Higher Education

American Government and Politics Today: Essentials 2015-2016 Edition, 18th Edition

  • includes MindTap® Political Science, 1 term (6 months) Printed Access Card
  • Barbara A. Bardes University of Cincinnati
  • Mack C. Shelley, II. Iowa State University
  • Steffen W. Schmidt Iowa State University
  • ISBN-10: 1285853156  |  ISBN-13: 9781285853154
  • 576 Pages
  • Previous Editions: 2014, 2012, 2010
  • © 2016 | Published
  • College Bookstore Wholesale Price = $120.50
  • Newer Edition Available
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About

Overview

AMERICAN GOVERNMENT AND POLITICS TODAY: THE ESSENTIALS, 2015-2016 Edition inspires students to join the exciting process of being active, informed citizens. Unbiased, concisely organized, and updated with Election 2014 coverage, the text's fundamental theme continues to be the importance of participating in active citizenship, emphasizing critical thinking about political issues and encouraging students to become involved in the political process. With a keen understanding of the needs and interests of today's students, the authors incorporate compelling and thought-provoking current examples to stimulate learning and excitement. MindTap™ for Bardes, Shelley, and Schmidt's AMERICAN GOVERNMENT AND POLITICS TODAY: THE ESSENTIALS-Cengage Learning's fully online learning solution-is automatically included with this text.

Features and Benefits

  • The MindTap for this title is Quality Matters certified, assuring the very highest quality and accessibility in online and blended courses.
  • The 2015-2016 Edition engages students by focusing on how government impacts them: Chapter 1 shows students how government is everywhere, at every stage of their lives; “Why Should You Care About. . .” and “How You Can Make a Difference” features encourage community and political participation, and student demographics, social media, and cross-generational information is incorporated throughout.
  • Learning Outcomes appear in the opener and correlate to each major section to help students target their reading, and are revisited in the chapter summary and end-of-chapter quiz. These outcomes are tied to the Introduction to American Government outcomes that are expected from most courses across the country.
  • “What If . . . ,” “Beyond Our Borders,” and “Did You Know?” features engage students' interest while encouraging them to think critically about key concepts and current events and to develop a more informed and global perspective.
  • “Which Side Are You On?” features challenge students to take a stand on controversial issues and explore ways to take action.
  • “How You Can Make A Difference” features conclude each chapter with ways in which students can become actively involved in American politics.
  • Every chapter concludes with key terms, a chapter summary, and a quiz correlated to the Learning Outcomes, a reminder of available MindTap activities that assess and deepen understanding of the chapter's key concepts, and additional print and media resources.
  • A “Skill Prep” module opens the book, outlining tips for studying, writing papers and essays, and taking tests.

Table of Contents

Part I: THE AMERICAN SYSTEM.
1. The Democratic Republic.
2. The Constitution.
3. Federalism.
Part II: CIVIL RIGHTS AND LIBERTIES.
4. Civil Liberties.
5. Civil Rights.
Part III: PEOPLE AND POLITICS.
6. Public Opinion and Political Socialization.
7. Interest Groups.
8. Political Parties.
9. Campaigns and Elections.
10. The Media.
Part IV: POLITICAL INSTITUTIONS.
11. The Congress.
12. The President.
13. The Bureaucracy.
14. The Courts.
Part V: PUBLIC POLICY.
15. Domestic and Economic Policy.
16. Foreign Policy.
Appendix A: The Declaration of Independence.
Appendix B: Federalist Papers Nos. 10, 51, and No. 78.
Appendix C: Justices of the U.S. Supreme Court since 1900.
Appendix D: Party Control of Congress since 1900.
Appendix E: The Presidents of the United States.

What's New

  • “2014 Elections” features highlight the important impact of the 2014 midterm elections, including an analysis of the campaigns and election results. These features help students think critically about recent events and consider them in the context of American political theory and history.
  • New “Why You Should Care About. . .” marginal features boost students' engagement by demonstrating why the topic at hand directly affects them.
  • More demographics are included throughout, particularly in Chapter 1, which presents material on positive and negative trends such as unemployment, inequality, falling crime, and teen pregnancy rates.
  • Critical thinking questions now accompany all figures, tables, and photo captions, helping students apply and analyze the information presented.
  • More photos of young, active citizens-in new chapter-opening photo spreads and throughout the text-show democracy in action and inspire students to get involved themselves.
  • Chapter summaries and end-of-chapter quizzes are now correlated to the chapter Learning Outcomes, helping students assess their comprehension of each chapter and prepare for tests. Quizzes now include multiple-choice, fill-in, and essay questions.
  • The book is now seamlessly integrated with MindTap™, included with this edition. Marginal icons direct students to a variety of assignable, gradable activities that get them up to speed with current events materials, promote their interaction with one another through online discussion boards and polling questions, and engage them with interactive activities and quizzes that are correlated to clearly defined learning outcomes-all while keeping instructors deeply informed of student progress and time spent in the course.
  • Coverage of public opinion, interest groups, modern political parties, social media in politics, and the Obama legacy has received major updates. The chapters on Domestic and Economic Policy (Ch. 15) and Foreign Policy (Ch. 16) have been completely updated and modernized to reflect recent events.
  • Additional content changes and updates include discussions of: how the electoral college was chosen in the early days of the Republic; Supreme Court rulings on marijuana, same-sex marriage, and how the states are administering Obamacare; obscenity (rewritten section); the NSA revelation; women in the military; poverty and race, same-sex marriage, and affirmative action; the gender gap, Southern conservatism, and other public opinion and political socialization issues; and the new farm bill.
  • In addition, updated discussions cover: the concept of concentrated benefits and dispersed costs; the fact that many interest groups are considered part of political party coalitions; the latest Supreme Court rulings on campaign finance and the voting rights act; the concept of the invisible primary; laws restricting voting rights; talk radio and threats to the independence of the Internet; bias, blogging, and social media; the concept of priming; new limits to filibustering; recent news on Snowden and Manning; and foreign policy as it relates to Syria and Ukraine.
  • New sections cover Latinos, American Indians, and Asians (in the Civil Rights chapter); different kinds of Republicans and Democrats as well as forces that persuade party members to think alike; and the party in the electorate.
  • This edition is significantly more affordable than the previous edition.

Alternate Formats

Choose the format that best fits your student's budget and course goals

To customize your learning solution, contact your Learning Consultant for more information.

  • Book Only Edition

    ISBN-10: 1285858867  | ISBN-13: 9781285858869

    List Price = $158.95  | CengageBrain Price = $158.95  | College Bookstore Wholesale Price = $119.25

  • Loose Leaf Edition

    ISBN-10:  1305639758  | ISBN-13:  9781305639751

    List Price = $116.95  | CengageBrain Price = $116.95  | College Bookstore Wholesale Price = $88.00

  • MindTap 1 Term (6 Months) + Loose-leaf

    ISBN-10:  1305701321 | ISBN-13:  9781305701328

    List Price = $101.95  | CengageBrain Price = $101.95  | College Bookstore Wholesale Price = $76.50

Efficacy and Outcomes

Reviews

“The book generally does a nice job with useful pictures, charts, graphs, etc. These should help visual learners grasp some important concepts and drive home key issues.”

— Scott Wallace, Indiana University–Purdue University Indianapolis

“A real strength is how the Learning Outcomes are noted not only at the front of the chapter but on the page where the information is provided. I think this book's descriptions about the difference in direct democracy and a democratic republic are the most understandable for students of any text I've read.”

— Jan McCauley, Tyler Junior 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

Instructor's Companion Web Site  (ISBN-10: 1285865502 | ISBN-13: 9781285865508)

Cengage Learning Testing, powered by Cognero Instant Access  (ISBN-10: 1305081242 | ISBN-13: 9781305081246)

MindTap® Political Science, 1 term (6 months) Instant Access for Bardes/Shelly/Schmidt's American Government and Politics Today: Essentials 2015-2016 Edition  (ISBN-10: 1305078470 | ISBN-13: 9781305078475)

MindTap™ Political Science for Bardes/Shelly/Schmidt's American Government and Politics Today: Essentials 2015–2016 Edition, 18th Edition is the digital learning solution that helps instructors engage and transform today's students into critical thinkers. Through paths of dynamic assignments and applications that you can personalize, real-time course analytics, and an accessible reader, MindTap helps you turn cookie cutter into cutting edge, apathy into engagement, and memorizers into higher-level thinkers. Access to this product is valid for 6 months of usage. The product can be used fully online with its interactive eBook, or in conjunction with the print text, which is now significantly more affordable than the previous edition.

List Price = $82.00  | CengageBrain Price = $82.00  | College Bookstore Wholesale Price = $82.00

LMS Integrated for MindTap® Political Science, 1 term (6 months) Instant Access  (ISBN-10: 130510613X | ISBN-13: 9781305106130)

List Price = $82.00  | CengageBrain Price = $82.00  | College Bookstore Wholesale Price = $82.00

CourseReader 0-30: American Government Instant Access  (ISBN-10: 1111479976 | ISBN-13: 9781111479978)

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. COURSEREADER 0-30 allows access to up to 30 selections in the reader. Please contact your Cengage sales representative for details.

List Price = $67.00  | CengageBrain Price = $67.00  | College Bookstore Wholesale Price = $67.00

CourseReader 0-30: American Government Printed Access Card  (ISBN-10: 111147995X | ISBN-13: 9781111479954)

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. COURSEREADER 0-30 allows access to up to 30 selections in the reader. Please contact your Cengage sales representative for details.

List Price = $67.00  | College Bookstore Wholesale Price = $50.25

Student Supplements

MindTap® Political Science, 1 term (6 months) Instant Access for Bardes/Shelly/Schmidt's American Government and Politics Today: Essentials 2015-2016 Edition  (ISBN-10: 1305078470 | ISBN-13: 9781305078475)

MindTap™ Political Science for Bardes/Shelly/Schmidt's American Government and Politics Today: Essentials 2015–2016 Edition, 18th Edition provides you with the tools you need to better manage your limited time -- you can complete assignments whenever and wherever you are ready to learn with course material specially customized for you by your instructor and streamlined in one proven, easy-to-use interface. With an array of tools and apps -- from note taking to flashcards -- you'll get a true understanding of course concepts, helping you to achieve better grades and setting the groundwork for your future courses. Access to this product is valid for 6 months of usage.

List Price = $82.00  | CengageBrain Price = $82.00  | College Bookstore Wholesale Price = $82.00

LMS Integrated for MindTap® Political Science, 1 term (6 months) Instant Access  (ISBN-10: 130510613X | ISBN-13: 9781305106130)

List Price = $82.00  | CengageBrain Price = $82.00  | College Bookstore Wholesale Price = $82.00

CourseReader 0-30: American Government Instant Access  (ISBN-10: 1111479976 | ISBN-13: 9781111479978)

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. COURSEREADER 0-30 allows access to up to 30 selections in the reader. Please contact your Cengage sales representative for details.

List Price = $67.00  | CengageBrain Price = $67.00  | College Bookstore Wholesale Price = $67.00

Meet the Author

Author Bio

Barbara A. Bardes

Barbara A. Bardes is professor emerita of political science at the University of Cincinnati. She received her B.A. and M.A. from Kent State University and her Ph.D. from the University of Cincinnati. She served as a faculty member in political science and dean of Mundelein College at Loyola University of Chicago. In 1993, she was appointed dean of Raymond Walters College of the University of Cincinnati, where she served until 2003. She returned to the political science department where she held the position of graduate director before retiring. Bardes has written articles on public and foreign policy, and women and politics. She also has co-authored Declarations of Independence: Women and Political Power in 19th Century American Novels; Thinking About Public Policy; Public Opinion: Measuring the American Mind; and American Government and Politics Today.

Mack C. Shelley, II.

Mack C. Shelley, II is a professor of political science and statistics at Iowa State University. After receiving his bachelor's degree from American University in Washington, DC, he went on to graduate studies at the University of Wisconsin at Madison, where he received a master's degree in economics and a Ph.D. in political science. He arrived at Iowa State in 1979. From 1993 to 2002, he served as elected co-editor of the Policy Studies Journal. Shelley has also published numerous articles, books, and monographs on public policy, including The Permanent Majority: The Conservative Coalition in the United States Congress; Biotechnology And The Research Enterprise: A Guide to the Literature (with William F. Woodman and Brian J. Reichel); American Public Policy: The Contemporary Agenda (with Steven G. Koven and Bert E. Swanson); and Quality Research in Literacy and Science Education: International Perspectives and Gold Standards (with Larry Yore and Brian Hand).

Steffen W. Schmidt

Steffen W. Schmidt is a professor of political science at Iowa State University. He grew up in Colombia, South America, and has studied in Colombia, Switzerland, and France. He has a B.A. from Rollins College and obtained his Ph.D. from Columbia University, New York, in public law and government. Dr. Schmidt has published 14 books and over 130 articles in scholarly journals and is the recipient of numerous prestigious teaching prizes, including the Amoco Award for Lifetime Career Achievement in Teaching and the Teacher of the Year award. He is a pioneer in the use of web-based and real-time video courses and is a member of the American Political Science Association's section on Computers and Multimedia. He is known as "Dr. Politics" for his extensive commentary on U.S. politics in U.S. and international media. He is a weekly blogger for Gannett, and comments on CNN en Español and Univision, as well as WNYC, New York. Dr. Schmidt is on Facebook (Steffen W Schmidt) and Twitter (DrPolitics).