The title of Nathaniel Philbrick’s slim new meditation foregrounds the questions at the heart of every assignment made by every English teacher: Why read this book? Or that book? For that matter, why do we assign reading in the first place?
Once upon a time, there was a large, wealthy and powerful country that wanted to help a smaller, struggling, powerless country find a pathway into a more stable, democratic, freedom-loving and civilized future.
To commemorate the 100-year anniversary of Mark Twain's death, a crack team of editors at the massive Mark Twain Project at the University of California-Berkeley, headed by Harriet Elinor Smith, has produced the first of three volumes of the definitive Autobiography of Mark Twain. It quickly rose to the top of the best-seller lists.