The Best American Essays 2012 (2020)

The Best American Essays 2012 Robert Atwan DavidBrooks The Best American Essays The Best American Series First Best and Best SellingThe Best American series is the premier annual showcase for the country s finest short fiction and nonfiction Each volume s series editor selects
  • Title: The Best American Essays 2012
  • Author: Robert Atwan DavidBrooks
  • ISBN: 9780547840093
  • Page: 169
  • Format: Paperback
The Best American Essays 2012 Robert Atwan DavidBrooks The Best American Series First, Best, and Best SellingThe Best American series is the premier annual showcase for the country s finest short fiction and nonfiction Each volume s series editor selects notable works from hundreds of magazines, journals, and websites A special guest editor, a leading writer in the field, then chooses the best twenty or so pieces to publish.The Best American Series First, Best, and Best SellingThe Best American series is the premier annual showcase for the country s finest short fiction and nonfiction Each volume s series editor selects notable works from hundreds of magazines, journals, and websites A special guest editor, a leading writer in the field, then chooses the best twenty or so pieces to publish This unique system has made the Best American series the most respected and most popular of its kind.The Best American Essays 2012 includesMarcia Angell, Miah Arnold, Mark Doty, Joseph Epstein, Jonathan Franzen,Malcolm Gladwell, Francine Prose, Lauren Slater,Sandra Tsing Loh, Jose Antonio Vargas, and others
The Best American Essays 2012 Robert Atwan DavidBrooks

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One thought on “The Best American Essays 2012

  1. Maureen Stanton

    Annoyed that David Brooks was the guest editor he is not an essayist, not a great writer, just a pundit, a columnist So I was not surprised to find that many of these pieces are not essays at all, but magazine features They are good and informative as magazine journalism, but not essays There are a few strong essays however, namely David Lawless My Father My Husband heartbreaking, affecting, and interesting choices for narrative structure will teach this essay , and the final two pieces, Outlaw [...]

  2. Anthony

    This is the first time I revisited Best American Essays since the 2009 edition and I think I am going to have to check this series out perennially The essays cover a variety of topics often flying just below the radar In this edition as in the last one I read a lot of the essays slant towards a few themes likely to the the interests of the guest editor I ll take it essay by essay 1 The Foul Reign of Self Reliance Benjamin Anastas This is an alternate look at Ralph Waldo Emerson s definition of s [...]

  3. Andrew Bertaina

    Per usual, let s do this by the individual essays as opposed to the collective It s probably a step below 2011 and perhaps a step above the 2010 Anyhow, the best american essays are always worth a look.This particular iteration is notable for its introduction, a slight shot at the creative writing model and a call to good old time essaying, and its lack of duds Not everything is exceptional, but they are often quite good In particular Order High 1 Duh Boring An essay on boredom It saddens me dee [...]

  4. Natalie

    I really loved last year s Best American Essays, and used it as my classroom reader for two semesters Students connected to those essays, saw what writing could be, and were almost never disappointed on the whole I could never use BAE 2012 in my classroom Many of the essays were overly cerebral many downright boring and, I have to say it, a little snotty The introduction itself was a little snobbish, with David Brooks talking about all the essays he was forced to wade through in order to find th [...]

  5. Alan

    I bought the Kindle edition from for 1.99 and read it on my iPad, which was great Though conservative pundit David Brooks was a guest editor, there was nothing conservative about the choices or content of these essays All the essays were worth reading but 10 or so were truly outstanding For example, one essay explored how Emerson s discussions of self reliance have influenced the anti social attitudes of people today was interesting but the next one, a book review that examined how drugs used by [...]

  6. Georgiana

    Benjamin Anastas The Foul Reign of Self Reliance 1 Marcia Angell The Crazy State of Psychiatry 5 Miah Arnold You Owe Me 5 Geoffrey Bent Edward Hopper and the Geometry of Despair 1 Robert Boyers A Beauty 2 Dudley Clendinen The Good Short Life 4 Paul Collins Vanishing Act 3 Mark Doty Insatiable 2 Mark Edmundson Who Are You and What Are You Doing Here 4 Joseph Epstein Duh, Bor ing 3 Jonathan Franzen Farther Away 5 Malcom Gladwell Creation Myth 4 Peter Hessler Dr Don 4 Ewa Hryniewicz Yarbrough Objec [...]

  7. Suzanne

    Simply putquired reading Only two essays failed to snag me completely The Crazy State of Psychiatry was a little too technical for my taste My eyes tend to glaze when faced with too many statistics Also, as an avid fan of my own antidepressant, perhaps it hit a little too close to home Likewise, I found Humanism a bit of a chore to get through, so I read it kind of like I read Tess of the D Ubervilles in high school Meaning I looked at the words, turned the pages, and thought about what I was go [...]

  8. N

    In his introduction, editor David Brooks writes, I tried to pick the essays that will be useful to you In this, he was successful Every essay in this anthology and in terms of subject matter, this is a diverse lot offered something worthwhile to ponder Every selected essayist is clearly an active thinker with something to say, and each says it well an aside Joseph Epstein s Duh, Bor ing was coincidentally the one essay I ve read of his that didn t bore me.As a creative writer, I must also note t [...]

  9. Tovah

    The Best American Essays relies heavily on the curator of the collection s preferences Atwan tended towards the literary review with the personal twist or the scientific spotlight Of the 24 essays collected, only five were by women and eight were from publications that had the proper noun New York in the title I was surprised how many I had read already in their original iterations five I was surprised to find I had already read five of these essays in their original iteration This had not been [...]

  10. Sohum

    For the most part, an aggressively mediocre, uninteresting collection I enjoyed some essays, but they were the exception, not the rule I blame David Brooks, a conservative pundit, rather than a writer of much worth.

  11. Art

    February 2015, update RadioLab this week aired How Doctors Die, which first appeared as an eye opening essay a few years ago Ken Murray, a physician, wrote the piece He and others discuss why many doctors will accept pain management but not much elsewhen their time comes radiolab story bitter Murray s essay appeared in this Best American anthology after it published here zocalopublicsquare 201January 2013, original comments My favorite annual book series A third of the essays seven of twenty fou [...]

  12. Patrizia

    Every year, I read two collections The Best American Short Stories and the Best American Essays I love short stories and essays, but over the years have evolved into too much of an intellectual magpie to track them down myself It s like the difference between walking down a street and visiting a museum, I suppose If I run across something in a magazine, I scan it if it s something in bound covers in front of me, I read every word The curation process loans gravitas somehow.This year s Best Ameri [...]

  13. Rachel Rueckert

    This was a really great anthology I read it for content but also for models for essay writing My overarching takeaway from this collection is that the essay form can break the general creative writing rule of show don t tell and the single, almost short story like template some beginners fall into Not all essays follow that structure The essay was traditionally written on topics, and what made them and continues to make them distinct Reflection Intro pg IX My Favorite Essays I Recommend from thi [...]

  14. Timons Esaias

    I love these Best American Essay collections, which are reliably full of good writing, and generally quite diverse in topic and style.The previous year s collection, as I noted in my Livejournal review, was edited by a woman of color, and had a 54% female authorship, and a 37% ish writer of color authorship Here we re back to the typical 25% female and 12% color with a white male making the choices Hmmm.While Mr Brooks complains a bit about the dominance of Death especially Death of Parents , I [...]

  15. Susan

    These 24 essays cover the waterfront, downtown, uptown and outer space with topics ranging from the effect of Emerson s philosophy on the American psyche, the art of Edward Hopper, teaching high school in a rural community, dark matter and theory of a multiverse, diagnosis and treatment of mental illness, obstacles to innovation at American companies, and a visit to a remote Pacific island by a writer and enthusiastic birder Reading this book was a mind stretching experience If I had to pick a f [...]

  16. Alison

    The collection is definitely worth reading for the following essays, or at least these were MY personal faves, as I found them to be quite moving Marcia Agnell s The Crazy State of Psychiatry which, btw, I read immediately after having finished the memoir Marbles Scary Very scary Miah Arnold You Owe Me Mark Edmundson Who Are You and What Are You Doing Here Jonathan Franzen, Father AwayPeter Hessler, Dr DonGarret Keizer, Getting SchooledDavid J Lawless, My Father My Husband I bought the Kindle ve [...]

  17. Bill Glose

    All of the works in this collection are erudite and full of speculation on the human condition, which makes this book a thought provoking read and a helpful tool for non fiction writers that will expand your mind and you reflect on what you ve just read My only qualm is that I don t consider some of the material to be essays, which wouldn t be a problem if not for the misleading title One example, a wonderful article titled Dr Don, is a profile story of a rural doctor s life and his impact on th [...]

  18. Elisabeth

    Some years I like the collection than others These are the essays I liked the most The State of Psychiatry, about how treatment went from learning how to copy to take a pill was spot on You Owe Me, written by a teacher who teaches terminal children at a hospital was uplifting but also sad The Good Short Life, about coming to terms with a terminal illness was good My Father My Husband, about the conversations between a man and his wife who has Alzheimer s, was poignant How Doctors Die, about how [...]

  19. Bruce

    Another great collection Although all of the individual essay were top notch, some hit me than others I especially liked The Crazy State of Psychiatry , about how people are over medicated and the problems it creates It leads to a later essay called Killing My Body to Save My Mind, which is a personal account of one patient who comes to live with some of the side effects of this phenomena The Good Short Life, about a man who is told he has ALS is very touching Who are you and The Creation Myth [...]

  20. Vince Darcangelo

    David Brooks, as expected, compiled a thoughtful and engaging selection of essays.Faves Miah Arnold You Owe Me Dudley Clendinen The Good Short Life But we don t talk about how to die We act as if facing death weren t one of life s greatest, most absorbing thrills and challenges Believe me, it is This is not dull Mark Edmundson Who Are You and What Are You Doing Here In reading, I continue to look for one thing to be influenced, to learn something new, to be thrown off my course and onto another, [...]

  21. Anie

    I m not sure why this volume doesn t seem to be as favored by reviewers as last year s I found this set of essays infinitely interesting Yes, there is a journalistic bent to some of them in that they discuss policy topics and facts however, I fail to see how talking about policy topics relevant to current readers makes something not an essay There s a heavy focus on education and healthcare, which I enjoyed quite a bit although I certainly didn t agree with all of the viewpoints hello, the anth [...]

  22. Mariana

    Americans are always good at writing essays and this is no exception But, what exactly called my attention here was the main themes presented at those essays Among a broad variety, you can see the repetition of themes like suffering from diseases, bodily and mentally and some criticism over new technologies and how they make us lonely, how they are limited and etc I think this is a good book to have like a thermometer of what is been judged important to discuss at some moment or something that [...]

  23. Kevin Tudish

    I love reading essays I enjoy seeing someone investigate a subject without taking the oblique approach of fiction Not to disparage being oblique I do a lot of that in my own work but I like to see how other people approach directly, by way of reason than intuition Watch someone else do something I can t, like hit a high C, or run the 100 in under 10 seconds When I see someone excel at something with which I m familiar, there s an appreciation of the achievement, a sympathetic thrill but when I [...]

  24. Janet

    I gave this book five stars even though I didn t finish a couple of the essays Even if I didn t like them, they were worthy selections.My favorite in this year s collection was Mark Doty s Insatiable, in which he writes of the new to me connection between Walt Whitman and Bram Stoker, and includes insights from his own life.Miah Arnold s You Owe Me is a heartbreaking account of teaching English and poetry to kids undergoing cancer treatment.Ken Murray s How Doctors Die should be required reading [...]

  25. cj

    Via David Foster Wallace, I am newly enad with essays as something to read for pleasure There s some cracking ones in here I was disappointed to thumb through this and realise I d read them all I ve never read one of these collections before, but there s something really enriching and fun about reading a bunch of essays about a bunch of different stuff you hadn t necessarily thought about or known about before My favourites are the one about people Dr Don A Beauty , but I like the Emerson take d [...]

  26. Karina

    I was afraid David Brooks would skew things to the right, but no A wide sampling of some of our best minds I especially loved Jonathan Franzen s essay, Further Away, about so many things the death of David Foster Wallace and the origins of the novel and birding and traveling to one of the most remote places on earth Also amazing are Paul Collins essay on the tragic story of a successful child author in the 1920s, and Miah Arnold s piece on teaching writing to children with cancer And I want all [...]

  27. Sherry

    I thought this book was really great I perused it at the library while my kids were messing around on the computer and ended up bringing it home to read of the essays I caught up on so much reading in different areas I don t have time to do any It was nice to have them collected in all one volume and not have to track down all of the periodicals and websites they came from Great series I liked it so much that when I returned it to the library, I picked up an earlier volume and am now reading th [...]

  28. Whitney Archibald

    I love reading these collections I always adore a few, skip a few, and learn something from most Great writing on interesting topics.I especially liked You Owe Me A woman teaches writing to pediatric cancer patientsThe Bitch Is Back Funny frightening glimpse into menopauseWho Are You and What Are You Doing Here How and why to take charge of your own educationGetting Schooled A teacher comes out of retirement to teach againHow Doctors Die and The Good Short LIfe Both about end of life decisions

  29. Killstorm

    A good varied collection of essays The topics include Self RelianceOveruse of drugs in psychiatric care a fav Teaching children with cancer to writeEdward HopperBeautyALSDisappearance of a child prodigyBram Stoker Walt Whitman sexuality and vampiresThe real purpose of a college education a fav boredomRobinson Crusoe and rise of the novelcreationeducation in a small town fav alzheimer s fav theoretical physicsmenopausea death of quality fav feminismhumanismdrug side effectsillegal immigrant fav A [...]

  30. Jen Hirt

    Favorites in this edition Marcia Angell s Crazy State of Psychiatry, one of a handful of notable essays of late which have sought to explain the problems with our for profit health care system Mark Doty s Insatiable, which tempers confession with literary investigation Garrett Keizer s Getting Schooled, parts of which I read out loud to professors in my life and Josa Antonio Vargas Outlaw, which I hope to use in upcoming classes due to what it reveals about immigration, memoir, and working in an [...]

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