• 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.


Reader, suppose you were an idiot; and suppose you were a member of Congress; but I repeat myself.

Mark Twain

It is widely believed in Washington that it would take Congress thirty days to make instant coffee.

David Brinkley (Harris, 1995: 1)
  • The US Constitution
  • Bicameralism: House and Senate
  • Committees and Leadership
  • Parties and Caucuses
  • The Electoral Connection
  • Three Eras of Congress
  • In defence of Congress: a qualifying note
  • Conclusion
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