Civically Engaged Reader

Adam Davis & Elizabeth Lynn. The Great Books Foundation, 2006.

The Civically Engaged Reader features more than forty short readings on associating, serving, giving and leading. These selections invite and provoke reflection on civic activities and is a go-to resource for service programs, volunteer groups, high school and college classrooms, and civic engagement and service-learning endeavors. In addition to the 40 readings, the anthology contains discussion questions and tips for making reflective discussion meaningful.

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Table of Contents


  • Politics (excerpt), Aristotle
  • Waiting for the Barbarians, Constantine Cavafy
  • I Shall Not Beg for My Rights, Henry MacNeal Turner
  • The Boy Without a Flag, Abraham Rodriguez Jr.
  • They'll Say, "She Must Be from Another Country", Imtiaz Dharker
  • Fellowship, Franz Kafka
  • Earliest Impressions, Jane Addams
  • He Sits Down on the Floor of a School for the Retarded, Alden Nowlan
  • The Theory of Moral Sentiments (excerpt) Adam Smith
  • Democracy in America (excerpt), Alexis de Tocqueville
  • The Souls of Black Folk (excerpt), W. E. B. Du Bois
  • Theme for English B, Langston Hughes
  • Recitatif, Toni Morrison
  • Mending Wall, Robert Frost


  • Luella Miller, Mary E. Wilkins Freeman
  • Dry Dock, Margaret Sutherland
  • Saving the Crippled Boy, Jan Beatty
  • The Eleventh, Henri Barbusse
  • The Moral Equivalent of War, William James
  • The Subjective Necessity of Social Settlements, Jane Addams
  • The Drum Major Instinct, Martin Luther King Jr.
  • The Book of Ruth
  • Specimen Days (excerpt), Walt Whitman
  • The Lovers of the Poor, Gwendolyn Brooks
  • What We Don't Talk About When We Don't Talk About Service, Adam Davis


  • Where Were We, Dave Eggers
  • The Reveries of the Solitary Walker (excerpt), Jean-Jacques Rousseau
  • The Sweetness of Charity, Maya Angelou
  • The Lamb and the Pinecone, Pablo Neruda
  • The Gospel of Wealth, Part I, Andrew Carnegie
  • Self-Reliance (excerpt), Ralph Waldo Emerson
  • Compassion: The Wish-Fulfilling Jewel, Sogyal Rinpoche
  • A Bed for the Night, Bertolt Brecht
  • Four Traditions of Philanthropy, Elizabeth Lynn and D. Susan Wisely
  • Mishneh Torah*
  • If All Who Have Begged Help, Anna Akhmatova


  • The Wife of His Youth, Charles Waddell Chesnutt
  • II Samuel, Chapters 11-12
  • The Destructors, Graham Greene
  • The Helmsman, Franz Kafka
  • The Lesson, Toni Cade Bambara
  • The Use of Force, William Carlos Williams
  • The Autobiography of Benjamin Franklin (excerpt), Benjamin Franklin
  • The Ones Who Walk Away from Omelas, Ursula K. Le Guin
  • The History Teacher, Billy Collins
  • Second Inaugural Address, Abraham Lincoln
  • The Minister's Black Veil, Nathaniel Hawthorne