From Library Journal
The American public's cynical attitude toward politics is much discussed, but what do Americans really know about politics? Two political scientists provide a detailed examination of who knows what, how much, and why it matters in American politics. Employing survey data of Americans for a nearly 50-year period and utilizing sophisticated statistical techniques, Delli Carpini (Barnard Coll.) and Keeter (Virginia Commonwealth Univ.) find that, while Americans are not as knowledgeable as they should be, they are not completely ignorant of politics and that the level of political knowledge has remained virtually unchanged over 40 years. Among the authors' other major findings: women, African Americans, the poor, and the young tend to be less politically knowledgeable than the rest of the population; and people with higher levels of motivation and skills tend to be better educated about politics. This excellent study places its quantitative research in the context of thoughtful and significant discussions of democratic theory. Recommended for political science students at all levels.?Thomas J. Baldino, Wilkes Univ., Wilkes-Barre, Pa.
Copyright 1996 Reed Business Information, Inc.
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