"This theme [Elite vs. Popular Democracy] fits well with explaining many of the historical changes in our democracy, and certainly fits with the original democratic debate of the founders. The theme also sets up a nice tension and interplay that makes teaching the subject easier and more easily grasped by students. It reflects well our political reality and provides a nice conceptual platform from which to teach."
"I especially like the fact that a chapter on political economy is the first chapter after the historical background. I think that's excellent and helps set up the whole course."
"I believe that the "elite vs. popular democracy" framework of this text is good for several reasons. First, it gives students a way to think about political information. This helps their retention of the information and promotes critical thinking. Second, they can apply this framework to their thinking about current events after the class is over. This makes the information they learned more relevant. Finally, it gives students a new perspective on politics that they have never had before, which makes the material more interesting and exciting. It fits well with the way I teach, as I tend to emphasize questions of 'who gets what and why,' and this framework addresses that."
About the Author
Bruce Miroff earned his Ph.D. at the University of California, Berkeley. He teaches and writes in the areas of the presidency, American political theory, and American political development. He is the author of PRAGMATIC ILLUSIONS: THE PRESIDENTIAL POLITICS OF JOHN F. KENNEDY; ICONS OF DEMOCRACY: AMERICAN LEADERS AS HEROES, ARISTOCRATS, DISSENTERS, AND DEMOCRATS; and THE LIBERALS' MOMENT: THE MCGOVERN INSURGENCY AND THE IDENTITY CRISIS OF THE DEMOCRATIC PARTY. He regularly teaches an introductory lecture course on American Government and has received a teaching excellence award from SUNY Albany, where he is currently a professor.
Raymond Seidelman earned his Ph.D. at Cornell University in 1979; he was a professor of political science at Sarah Lawrence College and wrote DISENCHANTED REALISTS: POLITICAL SCIENCE AND THE AMERICAN CRISIS (1985), a much-discussed history of the discipline. His areas of specialization included elections, voting, and political theory.
Todd Swanstrom earned his Ph.D. from Princeton University in 1981. Specializing in housing and urban policy, political economy, and metropolitan planning, he is co-author of PLACE MATTERS: METROPOLITICS FOR THE TWENTY-FIRST CENTURY.
The newest coauthor replacing Raymond Seidelman, Tom De Luca earned his Ph.D at University of Massachusetts, Amherst in 1983. He is a Professor of Political Science at Fordham University, where he specializes in Democratic Theory and American Politics, and is the Director of both the International Studies Program and the Sino-American Seminar on Politics and Law. He has held four Fulbrights, been made Honorary Professor of Political Science at China University of Political Science and Law in Beijing, and is the author or co-author of three books.