Rereading America Cultural Contexts for Critical Thinking and Writing (11th Edition)

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AuthorsGary Colombo, Robert Cullen, Bonnie Lisle


In an ever-evolving world, understanding the cultural, social, and historical contexts that shape a society becomes paramount. The 11th edition of “Rereading America: Cultural Contexts for Critical Thinking and Writing” stands as an indispensable resource that encourages readers to delve deep into the intricate fabric of American society. Written by Gary Colombo, Robert Cullen, and Bonnie Lisle, this comprehensive anthology offers a thought-provoking examination of key issues and challenges prevailing in America today. By employing critical thinking and writing skills, readers can navigate through a diverse range of perspectives and gain a deeper understanding of the complexities within their own cultural milieu.

Chapter Summaries

1. The Myth of the Model Family

The opening chapter explores the idealized notion of the American family and dismantles the myth of the traditional nuclear family. It examines the concept of family through the lens of diverse cultural, ethnic, and gender perspectives, inviting readers to question the prevailing norm and understand the impact of societal constructs on individuals.

2. How the Poor Are Made to Pay for Their Poverty

This chapter sheds light on the systemic barriers that perpetuate poverty in America. It explores the ways in which disadvantaged communities are marginalized and forced to bear the burden of economic inequality. By analyzing real-life stories and data, readers gain insight into the structural issues that hinder social mobility and reinforce cycles of poverty.

3. Creating the Color Line

Examining America’s racial history, this chapter delves into the construction and perpetuation of racial hierarchies. It discusses the social, economic, and political forces that shape racial identities, while also exploring the ongoing struggle for racial equality. By analyzing historical and contemporary narratives, readers gain a deeper understanding of the pervasive impact of race on American society.

4. Of Marriage and Single Life

Challenging traditional notions of marriage and singleness, this chapter explores the diverse ways in which individuals form relationships and create families. By highlighting alternative forms of partnerships and family structures, it prompts readers to critically evaluate societal expectations and norms surrounding love, companionship, and personal fulfillment.

5. How We Learn: The Learning Myth

This chapter tackles the dominant educational paradigms and challenges the notion of learning as a standardized process. It encourages readers to critically reflect on the ways in which education can be transformative, emphasizing the importance of individual agency and personalized learning experiences.

6. Re-Reading America: Cultural Contexts for Critical Thinking and Writing

The concluding chapter of the anthology reflects on the broader themes and ideas explored throughout the book. It encourages readers to engage in critical thinking and writing as tools for understanding and navigating the complexities of American society. It reinforces the significance of actively questioning prevailing narratives and encourages readers to take part in shaping a more inclusive and equitable future.

Impact and Relevance

The 11th edition of Rereading America provides a comprehensive examination of the multifaceted issues prevalent in American society. By presenting diverse perspectives, the anthology serves as a catalyst for critical thinking and writing, empowering readers to challenge their own assumptions and prejudices. It creates a platform for meaningful discussions about race, class, gender, and other intersecting identities, fostering a more inclusive and empathetic society.

Furthermore, the book’s emphasis on critical thinking and writing skills makes it a valuable resource for educators and students alike. It equips individuals with the tools necessary to analyze complex issues, engage in evidence-based argumentation, and communicate effectively in a diverse and interconnected world.


Rereading America: Cultural Contexts for Critical Thinking and Writing (11th Edition) is a timely and thought-provoking anthology that challenges readers to delve into the intricacies of American society. By critically examining prevailing narratives and exploring diverse perspectives, readers gain a deeper understanding of the complex issues that shape their lives. In an era where social, cultural, and political landscapes are constantly evolving, this anthology remains an invaluable resource for fostering critical thinking, promoting dialogue, and working towards a more inclusive and equitable future for all.

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