Understanding American Government, Alternate Edition / Edition 8

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Overview

UNDERSTANDING AMERICAN GOVERNMENT is a mainstream text with diverse perspectives. Focusing on the responsiveness of government, it helps students understand the evolution and impact of important features of government. The book is a three-time winner of the annual award given by the womenÆs caucus of APSA for coverage of women. Written in an engaging writing style and with more research citations than any book on the market, UNDERSTANDING AMERICAN GOVERNMENT is readable and scholarly. As the brief version of AMERICAN GOVERNMENT, Seventh Edition, UNDERSTANDING AMERICAN GOVERNMENT excludes the four policy chapters. Otherwise, the books are identical, and share the same supplemental package.
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Editorial Reviews

Booknews
A textbook for an introductory undergraduate course designed to demonstrate to students why government is important, and to interest them in learning about controversial issues in American public life. It describes the mechanisms of government in the US, how and why features have evolved, their impact on government and individuals, and why they are or are not controversial and worth learning. No dates are noted for previous editions; the sixth covers the 2000 nominations but not the election, and adds a timeline of important events to each chapter. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)
From the Publisher
"It is the best American government textbook I have ever encountered. Since I have at least 80 students per year, and sometimes as many 160, I have had many other publishers send me examination copies. None have matched the strengths of UNDERSTANDING AMERICAN GOVERNMENT."

"The text is rigorous and does not cut corners on presenting the nuances and complexities of the concepts and issues being presented."

"It is an exceptional textbook on American national government and one that I believe would be of great value to the student taking a course in this subject. It is exceptionally well-written, comprehensive, incorporates not only traditional material included in an American government text book but also incorporates this material with current issues and promotes critical thinking in the student. In my opinion, this book could not only serve as a textbook for a course but be a valuable reference book that a student could use long after the formal course is over. It highlights the dynamics of government, the issues of the basic belief in the American democratic system while raising the important questions of legitimacy and the need for participation by the student in the future. I would highly recommend this book and think it would meet and exceed the expectations of both an instructor and student.

"I commend some of the photos for the candor by which they address difficult issues that need to be addressed and are avoided in other textbooks. This material prompts course discussion about the difficult issues and events in American national government but, at times, the best way to address American government and democracy is to deal with those that are the most difficult and highlight some of the most difficult periods in government—the slave ship, the photograph of immigration in New York City, Founding Mothers, Prohibition, and the Depression. . . . It is the first text I have seen that not only deals exceptionally with the written material presented but uses graphic illustrations to reinforce the written material and make the subject matter both interesting and relevant to the student.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780534647490
  • Publisher: Cengage Learning
  • Publication date: 3/10/2005
  • Edition description: Older Edition
  • Edition number: 8
  • Pages: 640
  • Product dimensions: 8.60 (w) x 11.00 (h) x 0.80 (d)

Meet the Author

Susan Welch received her AB and PhD degrees from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. She is currently Dean of the College of Liberal Arts and Professor of Political Science at The Pennsylvania State University. Her teaching and research areas include legislatures, urban politics, and women and minorities in politics. She publishes widely on issues of race, gender, and urban politics.

John Gruhl, Professor of Political Science, received his AB from DePauw University in Greencastle, Indiana, and his PhD from the University of California at Santa Barbara. Since joining the University of Nebraska faculty in 1976, he has taught and done research in the areas of judicial process, criminal justice, and civil rights and liberties. He holds campus- and university-wide distinguished teaching awards for excellence in undergraduate teaching and became a charter member of the university's Academy of Distinguished Teachers.

John Comer is Professor of Political Science at the University of Nebraska. He received his AB in political science from Miami University in 1965 and his PhD from The Ohio State University in 1971. His teaching and research focuses on interest groups, public opinion, voting behavior, and political parties.

Susan M. Rigdon received AB and PhD degrees in political science from the University of Illinois in 1966 and 1971, respectively. While focusing her teaching on comparative politics and international relations, she has also taught American government courses at several universities in the United States and China. Her research interests include culture and politics, security policy, and poverty and development. She is a Research Associate in Anthropology at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

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Table of Contents

Ch. 1 American Democracy 2
Ch. 2 The Constitution 22
Ch. 3 Federalism and the Growth of Government 48
Ch. 4 Public Opinion 72
Ch. 5 Interest Groups 104
Ch. 6 Political Parties 138
Ch. 7 Elections 166
Ch. 8 The Media 212
Ch. 9 Money and Politics 252
Ch. 10 Congress 280
Ch. 11 The Presidency 324
Ch. 12 The Bureaucracy 360
Ch. 13 The Judiciary 392
Ch. 14 Civil Liberties 424
Ch. 15 Civil Rights 464
Ch. 16 The Budget 516
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