American Government: Balancing Democracy and Rights

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9780521862752: American Government: Balancing Democracy and Rights

The essential story of American politics and government is the relationship between liberalism and democracy. American Government demonstrates that the tensions and complementarities between liberalism and democracy are crucial for understanding each and all of the central governing institutions and political elements of American public life. The book deals extensively with contemporary political developments, and it provides all the information and breadth of coverage required of an introductory text. But it does so in a manner that highlights the lessons of history and the drama of politics. It shows that the crucial features of the American political system were established through difficult decisions made under enormous pressure and often agonizing, even bloody, conflict. By placing such critical choices in specific times throughout American history, it is the first textbook to adopt an American Political Development approach.

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This introductory textbook highlights the tensions and complementarities between liberalism and democracy that gave rise to the current American political system. It deals extensively with contemporary political issues and dynamics. It is the first to adopt an American Political Development approach.

About the Author:

Marc Landy is Professor of Political Science at Boston College, Co-Director of Boston College's Initiative on Constitutional Democracy, and Faculty Chair of the Boston College Irish Institute. He has a B.A. from Oberlin College and a Ph.D. in Government from Harvard University. He and Sidney Milkis previously co-authored Presidential Greatness (2000). He is an author of The Environmental Protection Agency From Nixon to Clinton: Asking the Wrong Questions (1994) and Civic Environmentalism in Action: A Field Guide to Regional and Local Initiatives (1999). Landy has been an editor of six books, including The New Politics of Public Policy (1995) and Creating Competitive Markets: The Politics of Regulatory Reform (2007). In addition to teaching undergraduates and graduate students, he regularly teaches public officials from Ireland and Northern Ireland about American Politics through a series of executive programs run by the Irish Institute. He is also Director of 'Encountering John Adams: Braintree and Boston', a Landmarks Workshop for Community College Teachers sponsored by the National Endowment for the Humanities.

Sidney M. Milkis is the White Burkett Miller Professor of Politics and Assistant Director of Academic Programs at the Miller Center of Public Affairs at the University of Virginia. He has a B.A. from Muhlenberg College and a Ph.D. in Political Science from the University of Pennsylvania. His books include: The President and the Parties: The Transformation of the American Party System Since the New Deal (1993); Political Parties and Constitutional Government: Remaking American Democracy (1999); Presidential Greatness (2000), co-authored with Marc Landy; and The American Presidency: Origins and Development, 1776-2007, 5th edition (2003), co-authored with Michael Nelson. He is co-editor with Jerome Mileur of three volumes on twentieth-century political reform: Progressivism and the New Democracy (1999); The New Deal and the Triumph of Liberalism (2002); and The Great Society and the High Tide of Liberalism (2005). During the 2005-6 academic year, he served as the president of the American Political Science Association's Politics and History Section.

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