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American Government and Politics Today: Essentials 2017-2018 Edition 19th Edition

Barbara A. Bardes, Mack C. Shelley, II., Steffen W. Schmidt

  • Published
  • Previous Editions 2016
  • 576 Pages
Starting At 80.00 See pricing and ISBN options


AMERICAN GOVERNMENT AND POLITICS TODAY: THE ESSENTIALS, 2017-2018 Edition, inspires students to join the exciting process of being active, informed citizens. Unbiased, concisely organized, and updated with Election 2016 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®, Cengage Learning's fully online learning solution, is available and fully integrated with this text.

Barbara A. Bardes, University of Cincinnati

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., Iowa State University

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, Iowa State University

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).
  • "Election 2016" results are placed in the context of each chapter's subject matter. These features help students think critically about recent events and consider them in the context of American political theory and history.
  • A "Consider the Source" feature stimulates students to think more critically about primary sources from which many statistics and statements are derived in American government research.
  • With a concise organization and highly readable style, this text provides thorough coverage in a streamlined format.
  • The 2017-2018 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 at the opening of each chapter 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…." and "Beyond Our Borders" 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.
  • An Additional Resources section at the end of each chapter prompts students to engage with the material outside of class. This feature includes current online resources, books, and videos.
1. The Democratic Republic.
2. The Constitution.
3. Federalism.
4. Civil Liberties.
5. Civil Rights.
6. Public Opinion and Political Socialization.
7. Interest Groups.
8. Political Parties.
9. Campaigns and Elections.
10. The Media.
11. The Congress.
12. The President.
13. The Bureaucracy.
14. The Courts.
15. Domestic and Economic Policy.
16. Foreign Policy.
Appendix A: The Declaration of Independence.
Appendix B: The Constitution of the United States and Amendments to the Constitution of the United States
Appendix C: Federalist Papers Nos. 10, 51, and No. 78.
Appendix D: Justices of the U.S. Supreme Court since 1900.
Appendix E: Party Control of Congress since 1900.
Appendix F: The Presidents of the United States.
Each MindTap product offers the full, mobile-ready textbook combined with superior and proven learning tools at one affordable price. Students who purchase digital access can add a print option at any time when a print option is available for their course.

This Cengage solution can be seamlessly integrated into most Learning Management Systems (Blackboard, Brightspace by D2L, Canvas, Moodle, and more) but does require a different ISBN for access codes. Please work with your Cengage Learning Consultant to ensure the proper course set up and ordering information. For additional information, please visit the LMS Integration site.

Standalone Digital Access — Ultimate Value

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  • ISBN-10: 1337091243
  • ISBN-13: 9781337091244
  • Bookstore Wholesale Price $80.00
  • RETAIL $80.00

Digital Access + Print — Flexible Value

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  • ISBN-10: 1337576557
  • ISBN-13: 9781337576550
  • Bookstore Wholesale Price $75.00
  • RETAIL $99.95

  • ISBN-10: 1337581828
  • ISBN-13: 9781337581820
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  • STARTING AT $23.49

  • ISBN-10: 133765891X
  • ISBN-13: 9781337658911
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  • ISBN-10: 1337091219
  • ISBN-13: 9781337091213
  • Bookstore Wholesale Price $90.00
  • RETAIL $119.95

"American Government and Politics Today: The Essentials provides students with a relevant, interactive text that attempts to take them outside of the classroom environment and into their everyday lives. Having the ability to link the past to the present, while also thinking ahead to the future, is a difficult task for authors in a subject seemingly overloaded with textbook options. However, Bardes, Shelley and Schmidt have adopted a rational approach and create a learning environment within the textbook itself to keep with the theme of having students as active, informed citizens."

"It covers the necessary material in a clear and concise manner... The tables and figures are universally useful."

"[This] book has the unique ability to be very instructor- and student-centered. Most texts are one or the other."

Cengage provides a range of supplements that are updated in coordination with the main title selection. For more information about these supplements, contact your Learning Consultant.


Instructor's WebSite

ISBN: 9781337091381
Everything you need for your course in one place! This collection of product-specific lecture and class tools is available online via the instructor resource center at

Cengage Learning Testing, powered by Cognero Instant Access

ISBN: 9781337091374
Cengage Learning Testing, powered by Cognero® is a flexible, online system that allows you to import, edit, and manipulate content from the text's test bank or elsewhere, including your own favorite test questions; create multiple test versions in an instant; and deliver tests from your LMS, your classroom, or wherever you want.