American Lives: Cultural Differences, Individual Distinctions

This thought-provoking anthology allows students to improve their awareness of others and themselves. It is ideal material for Social Studies and Literature Curriculum. It is also ideal for a supplementary text in American Studies, for use as a primary text in American Literature, and as a resource for character and moral education. The study of diverse American lives, presented first-hand by those who lived them, is an excellent way to become more thoughtful about life as an American citizen. This anthology-reader is comprised of substantial excerpts from eleven deeply moving autobiographies, written by distinguished men and women from diverse ethnic, racial, and socioeconomic backgrounds: Benjamin Franklin, Frederick Douglass, Jacob Riis, Mary Antin, Booker T. Washington, Dick Gregory, Elizabeth Cady Stanton, Richard Rodriguez, Maxine Hong Kingston, Theodore Roosevelt, and Malcolm X. The excerpted lives are presented in pairs, which at first glance seem vastly different, however they illustrate similar themes, such as the internal requirements for freedom, the meaning of active citizenship, or living between two cultures. For each life, the excerpts present the author’s parochial beginnings, his or her coming to individual self-consciousness, and the distinctive life he or she subsequently lived in the light of such self-awareness. An introductory essay opens up the question of American identity, shows why it is important, and tells why studying American lives through autobiography is well-suited to the inquiry. An introduction to each narrative provides an overview of the autobiographer and his or her life story, and presents a set of questions that the autobiography invites us to consider. Along with the overall introduction, these questions guide teachers and students in examining the meaning of living an American life, including their own. Table Of Contents: * Preface, Introduction, and Beginning the Inquire: Suggestions and Questions * The Model American: Self-made Man * Joining America: Out from Under * Schools for Freedom: Competence and Literacy * Growing Up in America: The Making of a Citizen * Between Two Worlds: Negotiating the Difference * Home of the Brave: From Self-Command to Leadership * Appendix, Bibliography

Product type: Paperback Book
ISBN: 978-1-5669-6093-9
Author: Amy A. Kass Ph.D.
Copyright: 1995
Reading Level: Grades 7-12+
Interest Level: Grades 7-12+
Dimensions: 7 1/2" x 10 1/4"