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Keeping the Republic

Keeping the Republic
Power and Citizenship in American Politics, The Essentials

Ninth Edition
Available with:

November 2018 | 648 pages | CQ Press

“I consistently recommend the book to [colleagues] who are teaching American government for the first time. It is easy to use, and it provides all of the basics that any student would ever need to know. It is easy for students to read, and it challenges their preconceived notions about the world...” 
James W. Stoutenborough, Idaho State University

Keeping the Republic gives students the power to

  • examine the narrative of what's going on in American politics, 
  • distinguish fact from fiction and balance from bias, and 
  • influence the message through informed citizenship. 

Keeping the Republic draws students into the study of American politics, showing them how to think critically about “who gets what, and how” while exploring the twin themes of power and citizenship. Students are pushed to consider how and why institutions and rules determine who wins and who loses in American politics, and to be savvy consumers of political information. 

The thoroughly updated Ninth Edition considers how a major component of power is who controls the information, how it is assembled into narratives, and whether we come to recognize fact from fiction. Citizens now have unprecedented access to power – the ability to create and share their own narratives – while simultaneously being even more vulnerable to those trying to shape their views. The political landscape of today gives us new ways to keep the republic, and some high-tech ways to lose it. 

Throughout the text and its features, authors Christine Barbour and Gerald Wright show students how to effectively apply the critical thinking skills they develop to the political information they encounter every day. Students are challenged to deconstruct prevailing narratives and effectively harness the political power of the information age for themselves. 
Up-to-date with 2018 election results and analysis, as well as the impact of recent Supreme Court rulings, shifting demographics, and emerging and continuing social movements, Keeping the Republic, Ninth Edition is a much-needed resource to help students make sense of politics in America today.
Keeping the Republic, The Essentials is identical to the full version of the text, minus the three policy chapters.

A Complete Teaching & Learning Package

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Outlined in your text and mapped to chapter learning objectives, SAGE course outcomes are crafted with specific course outcomes in mind and vetted by advisors in the field. See how SAGE course outcomes tie in with this book’s chapter-level objectives at barbour9e.

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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. 


About the Authors
To the Student
What Is Politics?

Political Systems and the Concept of Citizenship

Origins of Democracy in America

The Evolution of American Citizenship

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: African Americans

Rights Denied on the Basis of Other Racial and Ethnic Identities

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?

Spinning Political Narratives

Politics as Public Relations

The Citizens and the Media

Appendix Material


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  • exclusive access to influential SAGE journal and reference content that ties important research and scholarship to chapter concepts to strengthen learning
Instructor Resources Site

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    • test banks built on Bloom’s Taxonomy that provide a diverse range of test items
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Prefer to access your course resources online?

With SAGE Edge for Instructors you get:

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  • lecture notes that summarize chapters to help you prepare for lectures and class discussions

“The book is a concise read; has updated photos and images, plus a sizeable portion of historical images and events. This is a rounded book…The book does well by [integrating] a discussion of citizenship and its broader implication for the extant political culture.” 

Kalu N. Kalu
Auburn University Motgomery

“The content is thorough and clearly broken into separate sections which convey concepts in a manner that students can focus on systematically…The ninth edition contains a tremendous amount of valuable information and I am excited about the extent of the content and the way the content is organized… The book’s updated theme of power and citizenship and the ways the control of the political narrative has been translated into political power and how it has shifted within the new social media is refreshingly timely.” 

Paul Thomas Rabchenuk
Salem State University

“I consistently recommend the book to [colleagues] who are teaching American government for the first time. It is easy to use, and it provides all of the basics that any student would ever need to know. It is easy for students to read, and it challenges their preconceived notions about the world...” 

James W. Stoutenborough,
Idaho State University
Key features


  • Available as a digital option through SAGE Vantage, an intuitive digital platform that offers auto-graded assignments and interactive multimedia tools, all carefully designed to ignite student engagement and drive critical thinking. Contact your rep to learn more.

  • Assignable SAGE Premium Video (available on the SAGE Vantage platform, linked through SAGE Coursepacks) is curated and produced exclusively for this text to bring concepts to life and appeal to diverse learners, featuring animated concept videos, as well as licensed AP news clips.

  • Up-to-date 2018 midterm 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 an overview of the bipartisan battle for control.
  • New What’s at Stake? features examine such topics as the activism of the students of Marjorie Stoneman Douglas High School, the import of party control of Congress, the conflict between corporate and small-scale growers over organic farming, the effect of rolling back regulations, the threat of nuclear weapons, the consequences of overturning executive action on climate change, the impact of popular referenda, and Donald Trump’s presidency. Nearly all the other chapters’ “What’s at Stake?” features have been revised and updated with the latest information and news.
  • New Don’t Be Fooled By… boxes discuss big data and parody news sites. Nearly all other features have been revised an updated with the latest information and news.
  • New CLUES to Critical Thinking boxes teach students to think carefully about the news of the day, including the late John McCain’s speech on the attempted repeal of Obamacare and articles on Donald Trump’s relationship with corporate America and the potential for a third party to emerge.
  • New Profiles in Citizenship interviews feature former third-party presidential candidate Evan McMullin, former Massachusetts governor Deval Patrick, political commentator Nicole Wallace, and Senators Tammy Duckworth and Jeff Flake.
  • Updated and revised The Big Picture and Snapshot of America graphics include the latest information and data.
  • New and relevant scholarship, data, examples, and photos are included throughout.
  • 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



  • 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.
  • SAGE Coursepacks allows instructors to import high-quality content into their school’s learning management system (LMS) with no access codes.
  • SAGE Edge provides students helpful tools, including eFlashcards, practice quizzes, and more, in one easy-to-use online environment.
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