American Politics: A Very Short Introduction (Very Short Introductions)

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en Limba Engleză Carte Paperback – 28 Mar 2013

This book introduces the vital elements of American politics, emphasizing how these elements have evolved into the form they take today. By using a historical-institutional approach to the various parts of American politics, Valelly communicates that the American political system is, and always has been, a work in progress—one unfolding within, and also constantly updating, an eighteenth-century constitutional framework. Valelly begins by asking what Americans wantfrom their politics and answers with a four-part analysis: (1) the politics of "peace and prosperity," (2) the sometimes illiberal politics of conformity and Americanization, (3) the politics of large-scale problem-solving (e.g., the abolition of slavery) and "perfection of the Union," and (4) thedeep public desire for constitutional continuity. The last item provides the organizational framework/theme for the rest of the book. Additional chapters treat parties and polarization (stressing that contemporary polarization reinforces constitutional persistence because it provides for a mix of policy immobility and power-sharing between parties that bitterly disagree); a survey of the basic institutions: the Presidency, Congress, the judicial branch, the unelected bureaucracy of theindependent agencies, and state and local governments. A third group of chapters deals with political communication, public opinion, voting and the boundaries of the electorate, and the politics of government steering of the economy. Finally, Valelly considers the puzzle of the persistence for more than twocenturies of the basic constitutional forms established in 1787. The author employs a mix of quantitative data and historical examples to illustrate the main themes. ABOUT THE SERIES: The Very Short Introductions series from Oxford University Press contains hundreds of titles in almost every subject area. These pocket-sized books are the perfect way to get ahead in a new subject quickly. Our expert authors combine facts, analysis, perspective, new ideas, and enthusiasm to make interesting and challenging topics highly readable.

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ISBN-13: 9780195373851
ISBN-10: 0195373855
Pagini: 152
Ilustrații: 10 b/w halftones
Dimensiuni: 131 x 156 x 9 mm
Greutate: 0.11 kg
Editura: Oxford University Press
Colecția OUP USA
Seria Very Short Introductions

Locul publicării: New York, United States


Valelly's book is well-written and of use to a lay audienceinterested in a few basic facts about the history of Americangovernment with a brief discussion of contemporary government.

Notă biografică

Professor of Political Science, Swarthmore College; author, Radicalism in the States: The Minnesota Farmer-Labor Party and the American Political Economy (1989), and The Two Reconstructions: The Struggle for Black Enfranchisement (2004)