Jeff Lacy's Reviews > The Best American Essays 2002

The Best American Essays 2002 by Stephen Jay Gould
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's review
Aug 25, 2012

it was amazing
Read from August 25 to September 03, 2012

The better Best American Essays anthologies I have read. The essays I found of quality and interest were the following: Chelminski, Rudolph. “Turning Point,” about Philippe Petit, the high wire artist who walked between the World Trade Center towers in 1974; Ehrenreich, Barbara. “Welcome to Cancerland”; Gawande, Atul. “Final Cut” (dealing with autopsies turning up major misdiagnosis in causes of death); Levy, Andrew. “The Anti-Jefferson” (Robert Carter III, contemporary of Thomas Jefferson and George Washington, one of largest landowners in Virginia, who released all of his 500 slaves); Llosa, Mario Vargas, “Why Literature” (Nice essay about the gender divide in reading literature);
Menand, Louis. “College: The End of the Golden Age” (the divide as to what contemporary students are studying as opposed to past generations: educate v. train); Murphy, Cullen. “Out of the Ordinary.” (An interesting essay about the new genre of “mundane studies”) Ofri, Danielle. “Merced” (Outstanding personal essay from a physician about mysterious cause of patient’s death and personal involvement in case);
Vidal, Gore. “The Meaning of Timothy McVeigh”; and, Wills, Garry. “The Dramaturgy of Death.” (The death penalty; compare with Camus’ essay on the death penalty, “Reflections on the Guillotine.”).

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