For the Introduction to American Government or Introduction to American Politics courses. This is the most authoritative text for American Government. Always one step ahead of the competition. Government by the People continually sets the standards for other American Government texts by anticipating instructors' needs. Known for its impeccable scholarship and for its distinguished author team who treats each new edition as a fresh challenge, Government by the People is the perfect text for the educator who wants students to understand how the American political system works.
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James MacGregor Burns is a Senior Scholar at the Academy of Leadership, University of Maryland, College Park, and Woodrow Wilson Professor Emeritus of Government at Williams College. He has written numerous books, including The Power to Lead (1984), The Vineyard of Liberty (1982), Leadership (1979), Roosevelt: The Soldier of Freedom (1970), The Deadlock of Democracy: Four-Party Politics in America (1963), and Roosevelt: The Lion and the Fox (1956). With his son, Stewart Burns, he wrote A People's Charter: The Pursuit of Rights in America (1991); with Georgia Sorenson, Dead Center: Clinton, Gore, and the Perils of Moderation (2000); and with Susan Dunn, The Three Roosevelts (2001). Burns is a past president of the American Political Science Association and winner of numerous prizes, including a Pulitzer Prize in History.
J.W. Peltason is a leading scholar on the judicial process and public law. He is Professor Emeritus of Political Science at the University of California, Irvine. As past president of the American Council on Education, Peltason has represented higher education before Congress and state legislatures. His writings include Federal Courts in the Political Process (1955), Fifty-Eight Lonely Men: Southern Federal Judges and School Desegration (1961), and with Sue Davis, Understanding the Constitution (2000). Among his awards are the James Madison Medal from Princeton University, the Irvine Medal from the University of California, Irvine, and the American Political Science Association's Charles E. Merriam Award.
Thomas E. Cronin is a leading student of the American presidency, leadership, and policy-making processes. He teaches at and serves as president of Whitman College. He was a White House Fellow and a White House aide and has served as president of the Western Political Science Association. His writings include The State of the Presidency (1980), U.S. v. Crime in the Streets (1981), Direct Democracy: The Politics of Initiative, Referendum, and Recall (1989), Colorado Politics and Government (1993), and The Paradoxes of the American Presidency (1998). Cronin is a past recipient of the American Political Science Association's Charles E. Merriam Award.
David B. Magleby is nationally recognized for his expertise on direct democracy, voting behavior, and campaign finance. He is dean as well as Professor of Political Science at Brigham Young University and has taught at the University of California, Santa Cruz, and the University of Virginia. His writings include Direct Legislation (1984), The Money Chase: Congressional Campaign Finance Reform (1990), Myth of the Independent Voter (1992), and is editor of Outside Money: Soft Money and Issue Advocacy in the 1998 Congressional Elections (2000). He was president of Pi Sigma Alpha, the national political science honor society, and has received numerous teaching awards. In 1996 he was a Fulbright Scholar at Nuffield College, Oxford University.
David M. O'Brien is the Leone Reaves and George W Spicer Professor at the University of Virginia. He was a Judicial Fellow and Research Associate at the Supreme Court of the United States, a Fulbright Lecturer at Oxford University, held the Fulbright Chair for Senior Scholars at the University of Bologna, and a Fulbright Researcher in Japan, as well as a Visiting Fellow at the Russell Sage Foundation. Among his publications are Storm Center: The Supreme Court in American Politics, 5th ed., (2000); a two volume casebook, Constitutional Law and Politics, 4th ed., (2000); an annual Supreme Court Watch; and To Dream of Dreams: Religious Freedom in Postwar Japan (1996). He received the American Bar Association's Silver Gavel Award for contributing to the public's understanding of the law.
Paul C. Light is currently the Paulette Goddard Professor of Public Service at New York University's Wagner School of Public Service and Douglas Dillon Senior Fellow at the Brookings Institution. Professor Light has a wide-ranging career in both academia and government. He has worked on Capitol Hill as a senior committee staffer in the U.S. Senate and as an American Political Science Association Congressional Fellow in the U.S. House. He has taught at the University of Virginia, University of Pennsylvania, and Harvard University's John F. Kennedy School of Government. He has also served as a senior adviser to several national commissions on federal, state, and local public service. He is the author of 15 books on government, public service, and public policy.Excerpt. © Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.:
A MESSAGE FROM THE AUTHORS
Events of the past few years have underscored the importance of government and politics in people's lives. The terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center and Pentagon reminded all Americans that we live in a dangerous world. Citizens expect their national, state, and local governments to provide security, a theme President Bush repeatedly emphasized in his 2002 campaign appearances. The tragic events of September 11, 2001 also raised many questions about how our governments perform: How do we capture and punish those who planned and paid for these attacks? How could our intelligence services—the FBI, CIA, and others—have failed to detect an attack of this magnitude? How do we secure the homeland from future attacks? At the same time that we are asking these hard questions, we are affirming the enlarged role of governments at all levels in defending our country against those who encourage terrorism, in reorganizing our governments, especially our national government, to more effectively secure our homeland and to rebuild New York City and the Pentagon. We also ask a lot of our government. For example, what balance should we strike between protecting liberty and providing security?
The economic state of affairs is another topic that illustrates the importance of government at all levels. Many states have been forced to cut budgets and consider tax increases and at the national level, the Federal Reserve Board has been active in adjusting interest rates. How governments respond to these economic challenges provides another opportunity to learn about government and politics.
In terms of elected office and party preferences, our nation is evenly divided, with a slight edge to the Republicans at the national level. But as we were reminded in 2000, the Electoral College, and not the popular vote, decides who is president. And in the case of the 2000 presidential election, it was the Supreme Court's decision in Florida, one of many 5-to-4 decisions by the court in recent years, that effectively decided the election. Bush put talk of the disputed 2000 election aside with his tireless and successful campaigning for Republicans in 2002. Will Bush and the Republicans use this as a springboard to party dominance or will Democrats find a way to regain their legislative majorities and reclaim the White House?
Constitutional democracy—the kind we have in the United States—is exceedingly hard to achieve, equally hard to sustain, and often hard to understand without rigorous study. Our political history has been an evolution toward an enlarged role for citizens and voters. Citizens have more rights and political opportunities in 2003 and 2004 than they had in 1800 or 1900. The framers of our Constitution warned that we must be vigilant in safeguarding our rights, liberties, and political institutions. But to do this, we must first understand these institutions and the forces that have shaped them.
Many U.S. citizens take for granted civil liberties, civil rights, free and fair elections, the peaceful transfer of power, and economic freedom and prosperity. Yet many people live in places where these freedoms are nonexistent. This is a time of testing for new democracies as well as old ones. Contempt for government and politics is being expressed in the United States and abroad, yet politics and partisan competition are the lifeblood that enables free societies to achieve the ideal of government by the people.
The world we live in remains highly volatile. Although our defense policy changed with the collapse of communism and the emergence of a less powerful Russia, the world has not suddenly become a safer place in which to live. Terrorism, as evidenced by attacks not only in New York and Washington but around the world, has become the most pressing national security threat. How should we respond to terrorism? To what extent do we pursue those countries that may be producing weapons of mass destruction, such as Iraq? Should the war on terrorism be waged by the United States alone? Or should we work through the United Nations?
Although we constantly turn to government and to our elected officials with problems and requests, we are critical of their shortcomings. A recurrent theme of this book is the absolute need for politics and politicians, despite the widespread tendency to criticize nearly everything political. The reality is that our political system should not be taken for granted, even as we seek ways in which it can be improved.
We want you to come away from reading this book with a richer understanding of American politics, government, and the job of politicians, and we hope you will participate actively in making this constitutional democracy more vital and responsive to the urgent problems of the twenty-first century.
A MESSAGE FROM THE PUBLISHER
Always one step ahead . . .
At Prentice Fall, we are extremely proud to continue to publish the book that always remains one step ahead by anticipating your needs as an educator and your students' needs as learners. In fact, Government by the People has set the standard that others strive to meet. And Government by the People continues to innovate in response to changes in our democratic environment and changes in how the government course is taught by introducing instructors and students to a cohesive presentation interwoven with interesting sidebars, political cartoons, and photos—all the while staying focused on the very document that serves as the foundation of our government: The Constitution. With this edition of Government by the People, we continue this proud legacy.
Esteemed authorship has always been a hallmark of this text. Our authorship is the reason Government by the People remains a bestseller. Every author on this text is among the most well known scholars in his respective field. As a result, Government by the People is considered the most authoritative text on the market. With this edition, we are extremely proud to continue this heritage by welcoming Paul C. Light as the newest member of our renowned author team.
New to this Edition:
As in previous editions, Government by the People leads the industry in providing creative, innovative electronic solutions for your classroom. Whether in the form of tools that enable more effective communication or by providing dynamic presentation of content via the World Wide Web, Prentice Hall continues to anticipate your needs.
Enduring Features of the Text
Among the many attributes of Government by the People are the features that have come to support the balanced presentation of topics within the text. Each of these features has been appropriately revised to reflect those issues that are most significant within our political environment today.
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