Underneath the Melting Pot

Melting under conditions of extreme heat is only undertaken with considerable suffering and loss, but generations of white Americans have felt the loss of forgetting to be worth it, if not a little bit because they would rather be what is melted than the pot.

What Common and Enslaved Poet George Moses Horton Shared

Who was George Moses Horton? I suspect that he was someone like Common, who would dance and gesture when he composed.

Essay of the Month: “The Modern Essay”

Of all forms of literature, however, the essay is the one which least calls for the use of long words. The principle which controls it is simply that it should give pleasure; the desire which impels us when we take it from the shelf is simply to receive pleasure. Everything in an essay must be subdued to that end.


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The Common Reader, a publication of Washington University in St. Louis, offers the best in reviews, articles and creative non-fiction engaging the essential debates and issues of our time.

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