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Read more about Writing the Nation: A Concise Introduction to American Literature 1865 to Present

Writing the Nation: A Concise Introduction to American Literature 1865 to Present

(23 reviews)

Amy Berke, Middle Georgia State University

Robert Bleil, College of Coastal Georgia

Jordan Cofer, Abraham Baldwin Agricultural College

Copyright Year: 2015

ISBN 13: 9781940771342

Publisher: University of North Georgia Press

Language: English

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Reviewed by Lori Martin, Associate Professor, Pittsburg State University on 1/7/23

The textbook's index is effective and clear. There's a helpful glossary at the end of the textbook, together with "key terms" at the end of the chapters. Textbook covers literary movements, with chapters identifying major movements, expected... read more

Reviewed by Nettie Brooks, Academic Director of Fundamental English and Instructor, Spartanburg Community College on 9/22/22

This textbook provides a comprehensive overview for students taking introductory literature courses of the major literary periods from the Civil War to present. It includes not only poems, short stories, and a few plays, but also biographies of... read more

Reviewed by Amy Getty, Professor of English, Grand View University on 12/28/21

An anthology is always going to disappoint someone -- authors may be represented, but not to the extent someone believes they should, or authors are left out completely due to space issues. That said, I feel that the comprehensiveness of this... read more

Reviewed by Lorna Paone, English Dept. Adjunct, Massasoit Community College on 5/26/21

Yes, the text is comprehensive. It covers American Lit from 1865 to now. The table of contents clearly outlines each chapter and the authors included in that chapter. Each subsection within the chapter contrains one author beginning with author... read more

Reviewed by Alicia Renfroe, Professor, Middle Tennessee State University on 5/4/21

This anthology is an excellent starting point, especially for late 19th and early 20th century American literature, and would work well for a general education American literature survey course; it covers most canonical writers and provides a... read more

Reviewed by Leah Milne, Assistant Professor, University of Indianapolis on 3/2/21

In terms of comprehensiveness, I'm basing my assessment on the following criteria: Time periods and movements within them and a diversity of choices representing numerous types of identity and cultures. In terms of Late Romanticism, any addition... read more

Reviewed by Devon Fulford, Instructor, Colorado State University on 12/29/20

As many others have noted, the most notable drawback about this anthology is the lack of entries from diverse authors (namely writers of color--which are more challenging to locate in an OER format). While it does span American literary movements... read more

Reviewed by Elissa Rust, Instructor of English, Portland Community College on 6/23/20

I did not expect to find a book I wanted to replace my regular anthology with, but this is fantastic. It includes all of the key pieces of literature that I like to cover in my American Lit course and then some. I really appreciate the notes about... read more

Reviewed by Keith Mitchell, Associate Professor f English, University of Massachusetts Lowell on 6/15/20

The book is very comprehensive in scope in that it provides the reader with excellent readings and materials in American literature from Late Romanticism to Postmodernism. However, despite it’s excellence in this regards, I feel that the textbook... read more

Reviewed by Bartholomew Brinkman, Associate Professor, Framingham State University on 6/4/20

As a “concise introduction” to American literature from 1865 to the present, Writing the Nation includes many of the texts and writers one would expect to encounter in a later American literature survey course. There are, however, some significant... read more

Reviewed by Richard Owens, Adjunct Professor of English, Bunker Hill Community College on 6/3/20

Published not long after the monumental and decisively influential Black Lives Matter movement emerged following the 2013 killing of Trayvon Martin in Sanford, Florida and, subsequently, the 2014 killing of Mike Brown in Ferguson, Missouri—both of... read more

Reviewed by Billy Fontenot, Professor, LSUE on 5/1/20

Writing the Nation certainly touches on the major post-Civil War components of American Literature. As an introduction to this period, the text works. However, instructors wanting more selections for a larger breadth of study may not be satisfied.... read more

Reviewed by Justin Felix, Associate Professor of English, Raritan Valley Community College on 3/12/20

Writing the Nation reasonably and efficiently covers key movements and authors frequently taught in American literature survey classes focused on content written exclusively after the Civil War. Many oft-anthologized stories featured here include... read more

Reviewed by Matthew Sutton, Postdoctoral Fellow, East Tennessee State University on 4/26/19

While many of us appreciate the thoroughness and convenience of the standard multi-volume, for-profit anthology (MFPA, for short) in literature courses, we also recognize the rising cost of textbooks and the need to find alternatives for many of... read more

Reviewed by Tabetha Nguyen, English Instructor, University of Arkansas Cossatot on 4/25/19

The textbook Writing the Nation, published 2015, covers most of the well-known writers that would be covered in an American Literature II class or American Literature anthology. It starts with two late Romantic writers and easily moves through to... read more

Reviewed by Jenna Hunnef, Visiting Assistant Professor, College of William & Mary on 12/23/18

As its subtitle suggests, Writing the Nation provides a “concise” comprehensive overview of the American literary canon from the Civil War to the beginning of the twenty-first century and covers such periods and major literary movements as... read more

Reviewed by Bret Maney, Assistant Professor, City University of New York on 5/21/18

Despite bearing “concise” in the title, Writing the Nation is actually a 775-page book (excluding externally hyperlinked files) intended to replace one of the costly standard print anthologies of U.S. literature frequently used in Am Lit survey... read more

Reviewed by Maia Butler, Assistant Professor of African American Literature, University of North Carolina Wilmington on 5/21/18

Writing the Nation: A Concise Introduction to American Literature 1865 to Present is a comprehensive literary anthology that spans the trajectory of the canon, includes commonly anthologized authors, and provides a solid touchstone of introductory... read more

Reviewed by Dana Kinnison, Teaching Professor, University of Missouri on 5/21/18

For a concise anthology, Writing the Nation is comprehensive. It covers the literary periods and major authors/works one would expect to find in an “Introduction to American Literature 1865-Present.” That certainly doesn’t mean it is equivalent to... read more

Reviewed by D. Gilson, Assistant Professor, Texas Tech University on 3/27/18

Writing the Nation: A Concise Introduction to American Literature 1865 to Present provides a very comprehensive guide to contemporary American literature after 1865. Particularly, the editors have taken great care to focus on diversity, both of... read more

Reviewed by Sandy Hudock, Professor, Colorado State University-Pueblo on 2/1/18

The text covers all areas and ideas of the subject appropriately and provides an effective index and/or glossary. Writing the Nation is appropriately subtitled A Concise Introduction to American Literature 1865-Present. It is that. It provides... read more

Reviewed by Kelly Donahue, instructor, Century College on 4/11/17

The text has "concise" in its title, and it is concise. Each of the six chapters is arranged around a literary movement, and starts with learning outcomes and an introduction to the movement. Then all the expected authors are here with a piece or... read more

Reviewed by Vince Gotera, Professor, University of Northern Iowa on 2/15/17

Writing the Nation does an excellent job of presenting the ongoing development of American literature since the Civil War as a cogent narrative, moving through schools of writing such as Realism, Naturalism, Modernism, and so on. A fine example of... read more

Table of Contents

  • Chapter 1: Late Romanticism (1855-1870)
  • Chapter 2: Realism (1865-1890)
  • Chapter 3: Naturalism (1890-1914)
  • Chapter 4: Turn of the Twentieth Century and the Growth of Modernism (1893 - 1914)
  • Chapter 5: Modernism (1914 - 1945)
  • Chapter 6: American Literature Since 1945 (1945 - Present)

Ancillary Material

  • Ancillary materials are available by contacting the author or publisher.
  • About the Book

    Writing the Nation: A Concise Guide to American Literature 1865 to Present is a text that surveys key literary movements and the American authors associated with the movement. Topics include late romanticism, realism, naturalism, modernism, and modern literature.

    About the Contributors


    Dr. Amy Berke is the Chair of Department of English at Middle Georgia State University.

    Robert R. Bleil, PhD is an Assistant Professor of English at College of Coastal Georgia.

    Jordan Cofer is an Assistant Vice President of Academic Affairs, in charge of learning resources, and an associate professor of English at Abraham Baldwin Agricultural College. 

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