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Updated in a new 7th edition this book is organized around the evolving nature of the American experiment in democratic government. With a clear and compelling central theme this book provides the theory and basics of American political science as well as the nation's political history.
This book covers the foundations, institutions, and process of American democracy with a clear and relevant approach in an easily readable format. It sharpens the critical thinking skills needed to analyze these evolving relationships through its multitude of new critical thinking questions and timelines.
“As long as people are people, democracy, in the full sense of the word, will always be no more than an ideal. In this sense, you too are merely approaching democracy… but you have one great advantage: you have been approaching democracy uninterruptedly for more than 200 years…” -Vaclav Havel
These moving words — spoken in an address to a joint session of the U.S. Congress by Vaclav Havel, a former dissident Czechoslovakian playwright once imprisoned by that country’s Communist government and later elected its president — aptly capture the theme of Berman and Murphy’s seventh edition. Throughout this latest edition, the authors continue to use America’s approach to a democratic ideal as the conceptual lens through which students can evaluate the performance of our political system, apply their critical thinking skills, and engage political discussion and civic life.
About the Authors xxi
PART I Foundations of American Democracy
1 Approaching Democracy
2 The Founding and the Constitution
The Constitution of the United States
PART II Institutions of American Democracy
5 The Presidency
6 The Judiciary
7 The Bureaucracy
PART III Processes of American Democracy
8 Public Opinion
9 Political Parties
10 Participation, Voting, and Elections
11 Interest Groups
12 The Media
PART IV Liberties and Rights in American Democracies
13 Civil Liberties
14 Civil Rights and Political Equality
PART V Policy Making in American Democracy
15 Domestic and Economic Policy
16 Foreign Policy
APPENDIX 1: Introducing the Concept of Approaching Democracy
APPENDIX 2: Presidents and Congresses, 1789—2009
APPENDIX 3: Supreme Court Justices
APPENDIX 4: The Declaration of Independence
APPENDIX 5: The Federalist, No. 10, James Madison
APPENDIX 6: The Federalist, No. 51, James Madison