Synopses & Reviews
Designed to stimulate critical thinking and discussion by debating issues in the U.S. political system, POINT/COUNTERPOINT makes a stirring supplement to any Introductory American Government course. By presenting two sides of an issue, the reader illustrates to students just how important politics are to deciding key issues. This diverse collection contains articles by political figures, scholars, and writers on such hotly contested issues as affirmative action, racial profiling, presidential war powers and globalization.
"The strengths of this approach are obvious--it allows students to begin to see that 'truth' comes in many forms."
"I use Levine for a very specific reason. The debates presented in the Levine book bring the relevance of current topics/issues in government 'home' to them."
"As I consider this book for my class, I am first drawn to it for in-class debates and, potentially, as a starting point for papers. Therefore, I really like the 'hot-button' emphasis."
About the Author
A professor of Political Science at the University of Southwestern Louisiana (now the University of Louisiana at Lafayette) for twenty years, Herbert M. Levine has written and edited several books, including CHEMICAL AND BIOLOGICAL WEAPONS IN OUR TIMES (Franklin Watts) and four books in the American Issues Debated Series published by Raintree Steck-Vaughn. He is currently a writer who lives in Chevy Chase, Maryland.
Table of Contents
Part I: FOUNDATIONS OF THE UNITED STATES POLITICAL SYSTEM. 1. Has the Wisdom of the Framers of the Constitution in Promoting a "More Perfect Union" Been Overrated? YES: Thurgood Marshall, The Constitution: Past And Present. NO: William Bradford Reynolds, The Wisdom Of The Framers. Questions For Discussion. Suggested Readings. 2. Should Power Be Transferred from the Federal Government to the States? YES: Kirk Cox, Power to the States. NO: John G. Kester, Forever Federal. Questions for Discussion. Suggested Readings. Part II: CIVIL LIBERTIES AND CIVIL RIGHTS. 3. In Fighting a War on Terrorism, Is the United States Acting Within Reasonable Limits to Maintain Its Civil Liberties? YES: John Ashcroft, Civil Liberties, The War on Terrorism, and National Security. NO: Michael Ratner, Moving Toward a Police State or Have We Arrived? Secret Military Tribunals, Mass Arrests and Disappearances, Wiretapping and Torture. Questions for Discussion. Suggested Readings. 4. Should A National Identification Card System Be Established? YES: Amitai Etzioni, Youll Love Those National ID Cards. NO: Kate Corrigan, The Case Against National ID Cards. Questions for Discussion. Suggested Readings. 5. Is Racial Profiling Ever Justified? YES: Walter E. Williams, Racial Profiling. NO: David A. Harris, Racial Profiling Is Not Justified? Questions for Discussion. Suggested Readings. 6. Should the Death Penalty Be Abolished? YES: Senator Russ Feingold, A New Millennium: Time to Stop Tinkering with the Machinery of Death. NO: Matthew T. Mangino, Death Penalty. Questions for Discussion. Suggested Readings. 7. Should the Doctrine of Separation Between Church and State Be Interpreted in a Way That Is Favorable to Public Worship and Acknowledgment of God? YES: Roy S. Moore, Putting God Back in the Public Square. NO: Rev. Roger Bertschausen, Rethinking the Separation Between Church and State. Questions for Discussion. Suggested Readings. 8. Is Affirmative Action a Desirable Policy to Remedy Discrimination in Higher Education? YES: Stanley Fish Affirming Affirmative Action. NO: Roger Clegg, Not a Close Question: Preferences in University Admissions. Questions for Discussion. Suggested Readings. Part III: POPULAR PARTICIPATION. 9. Do Big Corporations Control America? YES: Richard Grossman, The Progressive Interview (Ruth Conniff). NO: James Ralph Edwards, Do Big Corporations Control America? Questions for Discussion. Suggested Readings. 10. Should You Vote for a Minor Party Candidate You May Prefer over the "Lesser Evil" from a Major Party? YES: Michael Lerner, Dont Vote Lesser Evil Politics. NO: Barney Frank, Response to Lerner on Lesser Evil Politics! Questions for Discussion. Suggested Readings. 11. Is Campaign Finance Reform Desirable in the American Political System? YES: Joseph I. Lieberman, Campaign Finance Reform. NO: Bradley A. Smith, Campaign Finance Reform: Faulty Assumptions and Undemocratic Consequences. Questions for Discussion. Suggested Readings. 12. Do the Mass Media Have a Liberal Bias? YES: Jeff Jacoby, U.S. Media Retain their Liberal Bias. NO: Bernie Sanders, Corporations Have a Chokehold on U.S. Media. Questions for Discussion. Suggested Readings. 13. Should the Electoral College Be Abolished? YES: Richard J. Durbin, Abolish the Electoral College. NO: Judith Best, In Defense of the Electoral College. Questions for Discussion. Suggested Readings. Part IV: POLICY-MAKING INSTITUTIONS. 14. Should the United States Adopt a British Parliamentary-type System of Government? YES and NO Herbert M. Levine, The Pros and Cons of the Parliamentary System for the United States. Questions for Discussion. Suggested Readings. 15. Does the President Have Legal Authority to Engage in Military Action Against the Nations Enemies Without the Specific Authorization of Congress? YES: John Yoo, The Presidents War-Making Power. NO: Louis Fischer, The Congressional Role in War. Questions for Discussion. Suggested Readings. 16. Should the Senate Take into Consideration the Ideology of a Nominee to the U.S. Supreme Court in the Confirmation Decision? YES: Laurence Tribe, Ideology Should Be a Factor in the Confirmation of Supreme Court Nominees. NO: Douglas W. Kmiec, Ideology Should Not Be a Factor in the Confirmation of Supreme Court Nominees. Questions for Discussion. Suggested Readings. 17. Is the Bureaucracy a Threat to Liberty? YES: Jacob G. Hornberger, The Preservation of the Bureaucracy. NO: Ellsworth Barnard, In Defense of Government. Questions for Discussion. Suggested Readings. 18. Should the Supreme Court Abide by a Strict Constructionist Philosophy? YES: J. Clifford Wallace, The Case for Judicial Restraint. NO: Jeffrey M. Shaman, The Supreme Courts Proper and Historic Function. Questions for Discussion. Suggested Readings. PartT V: PUBLIC POLICY. 19. Should the Federal Government Decriminalize Drugs? YES: David Boaz Drug Legalization, Criminalization, and Harm Reduction. NO: Donnie Marshall, Drug Legalization Would Be a Disaster. Questions for Discussion. Suggested Readings. 20. Will Gun Control Reduce Violence? YES: Educational Fund To Stop Gun Violence, The Facts About Gun Violence. NO: Jim Babka, Gun Control Only Seems Like a Good Idea! Questions for Discussion. Suggested Readings. 21. Is "Smart Growth" a Smart Idea to Control Suburban Sprawl? YES: Patrick Gallagher The Environmental, Social, and Cultural Impacts of Sprawl. NO: Thomas J. Dilorenzo, The Myth of Suburban Sprawl. Questions for Discussion. Suggested Readings. 22. Should the United States Resist Globalization? YES: The Alternatives Committee Of The International Forum On Globalization, A Better World Is Possible! Alternatives to Economic Globalization. NO: Murray Weidenbaum, A Response to the Assault on the Global Economy. Questions for Discussion. Suggested Readings.