Living Democracy National Edition

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9780136039938: Living Democracy National Edition
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Updated in a new 3rd edition, Living Democracy helps students draw connections between course topics and current events and find a role for themselves in politics and government. Everything about this dynamic book–from its engaging writing and examples, to its bold graphics and photos, to its innovative learning pedagogy and interactive assessment–is designed to get students to participate in their learning, in the classroom, and in all aspects of American politics. By implementing cutting-edge learning theory-based techniques to engage students and help them retain important information, Living Democracy has set a new standard for how textbooks can help students learn.

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From the Back Cover:



Participation in Politics

Recurring Pathways features provide students with the means–and the inspiration–to participate directly in the political process and to make a difference at all levels of the community. 

  • “Pathways Profile” features in each chapter profile individuals who have made a difference in American politics.  This feature helps underscore the importance of diversity in our system. (Example: Pathways Profile: Congresswoman Nancy Pelosi Makes History)
  • “Pathways of Action” explain how an individual or group has influenced government by using a particular “pathway” or course of action. These examples help students see how others have done it, and how they too might make a difference too. (Example: Pathways of Action: Cruel and Unusual Punishments)
  • “What YOU can do!” Stressing the idea that American politics is not a spectator sport, this feature prompts students to explore politics on a local level–on campus and in their local governments, taking political action off the pages of the text and into actual political participation. 


Participation in the classroom

A story-telling narrative, provocative examples, and stunning visual program foster in-class participation and discussion while a range of activities encourage students to apply key concepts in- and outside the classroom.

  • Chapter Opening Vignettes present a fascinating story that grabs the reader’s attention and provides tangible links between popular culture and the political process, helping students relate to the material.
  • Developed with student input, the photo and art program offers a modern, contemporary presentation from which they will enjoy learning. The text’s open design draws readers in and provokes intense reactions and learning through pertinent, compelling photos, easy-to-follow features, and bold illuminating graphs, figures and tables, along with captions that help put data in context and pose critical thinking questions.
  • High impact “Visual Pathways” timelines combine photographs and text to present a visually rich treatment of a specific core policy issue. Timelines conclude with provocative essay questions that prompt students to consider the interrelated forces that affect the democratic process.
  • Discussion Questions throughout each chapter provide students with the opportunity to study and to understand course material in a more conceptual or collaborative way.


Participation in Learning

This text wide variety of self-assessment tools in each chapter to help students anticipate, understand, and review key ideas as they work through the text.

  • Practice Quizzes and Chapter Review Tests offer multiple-choice questions and answer keys so students can check their progress.
  • Critical Thinking Questions prompt students to synthesize ideas from different chapters.
  • New Key Questions, Key Objective Outlines, and Key Objective Review sections in this edition expand this text’s extensive pedagogy and focus students on the most important information in the section. 
  • Connect the LINK features placed at the top of the page help students to make connections about particular topics, from one chapter to another. 
  • Actual Student Questions are called-out in the text serve as a starting point for a topic and class discussion.


New to this Edition:


  • Revised design still offers lots of visual appeal, but also better organizes material for students and seeks to expand their understanding of complex topics. 
  • With expanded learning goals, outlines and review pedagogy for each chapter, this edition provides even clearer framework for learning.
  • Key Objective Outlines appear on each chapter-opening spread with a Key Question for each section to help students focus in on the most important ideas to look for as well as a key question for the chapter itself and the chapter-opening vignette. 
  • Key Questions for each main section of the chapter highlight the most crucial information. 
  • Key Objective Review sections at the end of the chapter include a summary statement about each major section, a list of the Key Terms, Critical Thinking questions, Internet Resources and Additional Readings.
  • Extended Key Term Definitions provide more background with key terms defined at the top of the page.  An illustrative example of each term appears next to the definition to fully explain the significance of the term.
  • Student Profile” sections showcase the actions and accomplishments of young persons who have become active in American politics or engaged in making changes in pubic life.  (Example:  Ch 12, Alexander Heffner and Andrew Mangino, the founders of, the first-ever national student newspaper.)
  • Pathways of Change from Around the World” offer a comparative perspective by spotlighting stories of political action by young persons in different parts of the world.  (Example:  Ch 1, Pathways of Change from Around the World: Venezuelan Students Demand the Right to Protest)
  • You Decide! features [formerly “Your Turn!”] at the end of every chapter ask students to consider a scenario or a project that requires them to apply the information they’ve learned to a real-world situation.
  • About the Author:

    Daniel M. Shea is a Professor of Political Science and Director of the Center for Political Participation at Allegheny College. He earned his Bachelor of Arts degree in Political Science and American Studies from the State University of New York at Oswego, his Master of Arts degree in Campaign Management from the University of West Florida, and his Ph.D. in Political Science from the State University of New York at Albany. Shea has received numerous awards for his teaching and scholarship and has authored or co-authored several books on the American political process. In the fall of 2002, he founded the Center for Political Participation (CPP) to foster a greater appreciation for political engagement and to develop hands-on programs that bring young people into the civic realm. The CPP develops programs for Allegheny students, for community partners, and for scholars nationwide, and several of their recent initiatives have garnered national media attention.


    Joanne Connor Green is an Associate Professor of Political Science and the Director of Women’s Studies at Texas Christian University. She earned her Bachelor’s degree in Political Science from the University of Buffalo in 1990 and her Ph.D. in American Politics from the University of Florida in 1994. Green’s research and teaching interests include the role of gender in congressional elections and interest group politics. She has published a number of articles in scholarly journals, including Women & Politics, as well as other academic outlets.


    Christopher E. Smith is a Professor of Criminal Justice at Michigan State University. He previously taught at the University of Akron and the University of Connecticut at Hartford. He earned his Ph.D. in Political Science at the University of Connecticut at Storrs and also holds degrees from Harvard University, the University of Bristol (U.K.), and the University of Tennessee College of Law. As a specialist on courts and constitutional law, he has written more than 20 books as well as 90 scholarly articles that have appeared in a variety of journals.

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