American Government and Politics in the Information Age

(6 reviews)


Pub Date: 2016

ISBN 13:

Publisher: University of Minnesota Libraries Publishing

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Reviewed by Glen Krutz, Professor of Political Science, University of Oklahoma, on 1/13/2015.

Yes, the text covers all the traditional areas of an American government textbook, plus adds an interesting theme on information transmission in … read more



Reviewed by Rodney Hanson, Politcal Science Instructor, Central Oregon Community College, on 8/22/2016.

This textbook covers all the traditional topics and areas of United States politics and government. Containing seventeen chapters and over 700 pages, … read more



Reviewed by John Forren, Assistant Professor, Miami University, on 8/22/2016.

This text covers all of the major subjects/areas that are typically included in an introductory-level textbook on American government and politics. … read more



Reviewed by Solana Kline, Professor, Central Oregon Community College, on 8/22/2016.

This text has no clear index or table of contents. It does a chapter by chapter break down in the introduction however, there is no overall reference … read more



Reviewed by Constance DeVereaux, Associate Professor and Director, LEAP Institute for the Arts - Colorado State University, on 12/6/2016.

The book is comprehensive in its intended content. The presence of links and sidebars provides a wealth of additional information that would be … read more



Reviewed by Kiersta Fricke-Gostnell, Full-time ABS faculty/ABS Depart.Chair, Rogue Community College, on 4/12/2017.

The book is not an in-depth study. It provides an overview of the topics outlined in the chapters in its table of contents.… read more


Table of Contents

  • Chapter 1: Communication in the Information Age
  • Chapter 2: The Constitution and the Structure of Government Power
  • Chapter 3: Federalism
  • Chapter 4: Civil Liberties
  • Chapter 5: Civil Rights
  • Chapter 6: Political Culture and Socialization
  • Chapter 7: Public Opinion
  • Chapter 8: Participation, Voting, and Social Movements
  • Chapter 9: Interest Groups
  • Chapter 10: Political Parties
  • Chapter 11: Campaigns and Elections
  • Chapter 12: Congress
  • Chapter 13: The Presidency
  • Chapter 14: The Bureaucracy
  • Chapter 15: The Courts
  • Chapter 16: Policymaking and Domestic Policies
  • Chapter 17: Foreign and National Security Policies

About the Book

American Government and Politics in the Information Age is adapted from a work produced by a publisher who has requested that they and the original author not receive attribution. This adapted edition is produced by the University of Minnesota Libraries Publishing through the eLearning Support Initiative.

This text is a comprehensive introduction to the vital subject of American government and politics. Governments decide who gets what, when, how (See Harold D. Lasswell, Politics: Who Gets What, When, How, [New York: McGraw-Hill, 1936]); they make policies and pass laws that are binding on all a society’s members; they decide about taxation and spending, benefits and costs, even life and death.

Governments possess power—the ability to gain compliance and to get people under their jurisdiction to obey them—and they may exercise their power by using the police and military to enforce their decisions. However, power need not involve the exercise of force or compulsion; people often obey because they think it is in their interest to do so, they have no reason to disobey, or they fear punishment. Above all, people obey their government because it has authority; its power is seen by people as rightfully held, as legitimate. People can grant their government legitimacy because they have been socialized to do so; because there are processes, such as elections, that enable them to choose and change their rulers; and because they believe that their governing institutions operate justly.

Politics is the process by which leaders are selected and policy decisions are made and executed. It involves people and groups, both inside and outside of government, engaged in deliberation and debate, disagreement and conflict, cooperation and consensus, and power struggles.

In covering American government and politics, our text introduces the intricacies of the Constitution, the complexities of federalism, the meanings of civil liberties, and the conflicts over civil rights;explains how people are socialized to politics, acquire and express opinions, and participate in political life; describes interest groups, political parties, and elections—the intermediaries that link people to government and politics; details the branches of government and how they operate; and shows how policies are made and affect people’s lives.

About the Contributors


Unnamed Author (Duke University) is a professor of political science at Duke University. He has been director of Duke’s Film/Video/Digital Program and for six years editor of the journal Political Communication. His degrees are all from the University of California, Los Angeles. Paletz specializes in American government and politics (defined broadly to include the foundations, public, institutions, and processes) and political communication (defined broadly to include both news and entertainment). Among the courses he has relished teaching are American Government, Politics and the Media in the U.S., Film and Politics, Documentary Film, and Politics and the Libido. He is the author of The Media in American Politics: Contents and Consequences, 3rd ed. (forthcoming from Longman) and coauthor of Media Power Politics (Free Press, 1983) and Politics in Public Service Advertising on Television (Praeger, 1977). He is the editor of and a contributor to Political Communication in Action (Hampton Press, 1996) and Political Communication Research, vols. I and II (Ablex, 1987 and 1996); he is a coeditor and contributor to Business as Usual (Hampton Press, 2003), Glasnost and After: Media and Change in Eastern/Central Europe (Hampton Press, 1995), Taken by Storm: Media, Public Opinion, and U.S. Foreign Policy in the Gulf War (University of Chicago Press, 1994), and Terrorism and the Media (Sage, 1992). He is author of some sixty other publications. He has been chair of the Political Communication Research Section of the International Association for Media and Communication Research and chair of the Political Communication Section of the American Political Science Association. Among his research and teaching awards are a Congressional Fellowship from the American Political Science Association, a Humanities Fellowship from the Rockefeller Foundation, two Fulbright Scholarships, and the Alumni Distinguished Undergraduate Teaching Award from Duke University.

Unnamed Author (Georgetown University) is an associate professor of political science and director of American Studies at Georgetown University and teaches in the Communication, Culture, and Technology graduate program. She is a graduate of George Washington University and received her doctorate in political science from the University of Wisconsin–Madison. Owen has been an American Political Science Association Congressional Media Fellow. She is the author, with Richard Davis, of New Media and American Politics (Oxford, 1998) and Media Messages in American Presidential Elections (Greenwood, 1991). She is a coeditor of The Internet and Politics: Citizens, Voters, and Activists (Routledge, 2006) with Sarah Oates and Rachel Gibson; she is a coeditor of Making a Difference: The Internet and Elections in Comparative Perspective (Lexington, 2009) with Richard Davis, Stephen Ward, and David Taras. She has published in numerous scholarly journal articles and book chapters in the areas of American government, mass political behavior, political communication, media and politics, political socialization, civic education, and elections and voting behavior. Her most recent work focuses on digital media in American elections and the intersection of civic education and political engagement. She is grateful for the support of her husband of thirty years, Jeffrey, and her cat, Rocky.

Unnamed Author (1954–2006) (Louisiana State University) was a political scientist who held the Kevin P. Reilly, Sr., Chair of Political Communication at Louisiana State University from 2001 after twenty years as a professor at Williams College. He was the first occupant of the Laurence Lombard Chair at the Joan Shorenstein Center on the Press, Politics and Public Policy at Harvard University’s Kennedy School of Government and was a visiting professor of public policy at the Kennedy School. Cook was an American Political Science Association Congressional Fellow, which afforded him the opportunity to study the internal workings of Congress as a participant observer. He made lasting contributions in the fields of American government and media and politics. He is the author of the landmark works Making News and Making Laws: Media Strategies in the House of Representatives (Brookings Institution Press, 1987) and Governing with the News: The News Media as a Political Institution (University of Chicago, 1999 and 2005). Cook was a coauthor of Crosstalk: Citizens, Candidates, and the Media in a Presidential Campaign (University of Chicago Press, 1996). Both Governing with the News and Crosstalk were honored with the Doris Graber Award of the Political Communication Section of the American Political Science Association for the best book published in ten years. Cook also was the editor of Freeing the Presses: The First Amendment in Action (Louisiana State University Press, 2006). In addition to these works, Cook published journal articles and book chapters in the fields of legislative studies; presidential politics; elections and voting behavior; political communication; political socialization; and lesbian, gay, and bisexual politics. Cook was inducted into the Louisiana State University Manship School Hall of Fame in 2011. Cook passed away from brain cancer at the age of fifty-one. He is survived by his spouse, Jack Yeager, a professor of French at Louisiana State University.