American Studies Anthology share button
Richard P. Horwitz
Format Paperback
Dimensions 0.93 (w) x 6.00 (h) x 9.00 (d)
Pages 416
Publisher Sr Books
Publication Date August 2001
ISBN 9780842028295
Book ISBN 10 0842028293
About Book

A rich and rewarding subject of popular imagination, the United States is compellingly portrayed in this first anthology designed specifically for American studies courses. Offering an indispensable introduction to the long and varied history of generalizing about America, leading scholar Richard Horwitz has compiled the definitive anthology for American studies and American culture courses. Brimming with imaginative selections, the reader contains essays, plays, songs, comedy, legal documents, speeches, and poems by a rich array of authors-both domestic and international-whose writings echo recurring American themes. Collectively, the anthology identifies the ways in which scholars and popularizers have attempted to characterize America. Horwitz's insightful introduction summarizes key themes in the study of American culture as he traces the history of the field as well as current controversies. He avoids heavy jargon yet presents a nuanced view of the foundational works in American studies. Preceding the readings with concise, informative introductions, Horwitz seamlessly guides the reader through this distinctive collection.


Staci Ford

Those of us who teach American Studies outside of the United States have been waiting for this anthology. It provides historical grounding and a range of texts that is both foundational and fresh, and it reflects Horwitz's passion for artful prose and cultural analysis that is readable, teachable, transnational, and truly interdisciplinary.

Matthew Mancini

This anthology answers a need felt by so many of us who teach both beginning and advanced courses in American Studies. The introduction is ideal, and the 'roots and soil' metaphor provides a wonderfully concrete way for us all, teachers and students to grasp some hitherto vaguely understood ideas about the field.

David Katzman

The American Studies Anthology is imaginative and creative. It includes familiar texts in American studies as well as unusual ones. Professor Horwitz locates American studies in history and the present, in culture and ideas, in scholarly work and popular culture, and from the United States and abroad. He introduces each of the selections with a brief commentary that offers suggestions on where classroom discussions might go. This is the first anthology to capture the contradictory and interdisciplinary directions that comprise American studies today. Indispensable for the novice and veteran alike.

Linda K. Kerber

Professor Horwitz has a shrewd eye for documents. He not only has gathered familiar expressions of U.S. national identity, but also ranged widely to find songs and images, reflective essays, and significant statements of public policy. His unusual selections and thought-provoking juxtapositions make this an invigorating collection to read to learn from.

Bernard Mergen

There are two ways to review anthologies intended for classroom use. One is to focus on their selections of readings and discuss their usefulness in teaching. Another approach is to examine the anthology's documents and explanatory material for what they reflect about the current state of the field. Many of us spend a good deal of time talking with visiting groups of teachers from outside the United States about current trends and future directions in American studies. This collection, with Richard Horwitz's excellent introduction and headnotes, has value as a class text and as a guide to the field. . . . Whoever reads this splendid anthology will learn a great deal about America and American studies.

Jay Mechling

Richard Horwitz is one of the most thoughtful American Studies scholars when it comes to understanding what it means to build a fully interdisciplinary American Studies. This volume reflects his unerring sense of how we must weave theory and practice into a seamless garment where old distinctions between the humanities, the social sciences, and even the natural sciences now seem pointless.


This anthology, designed specifically for American studies courses, introduces the history of generalizing about America, with essays, plays, songs, comedy, legal documents, speeches, and poems by international and domestic writers from various periods of history. Each selection includes a brief introduction. An overall introduction summarizes key themes in the study of American culture, looking at the history of the field and at current controversies. Horwitz is professor, graduate director, and director of public outreach for the American Studies Department at the University of Iowa. The anthology lacks a subject index. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)