The American Civilizing Process
October 2007, Polity
This price is valid for United States. Change location to view local pricing and availability.
Theory and Society
"All in all, this is a book full of treasures that I would recommend unreservedly."
Farhad Dalal, Group Analysis
"[A] work of immense scope, insight and erudition by a major figure in sociology."
Andrew Linklater, International Affairs
"What makes Mennell's book exceptional is its theoretical framework building on the elaborate theory of civilizing processes developed by Norbert Elias (1897-1990), who elaborated his theory on European state-formation processes."
Internationale Politik und Gesellschaft
Irish Journal of American Studies
"Mennell has robustly put the American processes of civilization through the demands of Elias-ian analysis."
"A very fine book indeed: a triumphant vindication of the capacity of Elias's thesis to illuminate huge tracts of American history and at the same time a highly original and independent work which never follows the master slavishly but maintains its intellectual independence, recognising the difficulties which Elias's theories sometimes raise, and abounding in fresh insights of its own. It is also beautifully lucid and agreeably unpretentious in tone."
Sir Keith Thomas, All Souls College, Oxford
"Written in a beautifully lucid and lively style, this book should be read by all who seek to understand a fascinating as well as important country."
John A. Thompson, St Catharine's College, Cambridge
"This is a book that is long overdue. Norbert Elias pioneered analysis of the civilizing process that helped make modern Europe. But just how much America is distinct has been both historically contested and conceptually unclear. Stephen Mennell brings considerable insight in this thoughtful reconsideration of the American story in light of Elias’s originally European framework."
Craig Calhoun, New York University
"Stephen Mennell, an outstanding disciple of the great sociologist Norbert Elias, employs the latter's insights to look at the USA. Using the idea of state-formation along with that of the civilizing process, the result is a wide-ranging treatment of the sole contemporary superpower that has both scholarly merit and an enormous relevance to the present moment. Filled with insights, combining theory and empirical observations, and offering a judicious comparison with other countries of America and its claim to exceptionalism, the result is a splendid contribution to history, sociology and international relations."
Bruce Mazlish, MIT