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Cover of The American Paradox: A History of the United States Since 1945 v4.0
February 2018
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The American Paradox: A History of the United States Since 1945

Version 4.0
By Steven M. Gillon

Included Supplements

Key Features

  • 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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Online Access Price:  $33.95 Color Printed Textbook with Online Access Price:  $60.95
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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
Instructor’s Manual

Instructor’s Manual

The Instructor’s Manual guides you through the main concepts of each chapter and important elements such as learning objectives, key terms, and key takeaways. Can include answers to chapter exercises, group activity suggestions, and discussion questions.

Instructor’s Manual

PowerPoint Lecture Notes

PowerPoint Lecture Notes

A PowerPoint presentation highlighting key learning objectives and the main concepts for each chapter are available for you to use in your classroom. You can either cut and paste sections or use the presentation as a whole.

PowerPoint Lecture Notes

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Steven M. Gillon University of Oklahoma-Norman Campus

Steven M. Gillon is the Scholar-in-Residence at HISTORY and Professor of History at the University of Oklahoma.

Steven Gillon (PhD Brown University) received his BA in History from Widener University where he graduated summa cum laude with honors in History. He was named the recipient of the Faculty Prize for maintaining the highest undergraduate GPA. He went on to earn his AM and PhD in American Civilization from Brown University where he was elected to Phi Beta Kappa. After receiving his PhD, Steve 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 at the invitation of the president of the University of Oklahoma to become the founding dean of a new Honors College.

Steve is one of the nation's leading experts on modern American history and politics. He has written or edited nearly a dozen books including Separate and Unequal: The Kerner Commission and the Unraveling of American Liberalism (Basic, 2018) and the New York Times bestseller, The Pact: Bill Clinton, Newt Gingrich, and the Rivalry that Defined a Generation (Oxford, 2008). Among his many other books are: America’s Reluctant Prince: The Life of John F. Kennedy, Jr. (Penguin USA 2019); Pearl Harbor: FDR Leads the Nation into War (Basic, 2011); 10 Days that Unexpectedly Changed America (Three Rivers, 2006); Boomer Nation: The Largest and Richest Generation and How it Changed America (Free Press, 2004); 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).

Steve's articles have appeared in both academic journals and popular newspapers, including the Los Angeles TimesNew York Daily NewsWashington PostChicago Tribune, and Boston Globe. He has been 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, Steve has hosted a number of shows on HISTORY, including the network's flagship public affairs program, HistoryCenter. He has also hosted Our GenerationHistory vs. Hollywood, and Movies in Time. His last three books have been turned into prime-time documentaries on the network.

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