"Bessette and Pitney ground an excellent factual presentation with a thoughtful examination of the ideas that are important to American political life. There is no text on the market today that offers this kind of balance."--Brian P. Janiskee, California State University, San Bernardino.
". . . it introduces the idea of deliberative democracy in the opening chapter, uses it as a framework for understanding American politics, and returns to the concept in subsequent chapters. I very much appreciate the discussion in this opening chapter--and in the preface--of understanding American politics as a mixture of self-interest and political ideas."--Chris Soper, Pepperdine University.
"The organizing theme/framework is the #1 strength. Second comes the accessible writing style." --Michael Nojeim, Prairie View A/M University.
"This text is unique as compared to many other American Government texts as it takes an all-encompassing view of how American politics really works, including the important role that citizens play in the political process. This text encourages students to think critically about our government and to develop an understanding of the world through comparisons of the American government and governments around the world." --Julie Lester, Macon State College.
About the Author
Joseph M. Bessette is the Alice Tweed Tuohy Professor of Government and Ethics at Claremont McKenna College (CMC), where he has been on the faculty since 1990. He also teaches courses in the Department of Politics and Policy at the Claremont Graduate University. Dr. Bessette received a B.S. in Physics from Boston College and an M.A. and Ph.D. in Political Science from the University of Chicago. Prior to coming to CMC, he served as Deputy Director and Acting Director of the Bureau of Justice Statistics in the U.S. Department of Justice (1985-1990) and as Director of Planning, Training, and Management for the Cook County, Illinois, State's Attorney's Office (1981-1984). Dr. Bessette has also held full-time teaching positions at the University of Virginia and The Catholic University of America. He is the author of, among other works, THE MILD VOICE OF REASON: DELIBERATIVE DEMOCRACY AND AMERICAN NATIONAL GOVERNMENT and co-editor and contributor to THE PRESIDENCY IN THE CONSTITUTIONAL ORDER and THE CONSTITUTIONAL PRESIDENCY. He is currently working on a book on the death penalty in the United States.
John J. Pitney, Jr., is the Roy P. Crocker Professor of American Politics at Claremont McKenna College in Claremont, California. He received his B.A. in political science from Union College, where he was co-valedictorian. He earned his Ph.D. in political science at Yale, where he was a National Science Foundation Fellow. Dr. Pitney has been named as one of The Princeton Review's Top 300 College Professors for 2012. From 1978 to 1980, he worked in the New York State Senate and from 1983 to 1984, as a Congressional Fellow of the American Political Science Association, he worked for Senator Alfonse D'Amato of New York and the House Republican Policy Committee, chaired by Representative Dick Cheney of Wyoming. From 1984 to 1986, he was senior domestic policy analyst for the House Republican Research Committee. He joined the Claremont McKenna College faculty in 1986. From 1989 to 1991, during a leave of absence, he worked at the Research Department of the Republican National Committee, first as deputy director, then as acting director. He has written articles for THE WASHINGTON POST, THE WEEKLY STANDARD, THE WALL STREET JOURNAL, THE LOS ANGELES TIMES, and ROLL CALL, among others. His scholarly works include THE ART OF POLITICAL WARFARE, published in 2000 by the University of Oklahoma Press.