American Government: Stories of a Nation, Essentials Edition
American Government: Stories of a Nation, Essentials Edition

American Government: Stories of a Nation, Essentials Edition

by Scott F. Abernathy

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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781506378466
Publisher: SAGE Publications
Publication date: 01/25/2017
Edition description: New Edition
Pages: 696
Product dimensions: 8.50(w) x 11.00(h) x (d)

About the Author

Scott Abernathy was born and raised in Fort Worth, Texas. While an undergraduate at Dartmouth College, he volunteered for three months with Mother Theresa’s Missionaries of Charity in Calcutta, India.

After graduation, hoping to do service work closer to home, Scott worked as an on-street counselor with homeless adolescents in Boston, MA, with The Bridge, a non-profit multi-service youth agency.

Scott then received a Master of Curriculum and Instruction and taught fourth and seventh grades in Wisconsin public schools. Hoping to learn more about the underlying systems that drove the educational outcomes he was trying to change, Scott completed an M.P.A in domestic policy and then a Ph.D. in Politics from Princeton University.

Scott is now an associate professor of Political Science and a University Distinguished Teaching Professor at the University of Minnesota. He is also the author of School Choice and the Future of American Democracy and No Child Left Behind and the Public Schools, both from University of Michigan Press.

While Scott says that being a “streetworker” was the most transforming job he has ever had, this textbook, and the chance to teach students—not in a subway stop, a squat, or a classroom, but through writing—is pretty cool as well.

Table of Contents

Preface
Acknowledgments
About the Author
PART I: FOUNDATIONS
1. American Political Stories: Claiming Rights, Demanding to Be Heard
American Students Claim Their Rights
People Matter! But So Do Ideas
Drafting the Declaration of Independence: Affirming and Demanding Fundamental Rights
The American Revolution: Ideals and Strategic Politics
The American Radicals: From Ideas to Strategic Action to Political Institutions
Institutions Matter, Too
Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s Letter from Birmingham Jail
Conclusion: The American Experiment, Continued, and You Are Part of It
Chapter Review
2. The Constitution of the United States: Practical Politics and a New Vision of Representative Government
James Madison’s Research Project: “The Fathers Were Practical Men”
American Government Before the Constitution: The Articles of Confederation, Problems of National Authority, and Differences between the States
The Constitutional Convention in Philadelphia: “Experience Must Be Our Only Guide”
Details of the New Government
Ratification: Federalists versus Antifederalists
Conclusion: What Is the Constitution?
Chapter Review
3. Federalism: The Changing Boundaries between the Nation and the States
Between State and Federal Law: Fighting for Access to Medical Marijuana
American Federalism and the Constitution
The Supreme Court Weighs In: Medical Marijuana and American Federalism
The Development of American Federalism
The Great Depression and the New Deal: A Nation on the Brink of Failure and Revolution in American Federalism
New Deal Expansion
Modern American Federalism: Expansion, Restriction, and State Resistance
Conclusion: American Federalism Challenged, in Progress, and Undecided
Chapter Review
4. Civil Liberties: Building and Defending Fences
“From Russia with Love”: Edward Snowden: Traitor, Hero, or None of the Above
The Constitution and the Bill of Rights: The Foundations for the Protections for Americans’ Civil Liberties
Another Outlaw: Another Charge against the Government’s Infringements upon Civil Liberties
Selective Incorporation: Applying the Bill of Rights to State Laws and Actions
The First Amendment: “Congress Shall Make No Law”
Other First Amendment Protections: Speech, Press, Assembly, and Petition
The Second Amendment: Firearms
Criminal Rights
The Last Two Amendments in the Bill of Rights: Setting the Larger Boundaries around the Power of the Federal Government
Americans Claim Their Rights to Marriage Equality
Conclusion: Fences Still under Construction
Chapter Review
5. Civil Rights: How Equal Is Equal?
Securing Rights for Those with Disabilities: Refusing to Be Called a “Fire Hazard”
“Equal Justice Under Law”: Confronting a History of Segregation and Oppression
The NAACP’s Judicial Assault on Legal Segregation
Securing Civil Rights for American Women
Complexity and Change in Americans’ Efforts to Secure Their Civil Rights
Conclusion: Have Americans’ Civil Rights Been Secured?
Chapter Review
PART II: POLITICAL BEHAVIOR AND MASS POLITICS
6. Political Participation: Carry That Weight
Shaping the Political Agenda: Testifying on the Problem of Sexual Violence and Firearms on College Campuses
The Many Forms of Political Participation
Mobilization and Pressure: Art and Protest as Tools of Social and Political Change
Voting: Factors That Shape Electoral Participation
Acting at a Very Local Level: Preventing Campus Sexual Assaults through Education and Distraction
Young Americans: Political Participation and Nonparticipation in the Twenty-First Century
Conclusion: Are Young Adult Americans Really Disconnected from the Political Process?
Chapter Review
7. Public Opinion: How Are Americans’ Voices Measured? Does It Matter?
The “Fergusons” of America: Differing Views on a Tragic Event
What Is Public Opinion?
Shaping Public Opinion: The Battle over the “Fergusons”
Measuring and Transmitting Public Opinion
The Formation of Political Attitudes: Exploring Political Socialization
Ferguson and the Effects of Public Opinion on Democratic Representation
Conclusion: The Meanings of Public Opinion
Chapter Review
8. The Media: New Technologies, Enduring Issues
Blogging from War: Soldiers as Journalists
The Development of the American News Media
Regulating the Media: Ownership and Content
Merging News and Entertainment: Journalists as Celebrities
How the Media Shape American Politics Today: Bias, Campaign Coverage, and the Power of the Media
Conclusion: Comedians as Respected Journalists
Chapter Review
9. Political Parties: The Insurgents versus the Establishment
Two Presidential Candidates Shake Up The Field
What Are Parties, and What Do They Do?
The Presidential Election of 2016: Bye Bye, Conventional Wisdom
The Development of American Political Parties
Conclusion: The Fallout
Chapter Review
10. Campaigns and Elections: Candidates and Voters in an Era of Demographic Change
Latino Outreach in the 2016 Election
Elections and Democratic Representation
Competing for Latino Votes in a Presidential Campaign: Capturing an Unrealized Potential
The Politics of Presidential Elections
California’s Twenty-Fourth Congressional District: A First-Timer Runs for the House of Representatives
The Politics of Congressional Elections
Conclusion: From Candidate to Officeholder
Chapter Review
11. Interest Groups and Social Movements: Collective Action, Power, and Representation
Blowing Bubbles with Houses: The Roots of a Financial Crisis
A Nation of Joiners: Acting Collectively in American Representative Democracy
Interest Groups Act on Their Members’ Behalf: Responding to the Financial Crisis, Part I
The Interest Group Landscape: Types and Tactics
The Origins of a Social Movement?: Responding to the Financial Crisis, Part II
Social Movements: Pinning Down their Existence, Success, and Failure
Conclusion: Organizing for Change
Chapter Review
PART III: INSTITUTIONS
12. Congress: Representation, Organization, and Legislation
Women in Congress Today: Looking Around, Looking Back, and Looking Ahead
The Constitution and Congress
Stepping Up and Charting a Path to Congress
The Politics of Congressional Elections
The Organization of Congress
“I’m Just a Bill”: The Legislative Process
The Meanings and Challenges of Representation
Conclusion: The Complexity of Representation
Chapter Review
13. The American Presidency: Individuals, Institutions, and Executive Power
The “Body” of Anwar Al-Awlaki: Presidential War-Making Power in the Twenty-First Century
The Constitution and the American Presidency: A Vague Description of the Most Complicated Job in the World
Testing The Limits Of Presidential Power During The American Civil War
Individuals and the Development of Presidential Power
The Modern Presidency in Context: Institutions and Informal Sources of Power
The “Body” of Yaser Hamdi: The Supreme Court Restricts Presidential Power in the War on Terror
Conclusion: The Paradox of Power
Chapter Review
14. The Federal Bureaucracy: Putting the Nation’s Laws into Effect
Hurricane Katrina: A National Crisis Places the Federal Bureaucracy under the Microscope
Theories of Bureaucratic Organization
The Development of the American Federal Bureaucracy
The Structure of the Modern Federal Bureaucracy
Federal Bureaucrats: Organizations, Tasks, and Oversight
Handling the Bureaucracy: Control, Oversight, and Reform
Conclusion: Another Devastating Hurricane, Another Federal Response
Chapter Review
15. The Federal Judiciary: Politics, Power, and the “Least Dangerous” Branch
The “Trial” of Sonia Sotomayor: Identity, Politics, and the Supreme Court
The Constitution and the Federal Judiciary
The “Trial” of John Marshall: The Establishment of Judicial Review
The Federal Judiciary and the American Legal System
Appointment to the Federal Judiciary
The “Trial” of Robert Bork: Politics, Confirmation, and Constitutional Interpretation
Judicial Review, Constitutional Interpretation, and Judicial Decision Making
Conclusion: The “Trial” of Merrick Garland?
Chapter Review
Appendix
Articles of Confederation
Declaration of Independence
Constitution of the United States
Federalist No. 10
Federalist No. 51
Political Party Affiliations in Congress and the Presidency, 1789–2015
Summary Of Presidential Elections, 1789–2012
Glossary
Notes
Index

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