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This thoroughly updated edition of Schmidt, Shelley, and Bardes' popular text offers balanced, unbiased, comprehensive, and up-to-date coverage of constitutional, governmental, political, social, and economic structures and processes. The book's overriding theme is the importance of informed active citizenship, and the extensive pedagogy underscores this theme by soliciting critical thinking about political issues and encouraging students to become involved in the political process. With keen awareness of its audience, AMERICAN GOVERNMENT AND POLITICS TODAY incorporates current examples, the Internet, and other media to stimulate learning and excitement about American government. This truly interactive text gives students more than reading material; it gives them tools to become good citizens.