of Grandeur," Mona Charm's "Malpractice: By Lawyers," and Declan McCullagh's "Why Liberty Suffers in Wartime." These and other new readings were chosen to introduce students to the enduring issues that they confront as students and as citizens. Whenever possible, we include readings that give students the historical context they need to understand a chapter's theme. For example, in Chapter 2, "Issues in Education," we include the classic essay "School Is Bad for Children" by John Holt; in Chapter 3, "The Politics of Language

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