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Book Details

  • Paperback
  • Bookstore's Wholesale Price: $40.00
  • June 2017
  • ISBN: 978-0-393-28368-6
  • 688 pages
  • Territory Rights: USA and Dependencies, Philippines and Canada.

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Readings in American Politics

Analysis and Perspectives

Fourth Edition


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Ken Kollman (Author, University of Michigan)


A contemporary reader with an analytical approach to American politics.

Introduces students to foundational works and recent scholarship that have shaped the way political scientists understand and analyze American government today.


A contemporary analytical perspective

In addition to the foundational documents and classic works in political science that have shaped the field of American politics, Kollman presents recent scholarship and readings that analyze current policy issues. 

Twenty-five percent (NEW) readings in the Fourth Edition

NEW readings address major contemporary issue areas such as partisan polarization, women in electoral politics, and same-sex marriage. 

Closely integrated with The American Political System, Third Edition—and just $5 extra when packaged together

Kollman created this set of readings while teaching his own American government course, first with Lowi’s American Government and then with his own textbook The American Political System, so the readings have been selected and organized to complement the approach and material of both textbooks. In each of these textbooks’ “Further Readings” sections, a Reader Selection icon indicates when a corresponding reading can be found in Readings in American Politics, Fourth Edition. 

Download Contents (pdf)

     Chapter 1: Fundamentals
    • JOHN LOCKE, from The Second Treatise of Government
    • MANCUR OLSON JR., from The Logic of Collective Action: Public Goods and the Theory of Groups
    • GARRETT HARDIN, from “The Tragedy of the Commons,” Science
    • D. RODERICK KIEWIET and MATHEW D. McCUBBINS, from The Logic of Delegation: Congressional Parties and the Appropriations Process

    Chapter 2: The Constitution and the Founding
    • BRUTUS, The Antifederalist, No. 1
    • (NEW) JEREMY POPE AND SHAWN TREIER, from “Voting for a Founding: Testing the Effect of Economic Interests at the Federal Convention of 1787”
    • ROBERT A. DAHL, from How Democratic Is the American Constitution?

    Chapter 3: Federalism
    • (NEW) CHRISTOPHER HAMMONS, from “State Constitutions, Religious Protection, and Federalism”
    • WILLIAM H. RIKER, from Federalism: Origin, Operation, Significance
    • Arizona v. United States (2012)

    Chapter 4: Civil Rights and Civil Liberties
    • (NEW) MICHAEL TESLER, from Post-Racial or Most-Racial: Race and Politics in the Obama Era.
    • Brown v. Board of Education (1954)
    • District of Columbia v. Heller (2008)
    • (NEW) Obergefell v. Hodges (2015)

    Chapter 5: Congress
    • DAVID R. MAYHEW, from Congress: The Electoral Connection
    • RICHARD F. FENNO JR., from Home Style: House Members in Their Districts
    • GARY W. COX and MATHEW D. McCUBBINS, from Setting the Agenda: Responsible Party Government in the U.S. House of Representatives
    • (NEW) JUSTIN GRIMMER, SEAN WESTWOOD, AND SOLOMON MESSING, from The Impression of Influence: Legislator Communication, Representation, and Democratic Accountability.

    Chapter 6: The Presidency
    • RICHARD E. NEUSTADT, from Presidential Power and the Modern Presidents: The Politics of Leadership from Roosevelt to Reagan
    • CHARLES M. CAMERON, from Veto Bargaining: Presidents and the Politics of Negative Power
    • BRANDICE CANES- WRONE, from Who Leads Whom? Presidents, Policy, and the Public
    • WILLIAM G. HOWELL, from Power without Persuasion: The Politics of Direct Presidential Action
    • SAMUEL KERNELL, from Going Public: New Strategies of Presidential Leadership
    • (NEW) JAMES DRUCKMAN AND LAWRENCE JACOBS, from Who Governs: Presidents, Public Opinion, and Manipulation.

    Chapter 7: The Bureaucracy
    • JAMES Q. WILSON, from Bureaucracy: What Government Agencies Do and Why They Do It
    • MATHEW D. McCUBBINS and THOMAS SCHWARTZ, from “Congressional Oversight Overlooked: Police Patrols versus Fire Alarms,” American Journal of Political Science
    • DANIEL P. CARPENTER, from The Forging of Bureaucratic Autonomy: Reputations, Networks, and Policy Innovation in Executive Agencies, 1862– 1928
    • (NEW) SUSAN MOFFITT, from Making Policy Public: Participatory Bureaucracy in American Democracy.
    • SEAN GAILMARD and JOHN W. PATTY, from Learning While Governing: Expertise and Accountability in the Executive Branch

    Chapter 8: The Judiciary
    • GERALD N. ROSENBERG, from The Hollow Hope: Can Courts Bring about Social Change?
    • Marbury v. Madison (1801)
    • Lawrence v. Texas (2003)
    • National Federation of Independent Business v. Sebelius (2012)
    • (NEW) LEE EPSTEIN, ANDREW MARTIN, KEVIN QUINN, AND JEFFREY SEGAL, from “Circuit Effects: How the Norm of Federal Judicial Experience Biases the Supreme Court.”

    Chapter 9: Public Opinion
    • ARTHUR LUPIA and MATHEW D. McCUBBINS, from The Democratic Dilemma: Can Citizens Learn What They Need to Know?
    • JOHN R. ZALLER, from The Nature and Origins of Mass Opinion
    • DONALD R. KINDER and CINDY D. KAM, from Us Against Them: Ethnocentric Foundations of American Opinion
    • (NEW) KATHERINE CRAMER, from The Politics of Resentment: Rural Consciousness in Wisconsin and the Rise of Scott Walker.
    • (NEW) JAMES CAMPBELL, from Polarized: Making Sense of a Divided America.

    Chapter 10: Participation
    • JANELLE WONG, S. KARTHICK RAMAKRISHNAN, TAEKU LEE, and JANE JUNN, from Asian American Political Participation: Emerging Constituents and Their Political Identities
    • ROBERT D. PUTNAM, from Bowling Alone: The Collapse and Revival of American Community

    Chapter 11: Interest Groups
    • MARTIN GILENS, from Affluence and Influence: Economic Inequality and Political Power in America
    • KEN KOLLMAN, from Outside Lobbying: Public Opinion and Interest Group Strategies
    • LARRY M. BARTELS, from Unequal Democracy: The Political Economy of the New Gilded Age

    Chapter 12: Political Parties
    • JOHN H. ALDRICH, from Why Parties? A Second Look
    • ANGUS CAMPBELL, PHILIP E. CONVERSE, WARREN E. MILLER, and DONALD E. STOKES, from The American Voter: An Abridgement
    • MARTY COHEN, DAVID KAROL, HANS NOEL, and JOHN ZALLER, from The Party Decides: Presidential Nominations Before and After Reform
    • (NEW) KEN KOLLMAN, “Who Drives the Party Bus?”

    Chapter 13: Elections
    • JOHN R. KOZA, BARRY FADEM, MARK GRUESKIN, MICHAEL S. MANDELL, ROBERT RICHIE, and JOSEPH F. ZIMMERMAN, from Every Vote Equal: A State- Based Plan for Electing the President by National Popular Vote
    • Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission (2010)
    • Shelby County, Alabama v. Holder (2013)
    • (NEW) RICHARD FOX AND JENNIFER LAWLESS, “Gendered Perceptions and Political Candidacies: A Central Barrier to Women’s Equality in Electoral Politics,” American Journal of Political Science 55 (2011): 59-73.
    • (NEW) CHRISTOPHER ACHEN AND LARRY BARTELS, from Democracy for Realists: Why Elections Do Not Produce Responsive Government.

    Chapter 14: The Media
    • MATTHEW A. BAUM, from Soft News Goes to War: Public Opinion and American Foreign Policy in the New Media Age
    • MARISA A. ABRAJANO, from Campaigning to the New American Electorate: Advertising to Latino Voters

    Chapter 15: Policy
    • (NEW) KENNETH SCHEVE AND DAVID STASAVAGE, from Taxing the Rich: A History of Fiscal Fairness in the United States and Europe.
    • SUZANNE METTLER, from The Submerged State: How Invisible Government Policies Undermine American Democracy
    • WALTER RUSSELL MEAD, from Special Providence: American Foreign Policy and How It Changed the World