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Seventh EditionSamuel Cohen©2023
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A portable and diverse collection of great essays that won’t break the bank.
Samuel Cohen’s 50 Essays provides thought-provoking reading material for the whole semester. It’s a short-and-sweet essay collection that covers a broad range of topics, time periods, and themes, with additional guidance to help you develop reading and writing skills for your English class and beyond.
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Table of Contents
[*represents readings new to this edition]
Preface for Instructors
Alternative Tables of Contents
By Rhetorical Mode
By Clusters and Paired Readings
By Chronological Order
Introduction for Students: Active Reading, Critical Thinking, and the Writing Process
Maya Angelou, “Graduation”
Gloria Anzaldúa, “How to Tame a Wild Tongue”
Barbara Lazear Ascher, “On Compassion”
James Baldwin, “Notes of a Native Son”
*Stephanie Burt, “My Life as a Girl”
Danny Chau, “The Burning Desire for Hot Chicken”
Sandra Cisneros, “Only Daughter”
Eli Clare, “Clearcut: Explaining the Distance”
Ta-Nehisi Coates, “The Paranoid Style of American Policing”
*Samuel Cohen, “Patriot Days”
*John Dickerson, “Every Dog is a Rescue Dog”
Joan Didion, “On Keeping a Notebook”
Frederick Douglass, “Learning to Read and Write”
Lars Eighner, “On Dumpster Diving”
Stephanie Ericsson, “The Ways We Lie”
Jen Gann, “Wrongful Birth”
Malcolm Gladwell, “Small Change: Why the Revolution Will Not Be Tweeted”
Rahawa Haile, “Going It Alone”
*Nikole Hannah-Jones, “America Wasn’t a Democracy, Until Black Americans Made It One”
Jenine Holmes, “When Pink Ballet Slippers Won't Do”
Langston Hughes, “Salvation”
Zora Neale Hurston, “How It Feels to Be Colored Me”
*Brooke Jarvis, “Deer Wars and Death Threats”
Thomas Jefferson, “The Declaration of Independence”
*Walter Johnson, “Guns in the Family”
*Christine Kenneally, “Mind Machines”
*Robin Wall Kimmerer, “The Council of Pecans”
Stephen King, “Reading to Write”
*Jill Lepore, “What's Wrong with the Way We Work”
Audre Lorde, “The Fourth of July”
Nancy Mairs, “On Being a Cripple”
Matthew J. X. Malady, “The Ghosts in Our Machines”
*Saima Mir, “A Woman of Substance”
Bharati Mukherjee, “Two Ways to Belong in America”
Tommy Orange, from There, There
George Orwell, “Shooting an Elephant”
Mike Rose, " ‘I Just Wanna Be Average’ "
*Kathryn Schulz, “Where the Wild Things Go”
David Sedaris, “I Like Guys”
Brent Staples, “Just Walk on By: Black Men and Public Space”
Jonathan Swift, “A Modest Proposal”
Amy Tan, “Mother Tongue”
Henry David Thoreau, “Civil Disobedience”
*Jerald Walker, “Breathe”
Ai Weiwei, “The Refugee Crisis Isn't About Refugees. It's About Us.”
Virginia Woolf, “Professions for Women”
Hanya Yanagihara, “A Pet Tortoise Who Will Outlive Us All”
*Joe Zadeh, “The Tyranny of Time”
*Michelle Zauner, “Crying in H Mart”
Dave Zirin, “Pre-Game”
Glossary of Writing Terms