The Little, Brown Reader

The Little, Brown Reader

by Marcia Stubbs

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Overview

The Little, Brown Reader, one of the best-known and most respected thematic readers available today, continues its tradition of excellence by bringing together contemporary and classic readings with extensive critical reading and writing instruction and numerous illustrations. The strength of The Little, Brown Reader has always been its distinctive collection of readings and its unmatched apparatus; the Tenth Edition enhances both features, further improving the text's focus on critical thinking and writing. Little Brown works in every classroom—a range of themes and a flexible format encourage a variety of teaching styles. The readings are well balanced with selections by well-known writers, new writers, and students. General Interest: Improving writing

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780321058140
Publisher: Prentice Hall Professional Technical Reference
Publication date: 01/01/2000
Pages: 848

Read an Excerpt

PREFACE:

PREFACE

Books have been put to all sorts of unexpected uses. Tolstoy used Tatishef's dictionaries as a test of physical endurance, holding them in his outstretched hand for five minutes, enduring "terrible pain." Books (especially pocket-sized Bibles) have served as armor by deflecting bullets. And they have served as weapons: two hundred years ago the formidable Dr. Johnson knocked a man down with a large book.

In a course in writing, what is the proper use of the book in hand? This anthology contains some one hundred and thirty essays, together with a few poems, stories, and fables, and numerous "Short Views," that is, paragraphs and aphorisms. But these readings are not the subject matter of the course; the subject matter of a writing course is writing, particularly the writing the students themselves produce. The responsibilities we felt as editors, then, were to include selections that encourage and enable students to write well, and to exclude selections that do not.

To talk of "enabling" first: Students, like all other writers, write best when they write on fairly specific topics that can come within their experience and within their command in the time that they have available to write. A glance at our table of contents will reveal the general areas within which, we believe, students can find topics they have already given some thought to and are likely to be encountering in other courses as well: family relationships, love and courtship; schools; work, sports, and play.

Although other sections ("Messages" and "Art and Life") are also on familiar subjects–language, art, and popular culture–theselections themselves offer ways of thinking about these subjects that may be less familiar. Television commercials and films, for example, can be thought of as networks that articulate and transmit values implicit in a culture.

Other sections are about areas of experience that, while hardly remote from students' interest, are perhaps more difficult for all of us to grasp concretely: the tension between civil rights and liberties and the need for law and order; matters of gender and ethnic identity; prophecies about the future. In these sections, therefore, we have taken particular care to exclude writing that is, for our purposes, too abstract, or too technical, or too elaborate. Finally, we conclude with "Classic Essays," ranging from Jonathan Swift to Martin Luther King, Jr.

As editors we have tried to think carefully about whether selections we were inclined to use–because they were beautifully written or on a stimulating topic–would encourage students to write. Such encouragement does not come, we feel, solely from the subject of an essay or from its excellence; it comes when the essay engenders in the reader a confidence in the writing process itself. No one quality in essays automatically teaches such confidence: not length or brevity, not difficulty or simplicity, not necessarily clarity, and almost certainly not brilliance. But essays that teach writing demonstrate, in some way, that the writers had some stake in what they were saying, took some pains to say what they meant, and took pleasure in having said it. The selections we include vary in length, complexity, subtlety, tone, and purpose. Most were written by our contemporaries, but not all. The authors include historians, sociologists, scientists, saints, philosophers, and undergraduates, as well as journalists and other professional writers. And we have included some pictures in each section. The pictures (beautiful things in themselves, we think) provide immediate or nearly immediate experiences for students to write about. But we hope that everything here will allow students to establish helpful connections between the activities that produced the words (and pictures) in these pages and their own work in putting critical responses to them on paper.

Although any arrangement of the selections–thematic, rhetorical, alphabetical, chronological, or random–would have suited our purposes, we prefer the thematic arrangement. For one thing, by narrowing our choices it helped us to make decisions. But more important, we know that in the real world what people write about is subjects, and we don't want to miss any opportunity to suggest that what goes on in writing courses is something like what goes on outside. The thematic categories are not intended to be rigid, however, and they do not pretend to be comprehensive; some of the questions following the selections suggest that leaping across boundaries is permitted, even encouraged. And, for instructors who prefer to organize their writing course rhetorically, we have added a selective table of contents organized rhetorically. Finally, we append a glossary of terms for students of writing.

What's New in the Eighth Edition?

William Hazlitt said that he always read an old book when a new one was published. We hope that this new edition allows instructors to read both at once. We have of course retained those essays and the special features (for example the head notes and the Topics for Critical Thinking and Writing at the end of each essay) that in our experience and the experience of many colleagues have consistently been of value to instructors and to students. But guided by suggestions from users of the seventh edition we have made many changes and additions. In the first five chapters devoted to reading and writing, users will find additional sections on

  • Critical Thinking
  • Tone and Persona
  • Summarizing and Outlining
  • Academic Writing
  • Interviewing
  • Negotiating Agreements (Rogerian Argument)

and several new essays by students. The increased emphasis on argument has led us to include several letters responding to published essays. The reader will also find a new checklist, so that we now provide

  • A Checklist for Analyzing and Evaluating an Essay That You Are Writing About
  • A Checklist for Editing: Thirteen Questions to Ask Yourself
  • A Checklist for Rogerian Argument
  • A Checklist for Revising Drafts of Arguments

We have also added two new sections of readings:

  • Memoirs: Discovering the Past
  • The Millennium

and there are new essays in every section. Some of the additions are in casebooks:

  • A Casebook on Divorce
  • A Casebook on Race
  • A Casebook on Computers in the Schools
  • A Casebook on Crime
  • A Casebook on Cloning

Table of Contents

Detailed Contents     vii
Rhetorical Contents     xxv
Preface     xxxi
A Writer Reads     1
A Reader Writes     21
Academic Writing     43
Writing an Argument     79
Reading and Writing about Pictures     121
All in the Family     143
Identities     195
Immigrant Nation     257
Teaching and Learning     283
Work and Play     377
Messages     427
Law and Order     501
Consuming Desires     557
Body and Soul     603
A Writer's Glossary     649
Photo Acknowledgments     659
Index     661

Preface

PREFACE:

PREFACE

Books have been put to all sorts of unexpected uses. Tolstoy used Tatishef's dictionaries as a test of physical endurance, holding them in his outstretched hand for five minutes, enduring "terrible pain." Books (especially pocket-sized Bibles) have served as armor by deflecting bullets. And they have served as weapons: two hundred years ago the formidable Dr. Johnson knocked a man down with a large book.

In a course in writing, what is the proper use of the book in hand? This anthology contains some one hundred and thirty essays, together with a few poems, stories, and fables, and numerous "Short Views," that is, paragraphs and aphorisms. But these readings are not the subject matter of the course; the subject matter of a writing course is writing, particularly the writing the students themselves produce. The responsibilities we felt as editors, then, were to include selections that encourage and enable students to write well, and to exclude selections that do not.

To talk of "enabling" first: Students, like all other writers, write best when they write on fairly specific topics that can come within their experience and within their command in the time that they have available to write. A glance at our table of contents will reveal the general areas within which, we believe, students can find topics they have already given some thought to and are likely to be encountering in other courses as well: family relationships, love and courtship; schools; work, sports, and play.

Although other sections ("Messages" and "Art and Life") are also on familiar subjects–language, art, and popularculture–theselections themselves offer ways of thinking about these subjects that may be less familiar. Television commercials and films, for example, can be thought of as networks that articulate and transmit values implicit in a culture.

Other sections are about areas of experience that, while hardly remote from students' interest, are perhaps more difficult for all of us to grasp concretely: the tension between civil rights and liberties and the need for law and order; matters of gender and ethnic identity; prophecies about the future. In these sections, therefore, we have taken particular care to exclude writing that is, for our purposes, too abstract, or too technical, or too elaborate. Finally, we conclude with "Classic Essays," ranging from Jonathan Swift to Martin Luther King, Jr.

As editors we have tried to think carefully about whether selections we were inclined to use–because they were beautifully written or on a stimulating topic–would encourage students to write. Such encouragement does not come, we feel, solely from the subject of an essay or from its excellence; it comes when the essay engenders in the reader a confidence in the writing process itself. No one quality in essays automatically teaches such confidence: not length or brevity, not difficulty or simplicity, not necessarily clarity, and almost certainly not brilliance. But essays that teach writing demonstrate, in some way, that the writers had some stake in what they were saying, took some pains to say what they meant, and took pleasure in having said it. The selections we include vary in length, complexity, subtlety, tone, and purpose. Most were written by our contemporaries, but not all. The authors include historians, sociologists, scientists, saints, philosophers, and undergraduates, as well as journalists and other professional writers. And we have included some pictures in each section. The pictures (beautiful things in themselves, we think) provide immediate or nearly immediate experiences for students to write about. But we hope that everything here will allow students to establish helpful connections between the activities that produced the words (and pictures) in these pages and their own work in putting critical responses to them on paper.

Although any arrangement of the selections–thematic, rhetorical, alphabetical, chronological, or random–would have suited our purposes, we prefer the thematic arrangement. For one thing, by narrowing our choices it helped us to make decisions. But more important, we know that in the real world what people write about is subjects, and we don't want to miss any opportunity to suggest that what goes on in writing courses is something like what goes on outside. The thematic categories are not intended to be rigid, however, and they do not pretend to be comprehensive; some of the questions following the selections suggest that leaping across boundaries is permitted, even encouraged. And, for instructors who prefer to organize their writing course rhetorically, we have added a selective table of contents organized rhetorically. Finally, we append a glossary of terms for students of writing.

What's New in the Eighth Edition?

William Hazlitt said that he always read an old book when a new one was published. We hope that this new edition allows instructors to read both at once. We have of course retained those essays and the special features (for example the head notes and the Topics for Critical Thinking and Writing at the end of each essay) that in our experience and the experience of many colleagues have consistently been of value to instructors and to students. But guided by suggestions from users of the seventh edition we have made many changes and additions. In the first five chapters devoted to reading and writing, users will find additional sections on

  • Critical Thinking
  • Tone and Persona
  • Summarizing and Outlining
  • Academic Writing
  • Interviewing
  • Negotiating Agreements (Rogerian Argument)

and several new essays by students. The increased emphasis on argument has led us to include several letters responding to published essays. The reader will also find a new checklist, so that we now provide

  • A Checklist for Analyzing and Evaluating an Essay That You Are Writing About
  • A Checklist for Editing: Thirteen Questions to Ask Yourself
  • A Checklist for Rogerian Argument
  • A Checklist for Revising Drafts of Arguments

We have also added two new sections of readings:

  • Memoirs: Discovering the Past
  • The Millennium

and there are new essays in every section. Some of the additions are in casebooks:

  • A Casebook on Divorce
  • A Casebook on Race
  • A Casebook on Computers in the Schools
  • A Casebook on Crime
  • A Casebook on Cloning

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