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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.