• 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.

The US Constitution
The US constitution

We've got a fantastic Constitution.

President George W. Bush, January 15, 2002

I do not believe that the meaning of the Constitution was forever ‘fixed’ at the Philadelphia Convention. Nor do I find the wisdom, foresight and sense of justice exhibited by the Framers particularly profound. To the contrary, the government they devised was defective from the start, requiring several amendments, a civil war and momentous social transformation to attain the system of constitutional government, and its respect for individual freedoms and human rights, we hold as fundamental today.

Justice Thurgood Marshall, Bicentennial of the Constitution, 1987
  • Origins: What did the Founding Fathers want to Achieve?
  • Why has the Constitution endured so long and changed so little?
  • Constitutional Amendment and Judicial Adaptation
  • Interpreting the Constitution
  • An Aid to ...
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