Higher Education

Democracy for the Few, 9th Edition

  • Michael Parenti Yale University
  • ISBN-10: 0495911267  |  ISBN-13: 9780495911265
  • 336 Pages
  • Previous Editions: 2008, 2002, 1995
  • © 2011 | Published
  • College Bookstore Wholesale Price = $112.50
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DEMOCRACY FOR THE FEW is a provocative interpretation of American Government. It shows how democracy is repeatedly violated by corporate oligopolies, and how popular forces have fought back and occasionally made gains in spite of the system. By focusing on the relationship between economic power and political power, discussing actual government practices and policies, conspiracies, propaganda, fraud, secrecy and other ploys of government and politics, this book stands apart in its analysis of how US Government works.

Features and Benefits

  • A unique interpretation of American capitalism, this compelling and well-documented critique of the political status quo offers students an alternative interpretation of the interplay between democracy and capitalism.
  • This unique text challenges the assumptions of traditional American Government texts. In chapters such as "Wealth and Want in the United States," "A Constitution for the Few," and "The Supremely Political Court," the ways in which political organizations, the economy, and society itself inform and control access to power, wealth, class, and institutions are examined.
  • 28 controversial political cartoons enhance students' understanding of the issues inherent in American culture.
  • An internationally known author and progressive political analyst, Michael Parenti is a leading voice among political progressives. In this text, he helps students appreciate their freedom to question government actions and encourages them to do so.

Table of Contents

1. Partisan Politics.
2. A Constitution for the Few.
3. Rise of the Corporate State.
4. Wealth and Want in the United States.
5. Institutions and Ideologies.
6. Politics: Who Gets What?
7. Health and Human Services: Sacrificial Lambs.
8. The Last Environment.
9. Unequal before the Law.
10. Political Repression and National Insecurity.
11. The U.S. Global Military Empire.
12. Who Governs? Elites, Labor, and Globalization.
13. Mass Media: For the Many, by the Few.
14. Voters, Parties, and Stolen Elections.
15. Congress: The Pocketing of Power.
16. The President: Guardian of the System.
17. The Political Economy of Bureaucracy.
18. The Supremely Political Court.
19. Democracy for the Few.

What's New

  • An extensive discussion of the causes and insufficient cures regarding the Great Recession of 2008-2009, with emphasis on corporate bailouts, hidden unemployment, and who benefits and who pays.
  • Updated discussions and new materials for just about every policy area including the environment, growing economic inequality, new attempts at regulation, health care, and the hardships of working America.
  • Updated discussions on the "unitary executive," conservative judicial activism, and the Obama administration.
  • New materials on attempts to suppress the popular vote through fraud, disinformation, and coercion, including the 2004, 2006, and 2008 elections.

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.

Printed Text + CourseReader Instant Access Code for American Government

ISBN-10: 1111654387  | ISBN-13: 9781111654382

List Price = $162.95  | CengageBrain Price = $162.95  | College Bookstore Wholesale Price = $122.50

This Bundle Includes:

  • Democracy for the Few
    List Price = $149.95  | CengageBrain Price = $149.95  | College Bookstore Wholesale Price = $112.50
  • CourseReader 0-30: American Government Instant Access
    List Price = $66.00  | CengageBrain Price = $66.00  | College Bookstore Wholesale Price = $66.00

Bundle: Democracy for the Few, 9th + CourseReader Printed Access Card for American Government

ISBN-10:  1111654344 | ISBN-13:  9781111654344

List Price = $162.95  | College Bookstore Wholesale Price = $122.50

This Bundle Includes:

  • Democracy for the Few
    List Price = $149.95  | CengageBrain Price = $149.95  | College Bookstore Wholesale Price = $112.50
  • CourseReader 0-30: American Government Printed Access Card
    List Price = $66.00  | College Bookstore Wholesale Price = $49.50

Efficacy and Outcomes


"Democracy for the Few is a radical text that will educate, entertain, inspire, and provoke students to read, think, and be critical." - Dan Brook, Ph.D., San Jose State University

— Dan Brook, Ph.D.

"Democracy for the Few is the most clearly written, innovative and thought provoking textbook I’ve seen. I find it hard to imagine a better text! This book will make your students understand how the American government functions while forcing them to think for themselves. Even if you don’t agree with the viewpoint taken by Parenti, this book will help spark invaluable classroom discussions." - Dr. William A. Pelz, Elgin Community College

— Dr. William A. Pelz

Meet the Author

Author Bio

Michael Parenti

Michael Parenti has taught political and social science at a number of colleges and universities, and now devotes himself full time to writing and guest lecturing. He is an internationally known, award winning author who has published 21 books, including: God and His Demons (2010); Contrary Notions: The Michael Parenti Reader (2007); The Culture Struggle (2006), and The Assassination of Julius Caesar (2003).Various writings of his have been translated into some twenty languages. His publications, including previous editions of Democracy for the Few, have been read and enjoyed by students, lay readers, and scholars, and have been used extensively in hundreds of college courses across the country. Dr. Parenti lectures frequently throughout North America and abroad. His various talks and interviews have played widely on radio, television, and the Internet. Some 300 articles of his have been published in magazines, newspapers, websites, and scholarly journals, including American Political Science Review, Journal of Politics, Social Research, and New Political Science. For more information, visit his website: www.michaelparenti.org.