American Government and Politics Today,
20th Edition

Barbara A. Bardes, Mack C. Shelley, Steffen W. Schmidt

ISBN-13: 9780357458426
Copyright 2022 | Published
576 pages | List Price: USD $149.95

Bardes/Shelley/Schmidt's AMERICAN GOVERNMENT AND POLITICS TODAY, THE ESSENTIALS, 20th Edition, equips you with the tools and knowledge you need to become an active, informed participant in the U.S. political process. Making politics personal, it focuses on how government impacts you -- now and in the future. Unbiased, concisely organized and updated with 2020 election analysis, it delivers thorough coverage in a streamlined, easy-to-read format. Emphasizing critical thinking about political issues, it encourages you to become involved in the political process. Current, compelling and thought-provoking examples offer insight into such pressing issues as the global COVID-19 pandemic, racial injustice, police brutality, economic inequality and more. Giving you anywhere, anytime study tools, the MindTap online learning solution is available and integrated with this text.


1. The Democratic Republic.
2. The Constitution.
3. Federalism.
4. Civil Liberties.
5. Civil Rights.
6. Public Opinion and Political Socialization.
7. Interest Groups.
8. Political Parties.
9. Campaigns and Elections.
10. The Media.
11. The Congress.
12. The President.
13. The Executive Branch.
14. The Courts.
15. Domestic and Economic Policy.
16. Foreign Policy.
Appendix A: The Declaration of Independence.
Appendix B: The Constitution of the United States and Amendments to the Constitution of the United States.
Appendix C: Federalist Papers Nos. 10, 51 and 78.
Appendix D: Justices of the U.S. Supreme Court Since 1900.
Appendix E: Party Control of Congress Since 1900.
Appendix F: The Presidents of the United States.

  • Barbara A. Bardes

    Barbara A. Bardes is professor emerita of political science at the University of Cincinnati. She served as a faculty member in political science and dean of Mundelein College at Loyola University of Chicago. In 1993, she was appointed dean of the University of Cincinnati Blue Ash, serving until 2003. She returned to the Political Science Department, where she held the position of graduate director before retiring. In addition to writing articles on public and foreign policy and women and politics, Dr. Bardes co-authored DECLARATIONS OF INDEPENDENCE: WOMEN AND POLITICAL POWER IN 19TH CENTURY AMERICAN NOVELS, THINKING ABOUT PUBLIC POLICY, PUBLIC OPINION: MEASURING THE AMERICAN MIND and AMERICAN GOVERNMENT AND POLITICS TODAY. She received her B.A. and M.A. from Kent State University and her Ph.D. from the University of Cincinnati.

  • Mack C. Shelley

    Mack C. Shelley II is a professor of political science and statistics at Iowa State University, where he arrived in 1979. Currently chair of the Department of Political Science, he conducts policy research in a number of areas funded by grants and contracts. From 1993 to 2002 he served as elected co-editor of the POLICY STUDIES JOURNAL. In addition, Dr. Shelley has published numerous articles, books and monographs on public policy, including THE PERMANENT MAJORITY: THE CONSERVATIVE COALITION IN THE UNITED STATES CONGRESS, BIOTECHNOLOGY AND THE RESEARCH ENTERPRISE: A GUIDE TO THE LITERATURE (with William F. Woodman and Brian J. Reichel), AMERICAN PUBLIC POLICY: THE CONTEMPORARY AGENDA (with Steven G. Koven and Bert E. Swanson) and QUALITY RESEARCH IN LITERACY AND SCIENCE EDUCATION: INTERNATIONAL PERSPECTIVES AND GOLD STANDARDS (with Larry Yore and Brian Hand). He received his bachelor’s degree from American University in Washington, D.C., and both his master’s degree in economics and Ph.D. in political science from the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

  • Steffen W. Schmidt

    Steffen W. Schmidt is the Lucken Professor Emeritus of political science at Iowa State University. He has published 14 books and over 130 articles in scholarly journals and major newspapers. His numerous teaching honors include the Amoco Award for Lifetime Career Achievement in Teaching and Teacher of the Year. He is a pioneer in the use of web-based and real-time video courses, a founding member of the American Political Science Association's section on Computers and Multimedia, and a founding member of the USSTRATCOM academic alliance. Known as "Dr. Politics" for his extensive commentary on U.S. politics in both U.S. and international media, he comments on CNN en Español and Univision as well as CTV Canada Cable TV. Dr. Schmidt grew up in Colombia, South America, and studied in Colombia, Switzerland, the United States and France. He received a B.A. from Rollins College and a Ph.D. in public law and government from Columbia University, New York. Dr. Schmidt is on Facebook (SteffenWSchmidt) and Twitter (DrPolitics).

  • Providing captivating, up-to-date insight into the dynamics of U.S. politics, the new edition spotlights "Election 2020" results throughout. These intriguing features help students think critically about recent events and consider them in the context of American political theory and history.

  • More demographics material is included throughout, particularly in Chapter 1, which presents material on positive and negative trends, such as unemployment and inequality, and falling crime and teen pregnancy rates, and rising mortality rates among members of the rural white working class.

  • Major updates to the content have been made in the areas of public opinion, interest groups, political parties, social media in politics, key Supreme Court rulings, and the Trump administration.

  • Includes new discussion of the coronavirus pandemic and its impact, racism in America and the role of the police, Supreme Court appointments, voting rights, President Trump’s executive orders, foreign policy coverage of Syria, the rise of China, trade relations, and more.

  • Chapters on Domestic and Economic Policy and Foreign Policy have been completely updated and modernized.

  • The Congress chapter reports the increasing control of leaders in both parties over proposed legislation and the decline of the committee system.

  • Helping students become better informed, a "Consider the Source" feature encourages them to think more discerningly about the primary sources from which many statistics and statements are derived in U.S. government research.

  • Extremely student-friendly, the text combines a conversational, easy-to-read style with a concise organization that delivers thorough coverage in a streamlined format.

  • This edition thoroughly engages students by focusing on how government impacts them personally -- now and in the future. Chapter 1 shows students how government is everywhere, at every stage of their lives. "Why Should You Care About ..." and "How You Can Make a Difference" features encourage community and political participation. In addition, student demographics, social media and cross-generational information is incorporated throughout.

  • Maximizing study time, Learning Outcomes open each chapter and correlate to every major section to help students target their reading and then are revisited in the chapter summary and end-of-chapter quiz for an effective review. These are tied to the Introduction to American Government outcomes that are expected from most courses across the country.

  • Helping students develop a more informed perspective, "What If ..." features pique their interest while encouraging them to think critically about key concepts.

  • "Which Side Are You On?" features challenge students to analyze their own thoughts and beliefs, take a stand on controversial issues and explore ways to take action.

  • Prompting students to engage with material outside of class, an Additional Resources section at the end of each chapter provides suggestions for current online resources, books and videos.

  • MindTap for American Government and Politics Today: The Essentials is an immersive, outcomes-driven online learning experience. In addition to a dynamic eTextbook that brings the printed text to life, a variety of assignable, auto-graded activity types in MindTap enable students to flex their critical thinking muscles while soaking in key concepts. Learners are encouraged to read with close attention, write persuasively with logic, interpret data, consider and articulate their own positions on key course topics, and much more. Integration with your Learning Management System allows you to easily export grades and access analytics.

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