664 pages | 160 B/W Illus.
How politics in America works today, how it got that way, and how it’s likely to change through reform—these are the themes that pervade every chapter of Cal Jillson’s highly lauded American Government: Political Development and Institutional Change. Even in the midst of current challenges, America’s past is present in all aspects of the contemporary political system. Jillson uses political development and the dynamics of change as a thematic tool to help students understand how politics works now—and how institutions, participation, and policies have evolved over time to produce the contemporary political environment. In addition, Jillson helps students think critically about how American democracy might evolve further, focusing in every chapter on reform and further change.
New to the 10th Edition
In a streamlined presentation, Jillson delivers a concise and engaging narrative to help students understand the complexities and importance of American politics. Along the way, several pedagogical features foster critical thinking and analysis:
PRAISE FOR THE 10th EDITION
This text is accessible and well-written with a nice amount of historical/institutional background. It does a very good job of offering students a sense of why we do things one way rather than another in historical terms. I think the author’s clear writing is one of the text’s most attractive features.
Thomas Hoffman, Spring Hill College
The coverage of social movements is especially unique—most texts I’ve read do not go this far in-depth into the history and tactics of social movements, so important at this time. Also, I’ve found that students often have difficulty remembering court cases. Throughout the text, the author offers additional narrative to court cases that makes them more human and memorable. By providing the stories behind these cases, students are better able to remember them and see their importance in American politics. The same is true of the “Constitution Today” feature—a nice way to highlight how history shapes our reality now. Too often, students see the Constitution and Founding as trivia, with little connection to how we continue to struggle with the same controversies today. It’s nice that this feature is revisited in each chapter to drive home the point that the debates surrounding the Constitution over 200 years ago are still important today.
Lauren R. Elliott-Dorans, Ohio University
PRAISE FOR PREVIOUS EDITIONS
This terrific textbook will help students get to the bottom of the mysteries of the American government and why it has been so difficult for Americans to work together for the common good. Cal Jillson expertly shows us how our past shapes our current political path, from Black Lives Matter to the legalization of marijuana, voter ID, mass shootings, and the historic election of 2016.
David B. Robertson, University of Missouri-St. Louis
Most of my students are non-majors. They walk into the course expecting to be bored. Jillson’s text helps them get over that. I've considered many textbooks over the years and this is clearly the right one for me.
Keith Dougherty, University of Georgia
Clear, comprehensive, and concise, this is no doubt the best American government text on the market today.
Christopher Malone, Pace University
This book truly stands apart from the vast crowd of introductory American politics textbooks.
Shamira M. Gelbman, Illinois State University
A book that connects the political challenges of today to the political conflicts of the past.
Jonathan Chausovsky, SUNY Fredonia
The ideals that Jillson so thoroughly includes in this text are straight down the middle and do not in any way cater to the right or left, which is a refreshing idea in today’s educational world. An A+ for government classes everywhere!
Drew Mowen, Ft. Scott Community College
Chapter 1 The Origins of American Political Principles
Chapter 2 The Revolution and the Constitution
Chapter 3 Federalism and American Political Development
Chapter 4 Political Socialization and Public Opinion
Chapter 5 The Mass Media and the Political Agenda
Chapter 6 Interest Groups: The Politics of Influence
Chapter 7 Political Parties: Winning the Right to Govern
Chapter 8 Voting, Campaigns, And Elections
Chapter 9 Congress: Partisanship, Polarization, and Gridlock
Chapter 10 The President: Governing in Uncertain Times
Chapter 11 Bureaucracy: Redesigning Government for the Twenty-First Century
Chapter 12 The Federal Courts: Activism Versus Restraint
Chapter 13 Civil Liberties: Ordered Liberty in America
Chapter 14 Civil Rights: Where Liberty and Equality Collide
Chapter 15 Government, the Economy, and Domestic Policy
Chapter 16 America’s Global Role in the Twenty-First Century
Glossary of Key Terms
Glossary of Cases
Appendix A The Declaration of Independence
Appendix B The Articles of the Confederation 549
Appendix C Constitution of the United States
Appendix D Federalist Numbers 10, 51, And 78
Appendix E Partisan Control of the Presidency, Congress, and the Supreme Court