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UNDERSTANDING AMERICAN GOVERNMENT is a mainstream text that reflects a diversity point of view. Focusing on the responsiveness of government, the text helps students understand the evolution and impact of important features of government. The book is a three-time winner of the annual award given by the women's caucus of APSA for coverage of women. Written in an engaging style and offering more research citations than any book on the market, UNDERSTANDING AMERICAN GOVERNMENT is readable and scholarly. This brief version of AMERICAN GOVERNMENT, Eighth Edition, excludes the four policy chapters. Otherwise, the books are identical, and share the same supplement package.
Table of Contents
About the Authors
The American System
You are There: Is Politics Futile?
The American People
Immigration and Political Cleavage
Economic and Geographic Diversity
Diversity and Politics
American Diversity: Census and Sensibility
American Democracy: The Core Values
American Democracy in Practice
Conclusion: Is Government Responsive?
Epilogue: What Will You Do?
You are There: The Case of the Confidential Tapes
The Articles of Confederation
National Government Problems
State Government Problems
The Constitutional Convention
American Diversity: Founding Mothers
Features of the Constitution
Motives of the Founders
American Diversity: Did the Iroquois Influence the Founders?
Ratification of the Constitution
Changing the Constitution
Conclusion: Does the Constitution Allow Government to Be Responsive?
Epilogue: The President Complies
Federalism and the Growth of Government
You are There: Should the President Expand Federal Lands?
Federal and Other Systems
The Political Bases of Federalism
The Constitutional Bases of Federalism
Major Features of the System
Interpretations of Federalism
Federalism and the Growth of Government
Early Nationalist Period
Pre--Civil War Period
The Civil War to the New Deal
The New Deal
From the New Deal to the Great Society
What Government Does Right: Responding to Disasters
The New New Federalism
The Practice of Federalism
Conclusion: Is Federalism Responsive?
Epilogue: Clinton Creates a New National Monument
Links between People and Government
You are There: Should a Pollster Make Public Details of His Polls?
Nature of Public Opinion
Formation of Public Opinion
Agents of Political Socialization
Impact of Political Socialization
Measuring Public Opinion
Early Polling Efforts
Emergence of Scientific Polling
Polls and Politics
How Informed Is Public Opinion?
Social Welfare and the Proper Role of Government
Trust in Government
Conclusion: Is Government Responsive to Public Opinion?
Epilogue: Luntz Eventually Reveals Loaded Questions
You are There: Should You Torpedo the Admiral?
The Media State
Roles of the Media
Concentration of the Media
Atomization of the Media
Relationship between the Media and Politicians
Relationship between the Media and Recent Administrations
Relationship between the Media and Congress
Relationship between the Media and the Supreme Court
Bias of the Media
Impact of the Media on Politics
Impact on the Public Agenda
Impact on Political Parties and Elections
Impact on Public Opinion
Conclusion: Are the Media Responsive?
Epilogue: Evans Pursued the Story
You are There: Do You Make More Concessions, or Do You Fight?
Why Interest Groups Form
Why People Join
Have Americans Stopped Joining?
Types of Interest Groups
Private Interest Groups
Public Interest Groups
Tactics of Interest Groups
Direct Lobbying Techniques
Indirect Lobbying Techniques
Protest and Civil Disobedience
Success of Interest Groups
Competition and Goals
Conclusion: Do Interest Groups Help Make Government Responsive?
Epilogue: The Tobacco Industry Fights Back
You are There: Should You Endorse George W. Bush?
What Are Political Parties?
Development and Change in the Party System
Preparty Politics: The Founders' Views of Political Parties
First Party System: Development of Parties
Second Party System: Rise of the Democrats
Third Party System: Rise of the Republicans
Fourth Party System: Republican Dominance
Fifth Party System: Democratic Dominance
Has the Fifth Party System Realigned?
Characteristics of the Party System
Minor Parties in American Politics
Party in the Electorate
Characteristics of Democrats and Republicans
Party in Government
National Party Organization
State and Local Party Organizations
Big-City Party Organizations
The Nominating Process
Conclusion: Do Political Parties Make Government More Responsive?
Epilogue: McClain Endorses
You are There: To Package or Not?
The American Electorate
Early Limits on Voting Rights
Blacks and the Right to Vote
The Voting Rights Act and the Redistricting Controversy
American Diversity: Blacks and Hispanics in Office
What Government Does Right: The Voting Rights Act Enfranchises Millions
Women and the Right to Vote
American Diversity: Women in Office
Other Expansions of the Electorate
Political Activism in the Nineteenth Century
Who Does Not Vote?
Why Turnout Is Low
Other Campaign Participation
Presidential Nominating Campaigns
Who Runs for President and Why?
How a Candidate Wins the Nomination
American Diversity: Can an African American Be Elected President?
Presidential Caucuses and Conventions
Reforming the Nomination Process
The National Conventions
Independent and Third-Party Nominees
The General Election Campaign
Images and Issues
The Electoral College
The Media Campaign
The Permanent Campaign
Parties, Candidates, and Issues
Conclusion: Do Elections Make Government Responsive?
Epilogue: The Package Works
Money and Politics
You are There: To Accept or Not?
The Development of Laws to Regulate Money and Politics
Money in Nineteenth-Century American Politics
The Role of Money in Election Campaigns
Campaign Finance Laws
Failures of the Campaign Finance Laws
Sources of Campaign Funds
The Impact of Campaign Money
Does the Campaign Finance System Deter Good Candidates?
Does Money Win Elections?
Does Money Buy Favorable Policies?
Campaign Money and Public Cynicism
Conflicts of Interest
Conclusion: Does the Influence of Money Make Government Less Responsive?
Epilogue: Feingold Limits Campaign Donations
You Are There: Should You Risk Your Career?
Members and Constituencies
Congressional Campaigns and Elections
The Advantages of Incumbency
American Diversity: Women in Congress
Unsafe at Any Margin?
Voting for Congress
The Representative on the Job
Working Privately and "Going Public"
Voting by Members
What Government Does Right: The GI Bill of Rights
How Congress Is Organized
How Congressional Organization Evolved
Contemporary Leadership Positions
American Diversity: Minority Power in Congress
What Congress Does
Overseeing the Federal Bureaucracy
Congress and the Public
Conclusion: Is Congress Responsive?
Epilogue: Margolies-Mezvinsky Supports the President and Loses Her Job
You are There: Stand by Your Man?
The Growth of the Presidency
Terms of Office
Duties and Powers of Office
Head of State
Commander in Chief
Presidential Staff and Advisors
The Executive Office of the President
The White House Office
Office of the Vice President
The President and the People
The Personal Presidency
Persuading the Public
Public Opinion and Effectiveness in Office
The President and Congress
Foreign Policy and Military Leadership
Limits on Presidential Power
What Makes an Effective President?
Conclusion: Is the Presidency Responsive?
Epilogue: "Every Step of the Way"
You are There: Attacking AIDS
Nature of Bureaucracy
Public and Private Bureaucracies
Growth of the Bureaucracy
Why the Bureaucracy Has Grown
American Diversity: Women and Minorities in the Civil Service
Types of Bureaucracy
Expectations about the Federal Bureaucracy
Controlling the Bureaucracy
Interest Groups and Individuals
Conclusion: Is the Bureaucracy Responsive?
Epilogue: The Surgeon General Chooses Neutral Competence
You are There: Is the President Immune?
Development of the Courts' Role in Government
Founding to the Civil War
Civil War to the Depression
Depression to the Present
The Next Era
Structure of the Courts
Jurisdiction of the Courts
Selection of Judges
American Diversity: Do Women Judges Make a Difference?
Tenure of Judges
Qualifications of Judges
Independence of Judges
Access to the Courts
Wealth Discrimination in Access
Interest Group Help in Access
Restrictions on Access
Proceeding through the Courts
Interpreting the Constitution
Restraint and Activism
Deciding Cases at the Supreme Court
The Power of the Courts
Use of Judicial Review
What Government Does Right: The Justices Do Their Own Work
Use of Political Checks against the Courts
Conclusion: Are the Courts Responsive?
Epilogue: The Court Allows the President to Be Sued and the Government to Be Disrupted
Civil Liberties and Rights
You Are There: Does Religious Liberty Include Animal Sacrifice?
The Constitution and the Bill of Rights
Individual Rights in the Constitution
The Bill of Rights
Freedom of Expression
Freedom of Speech
Freedom of the Press
Libel and Obscenity
Freedom of Religion
Rights of Criminal Defendants
Search and Seizure
Cruel and Unusual Punishment
Rights in Theory and in Practice
Right to Privacy
Right to Die
Conclusion: Are the Courts Responsive in Interpreting Civil Liberties?
Epilogue: The First Amendment Protects Animal Sacrifice
You Are There: Compromise or Continue to Fight?
Discrimination against African Americans
American Diversity: Black Masters
Overcoming Discrimination against African Americans
Continuing Discrimination against African Americans
Improving Conditions for African Americans?
Discrimination against Hispanics
Discrimination against Native Americans
Discrimination against Women
Discrimination against Men
Conclusion: Is Government Responsive in Granting Civil Rights?
Epilogue: Hamer Continues to Fight
The Declaration of Independence
Constitution of the United States of America
Federalist Paper 10
Federalist Paper 51
Spanish Equivalents for Important Political Terms
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