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One Hundred Great Essays (Penguin Academics Series) (4th Edition) [Paperback]

Robert J. DiYanni
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
Price: CDN$ 49.70 & FREE Shipping. Details
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Book Description

Jan. 4 2010 0205706800 978-0205706808 4
An affordable reader with 100 classic and contemporary readings.  Alphabetically-organized by author for ease and flexibility.

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Product Description

From the Back Cover

One Hundred Great Essays is published as part of the Penguin Academic Series, a series of low-cost, high quality offerings intended for use in introductory college courses. Variety. This volume of never before collected contemporary and long-time classic essays provides a wealth of possibilities for instructors and students. --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.

About the Author

Robert DiYanni is Director of International Services in the Advanced Placement Program at The College Board. Dr. DiYanni, who holds a B.A. from Rutgers University and a Ph.D. from the City University of New York, has taught English and Humanities at a variety of institutions, including NYU, CUNY, and Harvard. He has written and edited more than two dozen books, mostly for college students of writing, literature, and humanities. --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.

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5.0 out of 5 stars One Great Book Dec 3 2002
Format:Paperback
I give up. There's no way I can communicate, within a reasonable investment of my time, the many great things about this book. But if you've an interest in the essay genre, and have not read it, you're doing yourself a great disservice.
Reviewing the table of contents removes any need for me to comment on the actual essays. From staples like Montaigne and Lamb to contemporary pieces from Dave Berry and Tom Wolfe-the editor has presented a fresh variety of both content and form. He leaves you to beat any one of these essayists into the ground on your own time, and instead lifts you up on his shoulders to have a look around.
In my estimation, the book's best quality is its ability to guide you through the process of reading essays analytically; as well as guiding you through these works individually without shoving the editor's interpretation down your throat. Exercises for analytical reading, notes on the authors, notes on the individual works-it's got it all.
This book holds something valuable for everyone.
William Dylan Powell
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 3.6 out of 5 stars  10 reviews
13 of 13 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Comprehensive and nicely printed May 16 2005
By Rocco Dormarunno - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
If you are an instructor of advanced English Composition or a literature class, this volume, edited by Robert DiYanni, is very comprehensive and represents a wide range of subjects and styles.

The anthology includes writers like: James Baldwin, Stephen Jay Gould, E.B. White, Langston Hughes, Gertrude Ehrlich, Karl Marx, Charles Darwin, George Orwell, and Maxine Hong Kingston. I might not recommend this book for an introduction to literature or introduction to expository prose because it is too overwhelming, and one would never be able to cover even one-third of the essays. However, in a more advanced class, this would fit in quite well.

I don't always agree with the commentaries that precede each essay, and I don't find all the "Possibilities for writing" questions after each essay that valuable. However, most of them have some relevance.

All in all, "One Hundred Great Essays" by Robert DiYanni is a worthwhile and practical collection that will appeal to teachers and students alike.

Rocco Dormarunno, College of New Rochelle
12 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars One Great Book Dec 3 2002
By William Dylan Powell - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
I give up. There's no way I can communicate, within a reasonable investment of my time, the many great things about this book. But if you've an interest in the essay genre, and have not read it, you're doing yourself a great disservice.
Reviewing the table of contents removes any need for me to comment on the actual essays. From staples like Montaigne and Lamb to contemporary pieces from Dave Berry and Tom Wolfe-the editor has presented a fresh variety of both content and form. He leaves you to beat any one of these essayists into the ground on your own time, and instead lifts you up on his shoulders to have a look around.
In my estimation, the book's best quality is its ability to guide you through the process of reading essays analytically; as well as guiding you through these works individually without shoving the editor's interpretation down your throat. Exercises for analytical reading, notes on the authors, notes on the individual works-it's got it all.
This book holds something valuable for everyone.
William Dylan Powell
35 of 45 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Commentary on the State of Belles Lettres? Feb. 24 2005
By Andrew E. M. Baumann - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
In part this review is based upon my use of the book in the classroom, in essay writing classes. But this may not be so much a bias, for what other possible reason would this book be written? (And it does overtly identify itself as for the classroom.) And yet I have to ask, why would you then collect this particular group of works? Yes, there are some truly great essays in this collection: Emerson's "Nature" (but no other Emerson, strangely), Orwell's "Shooting an Elephant," Swift's "A Modest Proposal," but how do you explain excerpts from _The Communist Manifesto_, _Natural Selection_, and other books? Obviously they are not essays. So of what value are they in exploring the structural and stylistic demands of the essay? And what of the Gettysburg Address? Or the introduction to Brownmiller's book _Femininity_? Or Plato's Allegory of the Cave?

Yet that excerpt might be more damning than Diyanni realizes, for it is worth pointing that the excerpt of the Republic that covers the allegory of the cave is limited to the allegory proper, and eliminates the rhetorical context that follows: a context that puts the allegory within Socrates's argument as a whole. If the allegory was to be of some value as a "Great Essay," wouldn't it be necessary to keep it within the greater rhetorical structure, so the reader could see how Plato developed the structure and rhetoric of the argument as a whole? If the first question offered by Diyanni in the "Possibilities for Writing" (that follows every 'essay') is "Analyze Plato's allegory carefully," wouldn't it be necessary to include the whole of the rhetorical structure of the text, so the allegory could be analyzed in full? After all, the main point of the allegory is not the issue of the world of illusion, but the obligations of the enlightened to educate. Something Diyanni seems to have fallen short on.

Beyond the silliness of 'great essays' that are not essays, there are far too many contemporary essays that really are not that good at all. In using this book in an upper-class, collegiate article and essay course, we spoke far more (and far more readily) of flaws, weaknesses, and flat poor writing than moments of quality. To many of these examples are no more great essays than a Grisham novel is great literature. And far too many of them offer nothing in the nature of examples of brilliance in essay writing for the anthology to be of any value.

There are some great things. And many of the essays are fun to read -- in the way that Grisham might be considered fun to read. But I believe they were chosen far more on content than on writing excellence. One of the primary reasons I believe this are those questions, those "Possibilities for Writing," that follow the texts. For example, after Guy Davenport's "The Geography of the Imagination," a rather incontinent piece, the first question is: "Define what Davenport means by 'gothic,' 'classical,' and 'arabesque,' using your own examples to supplement your definitions." How in any way is that question involved with great essay writing? How in any way is that about essay writing -- or essays! -- at all? (That is, outside of revealing to an attendent student just how poorly Davenport utilized, defined and controlled those ideas.) It isn't: it concerns content only. As such this is a poor anthology for any educational purpose.

I titled this review "Commentary on the State of Belles Lettres?" Obviously this anthology offers texts from over a large span of time, and some of the writing is obviously of quality, so I don't mean the essays themselves (as a whole); rather, I refer in a lesser part to the contemporary essays, and in a greater to Diyanni's sensibility: for if this is what is considered a collection of 'great essays,' how far, indeed, the concept of the essay has fallen. Perhaps a better title would be _100 Examples of Prose (both Great and Not-so-great)_. If you enjoy prose, but without great demands of quality, perhaps this is worthy bedside (or commode-side) reading. But if you are looking to explore what lies within writing great essays, look elsewhere. (Buy a collection of Emerson.)
5.0 out of 5 stars English 015 Aug. 16 2013
By Lili-oh - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
The book came in right on time and in perfect condition. The price was absolutely right when it comes to school books.
1.0 out of 5 stars Where is my book? July 7 2013
By Annmarie S. - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
My book was supposed to show up over a week ago at the latest. I still never got it! I need the book desperately for a class and assignment. Where is it?
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