Government in America: People, Politics, and Policy, Brief Edition (8th Edition)

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9780321318138: Government in America: People, Politics, and Policy, Brief Edition (8th Edition)

Framing its content within a “politics matters” theme, Government in America illustrates the impact that government has on the daily lives of each and every American, motivating students to become active participants in all aspects of political culture.

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From the Back Cover:

Features:

  • "Why It Matters" marginal boxes encourage students to think critically about an aspect of government, politics, or policy and ask them to consider the impact–usually on themselves–if things worked differently.
  • “Young People and Politics” boxes illustrate how politics specifically impact young adults, how their political behavior patterns are unique and important, and how their particular political desires are being met or ignored by public officials. 
  • “You Are the Policymaker” boxes throughout the text put students in the role of policymaker, asking them to analyze two sides of an issue and reach a policy decision.
  • “How You Can Make a Difference” boxes provide students with information on how they can get involved with issues in order to influence how government works or help decide what policies are established.
  • "America in Perspective" features examine how the United States compares to other countries in areas such as tax rates, voter turnout, and the delivery of public services. Through reading these boxes and comparing the United States to other nations, students can obtain a better perspective on the size of our government and the nature of our democracy.
  •  “Issues of the Times, pulled directly from the New York Times, ask students to think critically about the news and how it affects them. These two-page spreads at the back of the book are accompanied by an introduction, overlaying pedagogy that emphasizes key points in the article, and critical reading questions to guide students through the issues of the day. In essence, students get a free New York Times  Reader in every copy of their book!
  • “Get Connected” chapter-ending boxes underscore the “politics matters” theme by asking students to get involved, investigate current political issues on the web, and then answer critical thinking questions about what they've seen. The exercises demonstrate key points in each chapter and are designed to work well as homework assignments.
  • Tools for Understanding Government in America “Primer” at the start of the text provides helpful guidance on how to read newspapers, study charts and graphs (especially in this book), and understand the Internet.
  • MyPoliSciLab icons are included throughout the text's margins, and access to the web site comes at no additional charge when an access card is bundled with the book.  MyPoliSciLab is a state of the art, interactive and instructive online solution for your course offered within a course management system or as a website alone. (Course management systems include CourseCompass, Blackboard, and Web CT.)  MyPoliSciLab offers students a wealth of interactive exercises and a battery of assessment tools—all integrated with the on-line e-book. For each chapter of the text, students will navigate through a pre-test, post-test, chapter review, and a full chapter exam, all linked to the on-line e-book, so they can assess, review, and improve their understanding of the concepts within the chapters. In addition to the electronic chapter content and assessment, students will have access to a wealth of simulations, interactive timelines, comparative exercises, debate and roundtable videos, weekly polls, an hourly feed from the New York Times, Research Navigator, writing resources, and much more. 

 

New to this Edition:

 

New feature called “A Generation of Change” compares various current aspects of politics, government, and public policy to that of a generation ago.  An 18-year old student in 2007 was born in 1989, when President Reagan was finishing up his term and the first President Bush took office.  Because students have little idea of just how much things have changed between then and now, the “A Generation of Change” feature provides students with some historical perspective - all the more engaging because it is framed around their lifetime.

 

Chapter 1 - now includes a section on "American Political Culture and Democracy," which looks at the overall set of values widely shared within American society.  This section discusses five aspects of this culture, including liberty, egalitarianism, individualism, laissez-faire, and populism.  This section is followed by a new section, "A Culture War?" that discusses the perceived political polarization in today's society.

 

Chapters 4 and 5 — In response to user feedback, the old Chapter 4, Civil Liberties and Civil Rights, has been split into two chapters.  Chapter 4 covers Civil Liberties and Chapter 5 covers Civil Rights.

 

Chapter 7 - The section "Narrowcasting:  Cable TV and the Internet" has been revised by separating these two topics and expanding upon them and their impact on politics and the mass media.   The new section "From Broadcasting to Narrowcasting: The Rise of the Cable News Channels" focuses on the rise of cable news channels, and explores the proliferation of channels appealing to a specialized audience and the impact on the overall quality of political journalism.  The new section "The Impact of the Internet" looks at the expanding role of the Internet in the political process and whether the potential of the Internet has been realized or reinforces predispositions.  The section explores how the Internet facilitates communication, brings activists together through websites and blogs, and provides information and news as an alternative to other media.

 

Chapter 8 - In the section on "Party Eras in American History," the discussion of "1968-Present" has been expanded to include a discussion of the Southern Realignment.

 

Chapter 17 - The authors have elevated and expanded the section on "The War on Terrorism," including a new subsection on "Afghanistan and Iraq."  The section "The Decreasing Role of Military Power" has been changed to "The Changing Role of Military Power," and includes a new subsection on "Humanitarian Interventions."

 

In addition, the entire text has been updated throughout to reflect recent changes in politics, policy, and participation.  This includes comprehensive coverage of the 2006 midterm elections — both the campaigns and the results — in Chapters 8 to 9 and 11 to 12, and the latest Supreme Court decisions from 2006 on federalism, civil liberties, civil rights, and other relevant topics. From the numbers for the 2007 budget to the backgrounds of members of Congress, the text, tables, and figures reflect the most recent available data. Naturally, considerable attention is devoted to the Bush administration in Chapter 12 and to the efforts of both the president and Congress to deal with the budget (Chapter 15), which has become central to American politics and policy.  25-30% of the photos and their captions, used to support and expand the discussion, have been updated and replaced.

 

The Issues of the Times Reader, included at the back of the book, presents thought-provoking articles directly from the New York Times on important issues in the news along with useful pedagogy that helps students understand and think critically about the issues.  New articles cover topics such as how the internet is changing politics, state compensation for federal inaction, the revolving door between congress and lobbying firms, and the use of public opinion theories to “sell” presidential policies.

 

New topics in other existing features include:

 

How You Can Make a Difference

Birthright Citizenship (Chapter 2)

Federalism (Chapter 3)

Free Speech on Campus (Chapter 4)

Gender Discrimination (Chapter 5)

Political Participation (Chapter 6)

Political Action and Congress (Chapter 11)

The Constitution in Exile v. The Living Constitution (Chapter 14)

Federal Spending and the Pork Barrel (Chapter 15)

Faith-Based Social Welfare Reform (Chapter 16)

Joining the Peace Corps (Chapter 17)

 

America in Perspective

Preaching Procreation and Paying for It: Family Policies in Europe and Elsewhere (Chapter 16)

 

You Are the Policymaker

Defanging a Nuclear Threat (Chapter 17)

About the Author:

George C. Edwards III is Distinguished Professor of political science at Texas A&M University.   He also holds the Jordan Chair in Presidential Studies in the Bush School, and has served as the Olin Professor of American Government at Oxford, the John Adams Fellow at the University of London, and held senior visiting appointments at Peking University, Hebrew University in Jerusalem, and the U.S. Military Academy at West Point.  He was the founder and from 1991-2001 the director of The Center for Presidential Studies. 

    When he determined that he was unlikely to become shortstop for the New York Yankees, he turned to political science. Today, he is one of the country's leading scholars of the presidency, he has authored dozens of articles and has written or edited 21 books on American politics and public policy making, including At the Margins: Presidential Leadership of Congress, Presidential Approval, Presidential Leadership, National Security and the U.S. Constitution, Implementing Public Policy, and Researching the Presidency.  He is also editor of Presidential Studies Quarterly and consulting editor of the Oxford Handbook of American Politics series.  Among his latest books, On Deaf Ears: The Limits of the Bully Pulpit is a study of the effectiveness of presidential leadership of public opinion; Why the Electoral College Is Bad for America advocates direct election of the president; and Governing by Campaigning focuses on the politics of the Bush presidency.

    Professor Edwards has served as president of the Presidency Research Section of the American Political Science Association and on many editorial boards. He has received the Decoration for Distinguished Civilian Service from the U.S. Army, the Pi Sigma Alpha Prize from the Southern Political Science Association, and is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations. He has spoken to more than 200 universities and other groups in the United States and abroad, keynoted numerous national and international conferences, given hundreds of interviews with the national and international press, and can often be heard on National Public Radio. His work has been funded by grants from the National Science Foundation, the Smith-Richardson Foundation, and the Ford Foundation. He serves on the Board of Directors of the Roper Center and the Board of Trustees of the Center for the Study of the Presidency.

    Dr. Edwards also applies his scholarship to practical issues of governing, including advising Brazil on its constitution and the operation of its presidency, Russia on building a democratic national party system, Mexico on elections, and Chinese scholars on democracy; and authoring studies for the 1988 and 2000 U.S. presidential transitions.

    When not writing, speaking, or advising, he prefers to spend his time with his wife, Carmella, sailing, skiing, scuba diving, traveling, or attending art auctions.

   

Martin P. Wattenberg is professor of political science at the University of California, Irvine. His first regular paying job was with the Washington Redskins, from which he moved on to receive a Ph.D. at the University of Michigan. He is the author of Is Voting for Young People?, which is part of Longman’s “Great Questions in Politics” series.  In addition, he is the author of several books published by Harvard University Press:  Where Have All the Voters Gone? (2002), The Decline of American Political Parties (1998), and The Rise of Candidate-Centered Politics (1991).

                 Professor Wattenberg has lectured about American politics on all of the inhabited continents. His travels have led him to become interested in electoral politics around the world. He has co-edited two books published by Oxford University Press—one on party systems in the advanced industrialized world, and the other on the recent trend toward mixed-member electoral systems.

 

Robert L. Lineberry is professor of political science at the University of Houston and has been its senior vice president. He served from 1981 to 1988 as dean of the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences at the University of Kansas in Lawrence.

    A native of Oklahoma City, he received a B.A. degree from the University of Oklahoma in 1964 and a Ph.D. in political science from the University of North Carolina in 1968. He taught for seven years at Northwestern University.

    Dr. Lineberry has been president of the Policy Studies Section of the American Political Science Association and is currently the editor of Social Science Quarterly. He is the author or coauthor of numerous books and articles in political science. In addition, for the past 35 years he has taught regularly the introductory course in American government.

    He has been married to Nita Lineberry for 43 years. They have two children, Nikki, who works in Denver, and Keith, who works in Houston. They have six grandchildren—Lee, Hunter, Callie, Arwen, Elijah, and Eleanor.

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