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12 Reviews
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Possibly the best available U.S. lit anthology
No anthology of United States literature is going to be ideal for every student, teacher, or general reader. But "The Harper Single Volume American Literature," under the general editorship of Donald McQuade, is probable the best overall anthology of its kind. Weighing in at about 3000 pages, this is a huge gathering of American voices. The third edition of this...
Published on September 10, 2001 by Michael J. Mazza

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1.0 out of 5 stars Ripped in half... Really?
I must say, buying a college book for 35 dollars is great, and I would naturally expect some wear and tear, markings and wrinkles. However, the whole book being ripped in half + all the others mentioned. That was not exactly what I was expecting.
Published 18 months ago by ROUGE wulf


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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Possibly the best available U.S. lit anthology, September 10, 2001
This review is from: Harper Single Volume American Literature, 3rd Edition (Paperback)
No anthology of United States literature is going to be ideal for every student, teacher, or general reader. But "The Harper Single Volume American Literature," under the general editorship of Donald McQuade, is probable the best overall anthology of its kind. Weighing in at about 3000 pages, this is a huge gathering of American voices. The third edition of this text includes some major changes.
The anthology starts out with such foundational texts as Native American myths, an excerpt from an Icelandic saga about the discovery of the New World, and writings of Christopher Columbus. There follows a good sampling of 17th century Colonial literature. From there, the anthology moves chronologically to the contemporary era.
There is a great diversity of material here: poetry, autobiography, letters, speeches, short stories, excerpts from novels, plays, political documents, and more. The authors chosen represent the ethnic diversity of the U.S.: there are Asian American, African American, Native American, Jewish, Latino/a, and other voices. There is a good balance of male and female authors, and an interesting representation of lesbian and gay literature (most notably the first part of Tony Kushner's play "Angels in America"). Through it all, most of the great names in U.S. literature appear.
There are informative introductions to each of the book's separate sections. Also fascinating are the several "Cultural Portfolios" scattered throughout the book. These are gatherings of texts and (in most cases) images that reflect a focused theme: the Salem witch trials, the Harlem Renaissance, etc. The most interesting of these Cultural Portfolios, in my opinion, is the one entitled "Who Is an American Writer?" This portfolio questions why some writers are "excluded" from the "canon" on the basis of birthplace, citizenship, or language in which they write; the portfolio includes examples of the writings of Vladimir Nabokov, Isaac Bashevis Singer, Maria Irene Fornes, Bharati Mukherjee, and others.
As excellent as this anthology is, there are some flaws. There is a virtual exclusion of important science fiction authors. Isaac Asimov, Octavia Butler, Ursula LeGuin, Ray Bradbury, Samuel Delany: neither these nor any of the other great sci-fi writers appear. The neglect of this important genre is lamentable.
I also question the inclusion of Mark Twain's "Adventures of Huckleberry Finn" in its entirety. This book is a pivotal masterpiece, but it is widely available in a number of inexpensive additions. I would have used the space in the anthology to include a variety of other works by Twain and other authors, and let interested teachers order a copy of "Huckleberry" separately.
Despite its flaws, this is a truly outstanding anthology. If you have a serious interest in the literature and history of the United States, I recommend that you get this book.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars I've used textbooks before..., November 15, 2000
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This review is from: Harper Single Volume American Literature, 3rd Edition (Paperback)
but this is undoubtedly the best Anthology of American Literature available, if only because of the sheer variety and bulk of literature contained in it. As an added plus, there's background information on every author contained in the book. The writing varies from Columbus's diaries to late 20th century poetry, so there's something to interest everyone. All in all, it's a wonderful buy for the price.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars I've taught using this book, August 16, 2001
By 
S.carwile "lcarwile" (Falls Church, VA USA) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Harper Single Volume American Literature, 3rd Edition (Paperback)
This is a nice collection for the 21st century, including lots of new voices while still maintaining enough of the canon for a good survey course. It's a big, heavy book (for a paperback) that might have been easier to read in two volumes, but as far as content goes, this one has Norton's beat by miles.
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5.0 out of 5 stars No problems, April 30, 2014
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This review is from: Harper Single Volume American Literature, 3rd Edition (Paperback)
I rented this book for my American Literature class. Cheapest place I could find it and it has served its purpose well!
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1.0 out of 5 stars Ripped in half... Really?, February 16, 2013
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This review is from: Harper Single Volume American Literature, 3rd Edition (Paperback)
I must say, buying a college book for 35 dollars is great, and I would naturally expect some wear and tear, markings and wrinkles. However, the whole book being ripped in half + all the others mentioned. That was not exactly what I was expecting.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Book is just right, February 13, 2013
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This review is from: Harper Single Volume American Literature, 3rd Edition (Paperback)
I would recommend this product and yall to others. Defintiely what I ordered! I chose this rating because there is nothing wrong with it. Great buy!
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4.0 out of 5 stars Harper American Literature, Single Volume Edition, April 24, 2010
This review is from: Harper Single Volume American Literature, 3rd Edition (Paperback)
It is a used textbook, what else is there to say? The condition was accurately described, and I received the merchandise very quickly.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Get out your reading glasses!, June 6, 2009
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This review is from: Harper Single Volume American Literature, 3rd Edition (Paperback)
This anthology was bought for a college class I took at U of P. It is well written, the biography of each author is included prior to each selection. Before each new era of American literature there is a "historical" piece. My only camplaint was the font was too small (for my 40 year old eyes) and the pages too thin, so it was hard to use a highlighter other than yellow otherwise it bled through.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Had to buy it for school..., January 25, 2009
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This review is from: Harper Single Volume American Literature, 3rd Edition (Paperback)
I had to buy this book for school and I'm glad I did. I couldn't possibly do a better review than Mr. Mazza's so I won't even try. He is correct in every aspect so I'll leave it at that except to add that even after being done with the class I'm still enjoying the book!
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5.0 out of 5 stars very satisfied, January 22, 2009
This review is from: Harper Single Volume American Literature, 3rd Edition (Paperback)
I'm overall very satisfied with this purchase. I received a shipping confirmation from the seller, received it promptly after ordering, and the book was in good condition.
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Harper Single Volume American Literature, 3rd Edition
Harper Single Volume American Literature, 3rd Edition by Robert Atwan (Paperback - December 27, 1998)
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