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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
on April 27, 2012
Format: Paperback
I am currently studying for the exam and find that the questions and explanations at the end of each chapter are misleading and sometimes incorrect. They ask questions on topics that are barely mentioned and the answers oftentimes contradict what I've learned in school. The summaries are pretty thorough but the questions/quizzes are not a good way of measuring whether you absorbed all of the info from the chapter.
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16 of 21 people found the following review helpful
on April 3, 2012
Format: Paperback
This book's, like this review's style is written in a way that tends to neglect the importance of English grammar's proper use, and confusing the reader. By not putting enough effort into editing, the book fails to be as helpful as it should; it's too vague to be of any use in clarifying distinctions such as between civil liberties and civil rights. Even the practice questions seem to be designed as much to confuse students rather than to aid in learning.
Some of the important characteristics of this book are
*metaphors fumbled as soon as they reach the penalty area,
*Bullet points are used inconsistently to illustrate and organize different types of concepts and facts.
*the disoriented and frustrated feeling much like the one you get as you read this review.

It's really that bad. I mean it. Half the time I can't tell what the author is trying to say. I'm not even entirely convinced the thing was written by a human being, let alone a native English speaker. Please, do yourself a favor and buy some other book--may I recommend "The Very Hungry Caterpillar" by Eric Carle? It may not teach you much about the government, but you're more likely to score a five if you don't have to hospitalized shortly before the exam for high blood pressure, hyperventilation, and uncontrollable screaming.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
on August 8, 2012
Format: PaperbackVerified Purchase
I took the AP Gov't course over 2 semesters, read the American Democracy Now textbook, and used this guide to review. Needless to say, I got a 3 on the exam. The book works...For some people. It was okay, but a little dry. But, I guess that is too be expected of a gov't review guide, but I was a little disappointed with it. I highlighted it and did a few practice tests, but I guess I don't study best with just a review guide. So, if this is how you study best, than it's great. But, if you need flashcards, get flashcards.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on January 30, 2013
Format: Paperback
I thought it was just me, then I checked the reviews here: confirmed the bad grammar and lack of focused, clear ideas. And yes, the test questions at the end of each chapter are particularly bad. This author has no business writing a book on the US Gov't. It's really bad.

I'm using this for FSOT prep, and reading it immediately after finishing "AP US History Crash Course" by Larry Krieger is a real demonstration of the good and the bad. It obviously a different topic, but THAT is an extremely well-written AP history book. It's clear, concise, organized, and leaves you with concepts, terminology, and chronology. This book is just a cloud of ideas.

I'm reading the kindle version, and it's too bad you can't return these. In fact, I don't know why I bought this particular version (I've been buying a lot of books based on recommendations and online lists), but I searched Amazon and found that Krieger wrote an AP US Gov't book. I'm off to blow another $12, but at least this is a proven author.

Seriously, don't waste your time with this mess. No redeeming value. See my other reviews for impartiality.

-----
UPDATE
I just bought the Krieger and already here's and apples to apples comparison:

Here's an example of how Krieger (GOOD) deals with Shay's Rebellion in regards to the Articles of Confederation: (summarized)
1. Frustrated Massachusetts farmers were foreclosing
2. Farmers demanded x y z
3. Shays led them to force judges to close courts
4. Shays's Rebellion helped convince key leaders that the Articles of Confed. were too weak and that...etc...
[Page 21 of 179]

Here's an example of how this author, Lader, deals with Shay's Rebellion in regards to the Articles of Confederation:
Even though slavery and the ineffectiveness of the central government were factors during the critical period, economic issues, specifically a depression facing the country (remember Shays' Rebellion) was the dominant concern. [Location 796 of 6392]
***IT DOESN'T EVEN GET IT'S OWN TOPIC HEADER IN THE CHAPTER. This is from the 'answer key' to explain the correct multiple choice answer.

"remember Shays' Rebellion" VS a four-point bullet list as part of a larger outline form. That really sums up the difference between these two books.
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6 of 8 people found the following review helpful
on June 2, 2012
Format: PaperbackVerified Purchase
I went through this book and and read each section and did the practice tests and I felt completely ready for the AP Test. I only came across 1 or 2 questions on the test that never came up in class or in the book.
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on June 18, 2013
Format: PaperbackVerified Purchase
I took AP U.S. Government in a summer school course, so I bought this book to review before the test. It covered all material that was tested and more. Unfortunately, it was a bit of a struggle to get through. The material was presented in a manner that made me feel like I was being lectured. The most annoying thing about the book is that at the beginning of every chapter, a list of keywords and phrases is given, but they are not highlighted, bolded, etc. throughout the chapter and some of them aren't even covered as all. It's not perfect, but overall I still have to say this is an acceptable review book for any AP student.
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on September 9, 2014
Format: PaperbackVerified Purchase
Real good book for preparing students for the AP Government test. Not to be used alone, of course. Other readings are absolutely necessary for deeper coverage and fuller understanding. But this is a good place to start. I have used this book in several editions over 3 years, and I will continue to use it in newer editions in years to come -- unless something superior appears from another publisher. Which I doubt.
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on February 7, 2015
Format: PaperbackVerified Purchase
Explains everything vaguely. Sometimes you will come across terms (related to the subject) not defined and you have to look them up yourself. Overall, it's good for an overview and reading to get an idea of the topics but still study from something else, just to be safe.
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on January 3, 2014
Format: PaperbackVerified Purchase
I read this book a week before the AP test and I passed it and was able to claim credit. I was such an easy read and I learned more reading this book than paying attention to my teacher the entire semester.
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on January 6, 2014
Format: PaperbackVerified Purchase
I saved a few dollars buying these on Amazon.. My daughter is in a lot of AP classes, taking college courses early.. so every penny helps right now.. and these study guides she says helps her so much!!
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