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Reclusive Writer J.D. Salinger

While J.D. Salinger still receives acclaim for his novel The Catcher in the Rye, few Americans know about the regret he felt after writing it. The Catcher in the Rye was a huge success for the aspiring writer, but that fame came at a price. A new biography and accompanying documentary explore Salinger’s life and the experiences that inspired him to write as well as those that led him to desire a more private existence. Listen to learn more about J.D. Salinger’s life, the effect The Catcher in the Rye had on him and on America, and the release of previously unpublished works that may shed new light on this reclusive American author.


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Story Length: 9:11

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Listening Comprehension Questions

  • In what ways did Andrew Carnegie’s libraries serve their communities?
  • How did Carnegie benefit from a library when he was growing up?
  • Which personality traits helped propel Carnegie from poverty to riches? Bring specific details from the story to support your ideas.
  • According to Carnegie, what should rich people do with their money and why? Why was Carnegie known as both generous and “brutal”?

Discussion Themes

  • In your opinion, what should really rich people do with their fortunes?
  • What does it take for a person to rise from “rags to riches”?

Socrative users can import these questions using the following code: SOC-1234

Listening Organizers

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  • Deeper Meaning Chart