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Keeping the Republic

Keeping the Republic
Power and Citizenship in American Politics

Seventh Edition
Experience with SAGE edge

© 2015 | 864 pages | CQ Press

In Keeping the Republic, authors Christine Barbour and Gerald Wright draw students into the study of American politics, teaching them to think critically about “who gets what, and how” and exploring the twin themes of power and citizenship. Readers are pushed to consider how and why institutions and rules determine who wins and who loses in American politics and to be skeptical of received wisdom. Every element of the text is crafted to provide the tools students need to be thoughtful, savvy consumers of political information and to teach them to think more deeply about what they see, read, and hear.

The authors have partnered with award-winning information designer and teacher Mike Wirth to create a series of stunning, data-rich infographics that appear throughout the text, presenting information in more revealing ways. Combining critical thinking skills, pedagogically rich visuals, and the seminal work in the field of American politics, this trusted text is ideal for students who want to take an active part in their communities and government—to play their part in keeping the republic.

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Chapter 1: Politics: Who Gets What, And How?
What Is Politics?  
Political Systems and the Concept of Citizenship  
Origins of Democracy in America  
Citizenship in America  
America Citizenship Today  
Thinking Critically About American Politics  
Chapter 2: American Citizens And Political Culture
Who Is an American?  
The Ideas That Unite Us  
The Ideas That Divide Us  
The Citizens and American Political Beliefs  
Chapter 3: Politics Of The American Founding
Politics in the English Colonies  
The Split From England  
The Articles of Confederation  
The Constitutional Convention  
The Citizens and the Founding  
Chapter 4: Federalism And The U.S. Constitution
The Three Branches of Government  
Separation of Powers and Checks and Balances  
Amending the Constitution  
The Citizens and the Constitution  
Chapter 5: Fundamental American Liberties
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  
Chapter 6: The Struggle For Equal Rights
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  
Chapter 7: Congress
Understanding Congress  
Congressional Powers and Responsibilities  
Congressional Elections  
Congressional Organization  
How Congress Works  
The Citizens and Congress  
Chapter 8: The Presidency
The Double Expectations Gap  
The Evolution of the American Presidency  
Presidential Politics  
Managing the Presidential Establishment  
The Presidential Personality  
The Citizens and the Presidency  
Chapter 9: The Bureaucracy
What Is Bureaucracy?  
The American Federal Bureaucracy  
Politics inside the Bureaucracy  
External Bureaucratic Politics  
The Citizens and the Bureaucracy  
Chapter 10: The American Legal System And The Courts
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  
Chapter 11: Public Opinion
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  
Chapter 12: Political Parties
What Are 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  
Chapter 13: Interest Groups
The Role and Formation of Interest Groups  
Types of Interest Groups  
Interest Group Politics  
Interest Group Resources  
The Citizens and Interest Groups  
Chapter 14: Voting, Campaigns, And Elections
Voting in a Democratic Society  
Exercising the Right to Vote in America  
How the Voter Decides  
Presidential Campaigns  
The Citizens and Elections  
Chapter 15: The Media
Where Do We Get Our Information?  
Who Owns the Media, and How Does That Affect Our News?  
Who Are the Journalists?  
The Media and Politics  
The Citizens and the Media  
Chapter 16: State And Local Politics In A Federal System
The Federal Context of State and Local Politics  
The Context of State Politics  
Rules of the Game  
State Institutions  
Local Governments  
The Citizens and State and Local Government  
Chapter 17: Social And Environmental Policy
Making Public Policy  
The Case of Social Policy  
The Case of Environmental Policy  
The Citizens and Social Policy  
Chapter 18: Economic Policy
A Beginner's Guide to Understanding the Economy  
Fiscal Policy and Monetary Policy  
Economic Regulatory Policy  
The Citizens and Economic Policy  
Chapter 19: Foreign 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  


Instructor Resources Site

SAGE edge for instructors supports teaching by making it easy to integrate quality content and create a rich learning environment for students.

  • Test Banks that provide a diverse range of pre-written options as well as the opportunity to edit any question and/or insert personalized questions to effectively assess the students' progress and understanding.
    • Sample course syllabi for semester and quarter courses provide suggested models for structuring one’s course.

    • Editable, chapter-specific PowerPoint® slides offer complete flexibility for creating a multimedia presentation for the course
    • An instructor’s manual features chapter overviews and learning objectives, lecture starters, ideas for class activities, and discussion questions.
    • A set of all the graphics from the text, including all of the maps, tables, and figures, in PowerPoint, .pdf, and .jpg formats for class presentations.
    • Multimedia content includes links to video, audio, web, and data links that appeal to students with different learning styles
    • Comprehensive Video questions based on the Interactive eBook and Multimedia Videos per chapter to prompt class activities and discussions.
    • EXCLUSIVE! Access to certain full-text SAGE journal articles have been carefully selected for each chapter. Each article supports and expands on the concepts presented in the chapter. This feature also provides questions to focus and guide your interpretation.
      A common course cartridge includes all of the instructor resources and assessment material from the student study site, making it easy for instructors to upload and use these materials in LMS such as Blackboard, Angel, Moodle, Canvas, and Desire2Learn.
    • Transition Guide provides a chapter-by-chapter outline of key changes to the seventh edition.
Student Study Site
SAGE edge for Students provides a personalized approach to help students accomplish their coursework goals in an easy-to-use learning environment.
  • Mobile-friendly eFlashcards strengthen understanding of key terms and concepts.
  • Mobile-friendly practice quizzes allow for independent assessment by students of their mastery of course material.
  • A customized online action plan includes tips and feedback on progress through the course and materials, which allows students to individualize their learning experience.
  • Chapter summaries with learning objectives reinforce the most important material.
  • Multimedia content includes links to video, audio, web, and data that appeal to students with different learning styles.
  • EXCLUSIVE! Access to certain full-text SAGE journal articles have been carefully selected for each chapter. Each article supports and expands on the concepts presented in the chapter. This feature also provides questions to focus and guide your interpretation.

“I am happier than ever with Keeping the Republic. Its accessibility and practical approach is very effective, and its emphasis on citizenship makes the book absolutely engaging for many of my students.” 

William Haltom
University of Puget Sound

Keeping the Republic is very balanced in presenting factual information and explaining how and why structure matters. It is also quite good meeting social science requirements by showing how various propositions can be fashioned into research questions. At the same time, KTR doesn’t slam freshman and sophomores with too much information. It contains a good balance of history, current events, social science, law, and basic structure.”

Eric Herzik
University of Nevada

“Barbour and Wright’s Keeping the Republic is the most comprehensive, accessible text for my students, with strong supplemental ancillaries that help them get information on specific topics quickly. My students react very positively to the book.” 

Shoua Yang
St. Cloud State University
Key features


  • Updated throughout to account for recent developments including:
    • Coverage of the implementation of the Affordable Care Act;
    • Scrutiny of the later years of the Obama administration;
    • Analysis of the outcome of the 2014 midterm elections and the battle for control of the Senate;
    • Examination of the current debates on immigration reform, gun ownership, same-sex marriage, and the legalization of marijuana;
    • Discussion around the continued politics of polarization;
    • Coverage of contemporary civil rights and liberties issues including the Supreme Court’s ruling in the Hobby Lobby case and its decision to throw out the 1965 Voting Rights Act’s preclearance requirement, the controversy over Edward Snowden, and the continuing debate over “stop and frisk”;
    • Assessment of President Obama’s record on the environment;
    • Exploration of today’s American economy, which continues to struggle with unemployment, the debate over the minimum wage, a rising federal deficit, and questions over just how well the influx of federal stimulus money helped states to recover from the Great Recession; and
    • Foreign policy coverage of the shifting U.S.-Russian relationship and growing concern over cybersecurity.
  • New The Big Picture graphics present rich, poster-worthy displays that focus on a key element in each chapter, complementing the text with an infographic that grabs students’ attention and broadens their understanding of big processes, big concepts, and big data. 
  • New 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 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 content appearing at the end of every chapter.
  • New What’s at Stake features look at the challenges of passing immigration reform, the legalization of marijuana, the regulation of gun ownership, how far is too far in the president’s reach of executive power, and whether efforts to stimulate the economy during the Great Recession paid off.
  • New Profiles in Citizenship author interviews with New Mexico’s Governor Susana Martinez, political consultant and former presidential advisor David Axelrod, and Jaime Schmidt of the National Park Service.
  • New CLUES to Critical Thinking readings include a piece from The Hill on Medicaid expansion and an FDA blog on why regulation matters with CLUES questions that help form the habit of critical reading and analysis.
  • New Chapter-ending resources offer a more contextual learning experience including new student Engage sections with a political to-do list that includes activities ranging from armchair to downloading particular apps, to grass-roots lobbying of their elected officials.

Sample Materials & Chapters

Chapter 4

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ISBN: 9781483352725