Updated to reflect the current political landscape, this book is organized around a "participation" approach and provides an innovative content style and interactive assessment. It is designed to get readers to participate in their learning and in all aspects of American politics. Covering the foundations and institutions of the American Government, readers are prompted to draw connections between government topics and current events while finding a role for themselves in politics and government. This update includes coverage of the seismic changes that have taken place across our political landscape since the second edition published and Barack Obama took office. The BriefCaliforniaedition includes the coverage of the comprehensive version in a stream-lined format, plus 7 additional chapters on California state government and policy.