The managing editor of Scribner's Magazine gives readers the benefit of his practical experience in a book that should be required reading in every short story course the country over. An introduction explains that his selection is based on his ideals of permanent value in prose fiction. A brief historical background of the short story form -- an analysis of fundamental critical approach. The appendix lists additional short stories. Emphasis on American authors, as he states that the short story form is peculiarly American. The collection is not stereotyped, many stories of well known writers, but not the ""obvious"" ones. Running commentary of interest to students.