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Popular Writing in America

The Interaction of Style and Audience

Fifth Edition

Edited by Donald McQuade and Robert Atwan

Publication Date - April 1993

ISBN: 9780195073089

784 pages
7-1/4 x 10-3/4 inches

Retail Price to Students: $103.95


Used for nearly two decades in schools nation-wide, this unique anthology offers provocative examples of successful, influential American writing drawn from advertising, the press, popular magazines, bestsellers, classics, film and television, suiting a variety of classroom purposes--topics for lively class discussions, practical models for student composition, and imaginative texts for literary study. The fifth edition places a new emphasis on multicultural perspectives on the media, and offers an infusion of new selections by a diversity of authors, both within and outside the established literary canon.

As always, every selection is connected either stylistically or thematically with one or more of the other selections, and an expanded "Table of Linked Selections" follows the "Rhetorical Table of Contents". This feature encourages readers to discover the different ways the same subject can be treated by different writers or by different media--for example, how staff writers for Time and Newsweek each handled the space shuttle disaster in January 1986, how a major author like Stephen Crane used his personal experience of a disaster at sea to write both a newspaper report and a classic American short story, or how Ernest Hemingway's famous short story, "Soldier's Home," was transformed into a film script.
Current and comprehensive, Popular Writing in America offers a unique method of teaching composition, one that appeals to students and teachers alike.

New to this Edition

  • New to this edition are essays by John Updike, Frederick Douglass, Harriet Jacobs, E.B. White, Maxine Hong Kingston, Walker Percy, Lewis Thomas, Annie Dillard and June Jordan, as well as short stories by Nathaniel Hawthorne, Charlotte Perkins Gilman, Raymond Carver, and Amy Tan, giving teachers a wider range of both fiction and nonfiction to work with.
  • The Fifth Edition expands the Press and Magazine sections to include a generous sampling of contemporary essays and articles on such topics as abortion, AIDS, censorship, "politically correct" speech codes, racism, feminism, the canon controversy, and multiculturalism.
  • The popular Advertising section, a proven tool for teaching rhetorical and argumentative strategies, now includes many new advertisements and essays providing in-depth discussion of familiar ads and related campaigns.
  • Of special interest is a large cluster of short selections on the obscenity controversy surrounding the rap group "2 Live Crew" designed to stimulate classroom discussion and encourage students to develop argumentative essays more effectively.

Previous Publication Date(s)

March 1988
March 1985

Table of Contents

    Woman's Attractiveness: The Power that Moves the World (1918), Modart
    Often a Bridesmaid but Never a Bride (1923), Listerine
    Should a Gentleman Offer a Tiparillo to a Lab Technician? (1968), Tiparillo
    "When I Grow Up, I'm Going to Be a Judge, or a Senator or Maybe President" (1980), NOW Legal Defense & Education Fund
    "I Know She's a Very Important Person" (1987), Mary Ann Restivo
    A Western Original Wears a Western Original (1990), Wrangler
    There's Something about a Soldier (1990), U.S. Army
    What If? (1991), National Women's Political Caucus
    Remember PE Class? (1992), Nike
    Buy What You Want to Buy (1991), American Express Company
    "We Smash 'Em Hard" (1918), White Owl
    Case #099 B (1928), Listerine
    How Joe's Body Brought Him Fame instead of Shame (1944), Charles Atlas
    The End of the Skinny Body (1973), Joe Weider
    When Crusher Lizowski Talks about Being a Homemaker, You Listen (1978), Future Homemakers of America
    "Hello?" "How's the Great American Novel Going?" (1982), Paco Rabanne
    An American Hero (1986), Aramis
    Obsession for Men (1989), Calvin Klein
    In This world of Total Confusion (1992), Oaktree
    When You're Old, and Tired, and Suspicious, Nike
    Anxieties (1992)
    The Girl with the Clear Skin Wins (1916), Resinol Soap
    Again She Orders--"A Chicken Salad, Please" (1921), Book of Etiquette
    Shy Person's Guide to a Successful Love Life! (1983), Symphony Press
    LifeStyles Introduces the Strongest Condom Made in America (1987), LifeStyles
    How to Write a Personal Letter by Garrison Keillor (1987), International Paper Company
    "I Learned I Was HIV Positive 5 Years Ago" (1991), San Francisco Black Coalition on AIDS
    Neutrogena Gives You the Clean-Pore Advantage over Acne (1992), Neutrogena
    "Most Automobiles Are Like Most Men" (1921), Willys-Overland
    Her Habit of Measuring Time (1924), Ford Closed Cars
    Lemon (1960), Volkswagen
    Separates the Men from the Boys (1969), Oldsmobile Toronado
    Which Man Would You Vote For? (1972), Volkswagen
    You're Not John Doe. Why Drive His Car? (1991), Mazda
    Marcel Jojola Liked the Saturn SLI So Much, He Had His Customized for Work (1992), Saturn
    We Were Cruisin' Highway 34 When Lenny Said (1992), Suzuki
    Eating and Drinking
    "You're Some Tomato" (1961), Wolfschmidt's Vodka
    How Would You Put a Glass of Ballantine Ale into Words? (1952), Ballantine Ale
    America (1975), Coca-Cola
    With My Cooking, the Army That Travels on Its Stomach Is Facing a Pretty Bumpy Road (1976), McCormick/Schilling
    Geraldine Chaplin Talks about Her "First Time" (1981), Campari
    They Gave the Board of Education a Lesson in the Constitution (1992), Burger King
    Unless We Keep Living the Dream . . . (1992), McDonald's
    These Are the Books That Hitler Burned (1966), Great Books
    Why Teenage Girls Stick with Their Mouthwash Longer Than Their Boyfriends (1980), Seventeen
    Some People Are So Opposed to Murder They'll Kill Anyone Who Commits It (1982), Eyewitness News
    Can a Girl Be Too Busy? (1984), Cosmopolitan
    She's a Woman Who Loves Her Job (1990), Good Housekeeping
    It Weighs 8,000,000 Pounds Less Than Your Average Library (1992), SONY
    Swimming at Night Had Never Bothered Me Before (1992), Mitsubishi
    Institutional and Corporate Advertising
    Do Something Different around Home (1978), Army National Guard
    Who Ever Said the Man Who Discovers a Cure for Cancer Is Going to Be White, or Even a Man? (1979), United Negro College Fund
    Really Tying One On (1979), Distilled Spirits Council
    A Word to Smokers/A Word to Nonsmokers (1979), Tobacco Institute
    Reach Out and Touch Someone (1980), Bell System
    I'm the NRA (1987), National Rifle Association
    "Help Me Fight the National Rifle Association" (1987), Handgun Control
    Focusing on Education (1991), Rockwell International
    There Are Three Things Everyone Should Read before Entering College (1989), Adelphi University
    Wouldn't You Want to Know if U.S. Territory Was Going to Be Invaded? (1992), Central Intelligence Agency
    Trees Aren't the Only Plants That Are Good for the Atmosphere (1992), U.S. Council for Energy Awareness
    Marianne Moore: Correspondence with the Ford Motor Company (1955)
    David Ogilvy: How to Write Potent Copy (1963)
    Patricia Volk: A Word from Our Sponsor (1987)
    Neil Postman: The Parable of the Ring around the Collar (1988)
    Teresa Riordan: Miller Lite Guy (1989)
    She's the Word Pilsner (1990), Miller Lite
    Michael Specter: Cigarettes for the Tractor-Pull Generation (1990)
    David Beers and Catherine Capellaro: Greenwash (1991)
    The Eagle Has Landed (1990), Phillips Petroleum
    Staff Correspondent: Important. Assassination of President Lincoln, New York Herald, April 15, 1865
    Stephen Crane: Stephen Crane's Own Story [He Tells How the Commodore Was Wrecked and How He Escaped], New York Press, January 7, 1897
    Francis Pharcellus Church: Is There a Santa Claus? New York Sun, December 31, 1897
    Heywood Broun: There Isn't a Santa Claus, New York World-Telegram, December 20, 1934
    Jack Lait: Dillinger "Gets His", International News Service, July 23, 1934
    George M. Mahawinney: An Invasion from the Planet Mars, Philadelphia Inquirer, November 1, 1938
    Dorothy Thompson: Mr. Welles and Mass Delusion, New York Herald Tribune, November 2, 1938
    Langston Hughes: Family Tree, Chicago Defender, ca. 1942
    William L. Laurence: Atomic Bombing of Nagasaki Told by Flight Member, New York Times, September 9, 1945
    Tom Wicker: Kennedy Is Killed by Sniper as He Rides in Car in Dallas, New York Times, November 23, 1963
    Tom Wicker: The Assassination, Times Talk, December 1963
    Thomas O'Toole: "The Eagle Has Landed": Two Men Walk on the Moon, Washington Post, July 24, 1969
    Vivian Gornick: The Next Great Moment in History Is Theirs [An Introduction to the Women's Liberation Movement], Village Voice, November 17, 1969
    Mike Royko: Jackie's Debut a Unique Day, Chicago Daily News, October 25, 1972
    Susan Jacoby: Unfair Game, New York Times, February 23, 1978
    Jimmy Breslin: Life in a Cage, New York Daily News, May 21, 1987
    Debbie McKinney: Youth's Despair Erupts, Anchorage Daily News, January 12, 1988
    Diana Griego Erwin: His Dreams Belong to the Next Generation, Orange County Register, May 25, 1989
    Samuel Francis: Rapping Garbage as "Art", Washington Times, August 24, 1989
    David von Drehle: Shaken Survivors Witness Pure Fury, Miami Herald, September 23, 1989
    Michael Ventura: On Kids and Slasher Movies, L.A. Weekly, November 3, 1989
    Anna Quindlen: Fighting the War on Cigs, New York Times, March 4, 1990
    Obscenity/The Case of 2 Live Crew
    Scott Higham, Anne Bartlett, and James F. McCarty: A First: Album Ruled Obscene, Miami Herald, June 9, 1990
    Ancil Davis: National Association of Independent Record Distributors and Manufacturers Meet Tackles Sticky Problem Posed by Stickering, Variety, June 5, 1990
    Tottie Ellis: Hooray for This Crackdown on Obscenity, USA Today, June 12, 1990
    Mona Charen: Much More Nasty Than They Should Be, Boston Globe, June 16, 1990
    Juan Williams: The Real Crime: Making Heroes of Hate Mongers, Washington Post, June 17, 1990
    Henry Louis Gates, Jr.: 2 Live Crew, Decoded, New York Times, June 19, 1990
    David Mills: The Judge vs. 2 Live Crew: Is the Issue Obscenity or Young, Black Males? Washington Post, National Weekly Edition, June 25-July 1, 1990
    Teri Maddox: Unsuspecting Parents Can't Believe Their Ears, Belleville (Illinois) News Democrat, September 30, 1990
    Laura Parker: How Things Got Nasty in Broward County, Washington Post, October 21, 1990
    Luther Campbell: "Today They're Trying to Censor Rap, Tomorrow . . . " Los Angeles Times, November 5, 1990
    Russell Baker: Don't Mention It, New York Times, May 30, 1990
    Ann Powers and Nina Schuyler: Censorship in America: Why It's Happening, San Francisco Weekly, June 20, 1990
    George Lakoff: Metaphor and War, East Bay Express, February 22, 1991
    David G. Savage: Forbidden Words on Campus, Los Angeles Times, February 12, 1991
    Maureen Dowd: The Senate and Sexism, New York Times, October 8, 1991
    Patrick O'Connell: Settlement of America: A Continuing Crime, San Francisco Examiner, October 14, 1991
    Jeffrey Hart: Feting the Lindbergh of the 15th Century, San Francisco Examiner, October 14, 1991
    Karen Jurgensen: Redskins, Braves: Listen to Those You've Offended, USA Today, November 25, 1991
    Paul Hemphill: Names Debate off Target, USA Today, November 25, 1991
    Jack London: The Story of an Eyewitness [An Account of the San Francisco Earthquake], Collier's Weekly, May 1906
    William Hard: De Kid Wot Works at Night, Everybody's Magazine, January 1908
    Peter Homans: The Western: The Legend and the Cardboard Hero, Look, March 13, 1962
    Time Staff: Death of a Maverick Mafioso [On the Shooting of Joey Gallo] Time, April 1972
    N. Scott Momaday: A First American Views His Land, National Geographic, July 1976
    Toni Morrison: Cinderella's Stepsisters, Ms., September 1979
    Gretel Ehrlich: The Solace of Open Spaces, Atlantic, May 1981
    Stephen King: Now You Take "Bambi" or "Snow White"--That's Scary, TV Guide, June 13, 1981
    Bob Greene: Fifteen, Esquire, August 1982
    Lance Morrow: A Nation Mourns, Time, February 10, 1986
    Jerry Adler: We Mourn Seven Heroes, Newsweek, February 10, 1986
    Martin Gottfried: Rambos of the Road, Newsweek, September 8, 1986
    Sallie Tisdale: We Do Abortions Here: A Nurse's Story, Harper's, October 1987
    Randy Shilts: Talking AIDS to Death, Esquire, March 1989
    Ann Hodgman: No Wonder They Call Me a Bitch, Spy, June 1989
    Elizabeth F. Brown, M.D., and William R. Hendee, Ph.D.: Adolescents and Their Music, Journal of the American Medical Association, September 22/29, 1989
    Lillian S. Robinson: What Culture Should Mean, The Nation, September 25, 1989
    Sidney Hook: Civilization and Its Malcontents, National Review, October 13, 1989
    Ishmael Reed: Antihero, Spin, May 1990
    Josh Ozersky: TV's Anti-Families: Married . . . with Malaise, Tikkun, January/February 1991
    John Updike: The Mystery of Mickey Mouse, Art & Antiques, November 1991
    Robert Hughes: The Fraying of America, Time, February 3, 1992
    Harriet Beecher Stowe: Uncle Tom's Cabin/Select Incident of Lawful Trade (1852)
    P. T. Barnum: Struggles and Triumphs of P. T. Barnum/Early Life (1855)
    Ernest Laurence Thayer: Casey at the Bat (1888)
    Edgar Rice Burroughs: Tarzan of the Apes [Tarzan Meets Jane; or Girl Goes Ape] (1914)
    Dale Carnegie: How to Win Friends and Influence People/Fundamental Techniques in Handling People (1936)
    Wilfred Funk and Norman Lewis: Thirty Days to a More Powerful Vocabulary/First Day: Give Us 15 Minutes a Day (1942)
    Ogden Nash: Kindly Unhitch That Star, Buddy (1945)
    Mickey Spillane: I, the Jury [Mike Hammer Plots Revenge] (1947)
    Grace Metalious: Peyton Place [Michael Rossi Comes to Peyton Place] (1956)
    Vance Packard: The Hidden Persuaders/Babes in Consumerland (1957)
    Mario Puzo: The Godfather [The Shooting of Don Corleone] (1969)
    Alex Haley: Roots [What Are Slaves?] (1976)
    Benjamin Spock: The Common Sense Book of Baby Care/Should Children Play with Guns? (1976)
    Ron Kovic: Born on the Fourth of July [Wounded] (1976)
    William Least Heat Moon: Blue Highways/Nameless, Tennessee (1982)
    Letitia Baldridge: Letitia Baldridge's Complete Guide to Executive Manners/A Woman Traveling Alone (1985)
    Garrison Keillor: Lake Wobegon Days/Sumus Quod Sumus (1985)
    Barry Lopez: Arctic Dreams [The Arctic Hunters] (1986)
    Allan Bloom: The Closing of the American Mind [Music] (1987)
    Amy Tan: The Joy Luck Club/Two Kinds (1989)
    Susan Faludi: Backlash: The Undeclared War against American Women/Blame It on Feminism (1991)
    Christopher Columbus: Michele de Cuneo's Letter on Columbus' Second Voyage (1495)
    Tom Wolfe: Columbus and the Moon (1979)
    Thomas Jefferson: The Declaration of Independence (1776)
    Nathaniel Hawthorne: My Kinsman, Major Molineux (1832)
    Frederick Douglass: Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass (1845)
    Henry David Thoreau: Walden/Where I Lived, and What I Lived For (1854)
    Walt Whitman: One's-Self I Sing (1867)
    Walt Whitman: I Hear America Singing (1860)
    Walt Whitman: A Noiseless Patient Spider (1868)
    Harriet Jacobs: Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl/ The Loophole of Retreat (1861)
    Emily Dickinson: After great pain, a formal feeling comes-- (ca. 1862)
    Emily Dickinson: One need not be a Chamber--to be Haunted (ca. 1863)
    Emily Dickinson: I felt a Cleaving in my Mind-- (ca. 1864)
    Mark Twain: Old Times on the Mississippi (1875)
    Mark Twain: How to Tell a Story (1897)
    Charlotte Perkins Gilman: The Yellow Wallpaper (1892)
    Kate Chopin: The Dream of an Hour (1894)
    Stephen Crane: The Open Boat/A Tale Intended to Be after the Fact (1897)
    Jack London: To Build a Fire (1908)
    Robert Frost: Design (1922), The Gift Outright (1942)
    Ernest Hemingway: Soldier's Home (1925)
    William Carlos Williams: The Use of Force (1933)
    E. B. White: Once More to the Lake (1941)
    William Faulkner: The Bear/Part I (1942)
    Richard Wright: Black Boy [Discovering Books] (1945)
    Flannery O'Connor: The Life You Save May Be Your Own (1953)
    Tillie Olsen: Tell Me a Riddle/I Stand Here Ironing (1953-54)
    Allen Ginsberg: A Supermarket in California (1955)
    Sylvia Plath: Man in Black (1959), The Detective (1962)
    John Updike: A & P (1962)
    Martin Luther King, Jr.: I Have a Dream (1963)
    Maya Angelou: I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings/Champion of the World (1969)
    Norman Mailer: Of a Fire on the Moon [The First Moon Walk] (1970)
    Joan Didion: On the Mall (1975)
    Maxine Hong Kingston: The Woman Warrior/No Name Woman (1975)
    Walker Percy: The Loss of the Creature (1975)
    Raymond Carver: What We Talk about When We Talk about Love (1981)
    Lewis Thomas: The World's Biggest Membrane (1982)
    Annie Dillard: Total Eclipse (1982)
    Eudora Welty: The Little Store (1975)
    June Jordan: Nobody Mean More to Me than You and the Future of Willie Jordan (1985)
    Orson Welles: The War of the Worlds (1938)
    Bud Abbott and Lou Costello: Who's on First (1945)
    Batten, Barton, Durstine, and Osborne: Ring around the Collar (ca. 1975)
    Dick Orkin and Bert Berdis: Puffy Sleeves: A Time Magazine Commercial (1977)
    Robert Geller: Hemingway's "Soldier's Home": A Screenplay (1976)
    Richard B. Eckhaus: The Jeffersons: "The Blackout" (1978)
    Matt Williams: Roseanne: "Life and Stuff" (1988)

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