American Government and Politics Today, 2015-2016 Edition

  • AUTHORS: Lynne E. Ford; Barbara A. Bardes; Steffen W. Schmidt; Mack C. Shelley, II.
  • ISBN-13: 9781285872506 
  • Grade(s): 9 | 10 | 11 | 12
  • 848 Pages  Hardcover 
  • 17th Edition
  • ©2016     Published
  • Prices are valid only in the respective region


About The Product

American Government And Politics Today is known nationwide for its balanced, unbiased, and modern coverage of constitutional, governmental, political, social, and economic structures and their processes. The book provides students knowledge they need to make informed choices, encourages them to play an active role in the decision-making process, and encourages their enthusiastic participation in the world around them.


  • Provocative “What if . . . ?” questions prompt lively classroom discussion and encourage students to apply critical-thinking skills to current, real-life issues.
  • A boxed “Beyond Our Borders” feature in each chapter gives students both global and comparative context, covering topics related to key issues such as economic globalization, foreign elections, citizenship, immigration, and foreign lobbying. New topics include government controlled media abroad, campaign length, and political rights in the global community, such as Egypt.
  • Chapter-opening Learning Outcomes help students target their reading and are revisited throughout the chapter and in the chapter summary. Objectives are tied to the outcomes that are expected from most Introduction to American Government courses across the country.
  • “Politics with a Purpose” features highlight how individuals, groups, and modern technology have impacted the political system. They incorporate a review of key scholarship on the topic and offer a balance of positive and negative as well as modern and historical examples. Examples often include students who are employing the skills they have learned in college to bring about social and political change.

About the Contributor

  • Lynne E. Ford

    Lynne E. Ford is Associate Provost for Curriculum and Academic Administration and professor of political science at the College of Charleston in Charleston, South Carolina. She received her B.A. from The Pennsylvania State University and her M.A. and Ph.D. in government and political behavior from the University of Maryland-College Park. Ford's teaching and research interests include women and politics, elections and voting behavior, political psychology, and civic engagement. She has written articles on women in state legislatures, the under-representation of women in political office in the American South, and work-family policy in the United States. She also has co-authored Declarations of Independence: Women and Political Power in 19th Century American Novels; Thinking About Public Policy; Public Opinion: Measuring the American Mind; and American Government and Politics Today.

  • Barbara A. Bardes

    Barbara A. Bardes is professor emerita of political science at the University of Cincinnati. She received her B.A. and M.A. from Kent State University and her Ph.D. from the University of Cincinnati. She served as a faculty member in political science and dean of Mundelein College at Loyola University of Chicago. In 1993, she was appointed dean of Raymond Walters College of the University of Cincinnati, where she served until 2003. She returned to the political science department where she held the position of graduate director before retiring. Bardes has written articles on public and foreign policy, and women and politics. She also has co-authored Declarations of Independence: Women and Political Power in 19th Century American Novels; Thinking About Public Policy; Public Opinion: Measuring the American Mind; and American Government and Politics Today.

  • Steffen W. Schmidt

    Steffen W. Schmidt is a professor of political science at Iowa State University. He grew up in Colombia, South America, and has studied in Colombia, Switzerland, and France. He has a B.A. from Rollins College and obtained his Ph.D. from Columbia University, New York, in public law and government. Dr. Schmidt has published 14 books and over 130 articles in scholarly journals and is the recipient of numerous prestigious teaching prizes, including the Amoco Award for Lifetime Career Achievement in Teaching and the Teacher of the Year award. He is a pioneer in the use of web-based and real-time video courses and is a member of the American Political Science Association's section on Computers and Multimedia. He is known as "Dr. Politics" for his extensive commentary on U.S. politics in U.S. and international media. He is a weekly blogger for Gannett, and comments on CNN en Español and Univision, as well as WNYC, New York. Dr. Schmidt is on Facebook (Steffen W Schmidt) and Twitter (DrPolitics).

  • Mack C. Shelley, II.

    Mack C. Shelley, II is a professor of political science and statistics at Iowa State University. After receiving his bachelor's degree from American University in Washington, DC, he went on to graduate studies at the University of Wisconsin at Madison, where he received a master's degree in economics and a Ph.D. in political science. He arrived at Iowa State in 1979. From 1993 to 2002, he served as elected co-editor of the Policy Studies Journal. Shelley has also published numerous articles, books, and monographs on public policy, including The Permanent Majority: The Conservative Coalition in the United States Congress; Biotechnology And The Research Enterprise: A Guide to the Literature (with William F. Woodman and Brian J. Reichel); American Public Policy: The Contemporary Agenda (with Steven G. Koven and Bert E. Swanson); and Quality Research in Literacy and Science Education: International Perspectives and Gold Standards (with Larry Yore and Brian Hand).

Table of Contents

1. One Republic-Two Americas?
2. The Constitution.
3. Federalism.
4. Civil Liberties.
5. Civil Rights.
6. Public Opinion and Political Socialization.
7. Interest Groups.
8. Political Parties.
9. Campaigning, Voting, and Elections.
10. The Media and Politics.
11. The Congress.
12. The President.
13. The Bureaucracy.
14. The Courts.
15. Domestic Policy.
16. Economic Policy.
17. Foreign Policy and National Security.
18. State and Local Government.

New to this Edition

  • Fast Track to a 5 Test Preparation is now conveniently bound into the text rather than a separate workbook.
  • Now with MindTap - a personal learning environment that combines the eBook and resources into a singular Learning Path.
  • Campaign, Voting, and Elections are now combined into one chapter (Chapter 9), instead of two (Chapters 9 and 10), in order to better streamline the topic discussions.
  • Based on reviewers' requests, this edition pays greater attention to gender, with discussions throughout the book of gender as it relates to such topics as cabinet appointments, Congress, Supreme Court justices, voting, the women's right movement, the Nineteenth Amendment, and the gender pay gap.
  • A new feature, “Everyday Politics,” centers on a media resource, such as a film or a sitcom, that links directly to the chapter material. It is designed to attract student interest and to encourage critical thinking by placing the book's topics in the context of familiar popular culture and posing questions for students to consider. For instance, one chapter summarizes the Academy Award-winning movie Argo, which dramatizes a CIA agent's rescue of six U.S. diplomats from Iran during the 1979 Iran hostage crisis.
  • A chapter on “The Media and Politics” (Chapter 10) returns to this edition, updated to address modern media and technology as well as their roles in politics.
  • “What Would You Do?” replaces the previous edition's “You Can Make a Difference” feature. This revised feature is more interactive for this edition, putting students in a position of power/authority while posing a critical thinking question, as opposed to simply referring them to websites for more information. For example, they may be asked to consider how they would vote on a handguns bill as a member of Congress.

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ePack: American Government and Politics Today, 17th + MindTap

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ePack: American Government and Politics Today, 17th + Vital Source + MindTap

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