Framed by historic developments—from the Open Admissions movement of the 1960s and 1970s to the attacks on remediation that intensified in the 1990s and beyond, Basic Writing traces the arc of these large social and cultural forces as they have shaped and reshaped the field. George Otte and Rebecca Williams Mlynarczyk balance fidelity to the past with present relevance, local concerns with (presumptively) global knowledge, personal judgment with (apparent) objectivity. Basic Writing circles back on the same general story, looking for different themes or seeing the same themes from different perspectives. What emerges is a gestalt of basic writing that will give readers interested in its history, self definition, pedagogy, or research a sense of the important trends and patterns. Otte and Mlynarczyk make research trajectories clear without oversimplifying them or denying the undeniable blurring, dissensus, and differential development that characterizes the field.