This wonderful text accomplishes three important goals. First, it introduces readers to the American approach to public policy making as it has been shaped by our political institutions, changing circumstances, and ideology. Second, it informs readers about the basic elements of U.S. public policy in all the major policy realms -- and does so concisely, reliably, and even-handedly. Finally, it inspires readers with an appreciation of the widely shared but often competing values that must be balanced and rebalanced in the ongoing policy-making process. Each of the core chapters of the book includes a case study of a major policy choice -- such as welfare reform, drug enforcement, affirmative action, missile defense -- that illustrates the policy-making process in action. Also included in each chapter are lists of key concepts and questions for discussion.