Principles and Practice Of American Politics: Classic and Contemporary Readings, 4th Edition / Edition 4

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More About This Textbook


Kernell (political science, U. of California at San Diego) and Smith (political science, Washington U., St. Louis) present 47 readings (19 held over from the first edition) that together review the basic political science of U.S. federal institutions, political actors, and processes. Also discussed are common themes of American political history such as federalism, civil rights and liberties, public opinion, and interest groups. Annotation ©2003 Book News, Inc., Portland, OR
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Editorial Reviews

Although some people would consider "logic" and "American politics" in the same sentence an oxymoron, in the hands of Kernell and Smith The Logic of American Politics emerges as a well-crafted exposition of a protean and adaptable political system, constantly reweaving its political fabric to accommodate the diversity that has enabled this nation to successfully govern itself for more than 225 years. The scope and sheer volume of material easily qualify this book as a portable encyclopedia of the American political system. In addition to focusing upon the seminal concepts, ideas and events contributing to the evolutionary development of state and federal government, the authors catalog the country's responses to a myriad of political issues, showing how each of its branches, the media, special interests and public opinion have forged powerfully diverse interests into a commonality of political purpose that continues to validate the "Solomon-like" wisdom of the founders. Kernell and Smith cover a lot of political ground. Using the great watershed events in American history, from the Revolution to the Depression, to the more contemporary Civil Rights Movement and all the way up through the Clinton impeachment, they explain the logic of a political system predicated on a combination of compromise and fiat. Each chapter poses four or five questions directed at the major political issues of their time. "Are politicians necessary evils, or do they have any redeeming qualities?" "Why is America's Constitution so complicated?" The answers lie in the system's ability to balance motive, opposition and alternatives as the nation moves toward political solutions. To some, these questions might soundtinged in cynicism. But this is mere quibble for an otherwise effective method of engaging the reader's interest. The extensive glossary and index and "suggested readings" at the end of each chapter are indispensable workbook tools for both student and teacher. Hundreds of tidbits, displayed in charts and sidebars, are a treasure of factual information that range from the evolution of Supreme Court decisions to split ticket voting. The coverage of virtually every aspect of American political institutions and their impact on society amply achieves the authors' stated goals of "engaging students' attention and to help them think analytically about the subject." This is an extraordinarily accessible, relevant, modern and practical exposition about the American political system and how it manages to hold us all together. KLIATT Codes: SA—Recommended for senior high school students, advanced students, and adults. 2000, CQ Press, 800p, bibliogs, index, 24cm, $29.95. Ages 16 to adult. Reviewer: William Kircher; Washington DC, September 2000 (Vol. 34 No. 5)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781604264630
  • Publisher: Congressional Quarterly, Inc.
  • Publication date: 8/4/2009
  • Edition description: Older Edition
  • Edition number: 4
  • Pages: 689
  • Sales rank: 933,175
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 8.90 (h) x 1.10 (d)

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