Hiram College

What better way to connect new students than through a common book?

Each year, a faculty committee selects a new Common Reading book that aligns with the year’s Ethics theme.  An electronic copy of the book will be loaded onto student iPads and will be an integral part of classwork during Institute class sessions. The book is then incorporated into First Year Colloquium and Writing Seminar courses.

A Common Reading experience is often seen as a great way for new students to embark upon the intellectual challenges of the college experience. A

The 2019-2020 Ethics Theme is (In)equality.  The 2019-2020 Common Reading is 

Tales from Two Americas: Stories Of Inequality in a Divided Nation

 edited by John Freeman.

In Tales of Two Americas, thirty-six of America’s best-known writers explore the profound and growing inequalities in America. More than a simple examination of statistics and trends, the essays, poems, and tales collected and edited by John Freeman give life to the stories behind the statistics, exploring inequality and injustice through a personal and intimate lens. The selections in this powerful anthology span the country from coast to coast, from rural to urban, exploring the impact of entrenched racism, the widening gap between rich and poor, and the war on drugs and opioid epidemic, among other issues.

The Minneapolis Star-Tribune raves, “The anthology examines what Freeman describes as ‘a lurking feeling of displacement in America,’ through thoughtfully arranged reflections on the way so many of us feel disconnected from ourselves, from others and from place.” Kirkus calls Tales of Two Americas “A penetrating multidisciplinary collection attacking today’s social fissures of privilege and inequality.” Reading Tales of Two Americas will make you rethink the American Dream and help you to understand the complexity of inequality in America.






List of Previous Common Readings