Higher Education

Understanding American Government - No Separate Policy Chapter, 13th Edition

  • Susan Welch The Pennsylvania State University
  • John Gruhl University of Nebraska, Lincoln
  • Susan M. Rigdon University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign
  • Sue Thomas Pacific Institute for Research and Evaluation
  • ISBN-10: 1111341877  |  ISBN-13: 9781111341879
  • 624 Pages
  • Previous Editions: 2008, 2006, 2004
  • © 2012 | Published
  • College Bookstore Wholesale Price = $193.50
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About

Overview

UNDERSTANDING AMERICAN GOVERNMENT is highly respected and trusted for its attention to research and issues of diversity as well as for its award-winning team of authors. While covering the foundations and features of American government, this text also moves beyond the nuts and bolts to explain why and how important features of government have evolved, what their impact on government and individuals is, and why these features are controversial (if they are) and worth learning. More than just narrating facts and current issues, UNDERSTANDING AMERICAN GOVERNMENT leaves students with an understanding of the "why" so that they can apply what they've learned long after completing the course. UNDERSTANDING AMERICAN GOVERNMENT is a three-time winner of the American Government Textbook Award for the Best Treatment of Women in Politics, awarded by the Women's Caucus for Political Science.

Features and Benefits

  • New! A new Introduction chapter revamps the book's theme from responsiveness to role of government. This introduction asks big questions: Why do we have government? Why is it so big? How much power does it really have? How much power do the people have?
  • A reader-friendly presentation gives students a solid grounding in the concepts required for informed, effective citizenship, with an emphasis on the impact of government--how individual features of government affect its responsiveness to different groups.
  • Chapter-opening vignettes use current events to engage students in chapter topics; for example, the vignette introducing Chapter 15, "Civil Rights," discusses the recent discovery that Rev. Al Sharpton's ancestors were slaves for the ancestors of former Senator Strom Thurmond of South Carolina, an avowed segregationist.
  • Diversity issues are introduced in Chapter 1 and integrated throughout the text and photo program. Lively "American Diversity" boxes illustrate the impact of the social diversity of the American population on political life, featuring such topics as "Racial Identity and the Census in an Age of DNA Testing," "The Origin of Gay and Lesbian Rights Groups," and "Founding Mothers." A new guide at the front of the book outlines these features.
  • "Democracy?" boxes ask students critical-thinking questions relating to the issue at hand and ask how it ties in to government responsiveness.
  • In-text call-outs pinpoint where specific issues are addressed in the Constitution, making it easy to reference the document in the appendix and to see how the Constitution deals with the topic at hand.
  • "Behind the Scenes" boxes draw students into the material and illustrate how government and politics really work.

Table of Contents

Part I: THE AMERICAN SYSTEM.
Introduction.
1. The American People.
2. The Constitution.
3. Federalism.
Part II: LINKS BETWEEN PEOPLE AND GOVERNMENT.
4. Public Opinion.
5. News Media.
6. Interest Groups.
7. Political Parties.
8. Elections.
9. Money and Politics.
Part III: INSTITUTIONS.
10. Congress.
11. The Presidency.
12. The Bureaucracy.
13. The Judiciary.
Part IV: CIVIL LIBERTIES AND RIGHTS.
14. Civil Liberties.
15. Civil Rights.
Notes.
Appendix A: The Declaration of Independence.
Appendix B: The Constitution of the United States of America.
Appendix C: Federalist Paper 10.
Appendix D: Federalist Paper 51.
Glossary.
Index.

What's New

  • Fully updated material throughout reflects the 2010 election cycle and the latest issues, information, and scholarship necessary for a current understanding of American government. In addition, an overall streamlining helps clarify key concepts for students in an even more accessible and engaging fashion.

Learning Resource Bundles

Choose the textbook packaged with the resources that best meet your course and student needs. Contact your Learning Consultant for more information.

Bundle: Understanding American Government - No Separate Policy Chapter, 13th + CourseReader Printed Access Card for American Government

ISBN-10: 1111653801  | ISBN-13: 9781111653804

List Price = $270.95  | College Bookstore Wholesale Price = $203.50

This Bundle Includes:

  • Understanding American Government - No Separate Policy Chapter
    List Price = $257.95  | CengageBrain Price = $257.95  | College Bookstore Wholesale Price = $193.50
  • CourseReader 0-30: American Government Printed Access Card
    List Price = $66.00  | College Bookstore Wholesale Price = $49.50


Printed Text + CourseReader Instant Access Code for American Government

ISBN-10:  111165381X  | ISBN-13:  9781111653811

List Price = $294.95  | College Bookstore Wholesale Price = $218.75

This Bundle Includes:

  • Understanding American Government
    List Price = $287.95  | College Bookstore Wholesale Price = $216.00
  • CourseReader 0-30: American Government Instant Access
    List Price = $66.00  | CengageBrain Price = $66.00  | College Bookstore Wholesale Price = $66.00


Bundle: Text + WebTutor™ on Blackboard® Printed Access Card

ISBN-10:  1111648824  | ISBN-13:  9781111648824

List Price = $272.95  | College Bookstore Wholesale Price = $202.50

This Bundle Includes:

  • Understanding American Government - No Separate Policy Chapter
    List Price = $257.95  | CengageBrain Price = $257.95  | College Bookstore Wholesale Price = $193.50
  • WebTutor™ on Blackboard® with eBook on Gateway, 1 term (6 months) Printed Access Card
    List Price = $215.00  | College Bookstore Wholesale Price = $161.25


Bundle: Text + Political Science CourseMate with eBook Printed Access Card

ISBN-10:  1133220665  | ISBN-13:  9781133220664

List Price = $270.95  | College Bookstore Wholesale Price = $203.50

This Bundle Includes:

  • Understanding American Government - No Separate Policy Chapter
    List Price = $257.95  | CengageBrain Price = $257.95  | College Bookstore Wholesale Price = $193.50
  • Political Science CourseMate with eBook Printed Access Card
    List Price = $179.00  | College Bookstore Wholesale Price = $134.00


Bundle: Understanding American Government - No Separate Policy Chapter, 13th + Election 2010: An American Government Supplement

ISBN-10:  111187252X  | ISBN-13:  9781111872526

List Price = $286.95  | CengageBrain Price = $286.95  | College Bookstore Wholesale Price = $216.00

This Bundle Includes:

  • Understanding American Government - No Separate Policy Chapter
    List Price = $257.95  | CengageBrain Price = $257.95  | College Bookstore Wholesale Price = $193.50
  • Election 2010: An American Government Supplement
    List Price = $29.95  | CengageBrain Price = $29.95  | College Bookstore Wholesale Price = $22.50


Printed Text + CourseReader Instant Access Code for American Government

ISBN-10:  1111653798 | ISBN-13:  9781111653798

List Price = $270.95  | CengageBrain Price = $270.95  | College Bookstore Wholesale Price = $203.50

This Bundle Includes:

  • Understanding American Government - No Separate Policy Chapter
    List Price = $257.95  | CengageBrain Price = $257.95  | College Bookstore Wholesale Price = $193.50
  • CourseReader 0-30: American Government Instant Access
    List Price = $66.00  | CengageBrain Price = $66.00  | College Bookstore Wholesale Price = $66.00


Efficacy and Outcomes

Reviews

"I have been using the Welch text on and off over the years, and it has always had the right nuts and bolts without going into odd directions. The emphasis on diversity is excellent. I have been a reviewer more than once of the Women's Caucus Award, and I've read texts that were good examples of who should not win the award. The attention to diversity is critical in our time." --Terri Fine, University of Central Florida

— Terri Fine, University of Central Florida

"I especially like the background discussion on the formation of the Constitution. The authors do a good job of examining the 'why' here, and the chapter is clear, concise, and fits together nicely." --Richard Hungate, Joliet Junior College

— Richard Hungate, Joliet Junior College

"I appreciate the use of student-friendly language, not obtuse verbiage, in conveying the 'why' of politics and its relevance to our daily lives." --Griffin Hathaway, Illinois Central College

— Griffin Hathaway, Illinois Central College

Supplements

All supplements have been updated in coordination with the main title. Select the main title's "About" tab, then select "What's New" for updates specific to title's edition.

For more information about these supplements, or to obtain them, contact your Learning Consultant.

Instructor Supplements

The Wadsworth News DVD for American Government 2012  (ISBN-10: 1111346143 | ISBN-13: 9781111346140)

This collection of two- to five-minute video clips on relevant political issues serves as a great lecture or discussion launcher. Table of Contents: 1. AN INTRODUCTION TO AMERICAN DEMOCRACY. Video 1: Gays and Lesbians Mobilize for Legal Rights. 2. THE BUREAUCRACY. Video 1: The U.S. Census and the Federal Bureaucracy. 3. CAMPAIGNS AND ELECTIONS. Video 1: Ethnic Politics and the Campaign for the White House. Video 2: Racism and American Elections. 4. CIVIL LIBERTIES. Video 1: Tea Party Demonstrators Protest Government Spending and Taxation. Video 2: Free Speech and the Politics of Health Care Reform. 5. CIVIL RIGHTS. Video 1: The Gay Marriage Debate in California. 6. CONGRESS. Video 1: How Congress is Managed. 7. THE CONSTITUTION. Video 1: The Balanced Budget Amendment to the Constitution. 8. DOMESTIC POLICY. Video 1: The Drive to Expand the Role of the Government in Domestic Affairs. Video 2: President Obama Responds to Critics on Domestic & Foreign Policy. 9. FEDERALISM. Video 1: The Immigration Debate: Undocumented Workers in Arizona. Video 2: Federalism and Medical Marijuana. 10. FOREIGN POLICY. Video 1: Foreign Policy and the U.S. Constitution. 11. INTEREST GROUPS. Video 1: Interest Groups and the Operation of the Economy. 12. THE JUDICIARY. Video 1: The Politics of Judicial Appointments. Video 2: Elena Kagan's Ideological Disposition. 13. MEDIA AND POLITICS. Video 1: The Media and Protest Politics. 14. POLITICAL PARTIES. Video 1: Political Parties and the Race for the Presidency. Video 2: Governance and Political Parties. 15. THE PRESIDENCY. Video 1: The Economic Effects of the British Petroleum Oil Spill in the Gulf of Mexico. Video 2: President George W. Bush's Legacy. 16. PUBLIC OPINION. Video 1: Congresspeople Tweeting to Connect with Constituents. 17. VOTING AND PARTICIPATION. Video 1: Democracy and Political Efficaciousness.

CourseReader: American Government  (ISBN-10: 1111479984 | ISBN-13: 9781111479985)

COURSEREADER: AMERICAN GOVERNMENT allows you to create your reader, your way, in just minutes. This affordable, fully customizable online reader provides access to thousands of permissions-cleared readings, articles, primary sources, and audio and video selections from the regularly-updated Gale research library database. This easy-to-use solution allows you to search for and select just the material you want for your courses. Each selection opens with a descriptive introduction to provide context, and concludes with critical-thinking and multiple-choice questions to reinforce key points. COURSEREADER is loaded with convenient tools like highlighting, printing, note-taking, and downloadable MP3 audio files for each reading. COURSEREADER is the perfect complement to any Political Science course. It can be bundled with your current textbook, sold alone, or integrated into your learning management system. Please contact your Cengage sales representative for details.

Political Theatre DVD 2.0  (ISBN-10: 0495793604 | ISBN-13: 9780495793601)

Bring politics home to students with Political Theatre 2.0, up-to-date through the 2008 election season. This is the second edition of this 3 DVD series and includes real video clips that show American political thought throughout the public sector. Clips include both classic and contemporary political advertisements, speeches, interviews and more. Available to adopters of Cengage textbooks, version 2.0 provides lots of added functionality with this updated edition.

ABC News DVD: Speeches by Barack Obama  (ISBN-10: 1439082472 | ISBN-13: 9781439082478)

This DVD includes nine famous speeches by President Barack Obama, from 2004 to present day, including his speech at the 2004 Democratic National Convention; his 2008 speech on race, "A More Perfect Union"; and his 2009 inaugural address. Speeches are divided into short video segments for easy, time-efficient viewing. This instructor supplement also features critical thinking questions and answers for each speech, designed to spark class discussion.

Election 2010: An American Government Supplement  (ISBN-10: 1111341788 | ISBN-13: 9781111341787)

Written by John Clark and Brian Schaffner, this booklet addresses the 2010 congressional and gubernatorial races, with real-time analysis and references.

List Price = $29.95  | CengageBrain Price = $29.95  | College Bookstore Wholesale Price = $22.50

Student Supplements

CourseReader: American Government  (ISBN-10: 1111479984 | ISBN-13: 9781111479985)

Easy to use and affordable access to readings, articles, primary sources, and audio and video selections for your courses with this customized online reader. COURSEREADER: AMERICAN GOVERNMENT helps you to stay organized and gives you convenient access to course material, no matter where you are.

List Price = $.00  | College Bookstore Wholesale Price = $.00

Meet the Author

Author Bio

Susan Welch

Susan Welch received her AB and PhD degrees from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. She is currently Dean of the College of Liberal Arts and Professor of Political Science at The Pennsylvania State University. Her teaching and research areas include legislatures, urban politics, and women and minorities in politics. She publishes widely on issues of race, gender, and urban politics.

John Gruhl

John Gruhl, Professor of Political Science, received his AB from DePauw University in Greencastle, Indiana, and his PhD from the University of California at Santa Barbara. Since joining the University of Nebraska faculty in 1976, he has taught and done research in the areas of judicial process, criminal justice, and civil rights and liberties. He holds campus- and university-wide distinguished teaching awards for excellence in undergraduate teaching and became a charter member of the university’s Academy of Distinguished Teachers.

Susan M. Rigdon

Susan M. Rigdon received AB and PhD degrees in political science from the University of Illinois in 1966 and 1971, respectively. While focusing her teaching on comparative politics and international relations, she has also taught American government courses at several universities in the United States and China. Her research interests include culture and politics, security policy, and poverty and development. She is a Research Associate in Anthropology at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

Sue Thomas

Sue Thomas is Senior Research Scientist at the Pacific Institute for Research and Evaluation (PIRE) and Director of PIRE-Santa Cruz. Prior to joining PIRE, she served as Associate Professor of Government and Director of Women’s Studies at Georgetown University. She received her A.B. and M.Ed. from UCLA, and her Ph.D. from University of Nebraska, Lincoln. Her research specialty is women and politics, and among her publications are How Women Legislate and Women and Elective Office: Past, Present, and Future.