American Civilization : An Introduction book cover
7th Edition

American Civilization
An Introduction

ISBN 9781138631724
Published October 20, 2017 by Routledge
466 Pages

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Book Description

The hugely successful American Civilization provides students of American Studies with the perfect background and introductory information on contemporary American life, examining the central dimensions of American society from geography and the environment, government and politics, to religion, education, sports, media and the arts. Fully updated throughout, the seventh edition:

  • covers recent events including the 2016 US election and 2017 presidential inauguration
  • contains new commentary on key themes such as terrorist incidents and their effects on the national mood regarding immigration, rapidly changing energy politics, police racial profiling and the Black Lives Matter movement, and progress in legislation protecting the rights of the LGBT community
  • covers all core American Studies topics at introductory level and contains essential historical background for American Studies students in the twenty-first century
  • analyzes issues of gender, class, race, and minorities in America’s cosmopolitan population
  • is accompanied by a fully updated and integrated companion website ( featuring an interactive timeline, quiz questions, extensive references for further reading, links to key primary sources and advice for students on how to approach essay questions.

Containing questions and terms for discussion, bibliographical references and websites at the end of each chapter and a new selection of color illustrations and case studies, this textbook is an essential resource for all students of American civilization, culture and society.

Table of Contents

Plates. Figures. Tables. Preface and acknowledgements. Chronology of significant dates in American history  1. The American context  2. The country  3. The people: settlement and immigration  4. The people: women and minorities  5. Religious culture  6. Political institutions: the federal government  7. Political institutions: state and local government  8. Foreign policy  9. The legal system  10. The economy  11. Social services  12. Education  13. The media  14. Arts, sports and leisure cultures.  Appendices. Index.

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David Mauk is Professor Emeritus of North American Area Studies at the University of Oslo, Norway and is the author of The Colony that Rose from the Sea: Norwegian Maritime Migration and Community in Brooklyn (1997) and many articles on American politics, immigration and ethnicity, including chapters in E Pluribus Unum or E Pluribus Plura? Unity and Diversity in American Culture (2011), Norwegian American Women (2011), and Norwegian-American Essays (2014, 2015).

John Oakland is the author of British Civilization (2015, now in its eighth edition), Irish Civilization (2012, with Arthur Aughey), Contemporary Britain (2001) and British Civilization: A Student’s Dictionary (2003, second edition). He is a former Associate Professor in English at the Norwegian University of Science and Technology.


"Instead of offering a confusing chronology like many traditional textbooks, American Civilization takes a thematic approach that puts core concepts into an accessible context for contemporary audiences, dissecting American history, politics and culture for an international audience."

Dave van Ginhoven, The Hague University of Applied Sciences, The Netherlands