The question at the center of the 15th edition of THE IRONY OF DEMOCRACY is "How democratic is American society?" While most American government texts address politics from a pluralist perspective, this text approaches the subject by addressing the theme of elitism and contrasting it with democratic theory and modern pluralist theory. As a result, this text helps students understand why the U.S. government works as it does.
"The elite approach sparks students' interest. Their level of incredulity promotes more reading of the text and a fuller context of elitism. The language of the text is straightforward and understandable." -- Aaron Rodrigues, Cuesta College
"A much more interesting read than most of the other first-year American Government texts." -- Bob Peter, Tri-County Technical College
Thomas R. Dye is Emeritus Professor of Political Science at Florida State University. He received his B.S. and M.A. from Pennsylvania State University and his Ph.D. from the University of Pennsylvania. He is the author of numerous books and articles on American government and public policy. Dye has served as president of the Southern Political Science Association, president of the Policy Studies Organization, and secretary of the American Political Science Association. He is the recipient of the Harold Laswell Award for career contributions to the study of public policy and the Donald C. Stone Award for career contributions to the study of federalism. He received the Outstanding Alumni Award in 2001 from Penn State's College of Liberal Arts. Dye has taught at the University of Pennsylvania, the University of Wisconsin, and the University of Georgia. He served as visiting scholar at Bar-Elan University, Israel, and the Brookings Institution, Washington, D.C.
Harmon Zeigler taught at numerous universities, including Florida State University, Emory University, the University of Georgia, the University of Oregon, State University of New York (Stony Brook), New York University, and the University of Washington. Abroad, he taught at the University of Oslo, Sydney University, and Passau University. In addition to THE IRONY OF DEMOCRACY: AN UNCOMMON INTRODUCTION TO AMERICAN POLITICS, he and Thomas R. Dye wrote AMERICAN POLITICS IN THE MEDIA AGE. His other books include INTEREST GROUPS IN AMERICAN SOCIETY; GOVERNING AMERICAN SCHOOLS (with Kent Jennings); THE QUEST FOR RESPONSIVE GOVERNMENT (with Harvey Tucker); THE POLITICAL COMMUNITY, PLURALISM, CORPORATISM AND CONFUCIANISM; and POLITICAL PARTIES IN INDUSTRIAL DEMOCRACIES. He received two Fulbright awards and was named a Guggenheim Fellow in 1970.
Louis E. Schubert has been Professor of Political Science at City College of San Francisco since 2000. He received his B.A. from the University of Connecticut and his M.A. and Ph.D. from the University of Southern California. He regularly teaches courses on American government, ethnic politics, terrorism and counterterrorism, political theory, and American studies. He has also taught Environmental Politics and Policy, The Presidency, Interest Groups and Elite Behavior, Elections and Political Participation, Political Economy, Parties, PACs and Campaigns, and American Political Thought. He has taught at the University of Southern California, the University of California Riverside, Santa Monica College, and the University of Redlands.
1. The Irony of Democracy. 2. The Founding Fathers: The Nation's First Elite. 3. Elites in America. 4. Masses in the United States. 5. Elite-Mass Communication. 6. Elections, Parties and Democracy. 7. Elites and Organized Interests. 8. Congress: The Legislative Elite. 9. The Presidency. 10. Courts: Elites in Black Robes. 11. The Bureaucratic Elite. 12. Federalism: State and Community Elites. 13. Civil Rights: Diversifying the Elite. 14. The United States as Global Elite. Epilogue: What Can Students Do? Appendix: The Constitution of the United States of America.