This textbook provides a comprehensive survey of current language issues in the USA. Through a series of specially commissioned chapters by leading scholars, it explores the nature of language variation in the United States and its social, historical and political significance. The book is divided into three sections. Part I, American English, explores the history and distinctiveness of American English, and regional and social varieties. Part II, Other Language Varieties, looks at multilingualism and linguistic diversity. Part III, The Sociolinguistic Situation in the USA includes chapters on attitudes to language, language and education, Rap and Hip Hop, and adolescent language. It also explores issues such as the Ebonics controversy and the English Only movement. Clear, accessible and broad in its coverage, this book will be welcomed by students across the disciplines of English, Linguistics, Communication, American Studies and Popular Culture, as well as anyone interested more generally in language-related issues.