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.

chapter Chapter 1|27 pages

The American context

chapter Chapter 2|28 pages

The country

chapter Chapter 3|25 pages

The people

Settlement and immigration

chapter Chapter 4|40 pages

The people

Women and minorities

chapter Chapter 5|29 pages

Religious culture

chapter Chapter 6|38 pages

Political institutions

The federal government

chapter Chapter 7|19 pages

Political institutions

State and local government

chapter Chapter 8|31 pages

Foreign policy

chapter Chapter 9|27 pages

The legal system

chapter Chapter 10|29 pages

The economy

chapter Chapter 11|25 pages

Social services

chapter Chapter 12|29 pages


chapter Chapter 13|27 pages

The media

chapter Chapter 14|26 pages

Arts, sports and leisure cultures