American Government: 2008 Update Edition / Edition 8

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Distinguished by its myth versus reality framework, American Government encourages students to confront their preconceptions about American government and to think critically about the U.S. political system. Up-to-date coverage includes the 2006 mid-term elections, the Supreme Court, domestic and international policy, and economic and social welfare.Extensively updated, this edition features a sixteen-page, full-color "Year in Review" insert of the most captivating news stories and powerful images from The Associated Press. This dynamic text will engage your students and foster critical thinking about the stories that shape our nation.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780618942619
  • Publisher: Cengage Learning
  • Publication date: 12/6/2007
  • Edition description: 8
  • Edition number: 8
  • Pages: 592
  • Product dimensions: 7.50 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 0.80 (d)

Meet the Author

Alan Gitelson (PhD Syracuse) is Professor and former Chair of the Political Science Department at Loyola University of Chicago. He is well known in the areas of voting and political parties and is the author of numerous books and articles in these fields.

Robert Dudley (PhD Northern Illinois University) is Chair of the Department of Public and International Affairs at George Mason University. His areas of specialty include judicial behavior and the presidency. His articles have been published in numerous journals, including APSR and the JOURNAL OF POLITICAL SCIENCE.

Melvin Dubnick (PhD University of Colorado) is Professor of Political Science and director of the MPA program at the University of New Hampshire. He has written on a range of issues from accountability, regulatory policymaking, and federalism to health care reform.

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Table of Contents

1. Myth and Reality in American Politics Myths and American Government The Nature of Government and Politics Fundamental Issues of Government and Politics Overview of This Book 2. Constitutional Foundations The Setting for Constitutional Change The Framers The Roots of the Constitution What the Framers Did The Principles of American Constitutionalism Conclusion: Living, Enduring, and Political 3. Federalism and Intergovernmental Relations The Evolution of American Federalism The Actors of American Federalism Conclusion: The Principles and Pragmatism of Federalism 4. The Heritage of Rights and Liberties Applying the Bill of Rights to the States The First Amendment Freedoms Due Process and Crime Privacy Equal Protection of the Laws Conclusion: Absolutes and Qualifications 5. Public Opinion and Political Participation What Is Public Opinion? How We Develop Our Beliefs and Opinions How Polls Work The Paradox of Public Opinion Group Opinion: Diversity and Uniformity Avenues of Political Participation Conclusion: Many Minorities, Much Activity 6. Political Parties What Parties Are and What They Do Who Belongs to Major Parties and Why? American-Style Politics: The Two-Party System Party Structure from the Bottom Up Conclusion: Decline or Transformation of Political Parties? 7. Campaigns and Elections Nominations: The Selection Process The Race for Office The Media and Campaigns: Are We Brainwashed? Campaigns and Political Parties Voting and Elections The Electoral College Promises, Promises: The Link Between Campaigns and Public Policy Conclusion: Do Elections Matter? 8. Interest Groups Movers and Shakers: Interest and Other Advocacy Groups What Makes an Interest Group Powerful Interest Group Tactics: "You Don't Lobby with Hundred-Dollar Bills and Wild Parties" Interest Groups and Democracy Conclusion: Corrupt or Constructive? 9. Media And Politics The Rise of the Media Making News The Effects of the Mass Media The Uneasy Alliance Between Government and the Media Conclusion: The Great Manipulator? 10. Congress A Portrait of Congress The Work of Congress The Organization of Congress How a Bill Becomes a Law Congressional Voting Conclusion: Is Congress the Broken Branch? 11. The Presidency The Growth of the Presidency Presidential Roles The Institutional Presidency The White House Office: Two Management Styles Presidential Influence Conclusion: The All-Powerful President? 12. Bureaucracy A Profile of the Federal Bureaucracy Growth of the American Bureaucracy Bureaucratic Power Bureaucratic Problems and Reforms Conclusion: Expectations and Government Operations 13. Courts, Judges, and the Law The Origins and Types of American Law The Structure of the Court Systems The Federal and State Court Systems Recruiting and Removing Judges The Supreme Court at Work The Implementation of Court Decisions Conclusion: The Courts Are Not What They Seem 14. Domestic Policy and Policymaking Making Public Policy Education Policy Managing the Economy Economic Development Policies Regulatory Policies Social Welfare Policies Conclusion: The Complexity of American Public Policy 15. Foreign and Defense Policy Changing Parameters of Foreign and Defense Policies Vulnerability in Historical Perspective Making Foreign and Defense Policy Wielding Democratic Power Military and Defense Strategies Conclusion: The Reshaping of Foreign and Defense Policy

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