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New to this Edition:
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.
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
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.
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.
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.