Karen's Reviews > Reading the World: Ideas That Matter

Reading the World by Michael Austin
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's review
Dec 13, 2011

it was amazing
bookshelves: textbooks
Read in January, 2007

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 example, the women are not all in a chapter on feminism; the spiritual leaders are not all in a chapter on religion; and the black writers are not all in a chapter on civil rights.

The rhetoric chapter in the back presents very clear yet specific advice on how to compose an academic argument. The editors' introductions give a good context for the readings.

My students' favorite readings were by Lao Tzu, Hsun Tzu, Mo Tzu, Machiavelli, de Pizan, Harding, Ghandi and June Jordan.
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