Fifty Great Essays (Penguin Academics Series), 2nd edition

  • Robert DiYanni

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Twenty-Five Great Essays, Fifty Great Essays, and One Hundred Great Essays provide outstanding collections of classic and contemporary writing as part of our Penguin Academic Series of low-cost, high-quality offerings intended for use in introductory college courses.

Table of contents

An * indicates a selection that is new to this edition.


Introduction: Reading and Writing Essays.

History and Context.

Pleasures of the Essay.

Types of Essays.

Reading Essays—Reading Annie Dillard's “Living Like Weasels.”

Writing Essays.

Arriving at an Interpretation.

An Overview of the Writing Process.

 1. Maya Angelou, Graduation.

 2. Gloria Anzaldúa, How to Tame a Wild Tongue.

 3. Francis Bacon, Of Studies.

 4. Dave Barry, Road Warrior.

 5. Susan Brownmiller, Femininity.

 * 6. Judith Ortiz Cofer, Casa: A Partial Remembrance of a Puerto Rican Childhood.

 7. Bernard Cooper, Burl's.

 8. Joan Didion, Marrying Absurd.

 9. Annie Dillard, Living Like Weasels.

10. Frederick Douglass, Learning to Read and Write.

11. Gretel Ehrlich, About Men.

12. Ralph Ellison, Living with Music.

* 13. Benjamin Franklin, Arriving at Perfection.

* 14. Henry Louis Gates, Jr., In the Kitchen.

* 15. Atul Gawande, Crimson Tide.

* 16. Malcolm Gladwell, The Tipping Point.

17. Ellen Goodman, The Company Man.

18. Mary Gordon, More than Just a ShrineEllis Island.

19. Stephen Jay Gould, Women's Brains.

* 20. William Hazlitt, On the Pleasures of Hating.

21. Edward Hoagland, The Courage of Turtles.

22. Langston Hughes, Salvation.

* 23. Pico Iyer, Nowhere Man.

24. Jamaica Kincaid, On Seeing England for the First Time.

25. Martin Luther King, Jr., Letter from Birmingham Jail.

26. Maxine Hong Kingston, No Name Woman.

* 27. Charles Lamb, A Bachelor's Complaint.

* 28. Chang-Rae Lee, Coming Home Again.

29. Abraham Lincoln, The Gettysburg Address.

30. Niccolò Machiavelli, The Morals of the Prince.

31. Nancy Mairs, On Being a Cripple.

32. N. Scott Momaday, The Way to Rainy Mountain.

33. Michel de Montaigne, Of Smells.

34. George Orwell, Shooting an Elephant.

35. Cynthia Ozick, The Seam of the Snail.

* 36. Alexander Petrunkevitch, The Spider and the Wasp.

37. Scott Russell Sanders, Under the Influence.

38. Richard Selzer, The Masked Marvel's Last Toehold.

39. Susan Sontag, A Woman's Beauty: Put-Down or Power Source?

40. Elizabeth Cady Stanton, Declaration of Sentiments and Resolutions.

41. Brent Staples, Just Walk on By: Black Men and Public Space.

* 42. Jonathan Swift, A Modest Proposal.

43. Amy Tan, Mother Tongue.

44. James Thurber, University Days.

45. Sojourner Truth, Aren't I a Woman?

46. Alice Walker, Beauty: When the Other Dancer Is the Self.

47. E.B. White, Once More to the Lake.

48. Mary Wollstonecraft, A Vindication of the Rights of Women.

49. Virginia Woolf, The Death of the Moth.

50. Richard Wright, Writing and Reading.

Published by Pearson Higher Education (June 7th 2004) - Copyright © 2005