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American Government

American Government
Stories of a Nation, Brief Edition

Second Edition

January 2021 | 600 pages | CQ Press
American government is not just one story—it’s many stories. Our stories. And they are still being told.

In the Second Edition of American Government: Stories of a Nation, Brief Edition, author Scott Abernathy tunes in to the voices of America’s people, showing how diverse ideas throughout our nation’s history have shaped our political institutions, our identities, the way we participate and behave, the laws we live by, and the challenges we face. His storytelling approach brings the core concepts of government to life, making them meaningful and memorable, and allows all students to see themselves reflected in the pages.

Carefully condensed from the full version by Scott Abernathy, American Government, Brief Edition, gives your students all the information they need—and the stories they relate to—in a more concise, value-oriented package.

This title is accompanied by a complete teaching and learning package. Contact your SAGE representative to request a demo.
  • Digital Option / Courseware
    SAGE Vantage is an intuitive digital platform that delivers this text’s content and course materials in a learning experience that offers auto-graded assignments and interactive multimedia tools, all carefully designed to ignite student engagement and drive critical thinking. Built with you and your students in mind, it offers simple course set-up and enables students to better prepare for class.
    • Assignable Video with Assessment
      Assignable video (available with SAGE Vantage) is tied to learning objectives and curated exclusively for this text to bring concepts to life. Watch a sample video now.

  • LMS Cartridge: Import this title’s instructor resources into your school’s learning management system (LMS) and save time. Don’t use an LMS? You can still access all of the same online resources for this title via the password-protected Instructor Resource Site. Learn more.
  • CQ Press Lecture Spark: Designed to save you time and ignite student engagement, these free weekly lecture launchers focus on current event topics tied to key concepts in American Government. Access this week’s topic.

Part I: Foundations
Chapter 1: American Political Stories: Claiming Rights, Demanding to Be Heard
Chapter 2: The Constitution of the United States: A New Vision of Representative Government
Chapter 3: Federalism: The Changing Boundaries between the Nation and the States
Chapter 4: Civil Liberties: Building and Defending Fences
Chapter 5: Civil Rights: How Equal is Equal?
Part II: Political Behavior and Mass Politics
Chapter 6: Public Opinion: How Are Americans’ Voices Measured, and Do They Matter?
Chapter 7: The Media: Truth, Trust, and Power
Chapter 8: Parties, Elections, and Participation: Making Representative Democracy Happen
Chapter 9: Interest Groups and Social Movements: Collective Action, Power, and
Part III: Institutions
Chapter 10: Congress: Representation, Organization, and Legislation
Chapter 11: The American Presidency: Individuals, Institutions, and Power
Chapter 12: The Federal Bureaucracy: Putting the Nation’s Laws into Effect
Chapter 13: The Federal Judiciary: Politics, Power, and the “Least Dangerous” Branch
Part IV: Policy
Chapter 14: Public Policy: Promoting the General Welfare and Advancing Americans’ Interests


Instructor Resource Site

For additional information, custom options, or to request a personalized walkthrough of these resources, please contact your sales representative.

LMS cartridge included with this title for use in Blackboard, Canvas, Brightspace by Desire2Learn (D2L), and Moodle

The LMS cartridge makes it easy to import this title’s instructor resources into your learning management system (LMS). These resources include:

  • Test banks
  • Editable chapter-specific PowerPoint® slides
  • Sample course syllabi
  • Lecture notes
  • All tables and figures from the textbook 
Don’t use an LMS platform?

You can still access all of the same online resources for this title via the password-protected Instructor Resource Site.

The open-access Student Study Site makes it easy for students to maximize their study time, anywhere, anytime. It offers flashcards that strengthen understanding of key terms and concepts, as well as learning objectives that reinforce the most important material.
Student Study Site

The open-access Student Study Site makes it easy for students to maximize their study time, anywhere, anytime. It offers flashcards that strengthen understanding of key terms and concepts, as well as learning objectives that reinforce the most important material.
Key features


  • The new edition is available as a digital option through SAGE Vantage, an intuitive digital platform that offers auto-graded assignments and interactive multimedia tools—including video—all designed to enable students to better prepare for class.
  • Civil Rights and Civil Liberties have been split up into two separate chapters.
  • New “Practicing Political Science” boxes that tackle topics such as police accountability in the media, the Federal Reserve’s response to COVID-19 and its implications on American monetary policy, and the effects of U.S. trade policy on different congressional districts. These boxes help students become more capable and critical readers of arguments made through data, images, and text.
  • New narratives keep students engaged by connecting key concepts to recent events and real people through topics such as #MeToo and the promises and challenges of digital political participation, an exploration into civil liberties through Supreme Court activity on the implication of cell-phone tracking data for fundamental rights and freedoms, and an analysis of the presidency of Donald Trump through this deeper question: How much does a president’s style and character actually impact their power and influence?
  • Up-to-date 2020 election coverage and analysis, particularly in the chapters on Congress, the presidency, and political parties, provide students with a current snapshot of the results and struggles of the 2020 elections.
  • SAGE course outcomes help you track and measure student success. Crafted with specific course outcomes in mind and vetted by advisors in the field, SAGE course outcomes clearly define and benchmark the knowledge and skills students are expected to achieve upon completion of your course. See how outcomes tie in with this book’s chapter-level objectives.
  • Updated throughout to account for recent developments including:
    • Coverage of the Trump administration;
    • Analysis of the outcome of the 2020 elections and the battle for the White House;
    • The centering of the study of public opinion—its impact, coherence and durability—on Black Lives Matter from the death of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri, and the killing of George Floyd by a white police officer in Minneapolis;
    • Updated figures and tables throughout including new political science research on polarization;
    • U.S., Russia, and China in an age of multipolarity in international affairs;
    • An analysis on the impact on women’s’ congressional representation of the elections of 2018 and 2020; and
    • Exploration of today’s American economy, including the impact of student loan debt, the debate over the minimum wage, and a rising federal deficit.
  • Each chapter begins with a compelling narrative about real people that illuminates a central issue or problem the chapter will deal with, bringing those concepts to life. Abernathy picks up threads of those narratives throughout the chapter, seamlessly integrating the narrative into the core content.
  • Learning objectives at the start of each chapter guide students through their studies and are tied to features throughout the chapter to ensure those objectives are met.
  • Chapter overviews in the opener of each chapter help students focus on core content and make connections to the chapter narratives.
  • Chapter Reviews at the end of each chapter are tied to the learning objectives and each of the major chapter sections, distilling key points students need to remember and glossary terms to understand.
  • Appendices include the Articles of Confederation, the Declaration of Independence, the Constitution, Federalist Nos. 10 and 51, Political Party Affiliations in Congress and the Presidency, and a Summary of Presidential Elections.

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ISBN: 9781071839751

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