The English Reader

The English Reader : What Every Literate Person Needs to Know

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In this sequel to the best-selling "The American Reader", Diane and Michael Ravitch have gathered together the best and most memorable poems, essays, songs, and orations in English history, capturing in one compact volume writings that have shaped not only England, but democratic culture around the globe. Here are words that changed the world, words that inspired revolutions as well as lovers, dreamers, and singers, words that every educated person once knew - and should know today. Framed by two inspiring speeches - Queen Elizabeth before the invasion of the Spanish Armada and Winston Churchill during the dark days of World War II - the book features work by William Wordsworth and W.H. Auden, Thomas Hobbes and John Stuart Mill, Mary Wollstonecraft and Virginia Woolf, Lewis Carroll and Edward Lear, and many other extraordinary writers. Readers will find ardent love poems such as Marlowe's "The Passionate Shepherd To His Love" and Shakespeare's "Shall I Compare Thee to a Summer's Day?" We also find darker, more unsettling works such as Yeat's "The Second Coming" and Matthew Arnold's "Dover Beach."There are excerpts from Isaac Newton and Charles Darwin, Walter Pater and John Ruskin, Edmund Burke and Thomas Carlyle, and other influential thinkers. In addition, the book includes song lyrics ranging from "Greensleeves" to "Rule, Britannia," and works that, though not considered classics, were immensely popular in their day and capture the spirit of an era, such as W.E. Henley's "Invictus" ("I am the master of my fate: I am the captain of my soul"). The editors also provide brief, fascinating biographies of each writer. An exquisite gift, "The English Reader" offers the best of the best - the soaring language and seminal ideas that fired the imagination of the English-speaking more

Product details

  • Hardback | 320 pages
  • 157.5 x 236.2 x 43.2mm | 793.8g
  • Oxford University Press Australia
  • OUP Australia and New Zealand
  • Melbourne, Australia
  • English
  • 0195077296
  • 9780195077292
  • 1,181,792

About Diane Ravitch

Diane Ravitch is Research Professor of Education at the Steinhardt School of Education, New York University. One of America's pre-eminent historians of education, her books include Left Back, The Great School Wars, The Troubled Crusade, The Language Police, The American Reader, and The Democracy Reader. She was Assistant Secretary of Education in the first Bush administration and was appointed to a federal testing agency by President Clinton.Michael Ravitch is a freelance critic and writer. His work has appeared in The New Republic, Yale Review, and other more

Review quote

"This collection is impressive. With such wide-ranging selections, this volume is an excellent resource for high school humanities and science teachers looking to add depth to their lessons."--American Educator"This unique collection offers the best that has been thought and said, not just in our unmatched literature but also in the evolution of democratic ideas. It is a book to teach, inspire, and delight all who can read the English language." --E. D. Hirsch, Jr., founder and chairman of the Core Knowledge Foundation and author of The Schools We Need and Why We Don't Have Them"Diane and Michael Ravitch have assembled a splendid and important anthology - and one that deserves the widest possible readership." --Joseph Epstein, author of Friendship: An Expose"The English Reader is a remarkable resource for scholars and readers of all stripes. Whether we lean toward canon-building or canon-breaking, we English language readers have a literary history in common. This book makes the high points (and even some of the low points) of that history accessible and provides an education for us all." --Henry Louis Gates, Jr., Harvard University"This greatest-hits package is a mix of excerpts from longer works and complete short pieces (poems, essays, speeches) that distills the essence of English literature." -Seattle Times"The 486-page book is the kind of treasure that seldom comes along." - The Oklahomanshow more

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34 ratings
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3 15% (5)
2 6% (2)
1 3% (1)
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