American Dreams (Longman Topics Reader)

Allyn & Bacon
Larry R. Juchartz / Elizabeth A. Stolarek / Christy Rishoi  
Februar 2008


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American Dreams (Longman Topics Reader)
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American Dreams explores the evolution and multiple meanings of “the American Dream,” inviting students to consider how the concept has changed over time, which groups have-and have not-been included in the dream, and how rhetoric has enabled the dreams of a few to be shared by millions.


Through essays, memoirs, songs, speeches, letters, and political and literary documents, this inexpensive reader explores the evolving nature of the American Dream and considers whether it has been equally available to everyone. 



    • A wide range of genres--including essays, memoirs, songs, speeches, letters, and political and literary documents--present students with a variety of genres and models for writing.
    • Each thematic chapter begins with a brief chapter introduction that defines the theme and asks students to consider the rhetorical strategies the authors employ.
    • Every essay is accompanied by a biographical and reading headnote, as well as questions for discussion and writing that offer ideas for student work.
    • Each chapter ends with several prompts for further research and writing that encourage students to bring their own opinions and analysis to the conversation.
    • A variety of authors are represented, including Thomas Jefferson, John and Abigail Adams, Katharine Lee Bates, Martin Luther King, Malcolm X, Chief Seattle, Maxine Hong Kingston, John F. Kennedy, and Barbara Ehrenreich.

Table of Contents


Section I: Founders' Dream/Dreamers Found


The Origin of the Longhouse-Seneca Legend, Arthur Parker

The Mayflower Compact

A Model of Christian Charity (“City on a Hill”) excerpt, John Winthrop

 “Give Me Liberty or Give me Death!” Patrick Henry

The Declaration of Independence, Thomas Jefferson

 “Common Sense,” Thomas Paine,

Letter to John Adams: Remember the Ladies, Abigail Adams

Response to “Remember the Ladies,” John Adams

Constitution of the Iroquois Nations, Dekanawidah

 “Star Spangled Banner,” Francis Scott Key

“My Country 'Tis of Thee,” Samuel F. Smith

Walker's Appeal in Four Articles (excerpt), David Walker

Democracy in America (excerpt), Alexis de Toqueville

 “Simple Gifts,” Elder Joseph Bracker

“America the Beautiful,” Katherine Lee Bates

“Lift Ev'ry Voice and Sing,” James W. Johnson

“This Land is Your Land,” Woody Guthrie

For Further Research and Writing


Section II:  Dreams Deferred



Seneca Falls Declaration, Elizabeth Cady Stanton and Susan B. Anthony

Chief Seattle's Speech of 1851

“What to the Slave is the 4th of July?” Frederick Douglass

The Planter's Northern Bride, Caroline Lee Hentz

ChinaMen, Maxine Hong Kingston

“Graduating Address at Yale College,” Yan Phou Lee

How the Other Half Lives, Jacob Riis

The Souls of Black Folk, W.E.B. DuBois 

“Eyes on the Prize,”

“New York Fire Kills 148: Girl Victims Leap to Death From Factory”

Raisin in the Sun, Lorraine Hansberry

“The Ballot or the Bullet,” Malcolm X

“The American Dream,” Martin Luther King, Jr.

“The Ten-Point Program,” The Black Panther Party

 The National Organization for Women's 1966 Statement of Purpose, Betty Friedan

"Trail of Broken Treaties - 20-Point Proposal,” American Indian Movement 

“America,” Dr. Tolbert Small 

For Further Research and Writing


Section III: Streets Paved With Gold



A New Home-Who'll Follow?  Caroline Kirkland

“The New Colossus,”  Emma Lazarus 

“The Road to Business Success,” Andrew Carnegie

“The Significance of the Frontier in American History,”  Frederick Jackson Turner 

I Came a Stranger, Hilda Satt Polachuck

“Trans-National America,”  Randolph Bourne 

The Promised Land, Mary Antin

Black Boy,  Richard Wright 

Death of a Salesman, Arthur Miller

Hunger of Memory: The Education of Richard Rodriguez,  Richard Rodriguez 

Messages From My Father,  Calvin Trillin

“Stuck in Between,” Pao Her (pseud.)

“The Pineros,”  Tom Knudson 

“The Day an Immigrant Refugee Can Say “I'm an American,” Helene Cooper

For Further Research and Writing


Section IV:  Sustaining the Dream



 “Little Boxes,” Malvina Reynolds

“Address at Rice University on the Space Effort,” John F. Kennedy

Great Society Speech, Lyndon B. Johnson

“On Being Asian-American,” Lawson Inada

“My American Dream,” Rafael Rosa 

“Take Back the Power,” Rage Against the Machine

“Kids in the Mall,” William Severini Kowinski

“Argument in Favor of Proposition 227”

Nickel and Dimed, Barbara Ehrenreich

 “What Sacagawea Means to M,” Sherman Alexie

“The Death of Horatio Alger,” Paul Krugman

“All Falls Down,”  Kanye West 

“Superman's an Illegal,” Jorge Lerma

“The Power of our Pastime,” Marc Gellman

“Special Comment of October 18, 2006,”  Keith Olbermann  

“I Have a Dream,” Common (Lonnie Rashid Lynn, Jr) 

For Further Research and Writing


Back Cover

Rhetoric, Readings, Research Guide, and Handbook

Compact but complete-and always at a reasonable price!

For more than 60 years, instructors and their students have looked to Penguin trade paperbacks for state-of-the-art scholarship, accessibility, and fair prices. Longman, Penguin's sister company, aims to meet those same expectations with textbooks in our Penguin Academics series.

We've created the Penguin Academics series with ease of use in mind. Concise yet thorough in their coverage of the basics, Penguin Academics titles are ideal for use either by themselves or in combination with other books.

College Writing Essentials: Rhetoric, Readings, Research Guide, and Handbook by Harvey S. Wiener is the first brief rhetorically organized writing guide of its kind. Prewriting, drafting, revising, and research writing receive thorough and complete coverage, but only the most frequently taught methods of development-description, example, process, comparison and contrast, cause and effect, and argument-are included. Coverage of these methods of development is comprehensive, but the least frequently assigned methods have been eliminated. You benefit from essential content at a reasonable price.

Among other features, you will find in College Writing Essentials:

  • Over 25 student essays-one third of which are annotated to help you recognize the decisions other student writers have made.
  • More than 40 professional selections-which include classic and contemporary essays, photographs, cartoons, and Web sites-providing you with content for response as well as models for using different rhetorical strategies in your own papers.
  • Argument writing prompts, “Having Your Say,” that ask you to consider a high-interest or controversial topic and argue your position. These prompts appear throughout the text-not just in an argument chapter-so that you can strengthen argumentation skills throughout the course.
  • Coverage of essay exams, research, source-based writing, literary analysis, and style.

    Companion Website