How Your Government Really Works: A Topical Encyclopedia of the Federal Government, 1st Edition

  • Glenn L. Starks
  • Published By:
  • ISBN-10: 031334762X
  • ISBN-13: 9780313347627
  • DDC: 320.473
  • Grade Level Range: College Freshman - College Senior
  • 334 Pages | eBook
  • Original Copyright 2008 | Published/Released April 2010
  • This publication's content originally published in print form: 2008

  • Price:  Sign in for price



The U.S. government is an ever-more-complex system that few American citizens comprehend in any detail. Even some of its most basic operations, seemingly clear in concept, are in reality intricate and obscure. Although textbooks explain how the government is supposed to work in theory, they don't reveal how it actually works in practice. This book offers a concise and objective explanation of government operations, mapping the federal government's branches, departments, agencies, corporations, and quasi-official bodies--and the bureaucracies that support them. The authors effectively bridge the gap between the government's ideal, balanced structure, laid out in the Constitution, and its actual institutionalized form today, making this a superb resource for students and citizens at large.

Coverage of the government's inner workings includes such subjects as executive-branch appointments, domestic and foreign policy development and execution, the federal budget, the legislative process, the Congressional committee system, the drawing of Congressional districts, the levels of the federal judiciary, aides in all three branches, and the various government offices and oversight agencies.

  • 25 black-and-white photographs
  • Figures and charts capturing the structure of the federal government and many aspects of its functioning, such as the federal budgeting process, the apportionment of electoral votes, and U.S. government receipts and outlays
  • Timelines
  • Quick-reference chart listing past presidents, their years in office, and their party affiliation

  • Table of Contents

    Front Cover.
    Half Title Page.
    Title Page.
    Copyright Page.
    Alphabetical List of Entries.
    1: How the United States Government Began.
    2: Structure of the United States Government Today.
    3: Federal Government Employees.
    4: Federal Elections.
    5: The Legislative Process.
    6: The Executive Process.
    7: The Judicial Process.
    8: United States Foreign Policy.
    9: United States Domestic Policy.
    10: The United States Federal Budget.
    Appendix A: Timeline of U.S. Federal Government History.
    Appendix B: Glossary.
    Appendix C: How to Read Legal and Statutory Citations.
    Appendix D: List of Relevant Web Sites.
    Appendix E: The Declaration of Independence.
    Appendix F: The Constitution of the United States.
    Appendix G: The Presidents of the United States of America.
    Appendix H: Organizational Chart of the United States Senate for the iioth Congress.
    Appendix I: Independent Agencies, Commissions, Boards, and Government Corporations.
    Appendix J: Patriotic and Charitable Nonprofit Organizations.
    Appendix K: U.S. Supreme Court Chief Justices and Associate Justices Since 1900.
    Appendix L: Member States of the United Nations.
    Appendix M: Members of the World Trade Organization.
    Appendix N: United States Embassies.
    About the Authors.