American Government and Politics Book Review

Book Review: American Government and Politics Today

The author of the book is Steffen W. Schmidt, a political science lecturer at the Iowa State University. Schmidt has authored fourteen manuscripts and hundreds of articles in scholarly journals. He has received several teaching prizes, most prestigious being the Amoco Award for Lifetime Career Achievements in teaching and the teacher Award of the Year. He has authority with his far-reaching works on US politics and the international media. The author provides revealing on formation about the general content of the book in his table of contents. The subtitles used at the table of contents give a clear reflection of the contents the book.

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The book is arranged in parts

The book is arranged in parts, with each part with a general heading describing the chapters. For example, part one of the book is titled The American System; it has the first three chapters. The number of chapters in each part is not constant with part II having the least chapters. The author streamlined the presentation of the table of contents to aid the students to stay focused on what is more important to them. The most interesting part of the book is the questions to consider that appears in the chapter openers, which aid the students to target their reading, are revisited in the chapter summary. The addition of guest authors Crain, Maxwell, and Santos and ten more chapters to the table of contents offers exact coverage of Texas politics.

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The book has 1072 loose-leaf pages, published by Cengage Learning; with the 15th edition published in 2011. The book is in English. The book is available in the online store at the Amazon bookstore, and it is available as an e-book making it more accessible and readily available. The book is interesting and educative to read. Useful information is located immediately inside the front and the back cover of the book. The graphics signify the changes due to population growth, diversity in ethnicity, distribution of age that brings out the perpetrators of change. Inside the front cover of the book are maps showing the 2010 United States population and on the back page are a set of pie charts projecting American projections to 2030. The sources of the book are edited to appropriate length including the pedagogical support of head note giving a description of the heading content with multiple-choice questions for verification that the student has read the document and understood the selection. The E-reader allows the instructors to select exactly the students’ assignments, due to the easy to utilize interface providing easy assessment tool.

The citations in every of the chapters highlight the cutting age research included in the latest scholarly articles. The figures and tables are up-to-date with the most recent available data. Unlike the previous editions, the book has updated data in figures, media, and online resources with the most current information available on the different problems facing America as a nation. The book targets the students’ audience to experience excitement, which comes with being engagement and information. The book provides the systems of being involved in stories of real young people who had the opportunity to make a difference in influencing the political systems. The book ensures that the students irrespective of the topic, whether the topic is on terrorism or the problems facing the president, the book constantly strives to involve the student throughout the reading. The book ensures that the student does not only come to contact with the understanding the fact that politics is not just an abstract process but also a human enterprise.

The book emphasizes how the different outcome has the potential of affecting the students civil rights, employment opportunities, and their general economic welfare. The author has ensured that throughout the text, the reader is encouraged to think critically. The title selection is relevant. For example, the title Beyond Our Borders encourages the students to think globally. Each of the chapters has ended with features titled You Can Make a Difference, which not only shows the students that what they can do to become politically involved but also, the need to become politically involved.

The book gives updated coverage on a combination of topics including the 2010 elections, therein of the Obama presidency, Tea party movement, political campaigns advertising case, and Citizens United versus FEC. The book also has recent topics on recent legislations on health care, gun control and issues addressing same sex marriages. It has also expanded coverage on Women’s rights, the LGBTQ issues, and other topics addressing the impact of media on political socialization.

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  • Chapter one of the book has the title, The Democratic Republic. This chapter gives information on the need for governance, the reason for choice of democracy with discussions on who really rules America. It also gives the fundamental values of individual freedom and political ideologies.
  • Chapter two gives discusses issues regarding the constitution. It gives the colonial background, colonial response, and the articles of confederation of the initial forms of government. It also gives descriptions on the accomplishments of governments.
  • Chapter three is on federalism, with information on the three systems of government, the constitutional basis of American federalism and international flexible federalism.
  • Chapter four and five fall under Part II section of the book, titled Civil Rights and Civil Liberties. Chapter 4 gives discussions on civil liberties, with information on the bill of rights, and the international rights. Chapter 5 discusses the civil rights. It has information on the consequences of African American slavery. Each of the chapters begins with short answer what if questions, and ends with portals guiding references and citations used at each of the chapters.

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