Read more about American Government - 3e

American Government - 3e

(43 reviews)

Glen Krutz, University of Oklahoma

Sylvie Waskiewicz

Contributing Authors

Copyright Year: 2019

ISBN 13: 9781938168178

Publisher: OpenStax CNX

Language: English

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Reviewed by Robert Asaadi, Instructor, Portland State University on 2/22/22

The work provides a comprehensive overview of both the formal and informal political institutions that one would expect to find in an introductory-level American Government text. The index is thorough and easily navigable with direct links to the... read more

Reviewed by Vicki Jeffries-Bilton, Instructor, Portland Community College on 12/31/21

The textbook includes virtually all topics that are critical to foundational course(s) in U.S. Government. A chapter on State and Local government is also included as a useful addition. read more

Reviewed by Hyokyung Kwak, Assistance Professor, College of Charleston on 9/19/21

This textbook covers all the main topics need for American government 101. Unlike many other textbooks, it has a separate chapter on State and Local government which I think would be useful as I found it is helpful for students to understand the... read more

Reviewed by Heidi Getchell-Bastien, Associate Professor of Criminal Justice and Government, Massachusetts Bay Community College on 6/28/21

This textbook is perfect for my American government course that I teach to undergraduates at the community college level. I really like that a section on state and local government is included. Most textbooks for undergraduates in this topic area... read more

Reviewed by Gina Flakes, Adjunct Professor, Aiken Technical College on 5/24/21

American Government 2e offers a comprehensive survey of the core aspects of the US political system. It follows the standard layout of American Government textbooks and offers an effective and easily searchable index. It also includes a chapter on... read more

Reviewed by Eileen Feldman, Instructor, Bunker Hill Community College on 11/20/20

This text, American Government 2e by Krutz and Waskiewicz, covers all areas and ideas of the subject appropriately beginning with the origins of each political construct, through its evolution in America, and trends into the future. Following... read more

Reviewed by Jack Philips, Lecturer, University of Texas at Arlington on 11/12/20

This book contains everything I need for intro American government classes. It is very comprehensive and covers all the necessary information. read more

Reviewed by Alexandre Couture Gagnon, Associate Professor, University of Texas Rio Grande Valley on 10/26/20

This textbook covers the main topics of a course on American government. read more

Reviewed by Andrew Thangasamy, Associate Professor, Metropolitan State University of Denver on 8/28/20

In terms of content, the textbook has all the chapters one normally expects from an introductory American Government textbook. There is an additional chapter on State & Local government aside from the chapter on federalism - which offers... read more

Reviewed by Jeremiah Castle, Assistant Professor of Political Science, Metropolitan State University of Denver on 8/17/20

An innovative inclusion is that, in addition to the standard chapter on federalism, American Government (2e) also includes a separate chapter (14) on State and Local Governments. This is a welcome inclusion: Although most Americans interact far... read more

Reviewed by Donald Travis, Adjunct Assistant Professor, Gettysburg College on 4/17/20

I like the additional chapter on State and Local Government (Chap 14). Chapter 8 on the Media is the best chapter I've seen on that subject. It offers an excellent collection of concepts and ideas useful to political science students. read more

Reviewed by Matthew Jacobsmeier, Associate Professor, West Virginia University on 4/15/20

The book covers all the main topics that good introductory American Government textbooks typically cover and also includes chapters on topics that are not covered in detail in many textbooks. It dedicates entire chapters to state and local... read more

Reviewed by Robert Asaadi, Instructor, Portland State University on 3/11/20, updated 4/16/20

Thorough coverage of the main thematic areas generally addressed by introductory American Government textbooks. Analysis of political institutions is well-balanced with substantial attention to the role of the individual and collective action. read more

Reviewed by Rolfe Peterson, Assistant Professor of Political Science, Susquehanna University on 2/11/20

This textbook is extremely comprehensive. It covers all the bases of an Introduction to American Government and then some. From the founding and Constitution to the major institutions of Congress, Courts, and the Presidency, these major areas are... read more

Reviewed by Charles Young, Associate Professor, Umpqua Community College on 1/3/20

The text covers exactly what an introduction to political science/government textbook should cover. read more

Reviewed by David Weiden, Associate Professor, Colorado State Board of Higher Education on 11/23/19

The book covers all of the basic components of American government. There are even two chapters on public policy, which many basic textbooks omit. Overall, this is a solid choice in terms of comprehensiveness. The textbook does not include much... read more

Reviewed by Elsa Dias, Affiliate, Metropolitan State University of Denver on 11/1/19

The textbook provides for a comprehensive overview of American Government. The text contains a variety of ideas and concepts. The content delivers plenty of perspective for students to learn about American government. The historical approaches... read more

Reviewed by John Herbert, Instructor, Anoka-Ramsey Community College, Coon Rapids, MN on 6/15/19

The material offered more than meets the appropriate standard for a textbook used in a first or second year course in American Government and Politics. The foundational building blocks of the republic that are provided are similar to the last... read more

Reviewed by Eric Goddard, Lecturer, Trine University on 5/28/19

The book is comprehensive, covering the major topics one would expect to find in a U.S. government textbook. One issue that does not receive a lot of direct attention is American political culture, including the values that underlie our... read more

Reviewed by Rod Hanson, Political Science Instructor, Central Oregon Community College on 5/26/19

Krutz textbook is set up exactly the same as the three different United States Government textbooks I have used in nine years of teaching at the community college level. It is a well planned and logical progression of chapters and topics. read more

Reviewed by Amedee George, Professor, SUNO on 4/23/19

The chapters in the Kurtz et al e-book covers all relevant chapters of American Government and even offers chapters on Foreign policy, Domestic policy and State and Local government. Some texts may cover only one additional chapter other than the... read more

Reviewed by Colin Glennon, Associate Professor, East Tennessee State University on 4/11/19

The book certainly has all of the topics expected of an Introduction to American Government text. In fact, Kurtz et al. have even added very impressive policy chapters (domestic and foreign) that you only see on occasion. I am skeptical that... read more

Reviewed by Leo Keneally, Associate Professor, Thomas Nelson Community College on 3/29/19

The textbook covers all the essential parts of American government. Overall it is a bit smaller in word count than a traditional hard copy textbook and some of the chapters are smaller than I would like. But I would rather have it smaller so I... read more

Reviewed by Carley Shinault, Assistant Professor, Bloomsburg University of Pennsylvania on 3/13/19

The text covers the full range of standard American Government textbooks, from government and civic engagement, to civil liberties and rights to branches of government and foreign policy. This text could very easily replace the book I have used... read more

Reviewed by Angie Hull, Assistant Teaching Professor, MOBIUS on 1/15/19

Comprehensive in terms of concepts and how they related to current ideas. Uses contemporary examples, but not in depth cases that may be needed in higher level courses. However, the concepts are so strong here (thorough, well laid out) that an... read more

Reviewed by Peter Wielhouwer, Associate Professor of Political Science, Western Michigan University on 12/14/18

This text covers nearly all of the major topics covered in American Government texts. From the origins of the US political system, the constitutional framework, participatory inputs, formal institutions, and public policy, the major points are... read more

Reviewed by Alexander Cohen, Assistant Professor, Augustana College on 6/19/18

By the standards of Introduction to American Politics textbooks, this is a comprehensive offering. Offers coverage of topics that most instructors would cover in such a class, including political behavior, civil rights/liberties, American... read more

Reviewed by Robert Perry, Chair, Department of Social Sciences, The University of Texas of the Permian Basin on 6/19/18

Very well done. The text covers everything that an introduction to American government should. read more

Reviewed by M. Victoria Perez-Rios, Adjunct Assistant Professor, La Guardia Community College on 5/21/18

The textbook is very comprehensive with more than 650 pages of content plus appendices with relevant documents. Although in the last decade I have opted for brief editions of American government, in an electronic format a longer text is useful for... read more

Reviewed by Eric Radezky, Adjunct Professor, LaGuardia Community College, CUNY on 5/21/18

This textbook is very comprehensive. All of the topics you would expect to be covered in an American government 101 course are here: origins of our republic, institutions, individual action and collective action. The various appendixes include... read more

Reviewed by Nicole Kalaf-Hughes, Assistant Professor, Bowling Green State University on 2/1/18

The text covers all areas that one would expect from an introduction to American Government textbook. There are some chapters I would probably not use (the policy chapters) and I would prefer the chapters in a different order (institutions before... read more

Reviewed by Matthew Wright, Associate Professor, American University on 2/1/18

The book is comprehensive in that it has everything I usually look for in an intro to American government text: - clear framing around basic theories of representation and collective action (probably less explicitly on the latter than something... read more

Reviewed by Nicholas Pyeatt, Associate Professor of Political Science, Penn State, Altoona on 2/1/18

The book is very comprehensive. If anything, the text may be a bit on the long side. It covers all of the major topics an introductory text should cover and a few others as well. The index is clear and useful and the chapter glossaries are... read more

Reviewed by Randall Newnham, Professor of Political Science, Penn State University, Berks Campus on 2/1/18

Coverage same as most standard Am Gov textbooks, with chapters organized same as most (expensive) standard texts and each chapter about as long as standard texts. Has good index. read more

Reviewed by Brian Jones, Adjunct Assistant Professor, Political Science, Northern Virginia Community College on 6/20/17

The comprehensiveness of Krutz's American Government text is such that it more than adequately addresses the curricular requirements of the American government and politics courses offered by the Virginia Community College System. As an... read more

Reviewed by Gale Czerski, Adult Basic Education Instructor, Portland Community College on 6/20/17

This textbook provides a comprehensive framework for introductory American government. Multiple perspectives on issues and areas of controversy are acknowledged.Enduring themes and tensions between ideas and realities are presented in a way that... read more

Reviewed by Nicholas Goedert, Assistant Professor, Virginia Tech on 6/20/17

The text is impressively comprehensive, both with respect to its range of coverage and depth of discussion of each topic. The book is actually slightly longer and denser than other texts I have assigned for an introductory course in American... read more

Reviewed by Wayne Jones, Assistant Professor, Virginia State University on 6/20/17

American Government is a very comprehensive textbook. In reviewing the table of contents, I found the book has a logical flow that begins with defining what government is and then proceeds to provide information on the critical subjects of our... read more

Reviewed by Mary Anne K. Clarke, Adjunct Faculty, Rhode Island College on 4/11/17

American Government by Glenn Krutz covers a lot of ground. Similar to other Introduction to American Government textbooks this book covers the typical material and then some. Right from the get go I enjoyed the section on Civic Engagement as... read more

Reviewed by Leslie Caughell, Assistant Professor, Virginia Wesleyan College on 2/8/17

This book is very comprehensive. The only suggestion that I would make is to include a little bit more political psychology, especially in the chapters on public opinion and the media. In particular, I would like to see some more/more direct... read more

Reviewed by Charles Young, Associate Professor, Umpqua Community College on 2/8/17

I am impressed with the comprehensiveness of the textbook. Right from the start is an engaging "What is Government" and "Who governs" introductory sections, followed by excellent descriptions of our constitutional backgrounds and developments,... read more

Reviewed by Amanda Sink , Senior Lecturer , UNCG on 12/5/16

It covers all the areas that may be taught in an American Government intro class. Not every one covers Civil Rights and Liberties or Foreign and Domestic Policy, but this text does offer a chapter on each of those. It also includes a chapter on... read more

Reviewed by Shawn Osborne, Instructor, Portland Community College on 8/21/16

As an introduction to American Government, the text covers the areas and ideas of the subject at a very comprehensive level. It provides an effective index as well as a glossary of key terms at the end of each chapter. read more

Table of Contents

Students and the System

  • Chapter 1: American Government and Civic Engagement
  • Chapter 2: The Constitution and Its Origins
  • Chapter 3: American Federalism

Individual Agency and Action

  • Chapter 4: Civil Liberties
  • Chapter 5: Civil Rights
  • Chapter 6: The Politics of Public Opinion
  • Chapter 7: Voting and Elections

Toward Collective Action: Mediating Institutions

  • Chapter 8: The Media
  • Chapter 9: Political Parties
  • Chapter 10: Interest Groups and Lobbying

Delivering Collective Action: Formal Institutions

  • Chapter 11: Congress
  • Chapter 12: The Presidency
  • Chapter 13: The Courts
  • Chapter 14: State and Local Government

The Outputs of Government

  • Chapter 15: The Bureaucracy
  • Chapter 16: Domestic Policy
  • Chapter 17: Foreign Policy

Ancillary Material

  • OpenStax CNX
  • About the Book

    American Government 3e aligns with the topics and objectives of many government courses. Faculty involved in the project have endeavored to make government workings, issues, debates, and impacts meaningful and memorable to students while maintaining the conceptual coverage and rigor inherent in the subject. With this objective in mind, the content of this textbook has been developed and arranged to provide a logical progression from the fundamental principles of institutional design at the founding, to avenues of political participation, to thorough coverage of the political structures that constitute American government. The book builds upon what students have already learned and emphasizes connections between topics as well as between theory and applications. The goal of each section is to enable students not just to recognize concepts, but to work with them in ways that will be useful in later courses, future careers, and as engaged citizens.

    In order to help students understand the ways that government, society, and individuals interconnect, the revision includes more examples and details regarding the lived experiences of diverse groups and communities within the United States. The authors and reviewers sought to strike a balance between confronting the negative and harmful elements of American government, history, and current events, while demonstrating progress in overcoming them. In doing so, the approach seeks to provide instructors with ample opportunities to open discussions, extend and update concepts, and drive deeper engagement.

    About the Contributors


    Glen Krutz, Professor of Political Science and Associate Director, Carl Albert Congressional Research and Studies Center at the University of Oklahoma. Krutz joined the Department of Political Science in 2002. Before joining OU, he served on the faculty of Arizona State University and helped run two large-scale National Science Foundation projects as a doctoral student at Texas A&M University.

    Prosper Bernard, Jr., City University of New York
    Jennifer Danley-Scott, Texas Woman’s University
    Ann Kordas, Johnson & Wales University
    Christopher Lawrence, Middle Georgia State College
    Tonya Neaves, George Mason University
    Adam Newmark, Appalachian State University
    Brooks D. Simpson, Arizona State University
    Joel Webb, Tulane University
    Abram Trosky, US Army War College
    Shawn Williams, Campbellsville University
    Rhonda Wrzenski, Indiana University Southeast


    Sylvie Waskiewicz, PhD, is an editor, researcher and writer who specialties include textbook publishing and e-learning instructional design, including copyediting and proofreading with meticulous review of text, layout, and media from first pages to printer proofs as well as QC of web content (HTML/XML).

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