Higher Education

Classic Ideas and Current Issues in American Government, 1st Edition

  • John J. DiIulio, Jr. University of Pennsylvania
  • Meena Bose Hofstra University
  • ISBN-10: 0618456449  |  ISBN-13: 9780618456444
  • 576 Pages
  • © 2007 | Published
  • College Bookstore Wholesale Price = $97.50



This reader offers succinct overviews of classic ideas and foundations of American government framed by contemporary issues and writings. Students are introduced to the classic debates, institutions, and individuals that shape American politics through key primary documents and shown how these issues remain at the core of policy making today. The included readings highlight questions about contemporary topics such as homeland security and affirmative action without losing touch with the timeless dilemmas of liberty, equality, and power.

Table of Contents

Topic Correlation Chart
1. American Government and the Constitution
1.1 The Second Treatise on Government (1690), John Locke
1.2 The Declaration of Independence (1776)
1.3 The Articles of Confederation (1781)
1.4 The Federalist No.10 and No.51 (1787-1788), James Madison
1.5 Anti-Federalists, Cato No. 3 (1787) and Brutus No. 2 (1787)
1.6 The Declaration of Sentiments (1848)
1.7 I Have a Dream (1963), Martin Luther King, Jr.
1.8 Constitutional Reform and Effective Government (1992), James L. Sundquist
2. Federalism
2.1 The Federalist No. 39 (1788), James Madison
2.2 McCulloch v. State of Maryland (1819)
2.3 Hard Road Ahead: Block Grants and the "Devolution Revolution" (1995), Richard P. Nathan
2.4 Keeping the Compound Republic: How Many Communities? (2001), Martha Derthick
3. American Political Culture
3.1 Democracy in America (1835-1840), Alexis de Tocqueville
3.2 Bowling Alone: America''s Declining Social Capital (1995), Robert D. Putnam
3.3 Lift Every Voice: A Report on Religion in American Public Life (2001), The Pew Forum on Religion and Public Life; Section 104 of the Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Reconciliation Act (1996)
4. Public Opinion
4.1 The Phantom Public (1925), Walter Lippmann
4.2 Election Results, Rally Effects, and Democratic Futures(2003), John J. DiIulio, Jr.
4.3 Culture War? The Myth of a Polarized America (2005), Morris P. Fiorina
5. Political Participation
5.1 The Responsible Electorate (1966), V.O. Key, Jr.
5.2 The Myth of the Vanishing Voter (2001), Michael P. McDonald and Samuel L. Popkin
5.3 Engaging Youth: Combating the Apathy of Young Americans Toward Politics (2003), Kevin Mattson
5.4 Martin P. Wattenberg, Where Have All the Voters Gone? (2002), Martin P. Wattenberg
6. Political Parties and Interest Groups
6.1 The Nader Calculation (2004), William Schneider; Nader Is Left with Fewer Votes, and Friends, After ''04 Race (2004), Scott Shane
6.2 Dynamics of the Party System: Alignment and Realignment of Political Parties in the United States (1983), James L. Sundquist
6.3 The Social Basis of Politics (2004), Stephen J. Wayne
6.4 The Semisovereign People: A Realist''s View of Democracy in America (1960), E.E. Schattschneider
6.5 Showdown at Gucci Gulch: Lawmakers, Lobbyists, and the Unlikely Triumph of Tax Reform (1987), Jeffrey H. Birnbaum and Alan S. Murray
7. Elections and Campaigns
7.1 Theories of Retrospective Voting (1981), Morris P. Fiorina
7.2 The Setting: Valence Politics in Modern Elections (1993), Donald E. Stokes and John J. DiIulio, Jr.
7.3 Even with Campaign Finance Law, Money Talks Louder Than Ever (2004), Glen Justice
7.4 Reforming the Electoral System (2004), Stephen J. Wayne
8. The Media
8.1 Whereas, He Is an Old Boy, If a Young Chief, Honor Him (1994), Maureen Dowd
8.2 Spin Cycle: How the White House and the Media Manipulate the News (1998), Howard Kurtz
8.3 President''s Criticism of Media Resonates, But Iraq Unease Grows (2003), The Pew Research Center for the People and the Press
8.4 Media Research Center Report: The Liberal Media (2004), Rich Noyes
9. Congress
9.1 The Federalist No. 57 (1788), Alexander Hamilton or James Madison
9.2 The Federalist No. 63 (1788), Alexander Hamilton or James Madison
9.3 Congress: The Electoral Connection (1974), David R. Mayhew
9.4 Home Style: House Members in Their Districts (1978), Richard F. Fenno, Jr.
9.5 Policymaking in Congress. Congress as Watchdog Asleep on the Job? (2007), David Nather; Intelligence Panel''s Mission Corroded by Air of Distrust (2004), Helen Fessenden; Senate Races Against the Nuclear Clock on Judges (2005), David Nather; Congress Skirts Issue with Sham Disaster Plan (2004), Norman Ornstein
10. Presidency
10.1 The Federalist No. 70 (1788), Alexander Hamilton
10.2 Presidential Power and the Modern Presidents (1990), Richard E. Neustadt
10.3 The Presidential Difference (2004), Fred I. Greenstein
10.4 The Two Presidencies (1966), Aaron Wildavsky,
11. Bureaucracy
11.1 Improving Government Performance: An Owner''s Manual (1993), John J. DiIulio, Jr., Gerald Garvey, and Donald F. Kettl
11.2 The 9/11 Commission Report: Final Report of the National Commission on Terrorist Attacks Upon the United States (2004)
11.3 Government by Proxy: A Faithful Overview (March 2003), John J. DiIulio, Jr.
11.4 Bureaucracy: What Government Agencies Do and Why They Do It (1989), James Q. Wilson
12. The Judiciary
12.1 The Federalist No. 78 (1788), Alexander Hamilton
12.2 Marbury v. Madison (1803)
12.3 A Matter of Interpretation: Federal Courts and the Law (1997), Antonin Scalia
12.4 Active Liberty: Interpreting Our Democratic Constitution (2005), Stephen Breyer
13. Civil Liberties and Civil Rights
13.1 Brandenburg v. Ohio (1969)
13.2 Santa Fe Independent School District v. Doe (2000)
13.3 Brown v. Board of Education (1954)
13.4 Gideon v. Wainwright (1963)
13.5 Grutter v. Bollinger (2003)


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Instructor Supplements

Classic Ideas and Current Issues in American Government: Instructor’s Resource Manual  (ISBN-10: 0618456457 | ISBN-13: 9780618456451)

Meet the Author

Author Bio

John J. DiIulio, Jr.

John J. DiIulio, Jr. is a Professor of Political Science at the University of Pennsylvania and has won each of Penn's most prestigious teaching awards. He was previously Professor of Politics and Public Affairs at Princeton University. He received his PhD in Political Science from Harvard University. He has been a senior fellow and directed research programs at several leading think tanks including the Brookings Institution and has won awards from the Association of Public Policy Analysis and Management, the American Political Science Association, and other bodies. He has advised presidential candidates in both parties, served on bipartisan government reform commissions, and worked as a senior staff member in the White House.

Meena Bose

Meena Bose is director of the Peter S. Kalikow Center for the Study of the American Presidency, Peter S. Kalikow Chair in Presidential Studies, and Professor of Political Science at Hofstra University. She received her PhD in 1996 from Princeton University. Dr. Bose teaches courses on the American Presidency, Presidential Leadership and Policy Making, and American Politics. She is the author or editor of several volumes in presidency studies and American politics. She taught for six years at the United States Military Academy at West Point.