American Government in Black and White

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Concise, affordable, and engaging, American Government in Black and White, Second Edition, 2014 Election Update, is a unique introduction to American government that uses racial and ethnic equality as its underlying theme. Authors Paula D. McClain and Steven C. Tauber address issues of inequality in major facets of government, including the U.S. Constitution, key American political institutions and instruments of political behavior, and the making of public policy. Engaging the original voices of racial and ethnic actors in our nation's history, they show students how to measure and evaluate the importance of equality in America, from its founding up to today.


* Three kinds of text boxes that help students develop empirical and qualitative analytical abilities: "Measuring Equality," "Evaluating Equality," and "Our Voices"

* Vignettes, illustrations, and case material that connect America's past and present

* Running glossary definitions, thematic chapter conclusions, probing review questions, and annotated additional readings highlighting writings by and about racial and ethnic minorities

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

"American Government in Black and White is unique. There is no other text like it. It covers issues that other textbooks merely refer to as asides."--Richard Waterman, University of Kentucky

"This is a text that will provoke emotion and serious opportunities for critical thought about the role of government in the lives of Americans. It enables students to thoughtfully consider notions of equality and inequality and how government alleviates and burdens its citizens."--Damien Arthur, West Virginia State University

"American Government in Black and White is a thought-provoking yet substantive and research-filled textbook. It offers innovative perspectives on the overlap of race and politics while also fostering new levels of learning."--Anthony A. Maalouf, Delaware County Community College

"This book is innovative in that it uses the thematic lens of inclusion and exclusion to explore American politics. This approach is necessary because it enables today's college students to explore where our country has come from and where it is going."--Nathan K. Mitchell, Prairie View A&M University

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780199946013
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press
  • Publication date: 9/30/2011
  • Edition description: Older Edition
  • Pages: 544
  • Product dimensions: 7.40 (w) x 9.10 (h) x 1.00 (d)

Meet the Author

Paula D. McClain is Professor of Political Science, Professor of Public Policy, Dean of the Graduate School, Vice Provost for Graduate Education, and Co-Director of the Center for the Study of Race, Ethnicity, and Gender in the Social Sciences at Duke University. She is a premier author, scholar, and series editor of numerous works on urban, racial, and ethnic politics.

Steven C. Tauber is Associate Professor and Chair of the Department of Government and International Affairs at the University of South Florida. He is known for his work on judicial politics, particularly on social movements' use of litigation as a strategy. His work has covered civil rights groups and the animal rights movement.

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Table of Contents

Each chapter ends with a Conclusion, Review Questions, Additional Readings, Notes, and Key Terms.
1. American Government and Politics in a Racially Divided World
The Nature of Government
The Functions of Government
The Types of Government
Principles of Constitutional Democracies
The Rule of Law
Natural Law
Natural Rights
Foundations of American Government
Classical Liberalism
Classical Republicanism
Tradition of Exclusion (Inegalitarianism)
Our Voices: Lemeul Haynes--Republicanism and Slavery
Evaluating Equality: Thomas Jefferson and Sally Hemings
Exclusion and the Founding
Measuring Equality: Who Was Eligible to Be Included in "We The People"?
2. The Constitution: Rights and Race Intertwined
A Revolution for Independence
The Road to Revolution
Declaring Independence
First Attempt at National Government: The Articles of Confederation
A Limited National Government
Weaknesses of the Articles of Confederation
Our Voices: Prince Hall (1748-1807)
Second Attempt at National Government: The Constitution
The Convention Delegates
Forming a New Government
Measuring Equality: Whom Did the Framers Represent?
The Great Compromise
Debate over Ratification
Evaluating Equality: The Effect of the Three-Fifths Compromise on the Political Power of the South
The Bill of Rights
National Government Under the Constitution
National Supremacy
The Legislative Branch
The Executive Branch
The Judicial Branch
Liberalized Amendment Rules
Planning for Potential Pitfalls
Separating Powers
Varying Terms of Office
Selecting National Government Officials
Qualifying for National Office
Instituting Checks and Balances
3. Federalism: Balancing Power, Balancing Rights
Federalism and State and Local Governments
State Legislatures
Measuring Equality: Black and Latino Representation in State Legislatures
State Courts
Local Governments
Evaluating Equality: Home Rule, Statehood, and the Status of Washington, DC
Federalism and the Constitution
The Constitution and National Government Power
Constitutional Amendments and National Power
The Constitution and State Power
The Evolution of American Federalism
Federalism in the Early Republic and Industrialization
Dual Federalism and the Ascendency of State Autonomy
Our Voices: John Marshall and the Status of Indian Tribes
Cooperative Federalism and the Growth of the National Government
The Era of Devolution
4. Civil Liberties: Freedom and Government Authority in Tension
The Bill of Rights
Origins of the Bill of Rights
Incorporation of the Bill of Rights
Freedom of Expression
Political Dissent
Pornography and Offensive Speech
Freedom of the Press
Freedom of Religion
Establishment of Religion
Free Exercise of Religion
Criminal Justice
Our Voices: The Right to Practice Nontraditional Religions (Employment Division v. Smith)
Evaluating Equality: Recognizing Values in Political Cartoons on Racial Profiling in Fighting Terrorism
Measuring Equality: Discrimination, Death Row Population, and Executions in States with the Death Penalty
Personal Autonomy
Reproductive Freedom
5. Civil Rights: Inequality and Equality
Civil Rights Terms and Concepts
Group Designation
Forms of Inequality
Race, Ethnicity, and Civil Rights
Our Voices: South Carolina's Black Codes
Measuring Equality: Voter Registration and the Voting Rights Act of 1965
Evaluating Equality: Terminology and Support for Illegal Immigration Reform
Asian Americans
American Indians
Nonracial and Ethnic Struggles for Civil Rights
Gays, Lesbians, Bisexuals, and the Transgendered
Elderly and Disabled
6. Congress: Representation and Lawmaking
The Nature of Congressional Representation
The Unrepresented
Our Voices: Nonvoting Delegate Eleanor Holmes Norton and Representation for Washington, DC
Members of Congress
Congressional Organization and Leadership
Leadership in the House
Leadership in the Senate
Informal Organizations
The Lawmaking Process
Activity on the House Floor
Evaluating Equality: The Congressional Black Caucus and Black Republican Members of Congress
Action on the Senate Floor
Reconciling Differences Between House and Senate Bills
Nonlawmaking Functions of Congress
Influences on Congressional Decisionmaking
Party Leaders
Measuring Equality: The Influence of Race and Political Party on Congressional Voting
Interest Groups
7. The Presidency: Conventional Wisdom Redefined
Becoming President
Our Voices: Barack Obama's First Inaugural Address, January 20, 2009
The Presidential Selection Process
Financing Presidential Campaigns
Measuring Equality: Scatterplots of Obama Vote and Minority Populations
Presidential Power
Administrative Powers of the President
Foreign Powers of the President
Domestic Powers of the President
Executive Branch Organization
The Vice President
The President's Spouse
The Cabinet
The Executive Office of the President
The White House Staff
Presidents and Congress
Evaluating Equality: Racial and Ethnic Representation in the Executive Branch
Negotiating with Congress
Presidents and the Public
Congressional Investigations of the Executive Branch
8. The Bureaucracy: Career Government Employees, Accountability, and Race
Bureaucratic Organization
Cabinet Departments
Independent Regulatory Commissions
Independent Executive Agencies
Our Voices: The U.S. Commission on Civil Rights and the Controversy over Florida and the 2000 Election
Government Corporations
The Bureaucrats
Evaluating Equality: Bureaucratic Organization and American Indians
Politics versus Merit
Bureaucratic Policymaking and Power
Measuring Equality: Minority Representation in the Federal Civilian Workforce
Sources of Bureaucratic Power
Controlling Bureaucracies
Executive Control over Bureaucracies
Legislative Control over Bureaucracies
Judicial Control over Bureaucracies
9. The Judiciary: The Countermajoritarian Institution
Law and Courts
Dimensions of Law
Organization of the Federal Judiciary
Judicial Powers and Limitations
The Origins and Development of Judicial Review
Judicial Review and Constitutional Interpretation
Judicial Review and Civil Rights
Limitations on the Courts
Judicial Selection
Nominating Judges
Confirming Judges
Race and Ethnicity and Judicial Nominations
Measuring Equality: Presidents' Records of Minority Judicial Appointments to the Lower Federal Courts
Decisionmaking on the Supreme Court
Decisionmaking Procedures
Evaluating Equality: Legal Argumentation, Amicus Curiae Briefs, and Affirmative Action
Attorney Influence on Court Decisionmaking
Our Voices: Opinions of African-American Supreme Court Justices
Chapter 10. Public Opinion: Divided by Race?
Public Opinion Overview
Our Voices: Transcript of Conversation between Attorney General Robert F. Kennedy and Governor Ross Barnett of Mississippi (Sunday, September 20, 1962)
Race, Gender, and Public Opinion
Evaluating Equality: Differences in Perception of Discrimination Against Black Americans
Political Culture and Public Opinion
Political Socialization
Measuring Equality: Barack Obama and the "Birthers"
Demographic Factors
Partisan Identification
The Media
Expressions of Public Opinion
Measuring Public Opinion
The Mechanics of Polling
How the Sample Is Drawn
How a Question Is Worded
When a Question Is Asked Within the Survey
When Data Are Gathered
How Data Are Gathered
The Bradley Effect
Public Opinion and Politics
11. The Media: Reinforcing Racial Stereotypes?
A History of Media and Politics
Print Media
Our Voices: The Liberator and Abolitionism
Broadcast Radio and Television
New Media
The Media Industry
The Media Business
Media Personnel
Press Coverage of Politics and Government Officials and Institutions
Measuring Equality: Racial and Ethnic Representation in the Media
Reporting of Elections
Coverage of Government Officials and Institutions
Government Regulation
Evaluating Equality: Racial Bias in the Press Coverage of Hurricane Katrina?
12. Social Movements: Civil Rights as a Movement Model
A Social Movement Defined
Conditions That Give Rise to Social Movements
Social Movements and Democracy
Successful American Social Movements
The Civil Rights Movement
Our Voices: Excerpt from Martin Luther King, Jr.'s Letter from Birmingham Jail
The Women's Suffrage and Women's Rights Movements
Evaluating Equality: What Arguments Did Supporters and Opponents of the ERA Put Forth?
The Labor Movement
Measuring Equality: Unions and Wages
The Environment Movement
The Anti-Vietnam War Movement
Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Movement
Other Important U.S. Social Movements
The Chicano Civil Rights Movement
American Indian Movement
Asian American Movement
The Antinuclear Movement
Religious Fundamentalist Movement
Why Some Social Movements Decline and Some Fail
Factors That Contribute to Social Movement Decline
Factors That Contribute to Social Movement Failure
Social Movement or Political Activism?
13. Interest Groups: Good Outcomes with Few Resources
Interest Groups and Their Functions
Our Voices: Ida B. Wells-Barnett (1862-1931)
A Group-Based View of American Politics
Criticisms of Pluralism
Interest Group Formation
Types of Interest Groups
Economic Interest Groups
Evaluating Equality: The AMA Apologizes to Black Physicians
Noneconomic Interest Groups
Techniques of Interest Groups
Media Campaigns
Factors That Make Interest Groups Effective
Political and Financial Inequalities
Measuring Equality; Selected Racial and Ethnic Interest Groups and Their Resources
14. Political Parties: Linking Voters and Governing Institutions
The Development of the Two-Party System
The Early Parties
Realignment and Republican Party Dominance
The New Deal Coalition and Democratic Party Dominance
The End of Party Dominance and the Rise of Party Competition
Minor Parties
Party Organization
National Party Conventions
Evaluating Equality: Minor Parties and Racial and Ethnic Minorities
National Party Committees
Our Voices: Political Party Platforms and Civil Rights
State and Local Organization
Parties and Voters
Party Identification
Parties and Group Attachments
Measuring Equality: Latinos, Religious Preference, and Party Support
15. Voting and Elections: Past and Prologue to the Obama Victory
The Electoral Process: Nominating a Candidate
Primary Elections
Measuring Equality: Obama's Attention to Caucus States in the 2008 Presidential Election
Party Conventions
General Elections
Electing the President: How the Electoral College Works
Campaigning for Elections
Developing a Campaign Strategy
Financing a Campaign
Running a Campaign
Winning the Election: How Elections Are Decided
Factors That Affect Voter Participation
Why Americans Do Not Vote
Evaluating Equality: Calculating Voting Turnout Rates
Demographics and Voting
Marital Status
Socioeconomic Status
The 2012 Presidential Election
Our Voices: Senator Barack Obama's Speech on Race: "A More Perfect Union"
16. The Making of Domestic and Foreign Policy: Summing Up American Government in Black and White
Agenda Setting
Social Movements, Interest Groups, and Agenda Setting
The Media and Agenda Setting
Policy Enactment
Our Voices: President Obama's 2009 Cairo Speech
Policy Formulation
Policy Adoption
Evaluating Equality: Racism and the Public Debate over the Adoption of Health Care Reform Policies
Postenactment Stages
Policy Implementation
Policy Evaluation
Measuring Equality: Racial Disparities in the Punishment of Drug Offenders
Appendix I: The Declaration of Independence
Appendix II: The Constitution of the United States of America

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