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Book Details

  • Paperback
  • Bookstore's Wholesale Price: $54.00
  • October 2016
  • ISBN: 978-0-393-61742-9
  • 752 pages
  • Territory Rights: Worldwide

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    1. Writing

    Reading the World

    Ideas That Matter, with 2016 MLA Update

    Third Edition


    See all options and formats starting at

    Michael Austin (Author, Newman University)



    The only great ideas reader to offer a global perspective.

    With 80 readings by some of the world’s greatest thinkers—from Plato to Gandhi, Carl Jung to Edmund O. Wilson, Gloria Anzaldúa to Toni Morrison—Reading the World is the only great ideas reader to offer a global perspective. Selections strike a balance between western and nonwestern, classic and contemporary, longer and shorter, verbal and visual.


    The only great ideas reader with a global perspective

    A wide selection of western and nonwestern texts allows students to explore the development of ideas at different times and in different regions. Nearly half of the selections come from eastern, Islamic, African, and South American sources.  

    Challenging texts made accessible

    Headnotes provide necessary contextual background—and highlight rhetorical strategies used in the text—to help students focus not only on what authors say but also on how they say it. Writing prompts focus students’ attention on key ideas and connections between texts, whereas study questions encourage students to reflect on how ideas of the past connect to contemporary issues. Unfamiliar words are carefully glossed; a new online audio pronunciation guide provides help for author names and titles.  

    With 100 pages of reading and writing instruction, there’s no need to adopt a separate rhetoric

    Widely praised by users, this material helps students read with a critical eye and takes them through the process of writing about ideas—from generating and synthesizing ideas to supporting a thesis to documenting sources. A sample MLA-documented student paper is included. 

    An excellent balance of texts

    Reading the World offers a careful balance of western and nonwestern, classic and contemporary, longer and shorter, visual and verbal. Thirteen images, new to the Third Edition, are presented as readings, not just illustrations—demonstrating that great ideas are not expressed in words alone. The third edition features more women writers, such as Martha Nussbaum, Virginia Woolf, Murasaki Shikibu, Simone Weil, Lisa Yuskavage, and Zeynep Tufekci; and more contemporary pieces, including ones by Nicholas Carr, Daniel Kahneman, Barry Commoner, Barack Obama, Tawakkol Karman, Joseph Stiglitz, Alice Walker, Elaine Scarry, Wangari Maathai, and Vandana Shiva.  

      *new to this edition

      Part I: Reading the World

      1. Education
      Hsün Tzu, Encouraging Learning
      Seneca, On Liberal and Vocational Studies
      *(IMAGE) Laurentias de Voltolina, Lecture of Henricus de Alemania
      Frederick Douglass, Learning to Read
      John Henry Newman, Knowledge Its Own End
      *Rabindranath Tagore, To Teachers
      *Virginia Woolf, Shakespeare’s Sister
      Richard Feynman, O Americano, Outra Vez
      *Martha Nussbaum, Education for Profit, Education for Democracy

      2. Human Nature and the Mind
      Plato, The Speech of Aristophanes
      Mencius, Man’s Nature Is Good
      Hsün Tzu, Man’s Nature Is Evil
      Thomas Hobbes, Leviathan
      John Locke, Of Ideas
      *(IMAGE) Two Images of the Brain
      *(IMAGE) Carl Jung,The Red Book
      Ruth Benedict,The Individual and the Pattern of Culture
      *Nicholas Carr, The Shallows
      *Daniel Kahneman, Thinking, Fast and Slow

      3. Language and Rhetoric
      *(IMAGE and text) Aeschylus, The Eumenides
      Pericles, The Funeral Oration
      Plato, Gorgias
      Aristotle, Rhetoric
      *Augustine, On Christian Doctrine
      *Sor Juana Inés de la Cruz, La Respuesta
      *Wayne C. Booth,The Rhetorical Stance
      Gloria Anzaldúa, How to Tame a Wild Tongue
      Toni Morrison, Nobel Lecture
      *Zeynep Tufekci, Networked Politics from Tahrir to Taksim

      4. *The Arts
      Mo Tzu, Against Music
      * Boethius, Of Music
      *Murasaki Shikibu, On the Art of the Novel
      *(IMAGE) Johannes Vermeer, Study of a Young Woman
      *Edmund Burke,The Sublime and the Beautiful
      *(IMAGE and text) William Blake, The Tyger
      *Leo Tolstoy, What Is Art?
      *Alice Walker, Beauty, When the Other Dancer Is the Self
      *(IMAGE) Lisa Yuskavage, Babie I
      *Elaine Scarry, On Beauty and Being Just

      5. Science and Nature
      *Lucretius, On the Nature of Things
      *Matsuo Basho, The Narrow Road to the Interior
      (IMAGE) Joseph Wright of Derby, An Experiment on a Bird in the Air Pump
      *William Paley, Natural Theology
      Charles Darwin, Natural Selection
      Rachel Carson, The Obligation to Endure
      *Karl Popper, Science as Falsification
      *Barry Commoner, The Four Laws of Ecology
      Edward O. Wilson, The Fitness of Human Nature
      *Wangari Maathai, Foresters without Diplomas
      *Vandana Shiva, Soil, Not Oil

      6. Law and Government
      (IMAGE) The Papyrus of Ani 
      Lao Tzu, Tao Te Ching
      Christine de Pizan, The Treasure of the City of Ladies
      Niccolò Machiavelli, The Prince
      *(IMAGE) Abraham Bosse, Frontispiece of Thomas Hobbes's Leviathan
      *James Madison, Memorial and Remonstrance Against Religious Assessments
      Martin Luther King Jr., Letter from Birmingham Jail
      Aung San Suu Kyi, In Quest of Democracy
      Desmond Tutu, Nuremberg or National Amnesia: A Third Way
      Barack Obama, A More Perfect Union

      7. War and Peace
      Mo Tzu, Against Offensive Warfare
      Sun Tzu, The Art of War
      St. Thomas Aquinas, Summa Theologica
      *Erasmus, Against War
      (IMAGE) Eugène Delacroix, Liberty Leading the People
      (IMAGE) Pablo Picasso, Guernica
      Margaret Mead, Warfare: An Invention—Not a Biological Necessity
      George Orwell, Pacifism and the War
      *Marevasei Kachere, War Memoir
      *(IMAGE) Women of World War II Monument
      *Tawakkol Karman, Nobel Lecture

      8. Wealth, Poverty, and Social Class
      *Epictetus, To Those Who Fear Want
      *Po Chü-I, The Flower Market
      New Testament, Luke, Chapter 16
      (IMAGE) William Hogarth, Gin Lane
      Thomas Malthus, An Essay on the Principle of Population
      Mohandas K. Gandhi, Economic and Moral Progress
      (IMAGE) Dorothea Lange, Migrant Mother
      *Simone Weil, Equality
      Octavio Paz, The Day of the Dead
      Garrett Hardin, Lifeboat Ethics: The Case against Helping the Poor
      *Joseph Stiglitz, Rent Seeking and the Making of an Unequal Society

      Part II: A Guide to Reading and Writing

      9. Reading Ideas
      Identifying Patterns
      Reading Visual Texts
      Reading with a Critical Eye

      10. Generating Ideas
      Considering Expectations
      Exploring Your Topic
      Achieving Subtlety

      11. Structuring Ideas
      Thesis Statements

      12. Supporting Ideas
      Supporting Claims with Evidence
      Logos: Appealing to Logic and Reason
      Pathos: Appeals to Emotion
      Ethos: The Writer’s Appeal
      Anticipating Counterarguments

      13. Synthesizing Ideas
      Summarizing Multiple Sources
      Comparing and Contrasting
      Finding Themes and Patterns
      Synthesizing Ideas to Form Your Own Argument

      14. Incorporating Ideas
      Finding Sources
      Evaluating Sources
      Quoting, Paraphrasing, and Summarizing
      Documenting Sources
      Sample Documented Essay (MLA Format)

      15. Revising and Editing

      Revising and Editing Checklist