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Understanding To Kill a Mockingbird: A Student Casebook to Issues, Sources, and Historic Documents (The Greenwood Press "Literature in Context" Series) annotated edition Edition

3.6 out of 5 stars 7 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-0313291937
ISBN-10: 0313291934
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Editorial Reviews

Review

"Will be useful to teachers and student researchers, as both journey toward a richer understanding of Lee's novel and the complex ideas society is still exploring."-VOYA

?Will be useful to teachers and student researchers, as both journey toward a richer understanding of Lee's novel and the complex ideas society is still exploring.?-VOYA

"This is exactly what every conscientious English teacher needs. History teachers will find it exciting as well. The concept is sweeping, bold, and imaginative; the execution fulfills the concept richly. I look forward more eagerly than ever to subsequent volumes in the series."-Robin Berson, Director Upper School Library, Riverdale Country School, New York City

About the Author

CLAUDIA DURST JOHNSON is Professor of English at the University of Alabama, where she chaired the English Department for 12 years. She is the author of the forthcoming volumes in the Greenwood Press Literature in Context series, Understanding the Scarlet Letter and Understanding Huckleberry Finn. She is also author of To Kill a Mockingbird: Threatening Boundaries (1994), American Actress. Perspective on the Nineteenth Century (1984), (with Vernon E. Johnson) Memoirs of the Nineteenth-Century Theatre (Greenwood, 1982), The Productive Tension of Hawthorne's Art (1981), and (with Henry Jacobs) An Annotated Bibliography of Shakespearean Burlesques, Parodies, and Travesties (1976), as well as numerous articles on American literature.

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Product Details

  • Series: The Greenwood Press "Literature in Context" Series
  • Hardcover: 248 pages
  • Publisher: Greenwood; annotated edition edition (November 30, 1994)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0313291934
  • ISBN-13: 978-0313291937
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.7 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,146,457 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This hardcover book is a joy to hold in my hands. With a white crystal coated cover, it is best to put a plastic jacket on quickly, as losing the shine of such an expensive book would be distressing. It is actually printed in the USA, mine being the 5th re-print. Nice stitching of the smooth white pages to the spine.

The paucity of references to the actual text means it is not an advanced version of Cliffs Notes. Nor is it a teaching guide for high GPA students. The author assumes you have read the book from front to back and from centre outwards, and invites the reader to savour the context of the book. "Literature in Context" is precisely what it means. Emphasis is on CONTEXT. The cover states clearly that you are going to get "Issues, Sources, and Historic Documents" and this is precisely what you get.

This book is not for those preparing to sit for an examination paper. Arguably, it is a good weapon to have if you have a zealous English Literature teacher throwing projects for you to do. It is more for people who have studied the book, watched the movie, and want to savour more. After all, Harper Lee (like Margaret Mitchell), published only one book (the 1985 work by Harper Lee, "High Romance and Adventure" is not well known). One good book is enough to give you a place in history. So it is for the curious who want to look around for clues to their success. For mature geezers who want to explore the peripherals of "Mockingbird" and more, this is the ultimate companion book.

Chapter 1 deals with two Universal Themes: Insiders vs Outsiders, and the Complexity of the Law as practised. There is a quick canter through (1)voice and language (2)tone (3)time and place of setting (4) characters (5) plot structure and (6) images and symbols.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This is the most comprehensive book that encompasses all the historical events surrounding the time and place of the novel. Although it is a bit pricey, you will get your moneys' worth. Invaluable teaching resource for English and History.
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Format: Hardcover
As a participant in this year's "One Book, One Chicago", I have read the "REAL DEAL", which is the book selected for the program's inaugural year. I thoroughly enjoyed it, and also felt I had no problems understanding the critical issues illustrated in the book. I then made the forunate decision to attend a lecture by Ms. Durst Johnson at the Chicago Public Library; a lecture based primarily on information contained in her commentary. My time was not wasted: for as much as I had indeed GRASPED about the novel, there were still many more interesting things to learn that I had not even considered. While some may consider it "beating a subject to death" (or some such nonsense), your reading experience will definitely be enhanced by referring to, but not relying on, this book's contents.
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By A Customer on May 9, 2000
Format: Hardcover
I first read "To Kill a Mockingbird" when I was 13 -- I had no trouble understanding it then and, not surprisingly, I still don't. Truth be told, while it more than deserves to be held as a "classic" (usually meaning insipid and torturous, though not the case here), Lee's novel is pretty straightforward.
You should have no problem determining how well Atticus Finch made his case, or how African-Americans were treated in 1935, or the history of the town that is so well-described it becomes like another character in the book.
The only reason to buy a book about understanding "To Kill a Mockingbird" is because you are a teacher who likes to beat the meaning of such things into the ground, or a student who has unfortunately been forced or advised to purchase an unnecessary guide to one of the most enjoyably down-to-earth books ever written.
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Understanding To Kill a Mockingbird: A Student Casebook to Issues, Sources, and Historic Documents (The Greenwood Press "Literature in Context" Series)
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