For undergraduate courses in introductory American Government.
Approaching Democracy is the American Government book with a clear and compelling central theme, designed to elevate student interest.
Approaching Democracy addresses the evolving nature of the American experiment in democratic government. It teaches students the theory and the basics of American political science, the political history of this nation, and provides the critical thinking skills needed to analyze these evolving relationships.
The title and theme for this book come from Vaclav Havel’s address to a joint session of the U.S. Congress on February 1, 1990, wherein Havel noted that with the collapse of the Soviet Union, millions of people from Eastern Europe were involved in an historically irreversible process: beginning their quest for freedom and democracy. And while the United Stated of America provided the model for these newly freed peoples, it was, in Havel’s mind, evolving towards democracy, not a fully established democracy “As long as people are people,” Havel explained, “democracy, in the full sense of the word, will always be no more than an ideal. In this sense, you too are merely approaching democracy. But you have one great advantage: you have been approaching democracy uninterruptedly for more than two hundred years, and your journey toward the horizon has never been disrupted by a totalitarian system.”
Larry Berman and Bruce Allen Murphy, long-time teachers of the introductory American Political science course in both large and small public and private universities, set out to write a book that offers a clear theme — a theme that is just as relevant, if not more so today than when it was first presented — in a highly readable, easy-to-understand format. Both authors enjoy teaching and are actively engaged in new methods of engaging students and empowering them to participate in political discourse.
How do you get your students to understand the importance of politics in their daily lives?
NEW-Approaching Democracy is available with 2006 updates. Use ISBN 0-13-159038-3. The 2006 Election Update gives your students the most up-to-the-minute coverage of the 2006 election. It provides information and analysis on the context of the election campaign, and data showing the election results. In a brief, readable format, students will have enough information on the latest elections to make sense of the campaign and of its impacts.
NEW-This edition has been updated to reflect the state of politics today. Here are a few examples:
- Robert Gates as Secretary of Defense
- John Bolton’s resignation
- The impact of Senator Tim Johnson’s stroke
- Updates on the USA Patriot Act battle
- Discussion on the Harriet Miers and Samuel Alito Supreme Court nominations
- An analysis of the Roberts Court of the new role of Justice Anthony Kennedy as the new swing justice on the Court
- The new cyber-lobbying technique for judicial confirmations
- The Jack Abramoff–Tom Delay lobbying scandal
- Analysis of the battle over the Senate’s “nuclear option” seeking elimination of filibusters in judicial nominations
- Federalism battles over California’s allowance of the medical use of marijuana and Oregon’s “Death With Dignity” law
- The battles over gay marriage and civil union laws
- Campaign finance and lobbying reform
- Legal battles over religion (creationism, Ten Commandments, monuments, and “intelligent design”) in public schools and public life
- The effect of the evangelical religious movement on American politics
- The “Red State-Blue State” partisan electoral environment; and the continuing battles over affirmative action programs
- New and updated material on the Department of Homeland Security and the war on terrorism
- The role of bloggers in rewriting the rules of journalism
- A six-year assessment of the Bush presidency
- An assessment of the Rehnquist Court
- A discussion of Operation Enduring Freedom and Operation Iraqi Freedom
- An analysis of the Iraqi elections and constitution-drafting process
- An analysis of the federal response to Hurricane Katrina
- The most recent 2006 Freedom House maps and opinion surveys.
New — This text has a market-leading video package, ABC News DVD for students and instructors. Student copies of Approaching Democracy come packaged with the new Prentice Hall/ABC News Video Student Library for American Government, which offers over four hours of quality news programming related to topics in the text. These videos help students see the importance of politics in their daily lives, such as the role of the federal government in responding to natural disasters through the segment on hurricane Katrina.
Each chapter opens with a case study that integrates the text's theme and lays the groundwork for the material that follows. Special care has been taken to select case studies that serve as anchors for the material covered in each chapter. Topics such as the life of Cesar Chavez, the creation of a Department of Homeland Security, President George W. Bush's leadership in building an international coalition aimed at defeating terrorist networks, and renewal of the USA Patriot Act help students examine political events within the context of approaching democracy and in connection with real events and issues.
Questions addressing each chapter's main subtopics encourage careful consideration of important themes and developments in politics. The questions are included in the margins next to each subtopic to prompt students to think about what they should know after reading the section. These also serve as a resource for reviewing section content.
MakeitReal with Gradetracker - contains a wealth of additional resources, including chapter summaries, practice tests, and numerous activities, including the MakeitReal resources.
- Increases students’ understanding, directs them to additional related sites on the Web, and gives instructors a timesaving resource for managing their courses.
- New Gradetracker feature allows instructors to choose to set up a course and to manage student activity throughout the site.
- Make it Real 2.0is a comprehensive website that contains dynamic simulations developed by Prentice Hall exclusively for American Government. In addition to simulations, Make it Real also contains activities on civic participation, interactive timelines and maps, quizzes, primary source documents, Census data, and exercises in visual literacy. Students will use information such as real election results, real demographics, maps and voting score cards. Self-study quizzes are available for the student to take to make sure they understand the concepts used in completing the simulations and other activities.
An annotated constitution is included after Chapter 2. This important document has annotations analyzing key sections.
How do you get your students to think critically?
This text features a well executed critical-thinking-oriented theme. It begs the question of whether or not government is bringing us closer to or farther away from achieving the democratic ideal and it helps students to think critically.