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Book Details

  • Ebook
  • Bookstore's Wholesale Price: $69.99
  • December 2012
  • ISBN: 978-0-393-90445-1
  • 608 pages
  • License Term (days): Lifetime
  • Territory Rights: Worldwide

American Politics Today

Third Essentials Edition

Ebook, Powered By VitalSource

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


All the tools students need to understand American politics—in a briefer text.

American Politics Today helps students understand the debates and controversies that they encounter in the news by emphasizing conflict and compromise as natural parts of politics. The Essentials Edition includes all the learning tools from the full book—including highly visual “How It Works” infographics and an approach organized around Chapter Goals—in a text that is 30% shorter.


An emphasis on conflict and compromise

An emphasis on conflict and compromise offers a dynamic way to get students thinking more deeply about American politics. Three key ideas—beginning with the idea that politics is conflictual—run through the book:
• Politics is conflictual.
• Political process matters.
• Politics is everywhere.
All new Conflict and Compromise chapter openers use recent stories “ripped from the headlines” to explore how conflict and compromise have shaped nearly all aspects of American politics. “You Decide” boxes present a controversial issue and encourage students to consider the possible trade-offs involved in proposed solutions.

Shows that politics is explainable

Bianco and Canon address student cynicism by showing them how politics works: how the political process resolves (or fails to resolve) conflict, how the Founders intended for it to work, and how it works in action today. New “How It Works” infographics complement the chapter-opening stories, depicting the processes that underlie the conflicts and compromises we see in American politics.  

Goal-oriented pedagogy

Chapter Goals identify important learning objectives at the beginning of the chapter and then recur at the start of the relevant sections throughout the chapter to create a more active reading experience. End-of-chapter review sections organized around Chapter Goals include section summaries, practice quiz questions, key terms, and critical-thinking questions, as well as information about related online resources. Nuts and Bolts boxes provide students with brief summaries, in the form of bulleted lists or tables, of important basic information they will want to review. 

A complete set of resources—all developed for the Essentials Edition.

The robust Essentials Edition coursepack gives instructors everything they need to present online learning resources inside a system they already know, and the test bank, instructor’s manual, PowerPoints and StudySpace student website have all been specifically designed for the Essentials Edition.  


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

    Part II: Politics
    Chapter 5: Public Opinion and the Media
    Chapter 6: Political Parties
    Chapter 7: Elections
    Chapter 8: Interest Groups

    Part III: Institutions
    Chapter 9: Congress
    Chapter 10: The Presidency
    Chapter 11: The Bureaucracy
    Chapter 12: The Courts

    Part IV: Policy
    Chapter 13: Civil Rights
    Chapter 14: Economic and Social Policy
    Chapter 15: Foreign Policy

    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, 51, and 78
    Presidents and Vice Presidents