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The Norton Anthology of American Literature, Vol. 2: 1865 to the Present, Shorter 8th Edition 8th Edition

4.1 out of 5 stars 42 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-0393918878
ISBN-10: 0393918874
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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Nina Baym (Ph.D. Harvard) is Swanlund Endowed Chair and Center for Advanced Study Professor Emerita of English and Jubilee Professor of Liberal Arts and Sciences at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. She is the author of The Shape of Hawthorne’s Career; Woman’s Fiction: A Guide to Novels by and About Women in America, 1820–1870; Novels, Readers, and Reviewers: Responses to Fiction in Antebellum America; American Women Writers and the Work of History, 1790–1860; American Women of Letters and the Nineteenth-Century Sciences and most recently, Women Writers of the American West, 1833–1927. Some of her essays are collected in Feminism and American Literary History; she has also edited and introduced many reissues of work by earlier American women writers, from Judith Sargent Murray through Kate Chopin. In 2000 she received the MLA’s Hubbell Medal for lifetime achievement in American literary studies.

Robert S. Levine (Ph.D. Stanford) is Distinguished University Professor of English and Distinguished Scholar-Teacher at the University of Maryland, College Park. He is the author of Conspiracy and Romance: Studies in Brockden Brown, Cooper, Hawthorne, and Melville; Martin Delany, Frederick Douglass, and the Politics of Representative Identity; and Dislocating Race and Nation: Episodes in Nineteenth-Century American Literary Nationalism. He has edited a number of books, including The Cambridge Companion to Herman Melville; Martin R. Delany: A Documentary Reader; Hemispheric American Studies; and a Norton Critical Edition of Hawthorne’s The House of the Seven Gables.

Wayne Franklin (Ph.D. University of Pittsburgh) is Professor and Head of English, University of Connecticut. He is the author of James Fenimore Cooper: The Early Years (the first volume of his definitive biography, from Yale University Press), The New World of James Fenimore Cooper, and Discoverers, Explorers, Settlers: The Diligent Writers of Early America. He is the editor of American Voices, American Lives: A Documentary Reader and The Selected Writings of Thomas Jefferson, A Norton Critical Edition, and co-editor, with Michael Steiner, of Mapping American Culture.

Philip F. Gura (Ph.D. Harvard) is William S. Newman Distinguished Professor of American Literature and Culture and Adjunct Professor of Religious Studies at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. He is the author of many books, including The Wisdom of Words: Language, Theology, and Literature in the New England Renaissance; A Glimpse of Sion’s Glory: Puritan Radicalism in New England, 1620–1660; Jonathan Edwards, America’s Evangelical; and American Transcendentalism: A History. For ten years he was editor of the journal Early American Literature. He is an elected member of the Society of American Historians, the Massachusetts Historical Society, the American Antiquarian Society, and the Colonial Society of Massachusetts.

Jerome Klinkowitz (Ph.D. Wisconsin), is University Distinguished Scholar and Professor of English at the University of Northern Iowa. He is the author or editor of over forty books in postwar culture and literature, among them, Structuring the Void: The Struggle for Subject in Contemporary American Fiction; Kurt Vonnegut’s America; Literary Disruptions: The Making of a Post-Contemporary American Fiction; and The Practice of Fiction in America: Writers from Hawthorne to the Present.

Arnold Krupat (Ph.D. Columbia) is Professor of Literature at Sarah Lawrence College. He is the author of, among other books, Ethnocriticism: Ethnography, History, Literature; Red Matters: Native American Studies; and, most recently, All That Remains: Varieties of Indigenous Expression (2009). He is the editor of a number of anthologies, including Native American Autobiography: An Anthology and New Voices in Native American Literary Criticism. With Brian Swann, he edited Here First: Autobiographical Essays by Native American Writers, which won the Wordcraft Circle of Native Writers and Storytellers Award for best book of nonfiction prose in 2001.

Mary Loeffelholz (Ph.D. Yale) is Professor of English and Vice Provost for Academic Affairs at Northeastern University. She is the author of Dickinson and the Boundaries of Feminist Theory; Experimental Lives: Women and Literature, 1900–1945; and, most recently, From School to Salon: Reading Nineteenth-Century American Women’s Poetry. With Martha Nell Smith, she edited the Blackwell Companion to Emily Dickinson. Her essays have appeared in such journals as American Literary History, English Literary History, the Yale Journal of Criticism, and Modern Language Quarterly.

Jeanne Campbell Reesman (Ph.D. University of Pennsylvania) is Ashbel Smith Professor of English at the University of Texas at San Antonio. She is author of Houses of Pride: Jack London’s Race Lives, Jack London: A Study of the Short Fiction, and American Designs: The Late Novels of James and Faulkner, and editor of Speaking the Other Self: American Women Writers, and Trickster Lives: Culture and Myth in American Fiction. With Wilfred Guerin et al. she is co-author of A Handbook of Critical Approaches to Literature and with Earle Labor of Jack London: Revised Edition. With Kenneth Brandt she is co-editor of MLA Approaches to Teaching Jack London, with Leonard Cassuto Rereading Jack London, with Dale Walker No Mentor but Myself: Jack London on Writing and Writers, and with Sara S. Hodson Jack London: One Hundred Years a Writer. She and Noël Mauberret are co-editors of a series of 25 new Jack London editions in French published by Éditions Phébus of Paris. She is presently at work on two books: Mark Twain Versus God: The Story of a Relationship, and, with Sara S. Hodson, The Photography of Jack London. She is a member of the Executive Board of the American Literature Association and founder and Executive Coordinator of the Jack London Society.

Patricia B. Wallace (Ph.D. Iowa) is Professor of English at Vassar College. She is a contributing editor of The Columbia History of American Poetry; her essays and poems have appeared in such journals as The Kenyon Review, The Sewanee Review, MELUS and PEN America. She has been a recipient of fellowships from the NEA, the Mellon Foundation, and the ACLS.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 1673 pages
  • Publisher: W. W. Norton & Company; 8 edition (November 9, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0393918874
  • ISBN-13: 978-0393918878
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 1.8 x 9.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 3 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (42 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #10,213 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Verified Purchase
Another reviewer mentioned, and I can confirm that YES, most of the material found in this book can be found free on public domains. Or if you are a university student (and likely you are), you can find some of the more obscure material in old anthologies or shelved independently at your library.
Be warned, though: your professor may want you to cite specific page numbers from this book/edition. If that is the case, you likely can't skip out on buying it. :<

Now, because most of the actual context can be accessed for free, the main advantage of buying an anthology would be for the introductory and supplementary material. I need to know background information to place a piece in context-- so yeah, I'd be willing to pay for that.
But I was severely disappointed in the supplementary material (as in, the introduction to the text, eras). The time period introductions were short and very generic. They did not even go into much detail about certain literary movements. Usually with the full length Norton Anthologies (and I have a lot of experience with them) I can use the supplementary material as a substantial source in writing essays-- but this is not the case for this volume.
Also, concerning the author introductions: the advantage is that it gives you a very condensed overview that doesn't take long to read at all, while the disadvantage is that you will likely have to consult multiple outside sources about the author if you want to write anything in detail about either the author or his/her specific piece.
So for those reasons, I have to say that I don't think the content justifies the price. Don't get me wrong, some of the Norton anthologies are amazing and worth every penny (shout-out to the full Norton Shakespeare anthology) -- just not this one.
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This is a good book for those who need a short overview of later American lit. I would argue that more reading is required of the author's actual novels, which are not all present in this book. It is a good overview of short stories and poetry.
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Publisher, please take note (not the I expect you to pay any attention to me but just to relieve my frustration). I have no problem with the content of this book so far when I can read it. However, it is extremely not reader friendly. It is the width and height of a regular paperback but is overly thick and heavy even though the individual pages are very thin. The font is small and the leading lines are scrunched together. If your eyesight is 20/20 you may do okay, but if you have glasses be prepared to do a lot of squinting even with good light. I think you were trying to fit a semi-truck with its trailer into a residential two-car garage! It is difficult to hold your place or flip pages back and forth for skimming or searching and the book will not stay open. I need this book for a class, of course, and I may have to resort to slicing out the individual pages that I need in order to be able to read them. If you had made this book an over-sized paperback, or somewhat larger anyway, the font size and leading could be increased slightly and likely reduce the thickness. Who designed this thing anyway? A Kindle edition would be very very nice but for the content of the book it may require too much memory which I understand. Please though, for future editions, please redesign this behemoth so no one will injure themselves if they drop it on their toes!
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I rented this book for one of my college classes and although I would not have ordered it otherwise I did have a very good experience. It was very well organized and I liked that it had the author's biography before their writings. This helped to understand where the author was coming from when they were writing their pieces. The footnotes were also detailed enough that you could understand without going overboard on it.
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I am so happy with the people who shipped this out! I received a hand written note with the book and I always think that leaves a nice touch. Definitely did for this book because it was pretty expensive if you ask me. But the book itself is actually amazing there are excerpts from American writers, famous or not.
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The only point of this book is used for citing in a research paper. All the poems can be found online so just find a friend and pair up when u have to cite something, sometimes your professor will even let you cite a reliable online source so you dont even NEED the book. Everything is online. Every. Single. Poem.
Only grab this book if you have no friends to look unto and your teacher REQUIRES the text. This book is a good citation tool and that's it. Waste of money in a time that I need it most, blood suckers
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I didn't buy it because I wanted it, but because I had to have it for a class. I don't know how helpful the notes will be. Although there's a great variety of material, I'd rather have a few less articles and notes, and a slightly bigger font.
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I used this for my American Lit class. It was overall pretty good! Stories are great and it's laid out in a nice manner! I am content for sure
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