Contemporary American Society
By David Nye
285 pages, Illustrated, 6 ¾" x 9 ½"
$115.00 Paper Original
The United States is in the midst of far-reaching changes that no one could have anticipated just after the 2000 election, when the previous edition of this work was completed. This edition now takes into account the end of the "new economy," the many repercussions of the terrorist attacks of September 11th, 2001, the war in Afghanistan, the 2003 invasion of Iraq, and statistics from the 2000 census.
There are now two chapters on Politics instead of one, and the chapter on foreign affairs has also been expanded. Students and teachers will find an entirely new section at the back of the book, consisting of questions related to each chapter that may be useful as guides to review or as the basis for class discussion. All and all, this is the most extensive revision to date. The intended readers are undergraduates at European business schools and universities. As before, this volume outlines the nation's geography, population, politics, economic organization, class structure, racial divisions, religion, social services, and educational system, and closes by discussing to what extent we can speak of a national character.
Chapters may be read independently, but there is a logic underlying the book. It begins with the relationship between the United States and Europe, and then sketches the growth of the population, to help clarify how different the multi-racial United States is from many other nations. Basic geography follows, because while students have seen many places in films or read about them in books, the often do not know where they are. With this background, it is easier to understand the political system, since the system of representation is based on geography and inflected by racial and ethnic differences.
Domestic politics provides the framework needed to understand foreign affairs and the economic system. Economics leads to a discussion of class, race, and gender. All of these early chapters help the student to understand the subjects of the final chapters: the media, religion, welfare, and American values. The book is both a survey and a general essay on the condition of the United States at the beginning of a new millennium.
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