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American Government: Political Development and Institutional Change, 7th Edition Paperback – January 7, 2013

ISBN-13: 978-0415537353 ISBN-10: 0415537355 Edition: 7th

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 664 pages
  • Publisher: Routledge; 7 edition (January 7, 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0415537355
  • ISBN-13: 978-0415537353
  • Product Dimensions: 9.2 x 7.5 x 1.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.4 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #161,997 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

"If one is looking for a relatively compact, yet historically grounded introductory American government text, one which delivers its information creatively and clearly, I am unaware of any work superior to Jillson’s."

—Russell Arben Fox, Friends University

"I’m looking forward to teaching with the new edition of American Government: Political Development and Institutional Change in the coming semesters. Jillson’s historically grounded explanations of the American political system are both nuanced and accessible, and the "Pro & Con" and "Let’s Compare" features offer natural springboards for class discussion. This book truly stands apart from the vast crowd of introductory American politics textbooks."

—Shamira M. Gelbman, Illinois State University

"In crafting a text on American government, the greatest difficulty lies in explaining the complexity of the American political system and at the same time making that explanation accessible. One must also balance the substance of American politics with a clear description of its processes. Cal Jillson accomplishes all of these things with extraordinary ease."

—Christopher Malone, Pace University

"Cal Jillson's text is a highly recommended source for any classroom that is concerned about content, consistency and accurate information. The ideals that Jillson so thoroughly includes in this text are straight down the middle and do not in any way cater to the right or left, which is a refreshing idea in today’s educational world. An A+ for government classes everywhere!"

—Drew Mowen, Ft Scott Community College

"Jillson's carefully crafted book helps students understand American politics at a deeper and more engaging level than other texts. Each clear, concise chapter weaves together the threads of American political growth into a thoughtful perspective on the nation’s urgent challenges."

—Dave Robertson, University of Missouri - St. Louis

"The textbook's thesis is that the American political system is best understood when viewed through the lens of institutions, and how and why those institutions have evolved over time. In my mind, this is the most important way to understand American politics. Students will gain a much more substantive understanding of American politics from this book than they would from nearly any other textbook on the market today."

—Quentin Kidd, Christopher Newport University

"Like other scholars, I have searched and searched for the best American Government text. I adopted Jillson's American Government: Political Development and Institutional Change because of its in-depth coverage of political history, Supreme Court cases, and basic facts. I particularly like the first three chapters of the seventh edition, on political principles, the Constitution, and federalism, which Jillson takes as seriously as the more core chapters on Congress, the presidency, and the courts. I assign his text to honors students, but any undergraduate would find it easily accessible. It is a great book."

—Keith Dougherty, University of Georgia

"Cal Jillson deploys an historical development narrative while still organizing according to the major institutions and processes that are broadly accepted in political science. The result is a book that connects the political challenges of today to the political conflicts of the past. Students can see not only ways in which the political system has changed, but also how choices we make today will shape the setting for addressing problems to be faced in the future."

—Jonathan Chausovsky, SUNY Fredonia

About the Author

Cal Jillson is Professor in the Department of Political Science at Southern Methodist University. His recent books include Texas Politics: Governing the Lone Star State, Pursuing the American Dream: Opportunity and Exclusion Over Four Centuries, Pathways to Democracy: The Political Economy of Democratic Transitions, and The Dynamics of American Politics.


More About the Author

Cal Jillson is Professor of Political Science at Southern Methodist University and former Director of the John G. Tower Center for Political Studies. He is a former member of the Council on Foreign Relations and a frequent commentator on domestic and international politics for local, national, and international media. He is the author of Pursuing the American Dream: Opportunity and Exclusion Over Four Centuries, Texas Politics: Governing the Lone Star State, and Congressional Dynamics, and editor of The Dynamics of American Politics, New Perspectives on American Politics, and Pathways to Democracy: The Political Economy of Democratic Transitions. He has also served as Associate Dean for Academic Affairs of Dedman College at SMU.

Customer Reviews

3.2 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Butterfly TOP 1000 REVIEWER on June 27, 2014
Format: Paperback
It explains so much! I always wondered why there were "states" as opposed to just America. Why are we the "United States" of America? This book goes into great detail to answer that question. (Should I give away the answer or should I make you read it, or perhaps you already know?) Also, I wondered how could marijuana be both legal in some states and illegal federally. Having read the book - the proverbial lightbulb came on.

Bonuses: this book includes the Declaration of Independence, the Articles of Confederation, the Bill of Rights, the Constitution and some of the Federalist papers in the appendices.

Yes, at times this book was dry, but I actually felt inspired and even captivated while reading some of its passages. I never thought I would be one to like history, but this book gives a great foundation of our government and why it is the way it is.

The book also points you to a free supplemental website that has vocabulary and quizzes. I enjoyed taking the quizzes because it let me know what I needed to focus on when I got some answers wrong, which helped for my exams.

I rented this book on Kindle for just under $20. I might actually buy the Kindle version, or a hardcopy version, because it is so foundational. I (almost) love this book! Even with the author's biases and all. (The author can be quite sarcastic at times in his critiques of both parties and "the system", which gives the book personality.) 4.5 stars!
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Movie Lover on May 31, 2014
Format: Paperback
I've used Jillson's textbook in the online classes that I have taught. This American Government textbook is unique because Jillson uses history to show how our political system has changed over time. This is important because most students tend to think that the way government works today is how it worked in 1789; that is simply not the case. Our institutions are the same but their levels of strength have fluctuated since then. I would recommend that potential purchasers read the reviews for the 6th edition of the textbook on this site (http://www.amazon.com/American-Government-Political-Development-Institutional/product-reviews/0415881579/ref=dp_top_cm_cr_acr_txt?ie=UTF8&showViewpoints=1). The 7th edition is not that much different from the 6th. the only major differences is that it covers the 2012 election and President Obama's entire first term.

Instructors: If you order an exam copy of the book from Routledge ([...]) the company will give you access to Instructor's Manuals and Sample PowerPoint slides for each chapter in the textbook. These materials have been very helpful to me when I teach my classes.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Dung T. Tran on March 17, 2014
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
The book is really dry, and there is no page numbers so that it is really hard to read esp if you are using this for a class
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By Mahmood on August 23, 2014
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
QUALITY MATERIAL
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2 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Sean Alexander on September 22, 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
The book serves it's purpose but holy **** is it dry. Rarely have I regretted enrolling in a class this much
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