American Pageant, AP Edition (16th Edition) Background

American Pageant, AP Edition (16th Edition) Background

AP History, or APUSH, is a college level course and examination that is part of the Advanced Placement Program. Since 1983, the book has been edited by David M. Kennedy and Lizabeth Cohen, but it began life in 1958 as a text book edited by Thomas A. Bailey. Both Kennedy and Cohen are history professors at Ivy League universities, Kennedy at Stanford University and Cohen at Harvard.

The Sixteenth Edition of the book was released in 2015. It contains forty-one chapters and six main parts. Like the fifteen editions that preceded it, the book begins with pre-history, a chapter on native peoples, and another on European explorers; it continues until the final chapters that deal with the making of modern America. This edition adds a new feature called "Contending Voices", which is intended to challenge students to consider conflicting perspectives of controversial subjects whilst still referencing the original historical work on each subject. There are also additional quotes and references to substantiate perspectives that come from all sides.

The book is regarded as a patriotic one because it chronicles the making of America's journey from a newly-discovered country to a modern super-power. It is supportive of the notion of the American Dream and is, for the most part, politically impartial. The sixteenth edition also stands out for being the first to add controversial subjects that have a distinctly political aspect to them, but there is no specific political leaning to the book, as students are encouraged to discover their own.

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