From provocative op-ed pieces and contemporary essays by some of today's most gifted masters to editorial cartoons and clever satire, the 105 selections in Many Americas engage students and invite them to think critically about the political and cultural fault lines that divide our country. Many Americas is the first composition text to address the complex, polarizing divisions among citizens on the most important issues of our time: economic status, family values, health, religion, the environment, national security, and international relations. Taken together, the diverse selections go beyond simplistic red-state/blue-state labels to explore the social landscape and its larger contexts and examine assumptions behind attitudes. The readings not only represent a wide spectrum of politically and culturally diverse voices, they also provide a variety of rhetorical models from across the curriculum. The pedagogical apparatus guides students to hone their own thinking, writing, and argumentative skills to more effectively respond to what they read and become active participants in today's cultural and political forum. As students work through these selections, writing and discussion questions prompt them to grapple with their own values, experiences, and beliefs, while learning to respect diverse points of view.
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Gilbert H. Muller is a Professor Emeritus of English at LaGuardia Community College and the author of several college textbooks as well as scholarly books on William Cullen Bryant and Flannery O'Connor.
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