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The Essentials preserves the structure of the main text but replaces the policy chapters with one brief chapter on the policymaking process. See the entry for Wilson/DiIulio, American Government: Institutions and Policies, Eleventh Edition, for more information.
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James Q. Wilson most recently taught at Boston College and Pepperdine University. He was Professor Emeritus of Management and Public Administration at UCLA and was previously Shattuck Professor of Government at Harvard University. He wrote more than a dozen books on the subjects of public policy, bureaucracy, and political philosophy. He was president of the American Political Science Association (APSA), and he is the only political scientist to win three of the four lifetime achievement awards presented by the APSA. He received the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the nation's highest civilian award, in 2003. Professor Wilson passed away in March of 2012 after battling cancer. His work helped shape the field of political science in the United States. His many years of service to his American Government book remain evident on every page and will continue for many editions to come.
John J. DiIulio, Jr. is a Professor of Political Science at the University of Pennsylvania, and has won each of Penn's most prestigious teaching awards. He was previously Professor of Politics and Public Affairs at Princeton University. He received his Ph. D. in Political Science from Harvard University. He has been a senior fellow and directed research programs at several leading think tanks including the Brookings Institution, and has won awards from the Association of Public Policy Analysis and Management, the American Political Science Association, and other bodies. He has advised presidential candidates in both parties, served on bipartisan government reform commissions, and worked as a senior staff member in the White House.
"Whether it is the student who has come to believe that politics has always been about the status quo or the student who has given up because average citizens cannot produce real change (a very common bias in my experience), this book finds ways to present a more nuanced view of American politics and show them that there is more to learn about the political landscape... you then have a very good opportunity to seize their attention and get them interested."
"I have examined over 15 American Government textbooks... and I find that none of them come close to matching this textbook in terms of approach, clarity, content, pedagogy, and ancillary materials.... [Wilson and DiIulio's] work in the public sector over the past years enhances their impressive academic credentials. The fact that they have worked for both Republicans and Democrats and the evenhanded manner with which they have covered the major topics in the text allays any reservations that this text doesn't give every side of an issue fair treatment.... I stand in awe of how Wilson and DiIulio are able to package so much solid information in such few pages.... This is as solid and intellectually honest a textbook as one could hope for. It should be the standard by which all others are measured. The emphasis on students using their critical thinking skills to reach conclusions on issues of the day provides a firm foundation.... I think that this is the finest American Government textbook available today. The authors combine excellent scholarship, academic rigor, practical examples, and insight that is an invaluable aid to any student trying to understand their government."
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