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This comprehensive text is known for its exciting writing style and its positive, forward-looking presentation of the latest developments in scholarship and real-life politics. Through the use of engaging narrative, "The American Democracy" weaves together theory, information, and examples in ways that highlight key points, make them easy to understand, and capture readers' interest..
As the journalist Walter Lippmann noted nearly a century ago, democracy falters "if there is no steady supply of trustworthy and relevant news." Today's journalists are not providing it. Too often, reporters give equal weight to facts and biased opinion, stir up small controversies, and substitute infotainment for real news. Even when they get the facts rights, they often misjudge the context in which they belong. Information is the lifeblood of a healthy democracy. Public opinion and debate suffer when citizens are misinformed about current affairs, as is increasingly the case. Though the failures of today's communication system cannot be blamed solely on the news media, they are part of the problem, and the best hope for something better. Patterson proposes "knowledge-based journalism" as a corrective. Unless journalists are more deeply informed about the subjects they cover, they will continue to misinterpret them and to be vulnerable to manipulation by their sources. In this book, derived from a multi-year initiative of the Carnegie Corporation and the Knight Foundation, Patterson calls for nothing less than a major overhaul of journalism practice and education. The book speaks not only to journalists but to all who are concerned about the integrity of the information on which America's democracy depends.
Why are our politicians almost universally perceived as liars? What made candidate Bill Clinton's draft record more newsworthy than his policy statements? How did George Bush's masculinity, Ronald Reagan's theatrics with a microphone, and Walter Mondale's appropriation of a Wendy's hamburger ad make or break their presidential campaigns?Ever since Watergate, says Thomas E. Patterson, the road to the presidency has led through the newsrooms, which in turn impose their own values on American politics. The results are campaigns that resemble inquisitions or contests in which the candidates' game plans are considered more important than their goals. Lucid and aphoristic, historically informed and as timely as a satellite feed, Out of Order mounts a devastating inquest into the press's hijacking of the campaign process -- and shows what citizens and legislators can do to win it back.From the Trade Paperback edition.
This student study guide is written to accompany the political science text book 'We the People', Fifth Edition, by Thomas E. Patterson. It is designed to assist the student get the most benefit from the Patterson text and the American government course. This comprehensive book provides a lively narrative introduction to American government and politics. The presentation delves deeper into the basics and each of the 17 chapters concludes with a reading selection.
From the award-winning author ofOut of Order--named the best political science book of the last decade by the American Political Science Association--comes this landmark book about why Americans don't vote. Based on more than 80,000 interviews,The Vanishing Voterinvestigates why--despite a better educated citizenry, the end of racial barriers to voting, and simplified voter registration procedures--the percentage of voters has steadily decreased to the point that the United States now has nearly the lowest voting rate in the world. Patterson cites the blurring of differences between the political parties, the news media's negative bias, and flaws in the election system to explain this disturbing trend while suggesting specific reforms intended to bring Americans back to the polls. Astute, far-reaching, and impeccably researched,The Vanishing Voterengages the very meaning of our relationship to our government.
Patterson (government and the press, Harvard U.) introduces undergraduates to everything from the core values of governance to the subtleties of media interpretation. Updating his text to reflect significant events, Patterson delineates American political and media culture for first-timers through examples, readings, and descriptions of such topics as political power as control of policy, the rise of self-government, federalism today, civil liberties and the individual, civil tights and fairness, expressing popular will, issues v. candidates, communicating political images, the workings of congress and the presidency, the judicial arm, and what happens to the environment, education, and defense when government gets hold of them. Love it or not, at least now you will understand it.
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