Synopses & Reviews
UNDERSTANDING AMERICAN GOVERNMENT is highly respected and trusted for its attention to research and issues of diversity as well as for its award-winning team of authors. While covering the foundations and features of American government, this text also moves beyond the nuts and bolts to explain why and how important features of government have evolved, what their impact on government and individuals is, and why these features are controversial (if they are) and worth learning. More than just narrating facts and current issues, UNDERSTANDING AMERICAN GOVERNMENT leaves students with an understanding of the "why" so that they can apply what they've learned long after completing the course. UNDERSTANDING AMERICAN GOVERNMENT is a three-time winner of the American Government Textbook Award for the Best Treatment of Women in Politics, awarded by the Women's Caucus for Political Science.
A fascinating, provocative read, UNDERSTANDING AMERICAN GOVERNMENT, ALTERNATE EDITION, gives you an inside look at the American political system and how the government works. You'll read about 2008 election controversies, ethical choices, diversity issues, and more?all important information that you will need throughout your life as an involved voter and citizen.
Written by authors who have won numerous awards for their research and writing on women and minority issues in American Government, this textbook offers an inclusive view of participants in the American political system. From this book, you will not only learn how government works but you will move on to the more controversial aspects of government, being exposed to actual people and experiences of government in action through the You Are There feature that opens each chapter, the suggested film lists at the ends the chapters, and the online exercises that support and enhance concepts found throughout the text.
About the Author
Susan Welch received her AB and PhD degrees from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. She is currently Dean of the College of Liberal Arts and Professor of Political Science at The Pennsylvania State University. Her teaching and research areas include legislatures, urban politics, and women and minorities in politics. She publishes widely on issues of race, gender, and urban politics.John Gruhl, Professor of Political Science, received his AB from DePauw University in Greencastle, Indiana, and his PhD from the University of California at Santa Barbara. Since joining the University of Nebraska faculty in 1976, he has taught and done research in the areas of judicial process, criminal justice, and civil rights and liberties. He holds campus- and university-wide distinguished teaching awards for excellence in undergraduate teaching and became a charter member of the university's Academy of Distinguished Teachers.John Comer is Professor of Political Science at the University of Nebraska. He received his AB in political science from Miami University in 1965 and his PhD from The Ohio State University in 1971. His teaching and research focuses on interest groups, public opinion, voting behavior, and political parties.Susan M. Rigdon received AB and PhD degrees in political science from the University of Illinois in 1966 and 1971, respectively. While focusing her teaching on comparative politics and international relations, she has also taught American government courses at several universities in the United States and China. Her research interests include culture and politics, security policy, and poverty and development. She is a Research Associate in Anthropology at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.
Table of Contents
"It is the best American government textbook I have ever encountered. Since I have at least 80 students per year, and sometimes as many 160, I have had many other publishers send me examination copies. None have matched the strengths of UNDERSTANDING AMERICAN GOVERNMENT.""The text is rigorous and does not cut corners on presenting the nuances and complexities of the concepts and issues being presented.""It is an exceptional textbook on American national government and one that I believe would be of great value to the student taking a course in this subject. It is exceptionally well-written, comprehensive, incorporates not only traditional material included in an American government text book but also incorporates this material with current issues and promotes critical thinking in the student. In my opinion, this book could not only serve as a textbook for a course but be a valuable reference book that a student could use long after the formal course is over. It highlights the dynamics of government, the issues of the basic belief in the American democratic system while raising the important questions of legitimacy and the need for participation by the student in the future. I would highly recommend this book and think it would meet and exceed the expectations of both an instructor and student."I commend some of the photos for the candor by which they address difficult issues that need to be addressed and are avoided in other textbooks. This material prompts course discussion about the difficult issues and events in American national government but, at times, the best way to address American government and democracy is to deal with those that are the most difficult and highlight some of the most difficult periods in government?the slave ship, the photograph of immigration in New York City, Founding Mothers, Prohibition, and the Depression. . . . It is the first text I have seen that not only deals exceptionally with the written material presented but uses graphic illustrations to reinforce the written material and make the subject matter both interesting and relevant to the student.