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Book Details

  • Paperback
  • Bookstore's Wholesale Price: $98.00
  • December 2014
  • ISBN: 978-0-393-93701-5
  • 672 pages
  • Territory Rights: Worldwide

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    American Politics Today

    Core Fourth Edition


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    William T. Bianco (Author, Indiana University, Bloomington), David T. Canon (Author, University of Wisconsin, Madison)


    Show students how politics really works through a focus on conflict and compromise.

    This newly updated fourth edition of American Politics Today helps students understand the conflicts and compromises inherent in politics and allows them to practice applying that understanding to the debates and controversies they encounter in the news. By focusing on such pivotal topics as conflict and compromise, students are able to see how institutions and political processes really work.


    A new emphasis on conflict and compromise, now woven throughout each chapter

    New “conflict and compromise” chapter openers introduce students to “ruthlessly contemporary” examples from the headlines—the Newtown, CT, school shooting, legalization of marijuana, and the 2014 elections, and others—in order to help them understand the political debates, controversies, and questions they encounter every day in the news. Within each chapter, Bianco and Canon revisit the opening story several times to connect it to concepts students have just learned before ending with chapter conclusions. 

    The tools students need to understand how American Politics really works

    American Politics Today, Fourth Edition, comes equipped with useful tools that help students master the nuts and bolts of American politics while teaching them how to apply their understanding to contemporary issues. Chapter Goals, which appear at the beginning of each chapter and recur at the start of the relevant sections, aid students in setting and meeting specific goals before they begin reading. Complementing these Chapter Goals are extensive end-of-chapter review sections, which include section outlines, practice quiz questions and recommended readings and websites. To make concepts easier to study and review, Nuts & Bolts boxes, in the form of a bulleted list or table, provide students with brief summaries of important basic information such as “Distinguishing Civil Liberties from Civil Rights.” Back and better than before are the highly visual and reconceived “How It Works” infographics with a newly added second page, “How It Works in Practice.” Not only do these infographics help students build graphic literacy by highlighting key political processes and structures, but “How It Works in Practice” applies each structure and process to real political events. Students are also able to voice their perspective with extensively updated “You Decide” boxes, which allow students to think critically about key and relevant debates in American politics. 

    All-new figures and tables make American Politics more accessible

    To further ensure student understanding, Bianco and Canon redesigned every figure in this edition, making sure colors are used consistently, labeling is clear and readable, and captioning provides engaging questions and take-away points. 

      Part I: Foundations
      Chapter 1: Understanding American Politics
      Chapter 2: The Constitution and the Founding
      Chapter 3: Federalism
      Chapter 4: Civil Liberties
      Chapter 5: Civil Rights

      Part II: Politics
      Chapter 6: Public Opinion
      Chapter 7: The Media
      Chapter 8: Political Parties
      Chapter 9: Elections
      Chapter 10: Interest Groups

      Part III: Institutions
      Chapter 11: Congress
      Chapter 12: The Presidency
      Chapter 13: The Bureaucracy
      Chapter 14: The Courts


      The Declaration of Independence
      The Articles of Confederation
      The Constitution of the United States of America
      Amendments to the Constitution
      The Federalist Papers, Nos. 10 and 51
      Presidents and Vice Presidents