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The American Paradox: A History of the United States Since 1945

Steven M. Gillon
February 2018
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This textbook is suitable for the following courses: American History Since 1945.

The American Paradox takes a comprehensive, nonpartisan approach to understanding the major events and social movements in American history since 1945. Throughout the text, Gillon focuses on the central contradiction of postwar politics and society: Americans expect their government to solve major social problems, but they retain a fear of federal power. Gillon uses politics and culture to serve as the building blocks for the narrative as he helps students continue to find connections between the past and present, so that they can better understand how the story of post-45 U.S. history is a tale of both unity and division—a uniquely American paradox.

New in This Version:
  • Revised discussion of the Kennedy assassination
  • An extensive treatment of the significance of the 2008 presidential election
  • Full coverage of the Obama Administration
  • Discussion of the factors that contributed to the results of the 2016 election cycle and the election of President Donald Trump
  • Revised discussion of immigration and its impact on America’s evolving racial identity
  • The rise of ecommerce and social media and how those technologies are shaping modern America
  • New coverage of marriage equality, the impact of the #MeToo movement, the emergence of Black Lives Matter, and the relevant but often undiscussed topic of the obesity epidemic in America
  • New primary source selections
  • Full-color and revised maps and figures for greater accuracy
  • Embedded video content throughout the online version
  • Customizable

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Steven M. Gillon University of Oklahoma-Norman Campus

Steven M. Gillon received his Ph.D. in American Civilization from Brown University where he was elected to Phi Beta Kappa. After receiving his Ph.D., Professor Gillon spent nine years teaching history at Yale University where he won the prestigious DeVane Medal for outstanding undergraduate teaching. In 1994, he accepted a position as University Lecturer in Modern History at Oxford University. Three years later, he returned to the United States to become the founding dean of a new Honors College at the University of Oklahoma. Professor Gillon is one of the nation's leading experts on modern American history and politics. He has written or edited nearly a dozen books including The New York Times e-book bestseller, The Pact: Bill Clinton, Newt Gingrich, and the Rivalry that Defined a Generation (Oxford 2008). Among his many other books are: Separate and Unequal: The Kerner Commission and the Unraveling of American Liberalism (Basic Books 2018); Boomer Nation: The Largest and Richest Generation and How it Changed America (Free Press 2004); 10 Days that Unexpectedly Changed America (Three Rivers 2006); Pearl Harbor: FDR Leads the Nation into War(Basic 2011); That’s Not What We Meant to Do: Reform and Its Unintended Consequences in Twentieth-Century America (W.W. Norton, 2000); The Democrats' Dilemma: Walter F. Mondale and the Liberal Legacy (Columbia University, 1992); and Politics and Vision: The ADA and American Liberalism, 1947-1985 (Oxford 1987). Professor Gillon’s articles have appeared in both academic journals and popular newspapers, including the Los Angeles Times, New York Daily News, Chicago Tribune, and Boston Globe. He is a frequent contributor to the Huffington Post. He has made appearances on NBC’s Today Show, ABC’s Good Morning America, CNN, MSNBC, and Fox News as a commentator and expert on issues related to modern American history. Over the past decade, Professor Gillon has hosted a number of shows on The History Channel, including the network's flagship public affairs program, History Center. He has also hosted Our Generation, History vs. Hollywood, and Movies in Time. His last three books have been turned into prime time documentaries on the network: The Kennedy Assassination 24 Hours After, Pearl Harbor: 24 Hours After, and Lee Harvey Oswald: 48 Hours to Live.
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