8th Edition

American Civilization An Introduction

    468 Pages 99 Color Illustrations
    by Routledge

    468 Pages 99 Color Illustrations
    by Routledge

    The eighth edition of the hugely successful American Civilization offers students the perfect background and introductory information on contemporary American life, examining the central dimensions of American society from geography and the environment to government and politics, religion, education, sports, media and the arts.

    Fully and comprehensively updated throughout with regard to events, processes, attitudes and major figures in society, culture and politics in the United States, this new edition brings the book up to date through:

    • coverage of recent events including the 2020 US election and 2021 presidential inauguration;
    • revised chapters on geography, women and minorities, and the media that incorporate more information on such themes as environmental legislation, the LGBTQ+ community, social media and people, all key themes in the study of American culture and society;
    • the introduction of "topical studies" that connect small case studies to apposite illustrations to highlight key subjects within the field; and
    • the inclusion of more discussion questions that require analysis and the use of evidence to substantiate argumentation to enable students to develop their own essay responses to typical questions that they may be asked.

    Supported by exercises and suggestions for further reading at the end of each chapter, a substantial chronology that covers key events in the history of the United States and a fully integrated companion website (www.routledge.com/cw/mauk), the textbook remains an essential introduction to American civilization, culture and society for American Studies students.

    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


    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).

    Alf Tomas Tønnessen is Associate Professor of English (teaching mainly American Civilization and Didactics) at the University of Agder, Norway, and is the author of How Two Political Entrepreneurs Helped Create the American Conservative Movement, 19731981: The Ideas of Richard Viguerie and Paul Weyrich (2009) and several journal articles and book chapters, including articles in American Studies in Scandinavia (2014, 2015) and Journal of American Studies in South Korea (2015).

    John Oakland is the author of British Civilization (2019, now in its ninth 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.