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Political Science: An Introduction Paperback – April 25, 2002

ISBN-13: 978-0130991348 ISBN-10: 0130991341 Edition: 8th

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 421 pages
  • Publisher: Prentice Hall; 8 edition (April 25, 2002)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0130991341
  • ISBN-13: 978-0130991348
  • Product Dimensions: 7.5 x 1 x 9.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.5 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 1.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,742,369 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From the Back Cover

Exceptionally up-to-date and rich in cross-national examples—with an emphasis on the U.S. political system—this book offers an unbiased, thorough introduction to the basic terminology, concepts, and theories of political science. A five-part organization covers chapter topics under the headings of: the bases of politics, political attitudes, political interaction, the institutions of politics, and what political systems do. For anyone looking for an exciting view of the political science field.

Excerpt. © Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.

IT IS INDEED GRATIFYING to see a book one has worked on reach an eighth edition; it means one is doing something right. It also means that the editors at Prentice Hall recognize that the approach used in the first edition of 1974 was sound and should not be greatly altered. The success of the book owes something to the fact that it is neither a U.S. government text nor a comparative politics text. Instead, it draws from both U.S. and comparative examples to introduce the whole field of political science to new students.

The eighth edition continues an eclectic approach that avoids selling any single theory, conceptual framework, or paradigm as the key to political science. Attempts to impose a methodological grand design are both unwarranted by the nature of the discipline and unconducive to the broadening of students' intellectual horizons. Instructors with a wide variety of viewpoints have no trouble using this text. Above all, the eighth edition still views politics as exciting and tries to communicate that feeling to young people approaching the discipline for the first time.

Instructors familiar with earlier editions will see some changes in the eighth edition. I have come to recognize the importance of introducing methodologies early in an undergraduate's career. I'm not thinking of high-level numbers crunching—which I neither engage in nor advocate—but of a reality-testing frame of mind that looks for empirical verifiability. I often discuss methodologies in class in connection with student papers, but decided for this edition to insert them—one methodological point per chapter—in the text in feature boxes entitled "How To." These boxes include thesis statements, endnotes, quotations, tables, cross-tabs, percentages, graphs, and other standard fare, all at the introductory level. I hope instructors find this useful and I am open to suggestions to alter or add to these points. I also added some vocabulary words to the Key Terms throughout the chapters. The definitions are in the context under discussion; change that context and you may need another definition. There is a difference, for example, between the governing elites discussed in Chapter 5 (a tiny fraction of 1 percent of a population) and public-opinion elites discussed in Chapter 8 (probably several percent).

Some material—such as Key Concepts, Case Studies, and Classic Works—continues to appear in feature boxes, both to highlight the material and to vary the text format, making the text reader-friendly. The discussion of electoral systems has been consolidated from Chapter 11, "Political Parties and Political Systems," and Chapter 13, "The Basic Institutions of Government," into Chapter 12, "Elections." Those who have used previous editions will have no trouble using the eighth edition, as the overall structure of the text stays the same. SUPPLEMENTS COMPANION WEBSITE™

prenhall/roskin — This Website brings an online study guide to students and a valuable tool to professors. When students log on, they will find a wealth of study and research resources. Chapter outlines and summaries with special features from the book, true/false tests, fill-in-the-blank tests, and multiple-choice questions, all with immediate feedback and chapter page numbers, give students ample opportunity to review the information. The site also includes a large variety of links to sites pertaining to material covered in each chapter of the text. For professors, there is a faculty resource section that includes links to helpful sites, graphics to download from the book, and textual PowerPoint slides to use in presentations. INSTRUCTOR'S MANUAL AND TEST ITEM FILES

An instructor's manual with test item files on diskette are available to instructors from their Prentice Hall representative. PRENTICE HALL CUSTOM TEST

Prentice Hall's testing software program permits instructors to edit any or all items in the Test Item File and add their own questions. Other special features of this program, which is available for Windows and Macintosh, include random generation of an item set, creation of alternative versions of the same test, scrambling question sequence, and test preview before printing. ACKNOWLEDGMENTS

Several people reviewed this edition and earlier editions, and I sincerely considered most of their comments. For this edition, I wish to thank my Lycoming colleagues who reviewed the new "How To" feature boxes and offered valuable advice: Gene Sprechini of our math department, John Whelan of our philosophy department, and Gary Hafer of our English department. I also wish to thank Paul J. Best of Southern Connecticut State University and Victor E. Obasohan of Cerritos College, both of whom reviewed the entire manuscript for Prentice Hall.

Are further changes needed in the book, or have I got it about right? Instructors' input on this matter-or indeed on anything else related to the text or supplementary materials—is highly valued. Instructors may contact me directly at Lycoming College at Williamsport, Pennsylvania 17701, or by e-mail at

Michael G. Roskin

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64 of 94 people found the following review helpful By Carmi Turchick on February 1, 2005
Format: Paperback
Let me start by admitting I have the Seventh Edition (2000), not the 2002 version. However, I doubt that there could be much improvement. This "textbook" can only be the product of gross incompetence or extreme bias, I will let you decide which.

For example, page 340 reads "It is true that some regimes commit acts of great evil; military regimes in Argentina, Chile, and Guatemala killed thousands on the slightest suspicion of leftism. But how is it that these military regimes came to power? Why does system breakdown recur repeatedly in such contries?"

So, does the author not know that we, the US, overthrew the democratically elected Arbenz in Guatemalla, and Allende in Chile? Everyone else knows this...and does the author not know that Chile, prior to this installation of Pinochet, was the one stable democracy in Latin America? So how then is Chile a case of this "recur(ing) repeatedly? (sic)" It happened once. Does the fact that two of his three examples of internal "system breakdown" leading to regime change actualy represent partially, or largely, the external actions of a superpower interfering in the internal affairs of weaker soveriegn countries not seem to be problematic? How can these be used as examples of internal processes when everyone knows what really happened, and that is not it? The author, in order to assert this, must be grossly ignorant of history (thereby disqualifying him as a viable authority in the field) or, knowing history, must be intentionally and knowingly distorting it for political reasons (thereby making him unquestionably biased, intellectually dishonest, and also therefore unsuited for the field).

On top of that we have the unfortunately normal systemic incompetence of the Political Science field in general.
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29 of 52 people found the following review helpful By Lauren Edwards on August 31, 2005
Format: Paperback
While study one night I had to stop and write up a review for this "textbook". I agree with the other 1 star reviewer. At first I thought the person was exaggerating. Boy was I wrong.

The author is very biased and one sided and that is just not acceptable when writing a Intro to Political Science book. There are ignorant and bias thoughts and sentences throughout. Here are two examples, both on the first page of the first chapter:

"Interest in politics in the United States has slumped. Not only students but also attentive and educated citizens have turned away from politics."

Here's another, a paragraph down.......

"Perhaps terrorism and recession are needed to renew interest in politics." This guy is an ass!!

Do no waste your money on this rubbish. I suggest in its place "Ideals and Ideologies: A reader" (5th ed. by Terence Ball) as an excellent Intro to Political Science textbook. If your professor requires this "textbook", bring to the attention of him or her that this is not good study material.
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