• Summary
  • Contents
  • Subject index

If you want students to really understand the concept of power, moving beyond a survey book's quick discussion of Laswell's “who gets what and how,” Muir's thoughtful Freedom in America might be the book for you. Exploring the words and ideas of such thinkers as Madison, Jefferson, Hamilton, and Tocqueville, Muir discusses the nature and limits of three types of power—coercive, reciprocal, and moral—and then uses this framework to explain how American political institutions work.

If looking for an alternative to a long survey text—or itching to get students grappling with The Federalist Papers or Democracy in America with more of a payoff—Muir's meditation on power and personal freedom is a gateway for students to take their study of politics to the next level. His inductive style, engaging students with well-chosen and masterfully written stories, lets him draw out and distill key lessons without being preachy. Read a chapter and decide if this page turner is for you.

The Police Power
The police power

Most people… assume … policing is uniquely human. But they would be wrong …. [M]onkey societies also have police. [A few high-ranking individuals in the pig-tailed macaque monkey species] do not just defend their own interests …. [T]hey also intervene to break up conflicts between lower-ranking individuals in an apparently disinterested way. Moreover, removing these police makes such societies less happy places … result[ing] in the remaining monkeys grooming fewer others, playing with fewer others and dividing up into cliques as the social network that held the troop together broke down. The number of aggressive incidents also increased …. [T]he role of policing in these monkeys is to allow individuals to socialise widely at little risk and thus hold a ...

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