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The English Reader

What Every Literate Person Needs to Know


Diane Ravitch and Michael Ravitch (View Bio)
Hardcover: Oxford University Press, 2007.

The English Reader

In this sequel to her best-selling THE AMERICAN READER, Diane Ravitch and son Michael gather together the best and most memorable poems, essays, songs, and orations in English history, capturing in one volume writings that have shaped not only England and America, but democratic culture around the globe.

"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 those who can read the English language." — E. D. Hirsch, Jr.

"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.

"Diane and Michael Ravitch have assembled a splendid and important anthology—and one that deserves the widest possible readership." — Joeph Epstein

"Diane and Michael Ravitch (mother and son) have arranged a well-curated collection of durable poems, essays, hymns, speeches, folk songs, and prose excerpts, beginning with Elizabeth I's 'Speech on the Eve of Facing the Spanish Armada' and ending with Winston Churchill's 'Speech to the House of Commons, June 18, 1940.' In between are three-and-a-half centuries of words and phrases, rhymes and rhythms, measured thoughts and impassioned poetry that, taken as a whole, represent much of the English literary tradition and, moreover, the cultural legacy that is Britain's.... The Ravitches make it their overarching purpose to restore a compelling awareness of the work to our contemporary consciousness.... More than anything else THE ENGLISH READER serves to entertain.... As editors, the Ravitches have brought together many powerful works of literary art. Suitably, their introduction is eloquent, and their notes brief, telling, and to the point." — Kent Owen, The Wall Street Journal

"This gathers work from England's most notable writers, poets, philosophers and leaders to create a detailed literary history…. The mother-and-son editorial team behind this volume has created a collection that is readily accessible to the everyday reader, but will also work well in a classroom setting." — Publishers Weekly

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