Higher Education

Perspectives on American Politics, 6th Edition

  • William Lasser Clemson University
  • ISBN-10: 049589947X  |  ISBN-13: 9780495899471
  • 416 Pages
  • Previous Editions: 2008
  • © 2012 | Published
  • College Bookstore Wholesale Price = $98.00
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PERSPECTIVES ON AMERICAN POLITICS is a thematically rich reader of current selections containing a wide range of perspectives that illustrate how the American system works. It is organized into four categories: Foundations, American Politics Today, Issue and Controversy, and View from the Inside. Selections reflect dramatic recent developments in American politics such as the 2008 election, the economic crisis, and the ongoing controversy over corporate influence in political campaigns. The text's thirteen chapters correspond with the most frequently assigned chapters of American Government textbooks, making it an ideal supplement to any core text.

Features and Benefits

  • Streamlined chapters present essential perspectives.
  • The majority of the chapters in the book contain selections from all four perspectives: Foundations, American Politics Today, Issue and Controversy, and View from the Inside.
  • Perspectives make it easy to include or exclude specific material.

Table of Contents

1. The Constitution.
2. Federalism.
3. Civil Liberties.
4. Civil Rights.
5. Political Culture and Public Opinion.
6. Interest Groups.
7. The Media.
8. Parties and Elections.
9. The Congress.
10. The Presidency.
11. The Bureaucracy.
12. The Judiciary.
13. Public Policy.

What's New

  • NEW! Selections reflecting dramatic recent developments in American politics including--the economic crisis; --questions about gridlock and the separation of powers; --the debate over presidential vs. congressional control of the war powers; --the ongoing controversy over corporate influence in political campaigns.(brought to the forefront with the Supreme Court's 2010 decision in Citizens' United v. Federal Communications Commission).
  • NEW! Additional "Issue and Controversy" selections.

Efficacy and Outcomes


"It gives a broad brush opportunity to read and analyze several aspects of American Government." -- Gray Goodman, San Jacinto College, Central Campus

— Gray Goodman

"It has a nice balance between classic and contemporary essays, it has helpful introductory essays, and its organization is clear and easy to integrate with a textbook." -- Gary C. Bryner , Brigham Young University

— Gary C. Bryner

Meet the Author

Author Bio

William Lasser

WILLIAM LASSER, Alumni Distinguished Professor of Political Science at Clemson University, is a graduate of Harvard University and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. He is the author of numerous books and articles on law and American politics, including The Limits of Judicial Power: The Supreme Court in American Politics (University of North Carolina Press); Benjamin V. Cohen and the Spirit of the New Deal (Yale University Press); “The Supreme Court and the Political Process,” in The Oxford Companion to the Supreme Court of the United States; and “Was There a Switch in Time: Justice Roberts and the Constitutional Revolution of 1937” (Texas Law Review). He has also written extensively for the Atlanta Constitution and other newspapers, and his opinions have been quoted in the Wall Street Journal, the Washington Post, the Christian Science Monitor, U.S. News and World Report, and the National Law Journal. He has appeared on radio talk shows and on local and cable television. Lasser has taught courses in constitutional law and American government for the past 25 years, and in 1993 was the recipient of Clemson’s Master Teacher Award.