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The American Democracy

Patterson, Thomas Author

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"There are a lot of bad republicans; there are no good democrats."—Ann Coulter

In today’s climate of hyper-partisanship, blurred lines between political news, analysis, and entertainment, and outrageous comments from the chattering classes, who better than Tom Patterson to provide students with the tools and context to make informed judgments and become skilled political thinkers? Patterson’s The American Democracy has long been a best seller for American government courses due to its insightful, readable, and balanced portrayal of the American political system. The 10th edition continues this tradition of excellence while also introducing a new emphasis on political thinking at a time when the partisan divide seemingly could not be wider and unbiased political information is often drowned out by other sources.

With expertise in the areas of public opinion, the media, and elections among other areas, Tom Patterson is a voice you can trust to help develop your students critical thinking skills when it comes to politics and political science. As Patterson notes, “Political thinking takes place within the context of a person’s political interests and values, which can lead equally thoughtful individuals to reach opposing opinions on the same issue.” If you are looking for learning materials to help ensure your students leave your course among those “thoughtful individuals” that will carry the debate forward in measured and informed ways, The American Democracy is the right choice for you.

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About the Author:

Thomas E. Patterson is Bradlee Professor of Government and the Press in the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University. He was previously distinguished professor of political science in the Maxwell School of Citizenship at Syracuse University. Raised in a small Minnesota town near the Iowa and South Dakota borders, he was educated at South Dakota State University and the University of Minnesota, where he received his Ph.D. in 1971. Currently running the "Vanishing Voter" study at the Kennedy School of Government, which has been widely used in the media and on college campuses, Tom is also the author of six books and dozens of articles, which focus primarily on the media and elections. His book, 'Out of Order'(1994), received national attention when President Clinton said every politician and journalist should be required to read it. An earlier book, 'The Mass Media Election'(1980), received a 'Choice' award as Outstanding Academic Book, 1980-81. Another of Patterson's books, 'The Unseeing Eye'(1976), was recently selected by the American Association for Public Opinion Research as one of the fifty most influential books of the past half century in the field of public opinion. His current research includes a study of White House communication and a study of the news media's role in Western democracies. His work has been funded by major grants from the National Science Foundation, the Markle Foundation, the Smith-Richardson Foundation, the Ford Foundation and the Pew Charitable Trusts.

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