Politics in America / Edition 8

Hardcover (Print)
Rent from BN.com
(Save 59%)
Est. Return Date: 07/21/2015
Buy Used
Buy Used from BN.com
(Save 34%)
Item is in good condition but packaging may have signs of shelf wear/aging or torn packaging.
Condition: Used – Good details
Used and New from Other Sellers
Used and New from Other Sellers
from $1.99
Usually ships in 1-2 business days
(Save 98%)
Other sellers (Hardcover)
  • All (27) from $1.99   
  • New (4) from $15.50   
  • Used (23) from $1.99   
Sort by
Page 1 of 1
Showing All
Note: Marketplace items are not eligible for any BN.com coupons and promotions
Seller since 2010

Feedback rating:



New — never opened or used in original packaging.

Like New — packaging may have been opened. A "Like New" item is suitable to give as a gift.

Very Good — may have minor signs of wear on packaging but item works perfectly and has no damage.

Good — item is in good condition but packaging may have signs of shelf wear/aging or torn packaging. All specific defects should be noted in the Comments section associated with each item.

Acceptable — item is in working order but may show signs of wear such as scratches or torn packaging. All specific defects should be noted in the Comments section associated with each item.

Used — An item that has been opened and may show signs of wear. All specific defects should be noted in the Comments section associated with each item.

Refurbished — A used item that has been renewed or updated and verified to be in proper working condition. Not necessarily completed by the original manufacturer.


Ships from: Marietta, OH

Usually ships in 1-2 business days

  • Standard, 48 States
  • Standard (AK, HI)
Seller since 2007

Feedback rating:


Condition: New
Hardcover New 0136027180 Brand new book. STUDENT US EDITION. Never used. Nice gift. Best buy. Shipped promptly and packaged carefully.

Ships from: Woodinville, WA

Usually ships in 1-2 business days

  • Canadian
  • International
  • Standard, 48 States
  • Standard (AK, HI)
  • Express, 48 States
  • Express (AK, HI)
Seller since 2015

Feedback rating:


Condition: New
Brand new.

Ships from: acton, MA

Usually ships in 1-2 business days

  • Standard, 48 States
  • Standard (AK, HI)
Seller since 2015

Feedback rating:


Condition: New
Brand new.

Ships from: acton, MA

Usually ships in 1-2 business days

  • Standard, 48 States
  • Standard (AK, HI)
Page 1 of 1
Showing All
Sort by



  • “What Do You Think?” boxes compell students to think critically about American politics by presenting them with a controversial issue and asking them to take a stance. After forming their opinion, students can look at the results of public opinion polls to compare their views with the rest of the country.
  • “A Conflicting View” boxes challenge students to rethink the idea of a “conventional wisdom” in American politics by presenting them with views on important topics that clash with popular opinion. Designed to be controversial, these boxes get students thinking about the “push and pull” of American politics.
  • “Politics Up Close” boxes present a close examination of the key topics in each chapter by focusing on those involved in the competition for resources. Topics include “The Christian Coalition: Organizing the Faithful” and “The American Civil Liberties Union.”
  • “People in Politics” boxes personalize American government by showing students that American political figures are real people with real backgrounds. These profiles of both historical and contemporary figures focus on their college experience, how they became involved in public life, and how they were able to impact American politics.
  • “Compared to What?” boxes encourage students to think about American politics in a global context by comparing American political processes and practices with those of countries around the world.
  • “Across the USA” maps summarize important statistical and demographic information, giving students an idea of how critical issues in American politics affect and are viewed by all fifty states.
  • “A Constitutional Note” plus Annotated U.S. Constitution. Citizens and policymakers alike have become increasingly distressed by college graduates’ lack of knowledge of the U.S. Constitution. To address this concern, Politics in America includes both the “A Constitutional Note” feature, which discusses a constitutional issue raised in each chapter, and an annotated U.S. Constitution, which offering deeper insight into the complexity and historical connotations of this landmark document.

New to this Edition:

  • A new feature, “Controversy,” gets students engaged with some of the most provocative issues in American politics and encourages them to debate the issues. Topics include: “The Supremacy Clause: Marijuana for Medical Use?” “Abortion: The ‘Hot Button’ Issue,” “Should Violence Against Women Be a Federal Crime?” “Which Party Does a Better Job?” and “Are We One Nation “Under God?”
  • New “Who Gets What?” chapter summaries recap the most important concepts and details of each chapter, presenting them in the context of the book’s theme–that American politics is truly a study of “who gets what, when, and how.”
  • New topics in the Eighth Edition include:
    • The battle for the White House between Barack Obama and John McCain
    • The bitter and prolonged Democratic primary fight between Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama
    • The origins of the war in Iraq, the growing opposition to the war, and strategies for exiting the war
    • Each chapter now begins with a quote from Harold Lasswell relating that chapter’s topic to the theme of politics as “who gets what, when, and how.”
  • New topics in other existing features include:
    • What Do You Think?
      • Should We Call a New Constitutional Convention?
      • Should Government Leaders Pay More Attention to Public Opinion?
      • Which Government Does the Best Job?
      • Does Immigration Help or Hurt America?
      • When Should the United States Use Military Force?
    • Politics Up Close
      • Barack and Hillary in the Democratic Presidential Primaries
      • The Appeal of the Democratic and Republican Parties
      • 60 Minutes, News as Entertainment,
      • The Oprah Effect
      • Washington’s Most Powerful Lobbies.
    • People in Politics
      • John McCain
      • Barack Obama
      • Hillary Clinton
      • Ben Bernanke
      • General David Petraeus
Read More Show Less

Editorial Reviews

Introduces students to the American political system by examining the struggle for power<-->the participants, the stakes, the processes, and the institutional arenas. Relies on Harold Lasswell's classic definition of politics, including the who, what, when, and how mode of analysis. Examines topics such as the constitution, federalism, mass media, political parties, campaign and elections, White House and Capitol Hill politics, civil rights, and national security. Annotation c. by Book News, Inc., Portland, Or.
Read More Show Less

Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780136027188
  • Publisher: Prentice Hall
  • Publication date: 1/9/2009
  • Series: MyPoliSciLab Series
  • Edition description: National
  • Edition number: 8
  • Pages: 740
  • Product dimensions: 8.50 (w) x 10.90 (h) x 1.30 (d)

Meet the Author

THOMAS R. DYE, Emeritus McKenzie Professor of Government at Florida State University regularly taught large introductory classes in American politics and was University Teacher of the Year in 1987. He received his B.A. and M.A. degrees from Pennsylvania State University and his Ph.D. degree from the University of Pennsylvania. He is the author of numerous books and articles on American government and public policy, including. The Irony of Democracy, Politics in States and Communities, Understanding Public Policy, Who's Running America, American Politics in the Media Age, Power in Society, Politics, Economics, and the Public, and American Federalism: Competition Among Governments. His books have been translated into many languages, including Russian and Chinese, and published abroad. He 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 has taught at the University of Pennsylvania, the University of Wisconsin, and the University of Georgia, and served as a visiting scholar at Bar-Ilan University, Israel, the Brookings Institution in Washington, D.C., and elsewhere. He is a member of Phi Beta Kappa, Omicron Delta Kappa, and Phi Kappa Phi, and is listed in most major biographical directories. Additional information is available at thomasr.dye.com.

L. TUCKER GIBSON, JR., is chair and professor of political science at Trinity University, where he teaches introductory courses in American national and state government as well as courses on U.S. legislatures, political parties, and interest groups. He has served onthe Civil Service Commission of the city of San Antonio, assisted local governments across central and south Texas in redistricting their government bodies, and conducted public opinion research for political candidates, businesses, and corporations. Gibson is the coauthor of Government and Politics in the Lone Star State: Theory and Practice.

CLAY ROBISON has covered state government and politics in Texas for more than 30 years as a journalist, first for the San Antonio Light, and then, since 1982, for the Houston Chronicle. He is the Houston Chronicle's Austin bureau chief, and in addition to covering daily news events, he writes a weekly column that appears on the newspaper's Sunday editorial page. He has covered many of the personalities and events that are incorporated in the chapters on Texas government. Robison is the coauthor of Government and Politics in the Lone Star State Theory and Practice.

Read More Show Less

Table of Contents


1. Politics: Who Gets What, When, and How.

2. Political Culture: Ideas in Conflict.


3. The Constitution: Limiting Governmental Power.

4. Federalism: Dividing Governmental Power.


5. Opinion and Participation: Thinking and Acting in Politics.

6. Mass Media: Setting the Political Agenda.

7. Political Parties: Organizing Politics.

8. Campaigns and Elections: Deciding Who Governs.

9. Interest Groups: Getting Their Share and More.


10. Congress: Politics on Capitol Hill.

11. The President: White House Politics.

12. The Bureaucracy: Bureaucratic Politics.

13. Courts: Judicial Politics.


14. Politics and Personal Liberty.

15. Politics and Civil Rights.

16. Politics and the Economy.

17. Politics and Social Welfare.

18. Politics and National Security.

Read More Show Less


Politics is an activity by which people try to get more of whatever there is to get. It is not about the pursuit of liberty as much as it is about the struggle over the allocation of values in society. Simply put, it is about "who gets what, when, and how."

By using Lasswell's classic definition of politics as the unifying framework, Politics in America, Sixth Edition, strives to present a clear, concise, and stimulating introduction to the American political system. Politics consists of all of the activities—reasonable discussion, impassioned oratory, campaigning, balloting, fund raising, advertising, lobbying, demonstrating, rioting, street fighting, and waging war—by which conflict is carried on. Managing conflict is the principal function of the political system and power is the ultimate goal.

By examining the struggle for power—the participants, the stakes, the processes, and the institutional arenas—Politics in America, Sixth Edition, introduces students to the politics that is the basis for our democracy. Why Politics in America?

Instructors teaching the Introductory American Government course find engaging their students to be the most difficult task facing them. Politics in America, Sixth Edition, is written to be lively and absorbing, reflecting the teaching philosophy that stimulating students' interest in politics and public affairs is the most important goal of an introductory course. Interesting examples and controversial debates spark students' interest and keep them connected to the material. The struggle for power in society is not a dull topic, and textbooks should not make it so.

Politicsin America, Sixth Edition, strives for a balanced presentation, but "balanced" does not mean boring. It does not mean the avoidance of controversy. Liberal and conservative arguments are set forth clearly and forcefully. Race and gender are given particular attention, not because it is currently fashionable to do so, but because American politics has long been driven by these factors. As in previous editions, the trademark of this book continues to be its desire to pull students into the debate that is our political system. Organization

Part I, "Politics," begins with Lasswell's classic definition of politics and proceeds to describe the nature and functions of government and the meaning of democracy. It poses the question. How democratic is the American political system? It describes the American political culture: its contradictions between liberty and conformity, political equality and economic inequality, equality of opportunity and inequality of results, the role of ideology—liberalism and conservatism, thus laying the groundwork for understanding the struggle over who gets what.

Part II, "Constitution," describes the politics of constitution making—deciding how to decide. It describes how the struggle over the U.S. Constitution reflected the distribution of power in the new nation. It focuses on the classic arguments of the Founders for limiting and dividing governmental power and the structural arrangements designed to accomplish this end.

Part III, "Participants," begins by examining individual participation in politics—the way people acquire and hold political opinions and act on them through voting and protest activity. It examines the influences of family, school, gender, race, and the role of media in shaping political opinion. It describes how organization concentrates power—to win public office in the case of party organizations, and to influence policy in the case of interest groups. It assesses the role of personal ambition in politics and the role of money.

Part IV, "Institutions," describes the various governmental arenas in which the struggle for power takes place—the Congress, the presidency, the bureaucracy, the courts. More important, it evaluates the power that comes with control of each of these institutions.

Part V, "Outcomes," deals with public policies-the result of the struggle over the allocation of values. It is especially concerned with the two fundamental values New Features of American society—liberty and equality. Each is examined to separate chapters, as are economic policies, welfare policies, and national security policies. New to the Sixth Edition

Americans went to the polls in 2004 in numbers never seen before and percentages not seen in forty years. Perhaps it was a lesson learned in 2000 that a few hundred votes can change the Electoral College vote and determine the presidency. Perhaps it was the projected closeness of the race between Bush and Kerry, or concern over the continuing war in Iraq, or an increased turnout of religious people concerned with growing secularism in society. Perhaps all of these conditions combined to inspire Americans to renew their commitment to the political system.

The Sixth Edition of Politics in America describes the recent changes in the political landscape of the nation. It updates students on the war on terrorism and the restrictions on freedom that it has inspired. It describes and analyzes the presidential and congressional election of 2004: the campaign strategies of George W. Bush and John F. Kerry; the impact of the war in Iraq; campaign finance "reform" and how it was evaded during the campaign; popular images of Bush and Kerry and the issues considered most important by the voters; the Republican victory in the congressional elections and the growing polarization on Capitol Hill.

The Sixth Edition also assesses bias in the media and how it has been modified by newer cable network broadcasting and the Internet; it describes new leader ship in Congress, including Senate Republican Leader Bill Frist, Sen. Hillary Clinton, and House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi; it describes charges of partisan ship in the Supreme Court (especially in Bush vs. Gore) and controversial court decisions on cross burning, gay marriage, and the rights of enemy combatants captured on the battlefield.

As in previous editions, the Sixth Edition invites controversy and spirited discussion in the classroom. It raises "politically incorrect" issues—affirmative action and "diversity" in education; rising income inequality in America; how much campaign contributions affect congressional voting; amending the Constitution to ban gay marriages; when is the right to disobey the law; what is the appropriate justification for the use of military force; is the American government really "Of, by, and for the people." New Features

  • What Do You Think? "What Government Programs Do You Support?"
  • What Do You Think? "Beliefs about Fairness"
  • People in Politics: Bill O'Reilly, "The No Spin Zone?"
  • Up Close: Why the Founders Created an Electoral College
  • People in Politics: Arnold, from Bodybuilder to Superstar to Governor.
  • What Do You Think? "Do Gender Stereotypes Affect Voting?"
  • Up Close: "The Generation Gap in News"
  • A Conflicting View: "Fox News, 'Fair and Balanced'?"
  • Up Close: "The Brief History of Money in Politics"
  • Up Close: "New Ways to Evade Campaign Reform Laws"
  • A Conflicting View: "Payback, Money and Medicare"
  • Up Close: "Polarization on Capitol Hill"
  • People in Politics: "Bill First M.D., Leading the Senate"
  • Up Close: "Tips on Lobbying Congress"
  • Up Close: "Contrasting Presidential Styles"
  • What Do You Think? "How Would You Rate Federal Agencies?"
  • People in Politics: "George Bush and 'Operator Iraqi Freedom'"
  • Up Close: "How to Use the Freedom of Information Act"
  • Up Close: "Women and the Courts"
  • What Do You Tbink? "Do You Have Confidence in the Supreme Court?"
  • A Conflicting View: "Terrorism Requires Restrictions on Civil Liberties"
  • Up Close: "Why We Can Burn the Flag but Not a Cross"

The Sixth Edition provides a variety of new instructional aids, including running marginal Web site addresses on the topics under discussion. Instructional Features

Interactive Chapter Opening Survey. Each chapter opens with a brief poll called "Think about Politics" that alerts students to the crucial issues the chapter covers and the impact of those issues on their lives. This tool can be used to get students thinking about how and why politics is important to them as individuals and as members of a community.

Text and Features. The body of each chapter is divided into text and features. The text provides the framework of understanding American politics. Each chapter begins with a brief discussion of power in relation to the subject matter of the chapter: for example, limiting governmental power (Chapter 3, "The Constitution"), dividing governmental power (Chapter 4, "Federalism"), and the power of the media (Chapter 6, "Mass Media"). By focusing the beginning of each chapter on questions of power, students can more easily set the chapter content in the context of Lasswell's definition of politics.

The features in each chapter provide timeliness, relevance, stimulation, and perspective. Each boxed feature in the Sixth Edition of Politics in America is designed to encourage students to voice their opinions and explore those of others. If the key to learning is active involvement, students should be encouraged to read and respond whenever possible.

  • "What Do You Think?": These features pose controversial questions to students and provide national opinion survey data. They cover a wide range of interests designed to stimulate classroom discussion. Examples include: "Can You Trust the Government?" "Is American Government 'Of, By and For the People'?" "Are You a Liberal or a Conservative?" "Does Money Buy Influence in Washington?" "How Would You Rate the Presidents?" "Should We Judge Presidents on Private Character or Performance in Office?" "How Much Money Does the Government Waste?" "What Constitutes Sexual Harassment?"
  • "A Conflicting View": These features challenge students to rethink conventional notions about American politics. They are designed to be controversial and to start students thinking about the push and pull that is politics. "Conflicting View" features include: "An Economic Interpretation of the Constitution," "Objections to the Constitution by an Anti-Federalist," "The War on Drugs Threatens Individual Liberty," "The Constitution Should Be Color-Blind."
  • "Compared to What?": These features provide students with global context by comparing the United States with other nations. Discussions include "Freedom and Democracy around the World," as well as such topics as the size of government, tax burdens, voter turnout, political parties, television culture, health care, and the earnings gap between men and, women.
  • "People in Politics": These features are designed to personalize politics for students, to illustrate to them that the participants in the struggle for power are real people. They discuss where prominent people in politics went to school, how they got started in politics, how their careers developed, and how much power they came to possess. Both historical—John Locke and James Madison—and current figures, such as Arnold Schwarzeneggar, Ralph Nader, Colin Powell, and Ted Kennedy are discussed.
  • "Up Close": These features illustrate the struggle over who gets what. They range over a wide variety of current political conflicts, such as "Sex, Lies, and Impeachment," "Abortion, the Hot Button' Issue," "Dirty Politics," "AARP: The Nation's Most Powerful Interest Group," "The Christian Coalition: Organizing the Faithful," "Is Welfare Reform Working?" A special feature, "How to Run for Office," provides practical advice on how to get into electoral politics.
  • "Across the USA": These features provide maps that summarize important statistical and demographic information relevant to American politics.

Learning Aids. Each chapter contains a running glossary in the margin to help students master important concepts, Web sites where students can obtain additional information direct from political sources, a chapter outline, a summary, and a list of annotated suggested readings, as well as marginal questions that relate to the chapter opening survey. Technology Initiatives

With the development of new technologies, we have discovered more and more ways of helping students and instructors to further understand and analyze information. In this edition, we have made every effort to give both instructors and students a large array of multimedia tools to help with both the presentation and the learning of the material.

  • New! Make It Real is a comprehensive Web site that contains dynamic simulations developed by Prentice Hall exclusively for American Government. In addition to simulations, Make It Real also contains activities on civic participation, interactive timelines and maps, quizzes, primary source documents, Census 2000 data, and exercises in visual literacy. Students will use information such as real election results, real demographics, maps and voting score cards. Self-study quizzes are available for the student to take to make sure they understand the concepts used in completing the simulations and other activities.
  • New and Improved Evaluating Online Resources for Political Science with Research Navigator™; Our newest addition to the reliable Internet guide for political science, Prentice Hall's new Research Navigator TM keeps instructors and students abreast of the latest news and information and helps students create top quality research papers. From finding the right articles and journals, to citing sources, drafting and writing effective papers, and completing research assignments, Research Navigator simplifies and streamlines the entire process. It offers extensive help on the research process and three exclusive databases full of relevant and reliable source material including EBSCO's Content-Select Academic Journal Database, The New York Times Search-by-Subject Archive, and "Best of the Web" Link Library. A unique access code for Research Navigator™ is provided on the inside front cover of the booklet. The booklet contains an introduction to the Internet. Evaluating Online Resources for Political Science with Research Navigator is FREE when packaged with Politics in America and available for stand-alone sale. Take a tour on the web at researchnavigator.com
  • Improved Companion Website™ (prenhall.com/dye): Students can now take full advantage of the World Wide Web to enrich the study of American government through the Politics in America Website. Interactive Web exercises guide students to do research with a series of questions and links.
  • Evaluating Online Resources for Political Science with Research Navigator: This timely supplement provides an introduction to the Internet and the numerous political sites on the World Wide Web. It describes e-mail, list servers, browsers, and how to document sources. It also includes Web addresses for the most current and useful political Web sites.

OneKey. Instructors and students will find all of their resources—all in one place—all organized around the chapters of this text for maximum convenience and flexibility in OneKey, Prentice Hall's new and exclusive one-stop shop. Among the resources available for each chapter include all of the Make It Real simulations, chapter assessment with e-book PDF in feedback, flash-cards, crossword puzzles, chapter opening questions, chapter outline/summary. For the instructor, OneKey also contains: Instructors Manual and Test Item File, powerpoints, image bank, audio of great speeches and video clips from campaigns and advertisements.

Read More Show Less

Customer Reviews

Be the first to write a review
( 0 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star


4 Star


3 Star


2 Star


1 Star


Your Rating:

Your Name: Create a Pen Name or

Barnes & Noble.com Review Rules

Our reader reviews allow you to share your comments on titles you liked, or didn't, with others. By submitting an online review, you are representing to Barnes & Noble.com that all information contained in your review is original and accurate in all respects, and that the submission of such content by you and the posting of such content by Barnes & Noble.com does not and will not violate the rights of any third party. Please follow the rules below to help ensure that your review can be posted.

Reviews by Our Customers Under the Age of 13

We highly value and respect everyone's opinion concerning the titles we offer. However, we cannot allow persons under the age of 13 to have accounts at BN.com or to post customer reviews. Please see our Terms of Use for more details.

What to exclude from your review:

Please do not write about reviews, commentary, or information posted on the product page. If you see any errors in the information on the product page, please send us an email.

Reviews should not contain any of the following:

  • - HTML tags, profanity, obscenities, vulgarities, or comments that defame anyone
  • - Time-sensitive information such as tour dates, signings, lectures, etc.
  • - Single-word reviews. Other people will read your review to discover why you liked or didn't like the title. Be descriptive.
  • - Comments focusing on the author or that may ruin the ending for others
  • - Phone numbers, addresses, URLs
  • - Pricing and availability information or alternative ordering information
  • - Advertisements or commercial solicitation


  • - By submitting a review, you grant to Barnes & Noble.com and its sublicensees the royalty-free, perpetual, irrevocable right and license to use the review in accordance with the Barnes & Noble.com Terms of Use.
  • - Barnes & Noble.com reserves the right not to post any review -- particularly those that do not follow the terms and conditions of these Rules. Barnes & Noble.com also reserves the right to remove any review at any time without notice.
  • - See Terms of Use for other conditions and disclaimers.
Search for Products You'd Like to Recommend

Recommend other products that relate to your review. Just search for them below and share!

Create a Pen Name

Your Pen Name is your unique identity on BN.com. It will appear on the reviews you write and other website activities. Your Pen Name cannot be edited, changed or deleted once submitted.

Your Pen Name can be any combination of alphanumeric characters (plus - and _), and must be at least two characters long.

Continue Anonymously

    If you find inappropriate content, please report it to Barnes & Noble
    Why is this product inappropriate?
    Comments (optional)