Politics in America, Texas Edition

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  • Edition: 5th
  • Format: Hardcover
  • Copyright: 2003-01-01
  • Publisher: Pearson College Div
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This highly-regarded introduction to politics in America is clearly and concisely written, providing the reader with a great basis for understanding our political system. Included in this edition is a study of politics in Texas, an important facet of politics in our country. With its timely illustrations, case studies, and explanation of current controversies, it is a must-read for anyone interested in how our political system functions. This lively, absorbing narrative examines the struggle for power: the participants, stakes, processes, and the institutional arenas. This Texas edition includes additional chapters concerning politics in that state: the social and economic milieu; the Texas Constitution; interest groups, political parties and elections; the legislature; the executive branch and bureaucracy; the judiciary; and local government in Texas. For anyone interested in our American political system; especially those with an interest in Texas politics, including government workers, policymakers, and politicians.

Table of Contents


1. Politics: Who Gets What, When, and How.
2. Political Culture: Ideas in Conflict.


3. The Constitution: Limiting Governmental Power.
4. Federalism: Dividing Governmental Power.


5. Opinion and Participation: Thinking and Acting in Politics.
6. Mass Media: Setting the Political Agenda.
7. Political Parties: Organizing Politics.
8. Campaigns and Elections: Deciding Who Governs.
9. Interest Groups: Getting Their Share and More.


10. Congress: Politics on Capitol Hill.
11. The President: White House Politics.
12. The Bureaucracy: Bureaucratic Politics.
13. Courts: Judicial Politics.


14. Politics and Personal Liberty.
15. Politics and Civil Rights.
16. Politics and the Economy.
17. Politics and Social Welfare.
18. Politics and National Security.
The Declaration of Independence. The Federalist, No. 10, James Madison. The Federalist, No. 51, James Madison. Presidents and Vice Presidents. Presidential Elections and Voting. Party Control of Congress.

Basic Version: Table of Contents as above for Chapters 1-15 only. No separate policy chapters in this version.

Texas Edition: Table of Contents as above plus these additional chapters concerning Texas politics:
19. The Social and Economic Milieu of Texas Politics.
20. The Texas Constitution.
21. Interest Groups, Political Parties, and Elections in Texas.
22. The Texas Legislature.
23. The Texas Executive and Bureaucracy.
24. The Texas Judiciary.
25. Local Government in Texas: Cities, Towns, Counties, and Special Districts.


Politics is an activity by which people try to get more of whatever there is to get. It is not about the pursuit of liberty as much as it is about the struggle over the allocation of values in society. Simply put, it is about "who gets what, when, and how." By using Lasswell's classic definition of politics as the unifying framework,Politics in America, Fifth Edition,strives to present a clear, concise, and stimulating introduction to the American political system. Without the conflicts that arise from disagreement over who should get what, when, and how, our government would not reflect the diverse concerns of the nation. Politics consists of all of the activities--reasonable discussion, impassioned oratory, campaigning, balloting, fund raising, advertising, lobbying, demonstrating, rioting, street fighting, and waging war--by which conflict is carried on. Managing conflict is the principle function of the political system and power is the ultimate goal. By examining the struggle for power--the participants, the stakes, the processes, and the institutional arenas--Politics in America, Fifth Edition,introduces students to the politics that is the basis for our democracy. WhyPolitics in America? Recent market research indicates that 76 percent of instructors teaching the Introductory American Government course find engaging their students to be the most difficult task facing them.Politics in America, Fifth Edition,is written to be lively and absorbing, reflecting the teaching philosophy that stimulating students' interest in politics and public affairs is the most important goal of an introductory course. Interesting examples and controversial debates spark students' interest and keep them connected to the material. The struggle for power in society is not a dull topic, and textbooks should not make it so. Politics in America, Fifth Edition,strives for a balanced presentation, but "balanced" does not mean boring. It does not mean the avoidance of controversy. Liberal and conservative arguments are set forth clearly and forcefully. Race and gender are given particular attention, not because it is currently fashionable to do so, but because American politics has long been driven by these factors. As in previous editions, the trademark of this book continues to be its desire to pull students into the debate that is our political system. Organization Part I, "Politics," begins with Lasswell's classic definition of politics and proceeds to describe the nature and functions of government and the meaning of democracy. It poses the question: How democratic is the American political system? It describes the American political culture: its contradictions between liberty and conformity, political equality and economic inequality, equality of opportunity and inequality of results, thus laying the groundwork for understanding the struggle over who gets what. Part II, "Constitution," describes the politics of constitution making--deciding how to decide. It describes how the struggle over the U.S. Constitution reflected the distribution of power in the new nation. It focuses on the classic arguments of the Founders for limiting and dividing governmental power and the structural arrangements designed to accomplish this end. Part III, "Participants," begins by examining individual participation in politics--the way people acquire and hold political opinions and act on them through voting and protest activity. It examines the influences of family, school, gender, race, and the role of media in shaping political opinion. It describes how organization concentrates power--to win public office in the case of party organizations, and to influence policy in the case of interest groups. It assesses the role of personal ambition in politics and the role of money. Part IV, "Institutions," describes

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