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American Literature: Books
A guide for research and supplemental reading to support ENG 201
Self-described as 'a mystic, a transcendentalist, and a natural philosopher to boot', Henry David Thoreau dedicated his life to preserving his freedom as a man and as an artist. Nature was the fountainhead of his inspiration and his refuge from what he considered the follies of society. Heedless of his friends' advice to live in a more orthodox manner, he determinedly pursued his own inner bent - that of a poet-philosopher - in prose and verse, in his masterpiece Walden, from which this work is taken. Edited by noted Thoreau scholar Jeffrey S. Cramer, this edition is the new standard for those interested in discovering the great thinker's influential ideas about everything from environmentalism to limited government.
Following its initial appearance in serial form, Stephen Crane's The Red Badge of Courage was published as a complete work in 1895 and quickly became the benchmark for modern anti-war literature.Although the exact battle is never identified, Crane based this story of a soldier's experiences during the American Civil War on the 1863 Battle of Chancellorsville. Many veterans, both Union and Confederate, praised the book's accurate representation of war, and critics consider its stylistic strength the mark of a literary classic.This Prestwick House Literary Touchstone Edition includes a little-known section entitled The Veteran, which depicts Henry Fleming as an old man discussing his experiences in the Civil War with his grandson. Additionally, a glossary and reader's notes are provided to help the reader understand the language of 19th century America.
This edition of The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn includes a Preface, Biographical Note, and Afterword by Keith Neilson. Huckleberry Finn is the most widely read and universally loved work in American fiction.
Destined to become the first published woman of African descent, Phillis Wheatley was born around 1753. She was taken by the slave ship Phillis to Boston in 1761 and bought by John and Susanna Wheatley. The Wheatleys provided her with an education that was unusual for a woman of the time and astonishing for a slave. Phillis published her first poem in 1767, around the age of fourteen, and won much public attention and considerable international fame before she was twenty years old. This new Penguin Classics edition features an introduction and notes by Vincent Carretta, along with supplementary material, including the work of Wheatley's contemporaries, Lucy Terry Prince, Jupiter Hammon, and Francis Williams.
In Edgar Allan Poe: Complete Tales and Poems, includes The Fall of the House of Usher, The Murders in Rue Morgue, The Tell-Tale Heart, Ligeia, and Ms. In a Bottle. His complete early and miscellaneous poetic masterpieces are here also, including The Raven, Ulalume, Annabel Lee, Tamerlane, as well as select reviews and narratives. Best known for his poems and short fiction, Poe perfected the psychological thriller, invented the detective story, and rarely missed transporting the reader to his own supernatural realm. He has also been hailed posthumously as one of the finest literary critics of the nineteenth century.
Anne Bradstreet was one of our earliest feminists and the first true poet in the American colonies. This collection of her extant poetry and prose, scrupulously edited by Jeannine Hensley, has long been the standard edition of Bradstreet's work.
Uncle Tom's Cabin was revolutionary in 1852 for its passionate indictment of slavery and for its presentation of Tom, "a man of humanity," as the first black hero in American fiction. Labeled racist and condescending by some contemporary critics, it remains a shocking, controversial, and powerful work -- exposing the attitudes of white nineteenth-century society toward "the peculiar institution" and documenting, in heartrending detail, the tragic breakup of black Kentucky families "sold down the river." An immediate international sensation, Uncle Tom's Cabin sold 300,000 copies in the first year, was translated into thirty-seven languages, and has never gone out of print- its political impact was immense, its emotional influence immeasurable.
Representing more than fifty tribes from the US and Canada, this title gives readers opportunities to explore the diversity of authors' experiences through poetry, fiction, and non-fiction, including the oral tradition. It includes two maps that provide geographical context for the readings, showing tribal locations and the Trail of Tears.
Persuasive and convincing, Emerson challenges readers to define their own sense of accomplishment and asks them to measure themselves against their own standards, not those of society. He asks us to define that greatness for ourselves and to be true to ourselves. At times harsh, at times comforting, Emerson's words guide the reader to challenge their own beliefs and sense of self. Emerson's sage guidance wrapped in modern-day reflections is a great reminder about the potential within us all and that life is what you make of it.
Emily Dickinson (1830-1886), the reclusive and intensely private poet saw only a few of her poems published during her life. After discovering a trove of manuscripts left in a wooden box, Dickinson's sister Lavinia fortunately chose to disobey Emily's wishes for her work to be burned after death. With the help of Amherst professors, Lavinia brought her sister's gifted verse into print. It is here, in "The Collected Poems of Emily Dickinson," that we witness her singular poetic depth and range of style. Dickinson's idiom is as varied as her meter, and her unconventional use of punctuation, metaphor, and image make her an innovator of the lyric akin to many of the early modernists. Now one of the most read and admired American poets, Dickinson's poetry continues to resonate with readers.
An American masterwork in praise of nature, self-reliance, and the simple life. In 1845, the transcendentalist Henry David Thoreau moved from his home in the town of Concord, Massachusetts, to a small cabin he built by hand on the shores of Walden Pond. He spent the next two years alone in the woods, learning to live self-sufficiently and to take his creative and moral inspiration from nature. Part memoir, part philosophical treatise, part environmental manifesto, Walden is Thoreau's inspirational account of those extraordinary years and one of the most influential books ever written. This ebook has been professionally proofread to ensure accuracy and readability on all devices.
This classic of American literature was first published in 1845, when its author had just achieved his freedom. Its shocking first-hand account of the horrors of slavery became an international best seller. His eloquence led Frederick Douglass to become the first great African-American leader in the United States. Douglass rose through determination, brilliance and eloquence to shape the American Nation. He was an abolitionist, human rights and women's rights activist, orator, author, journalist, publisher and social reformer. His personal relationship with Abraham Lincoln helped persuade the President to make emancipation a cause of the Civil War. This deluxe edition of this classic work, includes a 21st century study guide.
The most important and influential source of information about the Pilgrims and Plymouth Colony, this landmark account was written between 1630 and 1647. No one was better equipped to report on the affairs of the Plymouth community than William Bradford. Revered for his patience, wisdom, and courage, Bradford was elected to the office of governor in 1621, and he continued to serve in that position for more than three decades. His memoirs of the colony remained virtually unknown until the nineteenth century. Lost during the American Revolution, they were discovered years later in London and published after a protracted legal battle. The current edition rendered into modern English and with an introduction by Harold Paget, remains among the most readable books from seventeenth-century America.
The rousing argument for independence that inspired a nation. Published anonymously in 1776, this landmark political pamphlet spread across the colonies more rapidly than any document of its kind ever had before. Its words were read aloud in town squares, its pages affixed to tavern walls. Both a clear-eyed, plainly stated case for separation from Great Britain and a stirring call to action, Common Sense sparked the imagination of a fledgling nation and played a decisive role in the march toward revolution. Thomas Paine's masterpiece is crucial reading for any student of American history.
The written word proved vital in shaping America's new identity, laying the groundwork for societal principles and political doctrine alike. From Thomas Jefferson and the members of the Second Continental Congress, to Alexander Hamilton, James Madison, and John Jay, the authors of these documents had a profound and lasting effect on United States history. This collection includes unabridged versions of five famous and influential documents that helped to found a nation: the Declaration of Independence (1776), the Articles of Confederation (1777), the United States Constitution (1787), the Federalist Papers (1787-1788), and the Bill of Rights (1791).
The Interesting Narrative of the Life of Olaudah Equiano, written in 1789, details its writer's life in slavery, his time spent serving on galleys, the eventual attainment of his own freedom, and later success in business. Including a look at how slavery stood in West Africa, the book received favorable reviews and was one of the first slave narratives to be read widely.
Although best known as a writer of fiction who produced such classics as Little Women, Louisa May Alcott lived a fascinating life that included a stint as a Civil War nurse. This collection includes several essays, letters, and other pieces that outline Alcott's experiences serving to the needs of the war wounded. It's a fascinating account that will enthrall Civil War buffs or those with an interest in the history of medical practice.
Designed specifically for the classroom, this volume presents the accurate and definitive version of "Sinners," accompanied by the tools necessary to study and teach this famous American sermon. With an introduction aimed at students and teachers and commentary that draws on fifty years of team editorial experience of Yale's "Works of Jonathan Edwards," it provides both context and interpretation, and addresses the concerns and questions of a twenty-first century audience. The book contains questions for in-class discussion, a chronology of Edwards's life, and a glossary. In addition, curricular materials and video mini-presentations are available on a dedicated Web site. This casebook represents a innovative contribution to the art of teaching Edwards to a new generation of readers.