Thirteenth EditionRobert Atwan©2020
This book will help you understand, discuss, and write about some of the most important issues in America today. America Now is not a typical textbook. Most of the readings have been published since 2018, so you know that you will be engaging with current works on pressing issues that matter to you. You’ll find thought-provoking takes from many points of view. You may not always agree with what you read, but this book will ask you to challenge your assumptions, to acknowledge the gray areas in any complicated issue, and to translate your responses into clear, more nuanced writing.
Package America Now with LaunchPad Solo for Readers and Writers to get the most out of your book—and the best value.
Table of Contents
Preface for Instructors
About the Editor
Introduction: Expressing Opinions with Clarity, Confidence, and Civility
What Is America Now?
What Are Opinions?
How Do We Form Opinions?
From Discussion to Writing
The Practice of Writing
What Is "Correct English"?
Writing as a Public Activity
The American Political Spectrum: A Brief Survey
Free, Open, and Civil Discussion: The Challenges Today
Writing for the Classroom: Two Annotated Student Essays
Kati Mather, The Many Paths to Success — with or without a College Education
Erika Gallion, What’s in a Major?
STUDENT WRITER AT WORK: Erika Gallion
The Visual Expression of Opinion
JOE ROSENTHAL, Flag Raising at Iwo Jima (Photograph)
THOMAS E. FRANKLIN, Three Firefighters Raising the Flag (Photograph)
ALAN DIAZ, Elián González (Photograph)
R. J. MATSON, Government Listens to Its Citizens
NATE BEELER, Gay Marriage
AD COUNCIL, Feed the Pig
Writing as Empowerment
Language: Do Words Matter?
In Brief—Sound Bites: What’s in Name?
*Sylvia Taschka, What’s Wrong with Hitler Comparisons?
Sarah Elliott, Women, Stop Apologizing: Be Confident (Student Essay)
LOOKING CLOSELY:] Establishing Your Main Point
STUDENT WRITER AT WORK: Sarah Elliott
*Gene Weingarten, Don’t Use Your Words
*Spotlight on Data and Research: Jonah Engel Bromwich, Tell Us What to Call the Generation After Millennials (Please)
America Then… 1951: Langston Hughes, That Word Black
Free Speech: Is It Endangered On Campus?
*In Brief—Open Letter: Think for Yourself
*Wendy M. Williams and Stephen J. Ceci, There Are No Good Alternatives to Free Speech on Campus
Spotlight on Data and Research: Knight Foundation, Eight Ways College Students’ Views on Free Speech Are Evolving
*Danny Bugingo, A Need for Safe Spaces (Student Essay)
LOOKING CLOSELY: Moving from General to Specific
*ACLU, Speech on Campus
America Then... 1997: Wendy Kaminer, A Civic Duty to Annoy
U.S. History: How Do We Remember Our Past?
In Brief—Cartoon: Bill Bramhall, Mt. Rushmore: Student Activists Demanded Their Removal
Ernest B. Furgurson, The End of History?
*Spotlight on Data and Research: Rosalind Bentley, Are Southerners Losing Support for the Confederate Flag?
*Dasia Moore, When Does Renaming a Building Make Sense? (Student Essay)
LOOKING CLOSELY: Effective Argument: Organizing Points Systematically
STUDENT WRITER AT WORK: Dasia Moore
*Madeleine Aggeler, What to Tell People Who Don’t Think Celebrating Columbus Day Is a Big Deal, Because It Definitely Is
America Then… 1493: Michele De Cuneo, Violence in the Virgin Islands
Immigration: Is It the Nation’s Most Serious Issue?
In Brief—Etymology: Francine Diep, Why Did We Ever Call Undocumented Immigrants "Aliens"?
*Laila Lalami, Blending In
*Sravya Tadepalli, Say It Right: When People Mispronounce Your Name (Student Essay)
LOOKING CLOSELY: Posing a Question
STUDENT WRITER AT WORK: Sravya Tadepalli
Eric Foner, Birthright Citizenship Is the Good Kind of American Exceptionalism
*Spotlight on Data and Research: Scott Rasmussen, The Immigration Mess
*William C. Anderson, Solidarity Abolishes Borders
*America Then… 1883: Emma Lazarus, The New Colossus
Identity: How Does It Shape Our Sense of Self?
*In Brief—Proposal: Gish Gen, Identity 101
*Susan Power, Native in the Twenty-First Century
*Saadia Faruqi, Cut from the Same Cloth
Negin Farsad and Dean Obeidallah, The Muslims Are Coming!
Tadeu Velloso, Brown (Student Essay)
LOOKING CLOSELY: Describing a Defining Moment
STUDENT WRITER AT WORK: Tadeu Velloso
*Suzanne Fields, Submerged in a Din of Identity Politics
Spotlight on Data and Research: Matthew Bulger, What Makes an American?
America Then… 1782: J. Hector St. Jean de Crèvecoeur, The Melting Pot
Race: Why Does It Still Matter?
In Brief—Prose Poem: Claudia Rankine, You and Your Partner
*Spotlight on Data and Research: Chandra D. L. Waring, Black and Biracial Americans Wouldn’t Need to Code-Switch If We Lived in a Post-Racial Society
Robin DiAngelo, White America’s Racial Illiteracy
Dawn Lundy Martin, Weary Oracle
*Annette Gordon-Reed, America’s Original Sin: Slavery and the Legacy of White Supremacy
*Destry Adams, Why Students Should Care about Affirmative Action (Student Essay)
LOOKING CLOSELY: Conceding the Merits of an Opposing Viewpoint
STUDENT WRITER AT WORK: Destry Adams
*America Then… 1986: Brent Staples, Just Walk On By: A Black Man Ponders His Power to Alter Public Space
Guns: Can the Second Amendment Survive?
In Brief—Poem, Jane Vincent Taylor, New Law Makes Local Poet Nervous
New York Times Editorial Board, End the Gun Epidemic in America
John A. Fry, Allowing Guns Won’t Make Campuses Safer
Brittney Christ, We Should Be Allowed to Protect Ourselves (Student Essay)
LOOKING CLOSELY: Effective Openings: Establishing a Clear Context for an
STUDENT WRITER AT WORK: Brittney Christ
*Dahleen Glanton, Stop Saying We Can’t Do Anything to Stop Mass Shootings. We Can.
*Mona Charen, No Names
*Spotlight on Data and Research: Megan Brenan, Ten Takeaways about Americans’ View of Guns
America Then... 1981: Paul Fussell, A Well-Regulated Militia
Feminism Today: What Are The Challenges?
*In Brief—Advertisement: We Should All Be Feminists
*Suzanna Danuta Walters, Why Can’t We Hate Men
*Roxanne Roberts, In the Middle
*Amanda Nelson, Barbie Is Exploiting Frida Kahlo’s Legacy (Student Essay)
LOOKING CLOSELY: Effective Persuasion: Expressing an Opinion Clearly and Emphatically
Spotlight on Data and Research: Elizabeth Aura McClintock, The Psychology of Mansplaining
*Cartoon: Mansplaining (The New Yorker)
America Then...1972: Judy Brady, I Want a Wife
In Brief—Report: American Dialect Society, The Word of the Year Is Singular They
*Alex Myers, How #MeToo Taught Me I Can Never Be a Man
*Adison Eyring, Narrowing Definition of Gender Marginalizes Trans, Intersex Communities (Student Essay)
LOOKING CLOSELY: Making Distinctions
STUDENT WRITER AT WORK: Adison Eyring
*Spotlight on Data and Research: Aamer Madhani, Poll: Approval of Same-Sex Marriage in U.S. Reaches New High
*Julie Compton, Boy or Girl? Parents Raising "Theybies" Let Kids Decide
*America Then… 1995: Katha Pollitt, Why Boys Don’t Play with Dolls
The News Media: How Well Does it Serve the Public?
*In Brief—Report: American Dialect Society, The Word of the Year is Fake News
*How to spot fake news infographic
*Spotlight on Data and Research: Amy Mitchell and Drew DeSilver, Telling the Difference Between Factual and Opinion Statements in the News
*Pew Research, Quiz: How Well Can You Tell Factual from Opinion Statements?
*Charles Carr, Reinstate the Fairness Doctrine!
*Ryan Fawwaz, Seeking Truth Is Intertwined with Journalistic Advocacy (Student Essay)
LOOKING CLOSELY: Supporting Opinions with Specific Examples
*America Then...1938: Dorothy Thompson, Mr. Welles and Mass
Patriotism: Is It Obsolete?
*In Brief—Comic: Jen Sorensen, Patriotism vs. Nationalism
*Jose Azel, Patriotism vs. Nationalism
*Jonette Christian, Is Patriotism Obsolete?
*Spotlight on Data and Research: Tom Jacobs, Patriotic Americans Are Pro-Immigration
*Student Essay: Roshae Hemmings, Burning Shoes to #BoycottNike Will Only Reignite Colin Kaepernick’s Movement, The Maneater (Missouri University), September 10, 2018
LOOKING CLOSELY: Using Quotations Effectively
STUDENT WRITER AT WORK: Roshae Hemmings
America Then… 1852, Frederick Douglass, from What, To a Slave, is the Fourth of July?
Political Polarization: How Disunited Is the United States?
*Print Ad: Thomas J. Donohue, Putting the "Civil" Back into Civil Society
*Livia Gershon, Should Politics Be Civil?
Avi Tuschman, Political Evolution: Why Do Young Voters Lean Left? It’s in the Genes
*Angel Diaz, How the Overton Window Theory Explains Today’s Extreme Political Rhetoric (Student Essay)
LOOKING CLOSELY: Writing with Emphasis
*Spotlight on Data and Research: America’s Seven Political Tribes
America Then...1787 Benjamin Franklin, I Agree to This Constitution, with All Its Faults