Introducing Shmoop Civics and Shmoop Biography

“You’ll never get anywhere in life.”
— Albert Einstein’s 7th Grade Teacher (TRUE STORY)

Hi from Shmoop 🙂

2008: Year of the Rat.
2009: Year of the Ox.
2010: Year of the Shmoop.

** NEW: Shmoop Civics – Because Civics Is Way Cooler than It Sounds **

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Stuff you’ll think about in Shmoop Civics:

Gun Rights:

 I have the right to defend myself.
                          Guns make the world more violent and dangerous.
       I hate guns, but maybe they are important sometimes.
                    (Did you know Shmoop’s fearless leader has actually been shot?)

Gay Marriage:

                 Everyone should have the right to marry.
  Marriage is between a man and a woman.
           What does marriage mean?
                         (It’s all about the bachelor party)

Affirmative Action:

      Affirmative action is necessary in an unjust society.
                    Affirmative action is discrimination.
        Our society is flawed.
                “Affirmative Action is over. Obama won.” – roughly Stephen Colbert

The Constitution. Law. Politics. Government.

Civics is really about YOU. About US. Who WE want to be as a society. The issues that get us fired up. Abortion. Students’ right to free speech at school. Gay marriage. Immigrant rights. Religious freedom. Stem cell research. Affirmative action. Gun rights. The right to burn a flag.

Where do you stand?

** NEW: Shmoop Biography – The Ultimate VIP Pass. **

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Shmoop lets you dive into the lives and minds of people who shaped the world. James Joyce and Ernest Hemingway picking fights in bars? Did you know George Washington was sterile? Shmoop Biography is brand spankin’ new, and we’re at your service – so, tell us whose life you’d like to explore.

** New Arrivals on Shmoop Literature **
(And You Thought Octomom Had Her Hands Full)

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  • The Aeneid, by Virgil
  • Anthem, by Ayn Rand
  • Arcadia, by Tom Stoppard
  • "Barn Burning," by William Faulkner
  • "The Black Cat," by Edgar Allan Poe
  • "The Diamond as Big as the Ritz," by F. Scott Fitzgerald
  • Fathers and Sons, by Ivan Turgenev
  • Giovanni’s Room, by James Baldwin
  • "For Esmé – with Love and Squalor," by J.D. Salinger
  • Henry IV, Part 1, by William Shakespeare
  • The Iliad, by Homer
  • Kaffir Boy, by Mark Mathabane
  • Love’s Labour’s Lost, by William Shakespeare
  • "The Masque of the Red Death," by Edgar Allan Poe
  • The Metamorphosis, by Franz Kafka
  • The Mill on the Floss, by George Eliot
  • "Murders in the Rue Morgue," by Edgar Allan Poe
  • My Ántonia, by Willa Cather
  • "The Necklace," by Guy de Maupassant
  • Northanger Abbey, by Jane Austen
  • A Passage to India, by E.M. Forster
  • The Picture of Dorian Gray, by Oscar Wilde

  • Raise High the Roof Beam, Carpenters and Seymour: an Introduction, by J.D.

  • Sula, by Toni Morrison
  • Ulysses, by James Joyce
  • The Unbearable Lightness of Being, by Milan Kundera

    ** New Arrivals on Shmoop Poetry **
    (What Could Be Better than a Poem in Your Pocket?)

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  • "Afterwards," by Thomas Hardy
  • "Goblin Market," by Christina Rossetti
  • "Jabberwocky," by Lewis Carroll
  • "Porphyria’s Lover," by Robert Browning
  • "The Sick Rose," by William Blake
  • "Thirteen Ways of Looking at a Blackbird," by Wallace Stevens
  • "This Lime-Tree Bower My Prison," by Samuel Taylor Coleridge
  • New on Shmoop: a “Woolf,” an Albatross, & Pigs

    Pig Out on Our Enhanced Coverage of Animal Farm and the Russian Revolution
    • Based on your requests, we've upgraded our coverage of this classic allegory
    • Find our totally revamped Symbolism and Allegory page – mapping key events from the novel to historical events
    • Check out our deeper character analyses – outlining which characters represented which historical figures
    What Gives with the Saying “Albatross Around the Neck?” Check out Samuel Taylor Coleridge's Classic Poem
    "The Rime of the Ancient Mariner" may be one of the most influential and eerie poems in the English language, but it's a doozy of a confusing read. An old sailor stops a wedding guest and says, essentially, "I know you want to get your drink and your dance on, but now I'm going to tell you a really long story about how I got my entire crew killed and almost died myself because I acted like a jerk while sailing the far reaches of the globe."

    Top 5 Poems on Shmoop for April (National Poetry Month)

    Alas, t’is time to bid National Poetry Month a fond adieu.

    Rather than go all misty-eyed, choked-up, broken-heartedly emo on you, we wanted to mark the end of the month on a celebratory note. Voila, our Poetry Top 5 lists.

    Most Popular Poems on Shmoop for April, 2009

    1. The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock, by T.S. Eliot
    2. The Raven, by Edgar Allan Poe
    3. My Last Duchess, by Robert Browning
    4. Ozymandias, by Percy Bysshe Shelley
    5. Death, be not proud (Holy Sonnet 10), by John Donne

    Most-Searched Poets on Shmoop for April, 2009

    1. Emily Dickinson
    2. Robert Frost
    3. Langston Hughes
    4. John Donne
    5. Walt Whitman

    Fall for any of the 54 Poetry Study Guides in Shmoop Poetry

    Also, remember that today (April 30) is Poem in Your Pocket Day. Read a poem to the people you love. Or want to love. Go get ’em, Tyger.

    New this Week on Shmoop!

    New this Week on Shmoop Literature

    “Bartleby the Scrivener,” by Herman Melville

    “Dr. Heidegger’s Experiment,” by Nathaniel Hawthorne

    An Ideal Husband, by Oscar Wilde

    No Longer At Ease, by Chinua Achebe

    Twelfth Night, by William Shakespeare

    New this Week on Shmoop Poetry

    “Fire and Ice,” by Robert Frost

    “Tintern Abbey,” by William Wordsworth

    “Ulysses” (poem), by Alfred, Lord Tennyson

    “When I Consider How My Light is Spent,” by John Milton

    April is National Poetry Month

    How do we love poetry? Let us count the ways…

    We receive a lot of love from teachers and students for our analysis and coverage of poetry. Students tell us that they are naturally drawn to poetry, but often feel stymied by the difficulty of interpreting and analyzing the subject. Shmoop is here to help.

    There’s really only one reason that poetry has gotten a reputation for being so darned “difficult”: it demands your full attention and won’t settle for less.

    To help teachers and students get more comfortable with poetry, we offer a Shmoop Poetry Primer:

    What would you like to see us add to our Poetry Primer? What are your favorite tips and tricks for teaching and understanding poetry?

    Tackle Fall Finals: 200+ Topics Now on Shmoop

    Hi from Shmoop HQ,

    Snow (in Houston), mean old Mr. Grinch (on television), and ugly sweater parties (everywhere). Oh, yes, it’s December. And that means finals are here, too.

    Sharpen your brain for final exams and papers.

    Shmoop now covers more than 200 topics:

    Shmoop packed on the pounds just in time for finals. Let’s call it our “Freshman 18.”

    New in Shmoop Literature:

    New in Shmoop Poetry:

    Are we missing something on your reading list? Let us know.
    Make some noise in our new feedback forums. Make suggestions. Vote up your faves.

    New this week on Shmoop: Ch-ch-changes

    Hi from Shmoop HQ –

    Change is in the air. We at Shmoop promise you continual change and lots of surprises. We also like to gossip and we’ve got some juicy news for you.

    We announced our launch (drumroll, please)

    + We just announced our launch on Nov. 11 (so we could share our special day with Vonnegut’s and Dostoyevsky’s birthdays, while saluting our vets).

    + See our press release and links to our news coverage at the Shmoop Dept. of Propaganda

    We Opened our Blog – “Much Ado About Shmooping

    + Check out updates, musings, and daily pieces of brain candy. Leave us comments, and let us know what you’d like to see us do with our Blog.

    + Our opening salvo is the “Shmoop Students’ Bill of Rights

    Hitting the Road with Student Journalists

    + Ellen Siminoff (our CEO) was the keynote speaker at the recent Associated College Press national conference in Kansas City. Highlights included great BBQ and making lots of new friends. We’ve posted Ellen’s keynote presentation online.

    + Shmoop will be at the JEA/NSPA (high school media national conference) this weekend in St. Louis. Shmoop’s own Brady Wood will present a talk on student media Friday at 11am. Come by and say hello!

    New Content on Shmoop

    Trifecta! With the Addition of Dante’s Paradiso, We’ve Shmooped the Complete Divine Comedy
    + Inferno, by Dante
    + Purgatorio, by Dante
    + Paradiso, by Dante

    Also New this Week in Shmoop Literature:
    + Catch-22, by Joseph Heller
    + Tess of the D’Ubervilles, by Thomas Hardy
    + The Lady with the Dog, a short story by Anton Chekhov
    + The Lottery, a short story by Shirley Jackson
    + House of Mirth, by Edith Wharton
    + The Flies, a play by Jean-Paul Sartre
    + Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Dead, a play by Tom Stoppard

    New in Shmoop Poetry:
    + We Real Cool, by Gwendolyn Brooks
    + Kubla Khan, by Samuel Taylor Coleridge
    + Dulce et Decorum Est, by Wilfred Owen
    New in Shmoop U.S. History:
    Are we missing something on your reading list?
    + Hit Up Our Request Line