The American Anomaly: U.S. Politics and Government in Comparative Perspective

2nd Edition

Raymond A. Smith

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Published October 18, 2010
Textbook - 214 Pages
ISBN 9780203851067 - CAT# YE13111

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Seymour Martin Lipset pronounced over a decade ago, "Those who know only one country know no country." It is well established that students learn the intricacies of American politics better when they are presented in a comparative context. In today’s globalized society and workforce, it is all the more important for students to understand that the American political system is in many ways the exception and not the rule. Introductory textbooks on American government, however, rarely emphasize in sufficient depth how the United States compares to other political systems. And introductions to comparative politics infrequently situate the United States in their analysis.

The American Anomaly systematically analyzes the U.S. political system by way of comparison with other countries, especially other industrialized democracies. It is organized into four sections, respectively covering the constitutional order, governmental institutions, political participation, and public policy. Extended case studies in each chapter draw on all the major regions of the world.

Thoroughly revised throughout, the second edition also includes:

  • a new chapter on domestic public policy, including civil rights and liberties;
  • a new chapter on foreign policy;
  • updates throughout to reflect the 2008 elections and the beginning of the Obama administration;
  • a reorganized section on political participation;
  • over a dozen new figures and tables.

A companion website also offers overview slides, links, and other supporting features.


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