American Government and Politics Today: The Essentials / Edition 8

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AMERICAN GOVERNMENT AND POLITICS TODAY: THE ESSENTIALS 2009-2010 EDITION inspires readers to join the exciting process of being active, informed citizens. Bardes, Shelley, and Schmidt provide an unbiased and concisely organized overview of this essential subject, updated with complete Election 2008 coverage and wholly redesigned for even greater reader appeal. The text's fundamental theme continues to be the importance of participating in active citizenship. To reinforce this theme, the text emphasizes continual critical thinking about political issues and encourages readers to become involved in the political process. The authors incorporate abundant current examples, including increased coverage of the impact of the Internet and other media, to stimulate learning and excitement.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780534539016
  • Publisher: Cengage Learning
  • Publication date: 9/1/1997
  • Series: Political Science Series
  • Edition description: Older Edition
  • Edition number: 8
  • Pages: 621
  • Product dimensions: 8.50 (w) x 10.81 (h) x 0.98 (d)

Meet the Author

Barbara A. Bardes is professor of political science and dean of Raymond Walters College at the University of Cincinnati. She received her B.A. and M.A. from Kent State University and her Ph.D. from the University of Cincinnati. She held a faculty position at Loyola University in Chicago for many years before returning to Cincinnati, her hometown, as a college administrator. Bardes has written articles on public opinion and foreign policy and on women and politics. She also has authored THINKING ABOUT PUBLIC POLICY AND DECLARATIONS OF INDEPENDENCE: WOMEN AND POLITICAL POWER IN NINETEENTH CENTURY AMERICAN NOVELS and co-authored PUBLIC OPINION: MEASURING THE AMERICAN MIND.

Mack C. Shelley, II, is a professor of political science and statistics at Iowa State University. After receiving his bachelor's degree from American University in Washington, D.C., he went on to graduate studies at the University of Wisconsin at Madison, where he received a master's degree and a Ph.D. He taught for two years at Mississippi State University prior to arriving at Iowa State in 1979. In 1993, he was elected co-editor of the Policy Studies Journal. Shelley has also published numerous articles, books, and monographs on public policy, including THE PERMANENT MAJORITY: THE CONSERVATIVE COALITION IN THE UNITED STATES CONGRESS; BIOTECHNOLOGY AND THE RESEARCH ENTERPRISE: A GUIDE TO THE LITERATURE (with William F. Woodman and Brian J. Reichel); and AMERICAN PUBLIC POLICY: THE CONTEMPORARY AGENDA (with Steven G. Koven and Bert E. Swanson).

Steffen W. Schmidt is a professor of political science at Iowa State University. He grew up in Colombia, South America, and has studied in Colombia,Switzerland, and France. He obtained his Ph.D. from Columbia University, New York, in public law and government. Schmidt has published six books and over 70 articles in scholarly journals, and is the recipient of numerous prestigious teaching prizes, including the Amoco Award for Lifetime Career Achievement in Teaching and the Teacher of the Year award. He is a pioneer in the use of Web-based and real-time video courses and is a member of the American Political Science Association's section on Computers and Multimedia. He is on the editorial board of the Political Science Educator. Schmidt also has a political talk show on WOI radio, where he is known as Dr. Politics. The show has been broadcast live from various U.S. and international venues.

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Table of Contents

Pt. 1 The American System 1
Ch. 1 American Democracy and Political Culture 3
What If...We Had No Government? 4
Getting Involved: Seeing Democracy in Action 21
Ch. 2 The Constitution 23
What If...We Had a Constitutional Convention in 1994? 24
Getting Involved: How Can You Affect the U.S. Constitution 51
Ch. 3 Federalism 55
What If...There Were No Census? 56
Getting Involved: Expressing Your Views: Writing Letters to the Editor 80
Pt. 2 Civil Rights and Liberties 83
Ch. 4 Civil Liberties 85
What If...the Miranda Rules Were Eliminated? 86
Getting Involved: Your Civil Liberties: Searches and Seizures 113
Ch. 5 The Rights of Minorities and Women 117
What If...We Had Unrestricted Immigration? 118
Getting Involved: What to Do About Discrimination 160
Pt. 3 People and Politics 163
Ch. 6 Public Opinion 165
What If...Exit Polls and Early Calls Were Banned? 166
Getting Involved: How to Read a Public Opinion Poll 223
Ch. 7 Interest Groups 195
What If...Interest Groups' Campaign Spending Were Limited to $1 Per Member? 196
Getting Involved: The Gun Control Issue 216
Ch. 8 Political Parties 219
What If...We Had a Multiparty Political System in the United States? 220
Getting Involved: Electing Convention Delegates 245
Ch. 9 Campaigns, Elections, and the Media 247
What If...Voting Were Compulsory? 248
Getting Involved: Voting 298
Pt. 4 Political Institutions 301
Ch. 10 The Congress 303
What If...Members of Congress Were Limited to Two Terms? 304
Getting Involved: How to Be an Intern in Washington, D.C. 340
Ch. 11 The Presidency 343
What If...the President Could Be Recalled? 344
Getting Involved: Influencing the Presidency 376
Ch. 12 The Bureaucracy 379
What If...Independent Agencies Had to a Profit? 380
Getting Involved: What Does the Government Know About You? 401
Ch. 13 The Judiciary 403
What If...Federal Judges Were Elected? 404
Getting Involved: Changing the Legal System 427
Pt. 5 Public Policy 431
Ch. 14 Politics of Economic and Domestic Policy Making 433
What If...the U.S. Defaulted on the National Debt? 434
Getting Involved: Working for a Clean Environment 462
Ch. 15 Foreign and Defense Policy 467
What If...the United States and the Soviet Union Became Allies? 468
Getting Involved: Working for Human Rights 499
Appendix A: Declaration of Independence 503
Appendix B: Constitution of the United States of America 505
Appendix C: Presidents of the United States 516
Appendix D: Federalist Papers #10 and #51 519
Appendix E: How to Do Research in Political Science 525
Glossary 529
Index 543
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