Politics in America

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9780132570077: Politics in America

Utilizing Harold Laswell's definition of politics, "Who gets what, when, and how", as a framework for presenting an introduction to the American political system, this text examines the struggle for power, the participants, the stakes, the processes and the institutional arena. Feature boxes explore current issues, opinions and cross-cultural comparisons.

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From the Back Cover:


  • “What Do You Think?” boxes compell students to think critically about American politics by presenting them with a controversial issue and asking them to take a stance. After forming their opinion, students can look at the results of public opinion polls to compare their views with the rest of the country.
  • “A Conflicting View” boxes challenge students to rethink the idea of a “conventional wisdom” in American politics by presenting them with views on important topics that clash with popular opinion. Designed to be controversial, these boxes get students thinking about the “push and pull” of American politics.
  • “Politics Up Close” boxes present a close examination of the key topics in each chapter by focusing on those involved in the competition for resources. Topics include “The Christian Coalition: Organizing the Faithful” and “The American Civil Liberties Union.”
  • “People in Politics” boxes personalize American government by showing students that American political figures are real people with real backgrounds. These profiles of both historical and contemporary figures focus on their college experience, how they became involved in public life, and how they were able to impact American politics.
  • “Compared to What?” boxes encourage students to think about American politics in a global context by comparing American political processes and practices with those of countries around the world.
  • “Across the USA” maps summarize important statistical and demographic information, giving students an idea of how critical issues in American politics affect and are viewed by all fifty states.
  • “A Constitutional Note” plus Annotated U.S. Constitution. Citizens and policymakers  alike have become increasingly distressed by college graduates’ lack of knowledge of the U.S. Constitution. To address this concern, Politics in America includes both the “A Constitutional Note” feature, which discusses a constitutional issue raised in each chapter, and an annotated U.S. Constitution, which offering deeper insight into the complexity and historical connotations of this landmark document.


New to this Edition:


A new feature, “Controversy,” gets students engaged with some of the most provocative issues in American politics and encourages them to debate the issues. Topics include: “The Supremacy Clause: Marijuana for Medical Use?” “Abortion: The ‘Hot Button’ Issue,” “Should Violence Against Women Be a Federal Crime?” “Which Party Does a Better Job?” and “Are We One Nation “Under God?”
  • New“Who Gets What?” chapter summaries recap the most important concepts and details of each chapter, presenting them in the context of the book’s theme—that American politics is truly a study of “who gets what, when, and how.”
  • New topics in the Eighth Edition include:
    • The battle for the White House between Barack Obama and John McCain
    • The bitter and prolonged Democratic primary fight between Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama
    • The origins of the war in Iraq, the growing opposition to the war, and strategies for exiting the war
    • Each chapter now begins with a quote from Harold Lasswell relating that chapter’s topic to the theme of politics as “who gets what, when, and how.”
  • New topics in other existing features include:
    • What Do You Think?
      • Should We Call a New Constitutional Convention?
      • Should Government Leaders Pay More Attention to Public Opinion?
      • Which Government Does the Best Job?
      • Does Immigration Help or Hurt America?
      • When Should the United States Use Military Force?
    • Politics Up Close
      • Barack and Hillary in the Democratic Presidential Primaries
      • The Appeal of the Democratic and Republican Parties
      • 60 Minutes, News as Entertainment,
      • The Oprah Effect
      • Washington’s Most Powerful Lobbies.
    • People in Politics
      • John McCain
      • Barack Obama
      • Hillary Clinton
      • Ben Bernanke
      • General David Petraeus

  • About the Author:

    Thomas R. Dye, formerly Professor of Government at Florida State University, is President of the Lincoln Center for Public Service. He regularly taught large introductory classes in American politics and was University Teacher of the Year in 1987. He received his B.A. and M.A. degrees from Pennsylvania State University and his Ph.D. degree from the University of Pennsylvania. He is the author of numerous books and articles on American government and public policy, including The Irony of Democracy; Politics in States and Communities; Understanding Public Policy; No's Running America; American Politics in the Media Age; Power in Society; Politics, Economics, and the Public; and American Federalism: Competition Among Governments. His books have been translated into many languages, including Russian and Chinese, and published abroad. He has served as president of the Southern Political Science Association, president of the Policy Studies Organization, and secretary of the American Political Science Association. He has taught at the University of Pennsylvania, the University of Wisconsin, and the University of Georgia, and served as a visiting scholar at Bar-Ilan University, Israel, the Brookings Institution in Washington, D.C., and elsewhere. He is a member of Phi Beta Kappa, Omicron Delta Kappa, and Phi Kappa Phi, and is listed in most major biographical directories.

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    Published by Prentice Hall (1997)
    ISBN 10: 0132570076 ISBN 13: 9780132570077
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