Basics of American Politics

ISBN-10: 0205782035

ISBN-13: 9780205782031

Edition: 14th 2011

Authors: Gary Wasserman

List price: $65.60 Buy it from $3.00
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This brief, nuts-and-bolts introduction to American government has been a student favorite and a bestseller for over 30 years because of its lively, straight-forward approach to the basics, its brevity, and its always inexpensive price. This text uses a dynamic game metaphor to engage students in the basics of the American political system and the contact sport of politics. Beginning with a clear definition of politics, it introduces four governmental and four nongovernmental "players" who must abide by the "rules of the game" established by the Constitution and civil liberties. It ends by examining rival theories of who wins and who loses in American politics. Written to engage students, and kept short to provide a flexible foundation for instructors,The Basics of American Politicscovers all the terms and topics a student will need to understand the nuts-and-bolts of American government and poltics.
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Book details

List price: $65.60
Edition: 14th
Copyright year: 2011
Publisher: Longman Publishing Group
Publication date: 2/23/2010
Binding: Paperback
Pages: 320
Size: 6.00" wide x 8.75" long x 0.50" tall
Weight: 1.166
Language: English

What Is Politics?
The First Day of Class
Politics and Power
Authority: Legitimate Power
The Need for Government
What is Government?
Making and Supporting Decisions
The Study of Politics
Political Science and Microsoft
Why Give a Damn About Politics?
What Is This Book About?
Thought Questions
Suggested Readings
The Constitution: Rules of the Game
The Second Day of Class
Background to the Constitution
The Articles of Confederation (1781-1789)
The Constitutional Convention
The Framers
Motives Behind the Constitution
Federalists vs. Anti-Federalists
Ratification and the Bill of Rights
Four Major Constitutional Principles
Separation of Powers and Checks and Balances
The Debate over Modern Federalism
Limited Government
Judicial Review
How Is the Constitution Changed?
Judicial Interpretation
Why Has the Constitution Survived?
Case Study: Federalism Caught in a Storm: The Katrina Disaster
Thought Questions
Suggested Readings
The Executive Branch: The Presidency and Bureaucracy
The President and die Constitution
The Electoral College
Vice President
History of the Presidency
Types of Presidents
Modern Presidents
The Obama Presidency
Presidential Hats
Chief of State
Chief Executive
Chief Diplomat
Chief Legislator
Party Leader
The Public Presidency
The Federal Bureaucracy
Executive Office of the President
The Cabinet Departments
The Executive Agencies
The Regulatory Commissions
Problems of Bureaucracy
Rise of the Civil Service
Bureaucrats as Policymakers
The President and the Bureaucracy
Case Study: 9/11: A President's Trial By Fire
Thought Questions
Suggested Readings
The Legislative Branch: Congress
Makeup of the Senate and House
Role of the Legislator
Who Are the Legislators?
Malapportionment and Reapportionment
Organization of the House of Representatives
Organization of the Senate
How Congress Works
The Committee System
How Committees Work
Committee Chairs and the Seniority System
Specialization and Reciprocity
Major Committees in the House
Major Committees in the Senate
On the Floor, and Beyond
Presidential Veto
The Budget Process
Other Powers of Congress
Case Study: Controlling Global Warming-The House Climate Bill
Thought Questions
Suggested Readings
The Judicial Branch: The Supreme Court and the Federal Court System
Federal Court System
U.S. District Courts
Courts of Appeals
Special Federal Courts
The Judges
U.S. Supreme Court
The Final Authority?
Early Years of the Court
Judicial Review and National Supremacy
The Court after the Civil War
Modern Courts
The Rehnquist Court (1986-2005)
The Roberts Court (2005-)
"The Least Dangerous Branch of Government?"
Internal Limits on the Court
External Limits on the Court
Strengths of the Court
The Court as a Political Player
Judicial Activism vs. Judicial Restraint
Case Study: Separate but Equal?
Thought Questions
Suggested Readings
Civil Rights and Liberties: Protecting the Players
What Are Civil Liberties and Rights?
Expanding the Bill of Rights
Civil Liberties: Protecting People from Government
Freedom of Speech
Freedom of Religion
Right of Privacy
Due Process Rights
Civil Rights: Protecting People from People
Which People Need Protection? Suspect Classifications
Race as a Suspect Classification
Is Sex Suspect?
The Politics of Civil Liberties and Rights
The Justice Department
"Private Attorneys General"
Legal Strategies
Obeying the Courts
Public Opinion and Civil Liberties
Case Study: Fighting Terror, Guarding Liberties
Thought Questions
Suggested Readings
Voters and Political Parties
Who Votes?
Political Socialization
Class and Voting
Who Doesn't Vote?
Political Parties
Party Functions
The Rise of Today's Parties
Maintaining, Deviating, and Realigning Elections
2004 and 2008: Whose Realignment?
Polarizing the Parties: The Growth of Partisans
View from the Inside: Party Organizations
Machines-Old and New
American Party Structure
National Party Organization
The National Convention
View from the Outside: The Two-Party System
Causes of the Two-Party System
But do the Two Parties Have a Future?
Case Study: Triple O-Obarm's Online Operation
Thought Questions
Suggested. Readings
Interest Groups and the Media
Interest Groups
Types of Interest Groups
Campaign Contributions
Do Group Interests Overwhelm the Public Interest?
What Are the Media?
What Do the Media Do?
Media and the Marketplace of Ideas
Media and Government
Media and the Public
Case Study: The Candidate: A Day in the Life...
Thought Questions
Suggested Readings
Who Wins, Who Loses: Pluralism versus Elitism
Examples of Pluralism
Criticisms of Pluralist Theory
Elite Examples
Criticisms of the Elite View
The Debate
Newer Views
Thought Questions
Suggested Readings
The Declaration of Independence
The Constitution of the United States
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