The Signet Book of American Essays

The Signet Book of American Essays

Edited by:
Edited by: Helen Weiss

Mass Market Paperback
  • Mass Market Paperback
  • ISBN 9780451530219
  • 368 Pages
  • Signet
  • Adult


Featuring Essays by

Benjamin Franklin • Ralph Waldo Emerson • W.E.B. Du Bois  • Albert Einstein • Gloria Steinem • Henry David Thoreau • Martin Luther King, Jr. • Mark Twain • Erma Bombeck • Abraham Lincoln • John F. Kennedy • and More…

These are Americans who had something important to say—and said it in powerful, convincing ways. A compendium of commentary, criticism, and oratory excellence from throughout the nation’s history, The Signet Book of American Essays is a perfect resource for those searching for the most timeless essays ever conceived by America’s notable scientists, philosophers, politicians, and writers.

From the wisdom of Benjamin Franklin to the outspoken empowerment of Gloria Steinem, from the biting satire of Mark Twain to the grave seriousness of Franklin D. Roosevelt, this collection offers the opportunity to learn the subtle arts of persuasion and rational argument as exemplified in these great American dissertations crafted by some of the country’s most brilliant and intriguing citizens.

Table of Contents

Signet Book of American EssaysIntroduction

Aspects of Literacy
1. Benjamin Franklin: from the Autobiography
2. Katherine Peterson: Why
3. Eudora Wetly: Writing and Analyzing the Story
4. Sam Pickering: Composing a Life
5. Richard Lederer: The Miracle of Language

On Education
6. Ralph Waldo Emerson: The American Scholar
7. W.E.B. Dubois: Of the Coming of John
8. Albert Einstein: On Education

Religious Fervor
9. Cotton Mather: On the Trial of Bridget Bishop
10. Abraham Joshua Heschel: The Meaning of this Hour
11. Neal Osterow: Making Sense of the Nonsensical

Intellectual Freedom
12. Leonard Everett Fisher: Censorship and the Arts
13. Lance Morrow: In Praise of Huckleberry Finn
14. Judith Krug: Intellectual Freedom, Libraries, and Censorship

Women Speak Out
15. Abagail Adams: Letter from Braintree, 31 March 1776
16. Gloria Steinem: A New Egalitarian Life Style
17. Sandra Cisneros: Only Daughter
18. Hillary Rodham Clinton: Remarks to the United Nations Fourth World Conference on Women Plenary Session
19. Anna Quindlen, The War We Haven’t Won

Individual Rights
20. Henry David Thoreau: Civil Disobedience
21. Martin Luther King. Jr.: Letter from a Birmingham Jail

On the Lighter Side
22. George Plimpton: Desperately Seeking Humor
23. Mark Twain: Advice to Youth
24. Erma Bombeck: Warning: Families May Be Dangerous to Your Health

America at the Crossroads
25. Abraham Lincoln: Second Inaugural Address, March 4, 1865
26. Franklin D. Roosevelt: Joint Address to Congress, December 8, 1941
27. Dwight D. Eisenhower: Farewell Adress, January 17, 1961
28. John F. Kennedy: Special Message to Congress on the Defense Budget, March 28, 1961