By the People Debating American Government

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  • Edition: 2nd
  • Format: Paperback
  • Copyright: 12/15/2014
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press

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Challenge your students to ENGAGE in the conversation and process; THINK about the ideas, history, structure, and function; and DEBATE the merits of American government and politics in the 21st century.

In a storytelling approach that weaves contemporary examples together with historical context, By the People: Debating American Government, Brief Second Edition, explores the themes and ideas that drive the great debates in American government and politics. It introduces students to big questions like Who governs? How does our system of government work? What does government do? and Who are we? By challenging students with these questions, the text gets them to think about, engage with, and debate the merits of U.S. government and politics.

Ideal for professors who prefer a shorter text, By the People, Brief Second Edition, condenses the content of the comprehensive edition while also preserving its essential insights, organization, and approach. Approximately 20% shorter and less expensive than its parent text, the full-color Brief Second Edition features a more streamlined narrative and is enhanced by its own unique supplements package.

* "By the Numbers" boxes containing fun facts help frame the quizzical reality of American politics and government

* "See For Yourself" features enable students to connect with the click of a smart phone to videos and other interactive online content


* Chapter One introduces students to seven key American ideas, which are revisited throughout the text

* "The Bottom Line" summaries conclude each chapter section, underscoring the most important aspects of the discussion


* "What Do You Think?" boxes encourage students to use their critical-thinking skills and debate issues in American government

* Four major themes, in the form of questions to spark debate, are presented to students in Chapter One and appear throughout the text

Author Biography

James A. Morone (B.A., Middlebury College, and M.A. and PhD, University of Chicago) is Professor of Political Science at Brown University and five-time winner of the Hazeltine Citation for outstanding teacher of the year. A renowned scholar of American Political Science, Dr. Morone, an award-winning author, has published eight books including The Heart of Power (2009), Hellfire Nation (2003), and The Democratic Wish (1990). He served as President of the Politics and History Section of the American Political Science Association from 1999-2000 and the New England Political Science Association from 2002-03. He has been on the board of editors for eight scholarly journals and comments on politics in The New York Times, The London Review of Books, and The American Prospect.

Rogan Kersh (M.A. and PhD, Yale) is Provost and Professor of Political Science at Wake Forest University. A leading scholar in American Political Science, Dr. Kersh is best known for his work on health reform, obesity politics, and interest groups/lobbying. From 2006-12 he served as Associate Dean of the Wagner School of Public Service at New York University, where he built an undergraduate program, helped conceive and create NYU's new campus in Abu Dhabi, and was integral in the launch of a new Global Institute of Public Health. Dr. Kersh has published two books, more than fifty academic articles, and has provided commentary on U.S politics for dozens of different media outlets including CNN, Newsweek, and The New York Times. He was President of the American Political Science Association's organized section on Health Politics and Policy in 2011-12, and is an elected Fellow of the National Academy of Public Administration.

Table of Contents

About the Authors
Chapter 1. Ideas That Shape American Politics
The Spirit of American Politics
Who Governs?
How Does American Politics Work?
What Does Government Do?
Who Are We?
A Nation of Ideas
"The Land of the Free"
The Two Sides of Liberty
The Idea of Freedom is Always Changing
What Do You Think? Negative versus Positive Liberty
One Side of Self-Rule: Democracy
Another Side of Self-Rule: A Republic
A Mixed System
Limited Government
The Origins of Limited Government
And Yet . . . The United States Has a Big Government
Limits on Government Action
When Ideas Clash: Self-Rule and Limited Government
What Do You Think? Self-Rule Versus Limited Government
Community Versus Individualism
The Roots of American Individualism: Opportunity and Discord
--Golden Opportunity
--Social Conflict
Who We Are: Individualism and Solidarity?
What Do You Think? Individualism versus Solidarity
The American Dream
Spreading the Dream
Challenging the Dream
--Is the System Tilted Toward the Wealthy?
--Does the American Dream Promote the Wrong Values?
Three Kinds of Equality
How Much Economic Inequality is Too Much?
Opportunity or Outcome?
Still a Religious Country
So Many Religions
The Politics of Religion
How Do Ideas Affect Politics?
Ideas in American Culture
The Ideas in Political Institutions
Culture or Institutions?
Conclusion: Culture and Institutions, Together
Chapter 2. The Constitution
The Colonial Roots of the Constitution
Why the Colonists Revolted
The Colonial Complaint: Representation
The Conflict Begins with Blood on the Frontier
The Stamp Tax and the First Hints of Independence
The Townshend Acts Worsen the Conflict
The Boston Tea Party
A Long Legacy
The Declaration of Independence
The Principle: "We Hold These Truths . . ."
The First American Government: The Articles of Confederation
The National Government
Some Success . . .
. . . And Some Problems
What Do You Think? Your Advice is Needed
The First Step: Annapolis Convention
The Constitutional Convention
1. How Much Power to the People?
2. National Government versus State Government
3. Big States versus Small States
--The Virginia Plan
--The New Jersey Plan
--The Connecticut Compromise
4. The President
--Committee Or Individual?
--The Electoral College
5. Separation of Powers
6. "A Principle of Which We Were Ashamed"
--The Three-Fifths Compromise
--The Slave Trade
--Fugitive Slaves
--"The National Calamity"
An Overview of the Constitution
Article 1: Congress
What Do You Think? Have We Achieved the Constitution's Goals Today?
Article 2: The President
Article 3: The Courts
Article 4: Relations between the States
Article 5: Amendments
Article 6: The Law of the Land
Article 7: Ratification
The Missing Articles
The Anti-Federalists
The Federalists
Two Strong Arguments
A Very Close Vote
Changing the Constitution
The Bill of Rights
The Seventeen Amendments
The Constitution Today
Conclusion: Does the Constitution Still Work?
What Do You Think? How Strictly Should We Interpret the Constitution?
Chapter 3. Federalism and Nationalism
Forging Federalism
Who Holds Government Authority?
Advantages of State Level Policy
The Advantages of National Policy
What Do You Think? Preserving Local Values or Continuing a Terrible Injustice?
How Federalism Works
The Constitution Sets the Ground Rules
--The Constitution Empowers National Authority
--The Constitution Protects State Authority
--The Constitution Authorizes Shared Power
Dual Federalism (1789-1933)
Cooperative Federalism (1933-1981)
New Federalism
Battles over Federalism Today
--Drowned in the Bathtub?
--Unfunded Mandates
Federalism and the Parties
What Do You Think? Intergovernmental Lobbying, American Style
Federalism in the Courts
Nationalism, American Style
The Imagined Community
The Rise of American Nationalism
Conclusion: Who Are We?
Chapter 4. Civil Liberties
The Rise of Civil Liberties
Civil Rights and Civil Liberties
The Slow Rise of Rights
Penumbras and Emanations
What Do You Think? Is There a Right to Privacy?
Roe v. Wade
Sexuality between Consenting Adults
Freedom of Religion
The Establishment Clause
Free Exercise of Religion
What Do You Think? May the Christian Youth Club Meet in School?
Freedom of Speech
A Preferred Position
What Do You Think? David's Law
Political Speech
Symbolic Speech
Limits to Free Speech: Fighting Words
Limited Protections: Student Speech
Freedom of the Press
Prior Restraint
The Right to Bear Arms
A Relic of the Revolution?
The Palladium of All Liberties?
The Rights of the Accused
Americans Behind Bars
What Do You Think? End the Death Penalty?
The Fourth Amendment: Search and Seizure
The Fifth Amendment: Rights at Trials
The Sixth Amendment: The Right to Counsel
The Eighth Amendment: The Death Penalty
Fighting Terrorism and Protecting Liberty
Conclusion: The Dilemma of Civil Liberties
Chapter 5. The Struggle for Civil Rights
Winning Rights: The Political Process
Seven Steps to Political Equality
How the Courts Review Cases
--Suspect categories
--Quasi-suspect categories
--Non-suspect categories
Race and Civil Rights: Revolt against Slavery
The Clash over Slavery
-- Politics
Dred Scott v. Sandford
The Second American Founding: A New Birth of Freedom?
Freedom Fails
The Fight for Racial Equality
Two Kinds of Discrimination
The Civil Rights Campaign Begins
The Courts
The Civil Rights Movement
What Do You Think? Would You have Protested?
Congress and the Civil Rights Act
The Achievements of the Civil Rights Era
Affirmative Action in the Workplace
Affirmative Action in Education
What Do You Think? Higher Education and Affirmative Action
Voting Rights Today
Where are We Now?
The Civil Rights Act of 1964
The Courts
Progress--But How Much?
Reproductive Politics
Challenging Discrimination
The Politics of Immigration
The Controversy over Language
Political Mobilization
Asian Americans
Asian Stereotypes
Native Americans
The Lost Way of Life
Indians and the Federal Government
Social Problems and Politics
Groups without Special Protection
People with Disabilities
Sexual Orientation
Conclusion: By the People
Chapter 6. Public Opinion and Political Participation
Sources of Public Opinion
Self-Interest: Voting Our Pocketbooks
Demography--Race, Gender, Age, and More
Elite Influence
Wars and Other Focusing Events
Measuring Public Opinion
Early Polling Bloopers
Polling 101
Do Opinion Surveys Influence Us?
Public Opinion in a Democracy
Ignorant Masses
The Rational Public
What Do You Think? Can We Trust the Public?
Getting Involved: Electoral, Voluntary, and Political Voice
Electoral Activities
What Do You Think? Should Everyone Participate in Politics?
Civic Voluntarism
Political Voice
What Inspires Political Participation?
Spurs to Individual Participation
--Background: Age, Wealth, and Education
--Friends, Family, and Social Capital
--Political Mobilization
--Government Beneficiaries
What Discourages Political Participation?
Institutional Barriers
Shifting Mobilization Patterns
The Internet, Social Media, and Gen Y Participation
Scenario 1: Rebooting Democracy
Scenario 2: More Hype and Danger than Democratic Renaissance
Conclusion: Government by the People
Chapter 7. The Media
American Media Today: Traditional Formats are Declining
Where People Go for News
Newspaper Decline
--The First Mass Media
--Should We Worry?
Radio Holds Steady
Television: From News to Infotainment
--The Rise of Cable
The Rise of the New Media
Is the Media Biased?
Reporters Are Democrats
Profits Drive the News Industry
Drama Delivers Audiences
Sex and Scandal
The Skeptical Media
How Governments Shape the Media
The First Amendment Protects Print Media from Regulation
Regulating Broadcasters
How the Media Shapes Politics
News Stories Reinforce Existing Beliefs
The Political Agenda
Priming the Public
Framing the Issue
The Media's Electoral Connection
The Campaign as Drama
Candidate Profiles
Conclusion: At the Crossroads of the Media World
What Do You Think? Does the Media Enhance Democracy?
Chapter 8. Campaigns and Elections
How Democratic are American Elections?
Frequent and Fixed Elections
520,000 Elected Officials
What Do You Think? Too Many Elected Positions?
Financing Campaigns: The New Inequality?
--Too Much Money?
--Election Spending in Context
--Major Donors: Easier to Give
Presidential Campaigns and Elections
Who Runs for President?
Presidential Campaigns Have Three Phases
Winning the Nomination
What Do You Think? Why Iowa and New Hampshire?
Organizing the Convention
The General Election
Winning Presidential Elections
--Economic Outlook
--War and Foreign Policy
--Domestic Issues
--The Campaign Organization
Congressional Campaigns and Elections
Candidates: Who Runs for Congress?
The Power of Incumbency
Congressional Election Results
Redrawing the Lines: The Art of the Gerrymander
Nonpartisan Districting and Minority Representation
How to Run for Congress
Key 1: Money
Key 2: Organization
Key 3: Strategy
Key 4: Message
Conclusion: Reforming American Elections
Chapter 9. Interest Groups and Political Parties
Interest Groups and Lobbying
What Private Interest Groups Do
What Public Interest Groups Do
What Interest Groups Do for Democracy?
Lobbying the Federal Branches of Government
Rise of the Issue Network
Intergovernmental and Reverse Lobbying
Lobbying the Courts
--Lobbying on Judicial Confirmations
--Filing Amicus Curiae ("Friend of Court") Briefs
--Sponsoring Litigation
Interest Groups and Power
Lobbyist Spending
Political Parties and US Government
What the Parties Do
--Parties Champion Ideas
--Parties Select Candidates
--Parties Mobilize the Voters
--Parties Organize Governing Activity after the Election
--Parties Help Integrate New Groups into the Political Process
Two-Party America
Third Parties in American Politics
America's Party Systems: Origins and Change
--Beginnings: First Party System (1789-1828)
--Rise: Second Party System (ca. 1828-1860)
--War and Reconstruction: Third Party System (1860-1896)
--Business and Reform: Fourth Party System (1896-1932)
--Depression and New Deal: Fifth Party System (1933-1968)
--The Sixth Party System: The Parties at Equal Strength (1972-Present)
Party Identification . . . and Ideas
Building Party Identification
The Power of Party Attachment
What Do You Think? Personality and Party
Organizing the Parties
--The Party Bureaucracy
--Party in Government
--Party in the Electorate
--The Big Tent
Party Competition . . . and Partisanship
Parties Rise Again
Competition and Partisanship Intensifies
What Do You Think? Partisanship
Conclusion: A Political System Ripe for Reform?
1. Regulating Lobbyists
What Do You Think? Assessing the Influence of Lobbyists
2. Reduce Partisanship in Government
Chapter 10. Congress
Introducing Congress
Two Houses, Different Styles
What Do You Think? Senate Filibusters
The House and Senate Have Some Unique Roles
Congressional Representation
Trustees and Delegates
--Do the Right Thing
--Do What the People Want
What Do You Think? Two Views of Representation
Elections: Getting to Congress--and Staying There
Congressional Elections
Home Styles: Back in the District
Congress at Work
The City on the Hill
Minnows and Whales: Congressional Leadership
House Leadership
Senate Leadership
Committees: Workhorses of Congress
The Enduring Power of Committees
Leadership and Assignments
Legislative Policy Making
Drafting a Bill
Submitting the Bill
Committee Action
--1. Committees Hold Hearings on Policy Topics
--2. Committees Prepare Legislation for Consideration on the House or Senate Floor
--3. Committees also Kill Legislation, Deleting Items that are Judged Less Important or Not Particularly Urgent--or Not Politically Viable
--4. Committees' Work Extends Beyond Legislation, to Oversight
Floor Actiona Conference Committee
Why is Congress So Unpopular?d Powers, Once More
Partisan Polarization in Congress
Divided Government
What Do You Think? Is a Partisan Congress a Good Thing?
Conclusion: Congress and the Challenge of Governing
Chapter 11. The Presidency
Defining the Presidency
The President's Powers
Is the President Too Powerful?
An Imperial Presidency?
A Weak Office?
What Presidents Do
Commander in Chief
Top Diplomat
The First Legislator
--Recommending Measures
--State of the Union
--Presidential "Batting Average"
--Signing Statements
Chief Bureaucrat
Economist in Chief
Party LeaderState
The Bully Pulpit: Introducing Ideas
The Impossible Job
Presidential Leadership: Success and Failure in the Oval Office
Managing the Public
Approval Ratings
What Do You Think? Ranking the President
Presidential Greatness
The President's Team: A Tour of the White House
The Political Solar System: Presidential Appointments
The Vice President
The Cabinet
The Executive Office of the President
--The Office of Management and Budget (OMB)
--The Council of Economic Advisers (CEA)
--The National Security Council (NSC)
--The List of Offices in Sum
--The Heart of Power: The White House Office (WHO)
What Do You Think: Too Many Presidential Aides?
--The First Spouse
Conclusion: The Most Powerful Office on Earth?
Chapter 12. Bureaucracy
How the Bureaucracy Grew
Before the Bureaucracy
The Bureaucratic Model
--Division of Labor
--Fixed Routines
--Equal Rules for All
--Technical Qualifications
Bureaucratic Pathologies
The Democratic Dilemma
What Bureaucracies Do
Rule Making
How the Bureaucracy is Organized
The Cabinet Departments
--The Rotating Bureaucracy
Other Agencies
--Executive Agencies
--Independent Regulatory Commissions
--An Army of their Own
--Private Contractors
Who Controls the Federal Bureaucracy?
The People
The President
Interest Groups
Bureaucratic Autonomy
Democracy Revisited
Reforming the Bureaucracy
Open up the System
Reinventing Government
What Do You Think? Should We Privatize More Government Functions?
Conclusion: The Real Solution Lies with You
Chapter 13. The Judicial Branch
Who are We? A Nation of Laws . . . and Lawyers
Embracing the Law--and Lawsuits
Declining Trust
Courts in American Culture
Organizing the Judicial Branch
Divided We Rule
State and Local Courts
Judicial Selection
What Do You Think? How Should States Select their Judges?
Federal Courts
Specialized Courts
Diversity in the Federal Judiciary
What Do You Think? Identity on the Bench
The Court's Role
Judicial Review
Activism versus Restraint
The Judicial Process
Too Much Power?
. . . Or Still the "Least Dangerous" Branch?
The Supreme Court and How it Operates
Hearing Cases
Selecting Cases: Formal Requirements
Selecting Cases: Informal Factors
Conference Sessions and Written Decisions
Supreme Court Clerks
Confirmation Battles
Judicial Decision Making and Reform
The Role of Law
Ideology and Partisanship
Collegiality and Peer Pressure
Institutional Concerns
Nineteen Cases You Should Know
1. Marbury v. Madison (1803)
2. Mccullough v. Maryland (1819)
3. Dartmouth College v. Woodward (1819)
4. Dred Scott v. Sandford (1857)
5. Santa Clara Co. v. Southern Pacific Railroad (1886)
6. Plessy v. Ferguson (1896)
7. Lochner v. New York (1905)
8. Muller v. Oregon (1908)
9. Schenck v. United States (1919)
10. National Labor Relations Board v. Jones and Laughlin Steel Corporation (1937)
11. Korematsu v. US (1944)
12. Brown v. Board of Education (1954)
13. Mapp v. Ohio (1961)
14. Gideon v. Wainwright (1963)
15. Lemon v. Kurtzman (1971)
16. Roe v. Wade (1973)
17. US v. Nixon (1974)
18. Bush v. Gore (2000)
19. National Federation of Independent Business v. Sebelius (2012)
What Do You Think? Name another Landmark Case
The Nineteen Cases--and the Power of the Court
Conclusion: Democracy and the Courts
Chapter 14. Domestic and Foreign Policy
Public Policymaking in Five (Not-So-Easy) Stages
1. Agenda Setting
2. Framing
3. Policy Formation
--Analyzing Policy, Ex Ante
--From Cost-Benefit Analysis to Politics
4. Policy Implementation
--Top-Down Delivery
--Bottom-Up Delivery
5. Policy Evaluation and Feedback
--Policy Feedback
US Social Policy
Old-Age Insurance: Social Security
Unemployment Benefits
Health and Disability: Medicare/Medicaid
What Do You Think: Should We Reform Social Security and Medicare?
Economic Policymaking, I: Fiscal and Monetary Policy
Fiscal Policy
Monetary Policy
Economic Policymaking, II: The Federal Budget Process
American Foreign Policy Goals
American Foreign Policy Goal No. 1: Security
--The Military
--Soft Power
--Foreign Aid and National Security
What Do You Think? Downsizing the Military
American Foreign Policy Goal No. 2: Prosperity
Free Trade
Economic Weapons
Foreign Policy Goal No. 3: Spreading American Ideals
Who Makes Foreign Policy?
The President
The State Department
The Department of Defense
The National Security Council
Success or Fragmentation?
Grand Strategies over Time
World War I and Isolationism (1918-1939)
World War II, the Cold War, and Multilateralism (1942-1989)
The New World Order (1989-2003)
The War On Terror (Began 2001)
--War in Afghanistan
--War in Iraq
--Terrorist Threats Today
What Do You Think? Terrorists and the Rule of Law
Conclusion: Policy Matters
Appendix I: The Declaration of Independence
Appendix II: The Constitution of the United States of America
Appendix III: The Federalist Papers 1, 10, and 51
Appendix IV: Presidential Elections, Congressional Control, 1789-2012

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