Understanding American Politics provides a unique introduction to the contemporary political landscape of the United States by using as its core organizing feature the idea of "American exceptionalism," a concept that is at least as old as Tocqueville's study of American democracy. The second edition of Understanding American Politics maintains the unique strengths of the first edition while offering improved coverage of political institutions. A single omnibus chapter on institutions has been reorganized and split into three separate chapters on Congress, the presidency, and the courts. A new chapter on public opinion has also been included, and the chapter on religion and politics has been completely rewritten with a deeper appreciation of religion's influential role. The book has been revised throughout, taking into account the dramatic changes that have emerged since the 2010 congressional elections and the 2012 presidential election. The text also pays close attention to what is seen as the irreversible decline in America's global influence. Visit www.utpamericanpolitics.com for additional resources.
Stephen Brooks is Professor of Political Science at the University of Windsor and teaches political science at the University of Michigan. He has written several books on American politics including As Others See Us: The Causes and Consequences of Foreign Perceptions of America (2006) and American Exceptionalism in the Age of Obama (2013). Douglas L. Koopman is Professor of Political Science at Calvin College in Grand Rapids, Michigan. His most recent book is Religion and American Politics: Classic and Contemporary Perspectives (2010). J. Matthew Wilson is Associate Professor of Political Science at Southern Methodist University. His research, which has appeared in a range of books and scholarly journals, focuses on public opinion, elections, representation, and religion and politics, both in the United States and abroad.
List of Figures List of Tables Preface Part I: Introduction 1. American Exceptionalism Part II: Ideas and Behavior 2. Political Culture 3. Public Opinion 4. Religion and Politics Part III: Structures of Government 5. The Constitution 6. Congress 7. The Presidency 8. The Judiciary Part IV: Participation and Power 9. Civic Participation in America 10. Racial Inequality 11. The Politics of Inequality 12. Parties and Elections 13. Who Rules America? Part V: Foreign Policy 13. America in the World Appendices: 1. The Declaration of Independence 2. Federalist Papers 10 and 51 3. The Constitution of the United States 4. Presidents of the United States Index