America Now makes it easy for you to bring brief, thought-provoking essays into your classroom, with reliable pedagogy and an expert reader's knowledge of what works for students.
As series editor for The Best American Essays, Robert Atwan constantly scours a wide range of periodicals, bringing to America Now an unrivaled focus on today’s best writing. 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 current, professional reading in America Now is new to this edition, making it truly a book for today's composition course.
Table of Contents
1. Language: Do Words Matter?
In Brief: Soundbites: What’s in a Name?Francie Diep, Why Did We Ever Call Undocumented Immigrants "Aliens?" (Pacific Standard) Debate: Is "Sorry" a Magic Word? Lauren Apfel, Should We Make Our Kids Say Sorry? YES. (Brain, Child) Carinn Jade, Should We Make Our Kids Say Sorry? NO. (Brain, Child) Student Essay: Sarah Elliott, Women: Stop Apologizing, Be Confident (The Graphic, Pepperdine University) Spotlight on Data and Research: Mary Meehan, The Perfect Name For The Next Generation Of Americans (Forbes) Robert F. Wilson Jr., I Have a Problem with "Issues" (New Letters) America Then... 1951: Langston Hughes, That Word Black
2. Free Speech: Is It Endangered on Campus?
In Brief: Intolerance Doesn’t Belong on CampusGreg Lukianoff and Jonathan Haidt, From The Coddling of the American Mind (The Atlantic) Kate Manne, Why I Use Trigger Warnings (The New York Times) Student Debate Brianne Richson, Colleges Should Adopt Trigger Warnings (The Daily Iowan, University of Iowa) Jon Overton, Beware the Trigger Warning (The Daily Iowan, University of Iowa) Lenore Skenazy, How Helicoptered Kids Grow Up to Become Hypersensitive College Students (Reason) Spotlight on Data and Research: Jacob Poushter, 40% of Millennials OK with Limiting Speech Offensive to Minorities (Pew Research Center) America Then...1997: Wendy Kaminer, A Civic Duty to Annoy
3. Examining Our Past: Who Writes and Rewrites American History?
In Brief: Bill Bramhall, Mt. Rushmore: Student Activists Demanded Their RemovalBrent Staples, Confederate Memorials as Instruments of Racial Terror (The New York Times) Ernest B. Furgurson, The End of History? (The American Scholar) Michael I. Niman, As Confederate Flags Fall, Columbus Statues Stand Tall (The Public) The National Review, Tubman on the Twenty (The National Review) Spotlight on Data and Research: Marc Santora, Whitesboro, N.Y., in Reversal, Will Change a Logo Called Racist (The New York Times) Student Essay: Adam Hamze, Removal of the Jefferson Davis Statue Falls Short (The Daily Texan, University of Texas) America Then...1493: Michele de Cuneo, Violence in the Virgin Islands
4. A College Education: How Valuable Is It?
In Brief: Piyush Mangukiya, from "Is College Worth the Cost? Absolutely." (Huffington Post)Robert Reich, Why College Is Necessary but Gets You Nowhere (Robert Reich Blog) Suzanne Fields, There’s More to Learning Than a Job Search (The Washington Times) Andrew Hacker, 83 Seconds: How Fast Paced Standardized Testing Has Created a New Glass Ceiling (The Nation) Spotlight on Data and Research: Goldie Blumenstyk, Just Half of Graduates Strongly Agree Their College Education Was Worth the Cost (The Chronicle of Higher Education) Student Essay: Desiree Bergstrom, The Problem with Choosing Between B.S and B.A (Daily Emerald, University of Oregon) America Then...1968: Advertisement: Leave Home
5. Race: Does It Still Matter?
In Brief: Claudia Rankine, Yes, Of CourseRobin DiAngelo, White America’s Racial Illiteracy: Why Our National Conversation Is Poisoned from the Start (The Good Men Project) Spotlight on Data and Research: Tom Jacobs, Racism in the Kindergarten Classroom (Pacific Standard) Student Essay: Bryan Stascavage, Why Black Lives Matter Isn’t What You Think (The Wesleyan Argus, Wesleyan University) Dawn Lundy Martin, Weary Oracle (Harper’s) America Then...1852: Frederick Douglass, What to a Slave, Then, is the Fourth of July?
6. Diversity and Identity: How Well Is American Immigration Working?
In Brief: Michael Martinez and Miguel Marquez, What’s the Difference Between Immigrant and Refugee?Eric Foner, Birthright Citizenship Is the Good Kind of American Exceptionalism (The Nation) Wendy Wilson, Come See What Mass Immigration Looks Like in My School (The Federalist) Student Essay: Tadeu Velloso, Brown (Portland Magazine, University of Portland) Spotlight on Data and Research: Matthew Bulger, What Makes an American? (The Humanist) America Then… 1782: J. Hector St. John deCrevecoeur, The Melting Pot
7. Guns: Can the Second Amendment Survive?In Brief: Jane Vincent Taylor, New Law Makes Local Poet Nervous Editorial Board, End the Gun Epidemic in America (The New York Times) Suzanna Hupp (as told to Dave Mann), My Gun Was 100 Yards Away, Completely Useless (Texas Monthly) John A. Fry, Allowing More Guns Won’t Make Campuses Safer (Philadelphia Inquirer) Student essay: Brittney Christ, We Should Be Allowed to Protect Ourselves (The State Hornet, Sacramento State) Spotlight on Data and Research: David A. Fryxell, Shooting from the Lip (Desert Exposure) America Then…1981: Paul Fussell, from "A Well-Regulated Militia"
8. Prisons, Police, Punishment: Is Our Criminal Justice System Broken
In Brief: Elijah Paschelke, The StormChandra Bozelko, To Fix the U.S. Prison System, Give Every Inmate the Daily Newspaper, (Quartz) Josh Bowers, The Case for Compassionate Policing (University of Virginia Magazine) Spotlight on Data and Research: Haisam Hussein, Locked Up, A Breakdown of American Life Behind Bars (VICE) Mona Charen, Unlock ‘Em Up? (National Review) Student essay: Sonia Kumar, The Death Sentence is Ineffective, Cruel (The Collegian, Kansas State University) America Then… 1858: Walt Whitman, Editorial: The Death Penalty
9. Our Battered Economy: Is the American Dream Over?
In Brief: Barack Obama, The Defining Challenge of Our TimeStudent Debate: Income Inequality Mimi Teixeira, Is Income Inequality That Bad? (The Observer, Notre Dame University) Natasha Reifenberg and Patrick LeBlanc, Yes, Income Inequality Really is That Bad (The Observer, Notre Dame University) Spotlight on Data and Research: Eileen Y. Chou, Bidhan L. Parmar, Adam D. Galinsky, The Link Between Income Inequality and Physical Pain (Harvard Business Review) The Economist, Young, Gifted and Held Back (The Economist) America Then . . . 1890: Jacob Riis, From How the Other Half Lives
10. Marriage: What Does It Mean Today?In Brief: Justice Anthony Kennedy, from Obergefell v. Hodges Suzy Khimm, The New Nuclear Family: What Gay Marriage Means for the Future of Parenthood (The New Republic) Susan Estrich, Modern Family (The Hazleton Standard-Speaker) Lavanya Ramanathan, They Didn’t Want an Arranged Marriage (Washington Post Magazine) Student Essay: Kyle Waltman, Saying "I Love You" Should be Done with Intent (The Reflector, Mississippi State University) Spotlight on Data and Research: Pew Research Center: Wendy Wang and Kim Parker, Record Share of Americans Have Never Married (Pew Research Center) America Then...1910: Emma Goldman, Marriage and Love
11. The Climate Crisis: Have We Reached the Point of No Return?In Brief: People’s Views on Climate Change Go Hand in Hand with Their Politics Opposing Views Patrick Moore, Why I Am a Climate Change Skeptic (Heartland) Michael Shermer, Why Climate Skeptics Are Wrong (Scientific American) Student Essay: Sophia San Filippo, Action, Not Social Media, Creates Environmental Change (Pipe Dream, Binghamton University) Spotlight on Data and Research: Patrick J. Egan and Megan Mullin, Abstract: Recent Improvement and Projected Worsening of Weather in the United States (Nature) America Then . . . 1962: Rachel Carson, A Fable for Tomorrow
12. Gender: What Are The Issues Today?In Brief: 2015 Word of the Year is Singular "They" Student Essay: Katie Davis, Gender-neutral Bathrooms: Why They Matter (The Red and Black, University of Georgia) Brett Arends, The Idea of the "Gender Pay Gap" is Mostly Bogus (MarketWatch) Christina Cauterucci, Should Women Be Required to Register for the Draft? (Slate) Spotlight on Data and Research: The Psychology of Mansplaining (Psychology Today)
America Then….1972: Judy Brady, I Want a Wife