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“Abernathy's American Government: Stories of a Nation is a text which effectively uses a narrative approach to present both the nuts and bolts of how government works in America, as well as weaving that content into the fabric of students' lives. Students are drawn into the stories, would find them compelling and interesting, and would want to learn more. It would excite students about government in America, which is a virtue in and of itself, as often students find the subject boring or politics as unrelated to their lives.
“I think this approach is amazing.”
“The book has ‘energy’. It engages the student while providing the fundamentals of American Government.”
“A refreshing change of pace.”
“Well-written, detailed, comprehensive.”
“A very comprehensive American government text that seeks, identifies and accomplishes the task of understanding American government and its associated principles in a clear and cogent manner.”
“The student is treated as a serious reader without pretentious jargon.”
“This narrative-style textbook functions as a powerful medium of learning, development, and transformation. It will help our students improve their critical thinking skills.”
“Very timely, readable, and thorough.”
“This book not only conveys important information about how the U.S. political system works, but is actually enjoyable to read.”
“It is dynamic, compelling and written in a way that will be easy for students to understand.”
“I like the writing style – it’s accessible and engaging. That’s a stark contrast with most Intro American politics books.”
“I applaud Chapter 1’s focus on political culture. One of my favorite outcomes from teaching this class is to hear a student say that s/he has a newfound ability to participate in adult conversations about historical and political topics after taking the class. This chapter reinforces that point.”
“I like the narrative approach. It would work with my teaching style, which is narrative-based as well. I tell lots of stories and try to get students to engage with underlying principles rather than just to learn basic factual content. I like that the book is written in a way that elicits thinking, rather than just fact acquisition. It’s certainly better than most texts I’ve looked at.”
“I really enjoyed the Abernathy book. I think it would work well with the way I teach the subject. I tend to take an institutional approach and be a bit heavy on the history side—how we got this way. Abernathy’s approach would go well with that.”
“Scott Abernathy really knows his stuff and he writes clearly. He really captures a lot of the subtlety of the institutions and processes, and describes them in a clear, coherent way. When he discusses congressional procedure, for example, it is clear that he is a veteran teacher.”
“I like that Abernathy’s text, given its twin focus on narratives and inclusivity, is broad enough to permit each individual instructor to attach his or her preferred intellectual architecture to the text. For example, a student of behavior or institutions could emphasize that element of Abernathy’s text in giving lectures or leading discussions. Similarly, someone operating in the APD tradition (like myself) or the rational choice tradition could use Abernathy’s narratives as vehicles for doing more historical or game-theoretic work with students.