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Keeping the Republic

Keeping the Republic
Power and Citizenship in American Politics

Eighth Edition
Additional resources:

December 2016 | 760 pages | CQ Press

This refreshed and dynamic Eighth Edition of Keeping the Republic revitalizes the twin themes of power and citizenship by adding to the imperative for students to navigate competing political narratives about who should get what, and how they should get it. The exploding possibilities of the digital age make this task all the more urgent and complex. Authors Christine Barbour and Gerald Wright continue to meet students where they are in order to give them a sophisticated understanding of American politics and teach them the skills to think critically about it. The entire book has been refocused to look not just at power and citizenship but at the role that control of information and its savvy consumption play in keeping the republic.


Analysis of the 2016 elections is throughout the book, plus many instances of features such as “What’s at Stake?”, “Profiles in Citizenship”, and “Snapshots of America” are all new; the others have been updated to reflect the latest information and data, especially given the unprecedented 2016 campaigns. Nearly half of the stunning infographics have been re-imagined to improve interpretation. The CLUES to Critical Thinking feature is relocated toward the end of the chapter, making it a natural concluding assignment for instructors who want to test their students’ critical thinking skills. End of chapter materials have been streamlined, with “Engage” and “Explore” sections now available only online. New digital resources offer curated, relevant AP news videos and SAGE original videos on foundational concepts and processes—with assignable, multiple choice assessment questions that are automatically graded through your learning management system. These are identified in the Review section at the end of each chapter. A new Coursepack allows instructors to easily integrate the text’s content into their own learning management system, and new data exercises and videos give students even more opportunities to thoroughly understand core concepts.

The text is also available as an Interactive eBook—and is just $5 when bundled with the print version of the new edition!
 To give your students access to this dynamic version of the book, place your order using ISBN 978-1-5063-7116-0.

To the Student
What Is Politics?  
Political Systems and the Concept of Citizenship  
Origins of Democracy in America  
American Citizenship Today  
Thinking Critically About American Politics  
Who Is an American?  
The Ideas That Unite Us  
The Ideas That Divide Us  
The Citizens and American Political Beliefs  
Politics in the English Colonies  
The Split From England  
The Articles of Confederation  
The Constitutional Convention  
The Citizens and the Founding  
The Three Branches of Government  
Separation of Powers and Checks and Balances  
Amending the Constitution  
The Citizens and the Constitution  
Rights in a Democracy  
The Bill of Rights and Incorporation  
Freedom of Religion  
Freedom of Expression  
The Right to Bear Arms  
The Rights of Criminal Defendants  
The Right to Privacy  
The Citizens and Civil Liberties  
The Meaning of Political Inequality  
Rights Denied on the Basis of Race  
Rights Denied on the Basis of Race and Ethnicity  
Rights Denied on the Basis of Gender  
Rights Denied on Other Bases  
The Citizens and Civil Rights  
Understanding Congress  
Congressional Powers and Responsibilities  
Congressional Elections  
Congressional Organization  
How Congress Works  
The Citizens and Congress  
The Presidential Job Description  
The Evolution of the American Presidency  
Presidential Politics  
Managing the Presidential Establishment  
The Presidential Personality  
The Citizens and the Presidency  
What Is Bureaucracy?  
The American Federal Bureaucracy  
Politics Inside the Bureaucracy  
External Bureaucratic Politics  
The Citizens and the Bureaucracy  
Law and the American Legal System  
Constitutional Provisions and the Development of Judicial Review  
Federalism and the American Courts  
The Supreme Court  
The Citizens and the Courts  
The Role of Public Opinion in a Democracy  
Citizen Values  
What Influences Our Opinions About Politics?  
Measuring and Tracking Public Opinion  
The Citizens and Public Opinion  
Why Political Parties?  
Do American Parties Offer Voters a Choice?  
The History of Parties in America  
What Do Parties Do?  
Characteristics of the American Party System  
The Citizens and Political Parties  
The Formation and Role of Interest Groups  
Types of Interest Groups  
Interest Group Politics  
Interest Group Resources  
The Citizens and Interest Groups  
Voting in a Democratic Society  
Exercising the Right to Vote in America  
How America Decides  
Presidential Campaigns  
The Citizens and Elections  
Where Do We Get Our Information?  
How Does Media Ownership Affect Control of the Narrative?  
Who Are the Journalists?  
Spinning Political Narratives  
Politics as Public Relations  
The Citizens and the Media  
Making Public Policy  
The Case of Social Policy  
The Case of Environmental Policy  
The Citizens and Social Policy  
A Beginner’s Guide to Understanding the Economy  
Fiscal Policy and Monetary Policy  
Economic Regulatory Policy  
The Citizens and Economic Policy  
Understanding Foreign Policy  
Who Makes American Foreign Policy?  
How Do We Define a Foreign Policy Problem?  
How Do We Solve Foreign Policy Problems?  
American Foreign Policy Today  
The Citizens and Foreign Policy  
Appendix Material


Instructor Resources Site

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  • Our content delivered directly into your LMS
  • Intuitive, simple format that makes it easy to integrate the material into your course with minimal effort
  • Pedagogically robust assessment tools that foster review, practice, and critical thinking, and offer a more complete way to measure student engagement, including:
  • Diagnostic chapter pre-tests and post-tests that identify opportunities for improvement, track student progress, and ensure mastery of key learning objectives
  • Test banks built on Bloom’s Taxonomy that provide a diverse range of test items with ExamView test generation
  • Activity and quiz options that allow you to choose only the assignments and tests you want
  • Instructions on how to use and integrate the comprehensive assessments and resources provided
  • Chapter-specific discussion questions to help launch engaging classroom interaction while reinforcing important content
  • Assignable SAGE Premium Video (available via the interactive eBook version, linked through SAGE coursepacks) that is tied to learning objectives, curated and produced exclusively for this text to bring concepts to life and appeal to different learning styles, featuring:
  • Corresponding multimedia assessment options that automatically feed to your gradebook
  • Comprehensive, downloadable, easy-to-use Media Guide in the Coursepack for every video resource, listing the chapter to which the video content is tied, matching learning objective(s), a helpful description of the video content, and assessment questions
  • SAGE original video with corresponding multimedia assessment tools bring concepts to life that increase student engagement and appeal to different learning styles, featuring: Topics in American Government videos, which discuss foundational concepts in the text.
  • Multimedia content includes links to video, audio, web, and data that are tied to learning objectives and enhance exploration of key topics to make learning easier
  • EXCLUSIVE, influential SAGE journal and reference content, built into course materials and assessment tools, that ties important research and scholarship to chapter concepts to strengthen learning
  • Editable, chapter-specific PowerPoint® slides that offer flexibility when creating multimedia lectures so you don’t have to start from scratch but you can customize to your exact needs
  • Sample course syllabi with suggested models for structuring your course that give you options to customize your course in a way that is perfect for you
  • Lecture notes that summarize key concepts on a chapter-by-chapter basis to help you with preparation for lectures and class discussions
  • Integrated links to the interactive eBook that make it easy for your students to maximize their study time with this “anywhere, anytime” mobile-friendly version of the text. It also offers access to more digital tools and resources, including SAGE Premium Video
  • All tables and figures from the textbook



    Student Study Site

    SAGE EDGE FOR STUDENTS enhances learning in an easy-to-use environment that offers:

    • Mobile-friendly flashcards that strengthen understanding of key terms and concepts, and make it easy to maximize your study time, anywhere, anytime
    • Mobile-friendly practice quizzes that allow you to assess how much you’ve learned and where you need to focus your attention
    • A customized online action plan that includes tips and feedback on progress through the course and materials
    • Chapter summaries with learning objectives that reinforce the most important material
    • Chapter-specific study questions that allow you to engage with the material
    • Multimedia content includes links to video, audio, web, and data that are tied to learning objectives and enhance exploration of key topics to make learning easier
    • Exclusive access to influential SAGE journal and reference content, that ties important research and scholarship to chapter concepts to strengthen learning

    Keeping the Republic brings the student as much into the discussion of American politics as possible. The book is well-written and provides context and factual material such that students can see themselves as part of the process and not simply as winners or losers.”

    Mark Cichock
    The University of Texas at Arlington

    Keeping the Republic is the Goldilocks of the introductory American politics textbook market. The authors do an excellent job of weaving the themes of power and citizenship throughout the book, and I appreciate the fact that Barbour and Wright emphasize analysis and evaluation throughout their text.”

    Craig Ortsey
    Indiana University–Purdue University Fort Wayne

     “If I were a college student today, I would love to have Keeping the Republic as my primary text.  I really like the features, such as Snapshot of America and Don’t Be Fooled By. The visuals are fantastic and full of wonderful information for students.”

    Dewey Clayton
    University of Louisville

    Keeping the Republic is an American government text that works equally well for political science majors and general education students. It successfully combines the science of political science with a practical emphasis on citizenship and critical evaluation of the political world, providing students with valuable skills they need.”

    Carolyn Myers
    Southwestern Illinois College

    Keeping the Republic is an engaging textbook with absolutely amazing features. It’s the type of book that’s actually fun to just flip through because it has such interesting graphics”

    Sally Hansen
    Daytona State College
    Key features


    • Up-to-date with 2016 election results and analysis, particularly in the chapters on Congress, the Presidency, and Political Parties.
    • Streamlined throughout to be over 100 pages shorter.
    • Updated and revised infographics that better focus on the heart of each topic displayed.
      • New infographic on the book’s inside front cover introduces students to the goals and theme of the book.
      • New graphics include how citizens engage electronically, where and how news consumers get their information, how American women compare politically from a global perspective, and more.
    • The authors have written many new “What’s at Stake?” features. These push students to consider people’s struggle with our system of government.
      • NEW! Chapter 6, “What’s at Stake when a Racial Majority Becomes a Minority?” looks at the rise of the alt-right and the legitimization of white nationalism driven by the perceived loss of power and privilege that comes with the changing racial makeup of America. 
      • NEW! Chapter 7, “What’s at Stake in the Senate’s Obligation to Give Advice and Consent to the President?” asks students to think about why Republicans have refused to consider President Obama’s nomination of Merrick Garland to replace Antonin Scalia on the Supreme Court and how both parties have attempted to shape the narrative around the issue.
      • NEW! Chapter 9 “What’s at Stake…in Regulating the Internet?” focuses on the debate over net neutrality.
      • NEW! Chapter 15, “What’s at Stake in Living in an Information Bubble?” examines the competing narratives around the Orlando nightclub shooter—an ISIS operative or a closeted and mentally disturbed loner?—and the ways these distinct views resonate in separate media spheres.
      • NEW! Chapter 16, “What’s at Stake in Taking Executive Action on Climate Change?” examines executive efforts to push through congressional inaction on climate change.
      • NEW! Chapter 17, “What’s at Stake in a Shrinking Middle Class?” addresses rising income inequality and Bernie Sanders’ use of the issue as a centerpiece of his primary campaign in 2016.
      • Nearly all the other chapters’ “What’s at Stake?” features have been revised and updated with the latest information and news.
    • New and revised “Don’t Be Fooled By…” box features focus on digital media, including topics such as news satire and clickbait.
      • NEW! Chapter 1, “Don’t Be Fooled by Your Own Information Bubble” challenges students to be aware of the echo chamber created by algorithms that offer up content based on what the user already knows and likes.
      • NEW! Chapter 4, “Don’t Be Fooled by Political Rhetoric” prepares students to evaluate the arguments of politicians and pundits by arming themselves against logical fallacies and unfounded appeals to emotion.
      • NEW! Chapter 5, Don’t Be Fooled by News Satire” offers students tips for distinguishing real news stories from satire created by websites like the Daily Currant, National Report, and The Onion.
      • NEW! Chapter 6 “Don’t Be Fooled by the Movies” now asks students to reflect on Gone with the Wind along side Twelve Years a Slave as they consider the truth behind purportedly historical films.
      • NEW! Chapter 8 “Don’t Be Fooled by Political Impersonations” guides students in thinking about how political impressions influence public views of those being caricatured.
      • NEW! “Don’t Be Fooled by Political Cartoons” asks students to think about ways cartoonists can get people thinking about “boring” topics like the bureaucracy.
      • NEW! Chapter 15 “Don’t Be Fooled by Clickbait” encourages students to think critically about the tempting links they are bombarded with online.
      • NEW! Chapter 16 “Don’t Be Fooled by Political Jargon” walks students through examples of jargon, excerpted from Dog Whistles, Walk-Backs and Washington Handshakes: Decoding the Jargon, Bluster and Slang of American Political Speech by Chuck McCutcheon and David Mark, ranging from “wonk” to the “Hastert rule” to “my good friend.”
      • Nearly all other chapters’ “Don’t be Fooled by…” features have been revised and updated with the latest information and news.
    • Profiles in Citizenship – interviews conducted by the authors -- show students ways they can enter public life and make a difference.
      • NEW! “Profiles in Citizenship” feature journalist Jose Antonio Vargas and columnist Dan Savage.  Profiles in Citizenship boxes now appear in print in a briefer presentation; full interviews are available on SAGE edge.
    • Snapshot of America graphics focus on demographics and invite students to explore the connections between data and politics and help them to understand the meaning behind the numbers.
      • NEW! Chapter 6, “Snapshot of America, How Do American Women Compare Politically?”, focuses on women’s international presence as heads of state and in legislatures and ministerial posts.
      • NEW! Chapter 10, “Snapshot of America: Who Are Our Supreme Court Judges?” presents a more visual orientation to the basic facts of every justice currently on the bench.
      • NEW!  Chapter 10,Snapshot of America” delves into data on how confident we are of the police, by race and ethnicity.
      • NEW! Chapter 15, “Snapshot of America: Where Do We Get Our News?”, presents all new data on news consumers, their methods, and their news sources.
    • The CLUES to Critical Thinking feature is relocated toward the end of the chapter, making it a natural concluding assignment for instructors who want to test their students’ critical thinking skills.
    • End of chapter materials have been streamlined, with “Engage” and “Explore” sections now available only online.
    • New digital resources offer curated, relevant AP news videos and SAGE original videos on foundational concepts and processes—with assignable, multiple choice assessment questions that are automatically graded through your learning management system. These are identified in the Review section at the end of each chapter.
    • The media chapter now discusses the role of the news media from a perspective that meets today’s tech-savvy students where they are, while challenging them to rethink the way they interface with political information across a variety of media channels.
    • The CLUES to Critical Thinking feature is now framed as an end-of-chapter assignment to provide students with the opportunity to apply critical reading skills not just to current political arguments, but to documents that shaped our political process and national character.
    • The chapter on State and Local Government is now available via a custom solution.
    • The authors maintain the conversational and friendly style that the book is known for, but with new streamlining that tightens the focus in each chapter on what matters most while still being vibrantly illustrated and rich in detail.
    • Updated throughout with new and relevant scholarship, data, examples, and photos.


    • The Power & Citizenship themes emphasize politics as not just a struggle over who gets power and resources in society, but also over who gets to control the narrative that defines that struggle.
    • The Big Picture graphics present rich, poster-worthy infographic displays that focus on a key element that grabs students’ attention and broadens their understanding of big processes, big concepts, and big data.
    • Snapshot of America graphics focus on demographics and invite students to explore the connections between data and politics and help them to understand the meaning behind the numbers.
    • In Your Own Words goals at the start of each chapter provide learning objectives to help students organize chapter material as they read. These goals are reinforced in the “Who, What, How” summary at the end of every chapter.
    • What’s at Stake features push students to consider people’s struggle with our system of government–what the people in our society need, and how the rules effect the outcome of that struggle.
    • Profiles in Citizenship -- interviews conducted by the authors with many of today’s prominent movers and shakers – demonstrate the variety of ways students can enter public life and make a difference.
    • Chapter-ending resources offer a more contextual learning experience including student Review sections with chapter summaries and key terms as well as the CLUES to Critical Thinking exercises.

    Sample Materials & Chapters

    Sample Chapter 1

    Chapter 15

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