• Summary
  • Contents
  • Subject index

American Government and Politics is a completely new introductory textbook designed and written for all students of politics coming to the subject for the first time. It provides a lively and accessible introduction and guide to all the main features and characteristics of one of the most distinctive and complex contemporary political systems in the world. From the impeachment of Bill Clinton, to the controversy surrounding the 2000 presidential election, and the Bush administration's responses to September 11, students will gain a balanced and critical understanding of all the key issues and debates in contemporary American government and politics today.


As we gather tonight, our nation is at war, our economy is in recession and the civilized world faces unprecedented dangers. Yet the state of our union has never been stronger.

President George W. Bush, State of the Union address, January 29, 2002

The society of happy, thoughtless philistines depicted by Huxley seems merely an exaggeration of today's America.

Judge Richard Posner on Aldous Huxley's novel, Brave New World (2001b: 260)
  • The Architecture of American Politics
  • America's Social Base
  • ‘Americanism’ as an Ideology
  • An Anti-Government Political Culture
  • American Exceptionalism: how different?
  • Conclusion
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