A MESSAGE FROM THE AUTHORS
Events of the past few years have underscored the importance of government and politics in people's lives. The terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center and Pentagon reminded all Americans that we live in a dangerous world. Citizens expect their national, state, and local governments to provide security, a theme President Bush repeatedly emphasized in his 2002 campaign appearances. The tragic events of September 11, 2001 also raised many questions about how our governments perform: How do we capture and punish those who planned and paid for these attacks? How could our intelligence services—the FBI, CIA, and others—have failed to detect an attack of this magnitude? How do we secure the homeland from future attacks? At the same time that we are asking these hard questions, we are affirming the enlarged role of governments at all levels in defending our country against those who encourage terrorism, in reorganizing our governments, especially our national government, to more effectively secure our homeland and to rebuild New York City and the Pentagon. We also ask a lot of our government. For example, what balance should we strike between protecting liberty and providing security?
The economic state of affairs is another topic that illustrates the importance of government at all levels. Many states have been forced to cut budgets and consider tax increases and at the national level, the Federal Reserve Board has been active in adjusting interest rates. How governments respond to these economic challenges provides another opportunity to learn about government and politics.
In terms of elected office and party preferences, our nation is evenly divided, with a slight edge to the Republicans at the national level. But as we were reminded in 2000, the Electoral College, and not the popular vote, decides who is president. And in the case of the 2000 presidential election, it was the Supreme Court's decision in Florida, one of many 5-to-4 decisions by the court in recent years, that effectively decided the election. Bush put talk of the disputed 2000 election aside with his tireless and successful campaigning for Republicans in 2002. Will Bush and the Republicans use this as a springboard to party dominance or will Democrats find a way to regain their legislative majorities and reclaim the White House?
Constitutional democracy—the kind we have in the United States—is exceedingly hard to achieve, equally hard to sustain, and often hard to understand without rigorous study. Our political history has been an evolution toward an enlarged role for citizens and voters. Citizens have more rights and political opportunities in 2003 and 2004 than they had in 1800 or 1900. The framers of our Constitution warned that we must be vigilant in safeguarding our rights, liberties, and political institutions. But to do this, we must first understand these institutions and the forces that have shaped them.
Many U.S. citizens take for granted civil liberties, civil rights, free and fair elections, the peaceful transfer of power, and economic freedom and prosperity. Yet many people live in places where these freedoms are nonexistent. This is a time of testing for new democracies as well as old ones. Contempt for government and politics is being expressed in the United States and abroad, yet politics and partisan competition are the lifeblood that enables free societies to achieve the ideal of government by the people.
The world we live in remains highly volatile. Although our defense policy changed with the collapse of communism and the emergence of a less powerful Russia, the world has not suddenly become a safer place in which to live. Terrorism, as evidenced by attacks not only in New York and Washington but around the world, has become the most pressing national security threat. How should we respond to terrorism? To what extent do we pursue those countries that may be producing weapons of mass destruction, such as Iraq? Should the war on terrorism be waged by the United States alone? Or should we work through the United Nations?
Although we constantly turn to government and to our elected officials with problems and requests, we are critical of their shortcomings. A recurrent theme of this book is the absolute need for politics and politicians, despite the widespread tendency to criticize nearly everything political. The reality is that our political system should not be taken for granted, even as we seek ways in which it can be improved.
We want you to come away from reading this book with a richer understanding of American politics, government, and the job of politicians, and we hope you will participate actively in making this constitutional democracy more vital and responsive to the urgent problems of the twenty-first century.
A MESSAGE FROM THE PUBLISHER
Always one step ahead . . .
At Prentice Fall, we are extremely proud to continue to publish the book that always remains one step ahead by anticipating your needs as an educator and your students' needs as learners. In fact, Government by the People has set the standard that others strive to meet. And Government by the People continues to innovate in response to changes in our democratic environment and changes in how the government course is taught by introducing instructors and students to a cohesive presentation interwoven with interesting sidebars, political cartoons, and photos—all the while staying focused on the very document that serves as the foundation of our government: The Constitution. With this edition of Government by the People, we continue this proud legacy.
Esteemed authorship has always been a hallmark of this text. Our authorship is the reason Government by the People remains a bestseller. Every author on this text is among the most well known scholars in his respective field. As a result, Government by the People is considered the most authoritative text on the market. With this edition, we are extremely proud to continue this heritage by welcoming Paul C. Light as the newest member of our renowned author team.
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Book Description Prentice Hall, 2004. Paperback. Book Condition: New. New item. Bookseller Inventory # QX-006-86-8930108
Book Description Book Condition: Brand New. Book Condition: Brand New. Bookseller Inventory # 97801319390661.0
Book Description Prentice Hall. PAPERBACK. Book Condition: New. 0131939068 New Condition. Bookseller Inventory # NEW6.0049560