The American Reader: Words That Moved a Nation
Harper Collins, 05.09.2000. - 656 страница
The American Reader is a stirring and memorable anthology that captures the many facets of American culture and history in prose and verse. The 200 poems, speeches, songs, essays, letters, and documents were chosen both for their readability and for their significance. These are the words that have inspired, enraged, delighted, chastened, and comforted Americans in days gone by. Gathered here are the writings that illuminate -- with wit, eloquence, and sometimes sharp words -- significant aspects of national conciousness. They reflect the part that all Americans -- black and white, native born and immigrant, Hispanic, Asian, and Native American, poor and wealthy -- have played in creating the nation's character.
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The first edition included a selection of several pieces written after 1970. At the
time, I said that I was taking a chance on recent works, trying to identify those that
“speak to the age of which they are part.” In this revised edition, I am exercising ...
Songs have become commodities , written for quick sale and turnover , not as
vehicles for communal expression , inspiration and amusement . Politicians
seldom speak without reference to focus groups or pollsters to learn what people
And of course there are many wonderful literary selections that are not included
because they were not written by native or transplanted Americans (like the song
“Amazing Grace” and certain well-loved poems). Readers who want more can ...
Most of them, at least those written before the mid-twentieth century, were written
to be declaimed. Poems and songs, of course, are meant to be recited or sung
aloud, not just read silently. Poetry works best when it is spoken and heard.