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With a focus on competition for resources, this balanced, but provocative text uses Harold Laswell's classic definition of politics–“Who gets what, when, and how”–as a framework for presenting a clear, cohesive and stimulating introduction to the American political system.
Thomas Dye, along with new co-author Bartholomew Sparrow, has written a lively and absorbing narrative examining the struggle for power that is American politics: the participants, the stakes, the processes, and the institutions. Numerous feature boxes explore timely issues, draw cross-cultural comparisons, promote critical thinking, and provoke thoughtful opinions. The Texas Edition of this classic text includes the same coverage as the comprehensive version, but includes 7 additional chapters on Texas politics.
With the intense political conflict of the most expensive presidential campaign in American history and the hotly-contested primary campaigns that led to the national conventions in 2008, Politics in America’s theme of the constant competition for power and resources–“who gets what”–has never been more relevant.
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Politics in America utilizes Harold Laswell's classic definition of politics ("Who gets what, when, and how") as a framework for presenting a clear, concise, and stimulating introduction to the American political system. Dye examines the struggle for power -- the participants, the stakes, the processes, and the institutional arena -- in a well-organized format and with lively and absorbing narrative. Feature boxes add an extra dimension to the study of American Politics by exploring timely issues, opinions, and cross-cultural comparison.From the Inside Flap:
Politics is an activity by which people try to get more of whatever there is to get. It is not about the pursuit of liberty as much as it is about the struggle over the allocation of values in society. Simply put, it is about "who gets what, when, and how."
By using Lasswell's classic definition of politics as the unifying framework, Politics in America, Fourth Edition, strives to present a clear, concise, and stimulating introduction to the American political system. Without the conflicts that arise from disagreement over who should get what, when, and how, our government would not reflect the diverse concerns of the nation. Politics consists of all of the activities—reasonable discussion, impassioned oratory, campaigning, balloting, fund raising, advertising, lobbying, demonstrating, rioting, street fighting, and waging war—by which conflict is carried on. Managing conflict is the principle function of the political system and power is the ultimate goal.
By examining the struggle for power—the participants, the stakes, the processes, and the institutional arenas—Politics in America, Fourth Edition, introduces students to the politics that is the basis for our democracy. WHY POLITICS IN AMERICA?
Recent market research indicates that 76 percent of instructors teaching the Introductory American Government course find engaging their students to be the most difficult task facing them. Politics in America, Fourth Edition, is written to be lively and absorbing, reflecting the teaching philosophy that stimulating students' interest in politics and public affairs is the most important goal of an introductory course. Interesting examples and controversial debates spark students' interest and keep them connected to the material. The struggle for power in society is not a dull topic, and textbooks should not make it so.
Politics in America, Fourth Edition, strives for a balanced presentation, but "balanced" does not mean boring. It does not mean the avoidance of controversy. Liberal and conservative arguments are set forth clearly and forcefully. Race and gender are given particular attention, not because it is currently fashionable to do so, but because American politics has long been driven by these factors. As in previous editions, the trademark of this book continues to be its desire to pull students into the debate that is our political system. ORGANIZATION
Part I, "Politics," begins with Lasswell's classic definition of politics and proceeds to describe the nature and functions of government and the meaning of democracy. It poses the question: How democratic is the American political system? It describes the American political culture: its contradictions between liberty and conformity, political equality and economic inequality, equality of opportunity and inequality of results, thus laying the groundwork for understanding the struggle over who gets what.
Part II, "Constitution," describes the politics of constitution making—deciding how to decide. It describes how the struggle over the U.S. Constitution reflected the distribution of power in the new nation. It focuses on the classic arguments of the Founders for limiting and dividing governmental power and the structural arrangements designed to accomplish this end.
Part III, "Participants," begins by examining individual participation in politics—the way people acquire and hold political opinions and act on them through voting and protest activity. It examines the influences of family, school, gender, race, and the role of media in shaping political opinion. It describes how organization concentrates power—to win public office in the case of party organizations, and to influence policy in the case of interest groups. It assesses the role of personal ambition in politics and the role of money.
Part IV, "Institutions," describes the various governmental arenas in which the struggle for power takes place—the Congress, the presidency, the bureaucracy, the courts. More important, it evaluates the power that cones with control of each of these institutions.
Part V, "Outcomes," deals with public policies—the result of the struggle over the allocation of values. It is especially concerned with the two fundamental values of American society—liberty and equality. Each is examined in separate chapters, as are economic policies, welfare policies, and national security policies.
Part VI, "Texas Politics," covers similar questions and issues as they relate to Texas government. INSTRUCTIONAL FEATURES
Interactive Chapter Opening Survey. Each chapter opens with a brief poll called "Ask Yourself about Politics" that alerts students to the crucial issues the chapter covers and the impact of those issues on their lives. This tool can be used to get students thinking about how and why politics is important to them as individuals and as members of a community. In the Fourth Edition, we are excited to offer this survey as an interactive exercise on the accompanying Web site (prenhall/dye). Now students can compare their answers with students from across the country.
Text and Features. The body of each chapter is divided into text and features. The text provides the fram1work of understanding American politics. Each chapter begins with a brief discussion of power in relation to the subject matter of the chapter: for example, limiting governmental power (Chapter 3, "The Constitution"), dividing governmental power (Chapter 4, "Federalism"), and the power of the media (Chapter 6, "Mass Media"). By focusing the beginning of each chapter on questions of power, students can more easily set the chapter content in the context of Lasswell's definition of politics.
The features in each chapter provide timeliness, relevance, stimulation, and perspective. Each boxed feature in the Fourth Edition of Politics in America is designed to encourage students to voice their opinions and explore those of others. If the key to learning is active involvement, students should be encouraged to read and respond whenever possible.
"What Do You Think?" These features pose controversial questions to students and provide national opinion survey data. They cover a wide range of interests designed to stimulate classroom discussion. Examples include: "Can You Trust the Government?" "Is American Government `Of, By and For the People'?" "Are you a Liberal or a Conservative?" "Does Money Buy Influence in Washington?" "How Would You Rate the Presidents?" "Should We Judge Presidents on Private Character or Performance in Office?" "How Much Money Does the Government Waste?" "What Constitutes Sexual Harassment?" "A Conflicting View" These features challenge students to rethink conventional notions about American politics. They are designed to be controversial and to start students thinking about the push and pull that is politics. "Politics as Violence," for example, briefly summarizes the view that much of American political development has been accompanied by violence. Other "Conflicting View" features include: "An Economic Interpretation of the Constitution," "Objections to the Constitution by an Anti-Federalist," "Let the People Vote on National Issues" "The War on Drugs Threatens Individual Liberty," "The Constitution Should Be Color Blind." "Compared to What?" These features provide students with global context by comparing the United States with other nations. Discussions include "Freedom and Democracy around the World," as well as such topics as the size of government, tax burdens, voter turnout, political parties, television culture, health care, and the earnings gap between men and women. "People in Politics" These features are designed to personalize politics for students, to illustrate to them that the participants in the struggle for power are real people. They discuss where prominent people in politics went to school, how they got started in politics, how their careers developed, and how much power they came to possess. Both historical—John Locke and James Madison—and current figures, such as Jeb Bush, Ralph Nader, Colin Powell, Elizabeth Dole, Ted Kennedy, and Jesse "the body" Ventura. "Up Close" These features illustrate the struggle over who gets what. They range over a wide variety of current political conflicts, such as "Sex, Lies, and Impeachment," "Abortion, the `Hot Button' Issue," "Dirty Politics," "AARP: The Nation's Most Powerful Interest Group," "The Christian Coalition: Organizing the Faithful," "Political Correctness vs. Free Speech on Campus," "The Cash Constituents of Congress," "Is Welfare Reform Working?" A special feature, "How to Run for Office," provides practical advice on how to get into electoral politics. "Across the USA" These features provide maps that summarize important statistical and demographic information relevant to American politics. "What's Ahead? Twenty-First Century Directions" Each chapter ends with provocative speculation about future American politics—what is likely to change for the better or for worse. The author presents his personal forecasts about upward and downward trends on such topics as trust in government; the influence of money in politics; the amount of sex, scandal, and violence in news coverage; the weakening of the presidency; the growth of bureaucratic regulation; racial and ethnic conflict; reliance on federal courts rather than the president or Congress to decide policy issues; global commitments and the capability of the U.S. military to meet them.
Currency. The Fourth Edition of Politics in America brings students up-to-date coverage of recent important political events and issues—from Bill Clinton's battles against impeachment, to an analysis of the results is of the 2000 presidential election. It describes the strategies of candidates George W Bush and Al Gore and tracks their campaigns throughout the election years from the early primaries to the general election. It focuses special attention on the role of cash in both presidential and congressional elections. Discussions about "How Much Does It Cost to Get Elected?" "Raising Campaign Cash," "What Do Contributors `Buy'?" are both frank and perhaps disquieting to readers. Yet another special focus of the Fourth Edition is the growing importance of Hispanic Americans in the political life of the nation. And, as in previous editions, it gives special attention to racial issues in American politics. The Fourth Edition deals directly with growing anti-affirmative action politics and political and judicial attacks on racial and gender preferences.
Learning Aids. Each chapter contains a running glossary in the margin to help students master important concepts, a chapter outline, a summary, and a list of annotated suggested readings. SUPPLEMENTS AVAILABLE FOR THE INSTRUCTOR Instructor's Manual. (ISBN 0-13-027160-8) For each chapter, a summary, review of concepts, lecture suggestions and topic outlines, and additional resource materials—including a guide to media resources—are provided. Test Item File. (ISBN 0-13-027175-6) Thoroughly reviewed and revised to ensure the highest level of quality and accuracy, this file offers over 1800 questions in multiple choice, true/false, and essay format with page references to the text. Prentice Hall Custom Test. A computerized test bank contains the items from the Test Item File. The program allows full editing of questions and the addition of instructor-generated items. Available in Windows (ISBN 013-027171-3) and Macintosh (ISBN 0-13-027174-8) versions. TelephoneTest Preparation Service. With one call to our toll-free 800 number, you can have Prentice Hall prepare tests with up to 200 questions chosen from the Test Item File. Within 48 hours of your request, you will receive a personalized exam with answer key. American Government Transparencies, Series VI (ISBN 0-13-011764-1). This set of over 100 four-color transparency acetates reproduces illustrations, charts, and maps from the text as well as from additional sources. An instructor's guide is also available. Prentice Hall Custom Video: How A Bill Becomes a Law. This 25-minute video chronicles an environmental law in Massachusetts—from it's start as one citizen's concern to its passage in Washington, D. C. Students see step-by-step the process of how a bill becomes a law complete through narrative and graphics. Call your local Prentice Hall representative for details. Strategies for Teaching American Government: A Guide for the New Instructor (0-13-339003-9). This unique guide offers a wealth of practical advice and information to help new instructors face the challenges of teaching American government. This guide is also available on prenhall/dye under the faculty resources section. SUPPLEMENTS AVAILABLE FOR THE STUDENT Study Guide. (ISBN 0-13-027176-4) Includes chapter outlines, study notes, a glossary, and practice tests designed to reinforce information in the text and help students develop a greater understanding of American government and politics. The Write Stuff. Writing as a Performing and Political Art, 2nd Ed. (0-13-364746-3) This brief, humorous booklet by Thomas E. Cronin provides ideas and suggestions on writing in political science and is available free to students using Politics in America, Fourth Edition. This booklet is also available on the Politics in America Web site. TECHNOLOGY INITIATIVES
With the development of new technologies, we have discovered more and more ways of helping students and instructors to further understand and analyze information. In this edition, we have made every effort to give both instructors and students a large array of multimedia tools to help with both the presentation and the learning of the material.
CompanionWebsite (prenhall/dye). Students can now take full advantage of the World Wide Web to enrich the study of American government through the Politics in America Web site. Created by Dave Garson of North Carolina State University, the site features interactive practice tests, chapter objectives and overviews, additional graphs and charts, and over 150 primary-source documents that are covered in the text. Interactive Web exercises guide students to do research with a series of questions and links. Students can also tap into information on the results of the 2000 presidential election and the settling in of the new administration, writing in political science, career opportunities, and internship information. Instructors can also find a special section for them that includes an update section for the latest news and how to tie it to lectures, teaching strategies for the new instructor, tables, photos and graphs from the book available for downloading in Power Point slides, additional Web links. Political Science on the Internet 2001: Evaluating Online Resources (ISBN 0-13027758-4). This timely supplement provides an introduction to the Internet and the numerous political sites on the World Wide Web. It describes e-mail, list servers, browsers, and how to document sources. It also includes Web addresses for the most current and useful political Web sites. This 96-page supplementary book is free to students when shrink-wrapped to the text. Distance Learning Solutions. For instructors interested in distance learning, Prentice Hall offers fully customizable, on-line courses in both WebCT and Blackboard platforms. See your l...
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