Higher Education

American Government and Politics Today, 2015-2016 Edition, 17th Edition

  • includes MindTap Political Science Printed Access Card
  • Lynne E. Ford College of Charleston
  • Barbara A. Bardes University of Cincinnati
  • Steffen W. Schmidt Iowa State University
  • Mack C. Shelley, II. Iowa State University
  • ISBN-10: 1285853016  |  ISBN-13: 9781285853017
  • 720 Pages
  • Previous Editions: 2014, 2012, 2009
  • © 2016 | Published
  • College Bookstore Wholesale Price = $137.50
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About

Overview

AMERICAN GOVERNMENT AND POLITICS TODAY is known nationwide for its balanced, unbiased, and modern coverage of constitutional, governmental, political, social, and economic structures and their processes. The book provides the knowledge that allows students to make informed choices, encourages them to play an active role in the decision-making process, and promotes their enthusiastic participation in the world around them by giving them the tools they need to get involved. The 2015–2016 edition's updates include in-depth coverage of the midterm 2014 elections. NEW! MindTap – Cengage Learning’s fully online learning solution – is automatically included with purchase of the print text. MindTap combines student learning tools - readings, multimedia, activities and assessments - into a singular Learning Path. Through assignable, gradable activities written to learning outcomes, it provides students with ample opportunities to check for understanding, while also providing faculty and students with a clear way measure and assess progress. Faculty can use MindTap as a turnkey solution or easily customize by adding up to the minute news stories, YouTube videos, RSS feeds, or their own documents directly within it. With MindTap, it’s refreshingly simple to keep American Government course materials current, relatable, and engaging. Students will also appreciate that with MindTap everything is in one place – the eBook, activities, flashcards, quizzes, dictionary, and more – making study time more efficient. The print text, now significantly more affordable than previous editions, directs students to activities within MindTap. MindTap can also be purchased on its own if a student prefers to study completely online. The choice is theirs. To learn how easy –and beneficial - it is to start using MindTap in your courses, visit Cengage.com/mindtap.

Features and Benefits

  • Co-author, Lynne Ford, is now the lead author on the book previous known by author Schmidt.
  • Chapter-opening Learning Outcomes help students target their reading and are revisited throughout the chapter and in the chapter summary. Objectives are tied to the outcomes that are expected from most Introduction to American Government courses across the country.
  • “Politics with a Purpose” features highlight how individuals, groups, and modern technology have impacted the political system. They incorporate a review of key scholarship on the topic and offer a balance of positive and negative as well as modern and historical examples. Examples often include students who are employing the skills they have learned in college to bring about social and political change.
  • Provocative “What if . . . ?” questions prompt lively classroom discussion and encourage students to apply critical-thinking skills to current, real-life issues.
  • A boxed “Beyond Our Borders” feature in each chapter gives students both global and comparative context, covering topics related to key issues such as economic globalization, foreign elections, citizenship, immigration, and foreign lobbying. New topics include government controlled media abroad, campaign length, and political rights in the global community, such as Egypt.

Table of Contents

Part I: THE AMERICAN SYSTEM.
1. One Republic-Two Americas?
2. The Constitution.
3. Federalism.
Part II: CIVIL RIGHTS AND CIVIL 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. Campaigning, Voting, and Elections.
10. The Media and Politics.
Part IV: POLITICAL INSTITUTIONS.
11. The Congress.
12. The President.
13. The Bureaucracy.
14. The Courts.
Part V: PUBLIC POLICY.
15. Domestic Policy.
16. Economic Policy.
17. Foreign Policy and National Security.
Part VI: STATE AND LOCAL POLITICS.
18. State and Local Government.

What's New

  • This edition is significantly more affordable than the previous edition.
  • A chapter on “The Media and Politics” (Chapter 10) returns to this edition, updated to address modern media and technology as well as their roles in politics.
  • Based on reviewers' requests, this edition pays greater attention to gender, with discussions throughout the book of gender as it relates to such topics as cabinet appointments, Congress, Supreme Court justices, voting, the women's right movement, the Nineteenth Amendment, and the gender pay gap.
  • Chapter 9, “Campaign, Voting, and Elections,” combines and streamlines topics formerly covered in two chapters.
  • A new feature, “Everyday Politics,” centers on a media resource, such as a film or a sitcom, that links directly to the chapter material. It is designed to attract student interest and to encourage critical thinking by placing the book's topics in the context of familiar popular culture and posing questions for students to consider. For instance, one chapter summarizes the Academy Award-winning movie Argo, which dramatizes a CIA agent's rescue of six U.S. diplomats from Iran during the 1979 Iran hostage crisis.
  • “What Would You Do?” replaces the previous edition's “You Can Make a Difference” feature. This revised feature is more interactive for this edition, putting students in a position of power/authority while posing a critical thinking question, as opposed to simply referring them to websites for more information. For example, they may be asked to consider how they would vote on a handguns bill as a member of Congress.

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: 1285860438  | ISBN-13: 9781285860435

    List Price = $182.95  | CengageBrain Price = $182.95  | College Bookstore Wholesale Price = $137.25

  • Loose Leaf

    ISBN-10:  1305634586 | ISBN-13:  9781305634589

    List Price = $138.95  | CengageBrain Price = $138.95  | College Bookstore Wholesale Price = $104.25

Efficacy and Outcomes

Reviews

“The book will fit very well in my teaching style. . . . Every chapter has tables, graphs, charts, [and] maps that can serve as a focal point for class discussion and to visually assist students in grasping complex ideas. The creative 'What if's' and 'Politics with a Purpose' once again are excellent mechanisms to aid in class discussion. Just as important, the book is aesthetically pleasing, it is easy on the eyes, [and] the font style and size prevent the book from appearing dry and intimidating.”

— Tony Cordell, Marist School, Georgia

“The book is very well written and easy to understand, which is why I have used it in the past. It is very succinct in explaining the topics and does not veer off into such obscure detail that would confuse or complicate matters for the student.”

— Richard Krupa, William Rainey Harper College, Illinois

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: 1285872517 | ISBN-13: 9781285872513)

This Instructor Companion Website is an all-in-one multimedia online resource for class preparation, presentation, and testing. Accessible through Cengage.com/login with your faculty account, it includes several resources for download: a Test Bank compatible with multiple learning management systems, an Instructor's Manual, and book-specific Microsoft® PowerPoint® presentations. The Test Bank, offered in Blackboard, Moodle, Desire2Learn, Canvas, and Angel formats, includes multiple-choice and essay questions for each chapter, all tied to the learning objectives. Import the test bank into your LMS to edit and manage questions, and to create tests. The Instructor's Manual contains chapter-specific learning objectives, an outline, key terms with definitions, and a chapter summary. It also features a critical thinking question, lecture launching suggestion, and an in-class activity for each learning objective. The Microsoft® PowerPoint® presentations are ready-to-use, visual outlines of each chapter that are easily customized for your lectures. They are accompanied by chapter-specific Microsoft® PowerPoint® Image Slides and JPEG Image Libraries. Access the Instructor Companion Website at www.cengage.com/login.

Cengage Learning Testing, powered by Cognero Instant Access  (ISBN-10: 128587398X | ISBN-13: 9781285873985)

Cengage Learning Testing Powered by Cognero® is a flexible, online system that allows you to author, edit, and manage test bank content from the text and multiple Cengage Learning solutions; create multiple test versions in an instant; and deliver tests from your LMS, your classroom, or wherever you want. The test bank for AMERICAN GOVERNMENT AND POLITICS TODAY: 2015–2016, 17th Edition contains multiple-choice and essay questions for each chapter, all tied to the learning objectives.

MindTap® Political Science, 1 term (6 months) Instant Access for Ford/Bardes/Schmidt/Shelley's American Government and Politics Today, 2015-2016 Edition  (ISBN-10: 1285873254 | ISBN-13: 9781285873251)

Students can purchase Instant Online Access to MindTap for American Government and Politics Today via CengageBrain.com. This ISBN/method of purchase is available for students/classes that opt to use MindTap without the print text, as the MindTap platform provides the eBook and much, much more. MindTap combines student learning tools - readings, multimedia, activities and assessments - into a singular Learning Path that guides students through their course. Through a wealth of activities written to learning outcomes, it provides students with ample opportunities to check themselves for understanding, while also providing faculty and students alike with a clear way measure and assess student progress. Faculty can use MindTap as a turnkey solution or customize by adding YouTube videos, RSS feeds, or their own documents directly within the eBook or within each chapter’s Learning Path. MindTap is a refreshingly simple way to keep your course current. Students will appreciate that with MindTap everything is in one place – the book, activities, flashcards, quizzes, dictionary, and more – making life a little less complicated. 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 = $80.00  | CengageBrain Price = $80.00  | College Bookstore Wholesale Price = $80.00

LMS Integrated for MindTap® Political Science, 1 term (6 months) Instant Access  (ISBN-10: 1305106539 | ISBN-13: 9781305106536)

List Price = $80.00  | CengageBrain Price = $80.00  | College Bookstore Wholesale Price = $80.00

Election 2014: An American Government Supplement, 1st  (ISBN-10: 1305500180 | ISBN-13: 9781305500181)

ELECTION 2014: AN AMERICAN GOVERNMENT SUPPLEMENT is an ideal resource for students who are just learning about or who have an incomplete picture of American politics. This brief booklet walks students through the 2014 congressional and gubernatorial campaigns, detailing the American election process from start to finish. It includes graphic features and analyses of election outcomes to further students’ understanding of American politics.

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

Student Supplements

MindTap® Political Science, 1 term (6 months) Instant Access for Ford/Bardes/Schmidt/Shelley's American Government and Politics Today, 2015-2016 Edition  (ISBN-10: 1285873254 | ISBN-13: 9781285873251)

MindTap™ Political Science Instant Access for Ford/Bardes/Schmidt/Shelley's American Government and Politics Today, 2015-2016 Edition, 17th Edition is a fully online platform that includes an interactive eBook and much more! With MindTap, you can annotate your readings, complete homework, and take quizzes to check for comprehension so that you always know where you stand and where you need extra help. With MindTap everything is in one place – the ebook, activities, flashcards, quizzes, dictionary, and more – making life a little less complicated. You will also notice a variety of web apps in MindTap known as ‘MindApps’ which will immediately seem familiar in today’s app-driven environment. These apps include the option to synchronize your eBook notes with your personal Evernote account, have the text read out loud to you, view your progress in the course, and more. MindTap can be used fully online or in conjunction with the print text, which is now significantly more affordable than the previous edition. Access to this product is valid for 6 months of usage.

List Price = $80.00  | CengageBrain Price = $80.00  | College Bookstore Wholesale Price = $80.00

LMS Integrated for MindTap® Political Science, 1 term (6 months) Instant Access  (ISBN-10: 1305106539 | ISBN-13: 9781305106536)

List Price = $80.00  | CengageBrain Price = $80.00  | College Bookstore Wholesale Price = $80.00

Election 2014: An American Government Supplement, 1st  (ISBN-10: 1305500180 | ISBN-13: 9781305500181)

Get a frontline look at the 2014 elections--and an inside perspective on what it all means. This election booklet uses real examples to offer you insights into the 2014 congressional and gubernatorial races.

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

American Government and Politics Today: No Separate Policy Chapters Version, 2015-2016 Edition (with MindTap® Political Science Printed Access Card)  (ISBN-10: 1285872452 | ISBN-13: 9781285872452)

AMERICAN GOVERNMENT AND POLITICS TODAY is known nationwide for its balanced, unbiased, and modern coverage of constitutional, governmental, political, social, and economic structures and their processes. The book provides the knowledge that allows you to make informed choices, encourages you to play an active role in the decision-making process, and promotes your participation in the world around you by giving you the tools you need to get involved. This version has no separate policy chapters. MindTap™ for American Government, Cengage Learning's fully online learning solution, is automatically included with this text. With MindTap everything is in one place – the eBook, activities, flashcards, quizzes, dictionary, and more – making study time more efficient.

List Price = $210.95  | CengageBrain Price = $210.95  | College Bookstore Wholesale Price = $156.25

Meet the Author

Author Bio

Lynne E. Ford

Lynne E. Ford is Associate Provost for Curriculum and Academic Administration and professor of political science at the College of Charleston in Charleston, South Carolina. She received her B.A. from The Pennsylvania State University and her M.A. and Ph.D. in government and political behavior from the University of Maryland-College Park. Ford's teaching and research interests include women and politics, elections and voting behavior, political psychology, and civic engagement. She has written articles on women in state legislatures, the under-representation of women in political office in the American South, and work-family policy in the United States. She has also authored WOMEN AND POLITICS: THE PURSUIT OF EQUALITY and THE ENCYCLOPEDIA OF WOMEN AND AMERICAN POLITICS. Ford served as department chair for eight years and she has led a number of campus-wide initiatives including general education reform, faculty compensation, and civic engagement.

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.

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 (SteffenWSchmidt) and Twitter (DrPolitics).

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).