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Reading the World: Ideas That Matter

4.14  ·  Rating Details ·  51 Ratings  ·  7 Reviews
From Lao Tsu, Aristotle, and Ibn Khaldun to Charles Darwin, Jomo Kenyatta, and Aung San Suu Kyi, Reading the World: Ideas That Matter is a collection of writing by some of the world's great thinkers. And because ideas have long been expressed visually as well as verbally, the collection also includes drawings, paintings, photographs, and other visual works. Organized ...more
Paperback, 749 pages
Published November 2nd 2006 by W. W. Norton & Company (first published November 1st 2006)
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Dec 13, 2011 K. rated it it was amazing
Shelves: textbooks
I have taught over 30 readings in this book: some to first year students and some to writing tutors in training. This book covers a variety of topics from a good range of centuries and cultural perspectives. The selections also range from short, medium and long. It's a great compromise between the Great Books tradition and the multicultural perspective. Asian and Muslim texts are better represented than in competing anthologies.

Also, the writers are not placed in identity politics ghettos. For
Apr 03, 2008 Jenny added it
We have just adopted this textbook for our comp sequence beginning in fall 08. I'm really excited about teaching it, though it will be something of a challenge to get organized and prepped for it.
Jul 30, 2011 Phillip rated it it was amazing
Dr. Austin's anthology is a really top notch collection of (excerpts of) key theoretical, philosophical, religious, and political texts from across time and civilizations. The editor's introduction to each piece/author provides a good smattering of background information about the time, place, and conditions that prompted the document, and the study questions can provide useful aids for examining various meanings. What is especially interesting about this anthology is the way that texts work in ...more
Jul 20, 2008 Rashaan rated it really liked it
Wary of teaching the typical reading assignments on gun control, obesity or the other myriad of contemporary issues that proliferate among most composition readers, I turned to this impressive text that spans Lao Tzu to Arundhati Roy. Surprisingly enough the students took these classic and dense texts and ran with it. They seemed to really enjoy Mo Tzu's treatise, "Against Music," struggled with Wollstonecraft's prose, though they appreciated that centuries later we're practicing the very ideals ...more
Oct 24, 2014 Graham rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: school, academic
Good book for teaching a low-level writing course due to the variety. I supplemented some writing on sexuality, aging, and living in a postmodern era, but otherwise good. Especially a fan of the ability to pair two readings from this which speak to each other closely (Locke+Hobbes, Mead+Orwell, Machiavelli+Pizan, etc.).
Bob Conner
Feb 02, 2015 Bob Conner rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: culture
Michael Austin's works are not only very readable and enjoyable, they clearly offer much to consider and apply to one's dealings with the world around us. I've read most of his work and look forward to additional reading from him.
Jun 02, 2014 Willy rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book was a requirement for my English class. I loved it. All the pieces of writing, were short and straight to the point.
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philosophy, psych...: Confucius and other great thinkers 1 14 May 14, 2013 07:00AM  
I am an English professor who became an administrator who dreams of being a political pundit. After eleven years teaching English and writing books like this, I accepted a position as the Provost and Academic Vice President at Newman University in Wichita, Kansas. All the while, though, I dreamed of being a talking head. Soon after moving into administration, I started to write the Founderstein Bl ...more
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