Abstract Effects of long-range correlations on high-energy elastic and inelastic proton-nucleus scattering are investigated using the eikonal approximation. We treat multiple scattering of the proton in a coupled channel formalism where virtual excitations and de-excitations of the nucleus are allowed during the scattering process. This is completely equivalent to considering many-body correlations to any order. We also study effects of spin and isospin dependence of the nucleon-nucleon interaction in elastic and inelastic p+ nucleus scattering. We propose to use inelastic scattering to known nuclear states as an analyzer of the different components of the nucleon-nucleon interaction. The strong p+ nucleus interaction is treated in close analogy to electromagnetic and weak interactions where similar nuclear matrix elements occur. We calculate cross sections and polarizations using all information available from nucleon-nucleon and electron-nucleus scattering. Numerical results are compared with experimental data for elastic scattering of 1 GeV protons on 12C and electric excitations of the I πT( E MeV ) = 2 +0(4.43), 0 +0′(7.66) and 3 −0(9.64) states in 12C. We predict the differential cross section and polarization for a magnetic transition to the 1 +1(15.11) state in 12C.