Tuesday, January 20, 2009

American Government 2008 or The Working Poor

American Government 2008: Continuity and Change

Author: Karen OConnor

American Government
Continuity and Change
2006 Edition • Election Update
Karen O’Connor • Larry J. Sabato

Written with the belief that students must first understand how American government has evolved to fully understand our nation and the issues facing it today, the 2006 Election Update of American Government: Continuity and Change continues to offer students a rich historical perspective complemented by complete coverage of the 2006 midterm elections and the most up-to-date scholarship available in any text for the American government course.


  • In-depth and updated coverage throughout of the 2006 midterm campaigns and elections, the war in Iraq, the latest Supreme Court decisions, an analysis of “Red and Blue” America, the changing role of the media, and topics that have been subject to ongoing, impassioned debates, such as the assault weapons ban, gay rights, the Partial Birth Abortion Ban, and affirmative action.
  • New The Living Constitution boxes appear in every chapter. These boxes excerpt and explain a portion of the Constitution relevant to that chapter’s topic and examine why that article, section, or amendment was important to the Framers and continues to be important today.
  • An Annotated Constitution of the United States appears between Chapters 2 and 3. The Constitution is integrated with a detailed primer that examines the meaning and context of its most significant language. This feature helps give students a deep understanding of what the Constitution says, why it includes the text it does, andwhat role this seminal document plays in our lives today.
  • On Campus boxes now appear in most chapters and continue to focus on the political issues of greatest interest to college students.


Welcome to MyPoliSciLab, where participation leads to action!

MyPoliSciLab is a state-of-the-art, interactive and instructive online solution for the introduction to American government course. Designed to be used as a supplement to a traditional lecture course, or completely administer an online course, MyPoliSciLab combines multimedia, tutorials, simulations, tests, and quizzes to make teaching and learning fun!

What Students Are Saying About Online Exams and Quizzes:

“I love it. I keep trying until I get a perfect grade and after a couple of times you know the content like the back of your hand!”

“I liked being able to view the results of the quizzes immediately instead of having to wait for them to be graded by the instructor.”

What Students Are Saying About Online Activities:

“The activities were my favorite part of the course. They took a different approach to an interesting subject and made it more applicable to real-life situations. This made the subject seem even more real than before.”

“I think they are a great tool to get students to interact with the material in a way you couldn’t really do in class.”

Visit us at ablongman.com/polisci


This updated edition includes the results of the 2000 presidential and Congressional elections, as well as information on the primaries and general campaign. O'Connor (government, American U.) and Sabato (government and foreign affairs, U. of Virginia) present 19 chapters that discuss the foundations and institutions of government, political behavior, and public policy. In each chapter, boxed information compares and contrasts some aspect of American politics to that of other industrial democracies. Includes many color and b&w illustrations. The included CD-ROM contains the full text of the book as well as audio, video, web links, practice tests, and more. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)

Table of Contents:
1The Political Landscape2
2The Constitution30
4Civil Liberties86
5Civil Rights116
7The Presidency180
8The Bureaucracy212
9The Judiciary236
10Public Opinion and the News Media270
11Political Parties and Interest Groups306
12Campaigns, Voting, and Elections340
Policy Portfolio381
IThe Declaration of Independence391
IIThe Constitution of the United States of America394
IIIThe Federalist No. 10407
IVThe Federalist No. 51413
VPresidents, Congresses, and Chief Justices: 1789-1997417

Book review: Negócio Internacional:Estratégia, Gestão, e as Novas Realidades

The Working Poor: Invisible in America

Author: David K Shipler

“Nobody who works hard should be poor in America,” writes Pulitzer Prize winner David Shipler. Clear-headed, rigorous, and compassionate, he journeys deeply into the lives of individual store clerks and factory workers, farm laborers and sweat-shop seamstresses, illegal immigrants in menial jobs and Americans saddled with immense student loans and paltry wages. They are known as the working poor.

They perform labor essential to America’s comfort. They are white and black, Latino and Asian--men and women in small towns and city slums trapped near the poverty line, where the margins are so tight that even minor setbacks can cause devastating chain reactions. Shipler shows how liberals and conservatives are both partly right–that practically every life story contains failure by both the society and the individual. Braced by hard fact and personal testimony, he unravels the forces that confine people in the quagmire of low wages. And unlike most works on poverty, this book also offers compelling portraits of employers struggling against razor-thin profits and competition from abroad. With pointed recommendations for change that challenge Republicans and Democrats alike, The Working Poor stands to make a difference.

The New York Times

As a witness Mr. Shipler is indefatigable. Interviewing cashiers and seamstresses, burger flippers and migrant workers a dozen or more times, he has gotten them to open up and share the grim realities of their lives … by exposing the wretched condition of these invisible Americans, he has performed a noble and badly needed service. — Michael Massing

The Washington Post

The Working Poor and Barbara Ehrenreich's Nickel and Dimed, a book that eloquently covers some of the same ground, should be required reading not just for every member of Congress, but for every eligible voter. Now that this invisible world has been so powerfully brought to light, its consequences can no longer be ignored or denied. — Eric Schlosser

Publishers Weekly

This guided and very personal tour through the lives of the working poor shatters the myth that America is a country in which prosperity and security are the inevitable rewards of gainful employment. Armed with an encyclopedic collection of artfully deployed statistics and individual stories, Shipler, former New York Times reporter and Pulitzer winner for Arab and Jew, identifies and describes the interconnecting obstacles that keep poor workers and those trying to enter the work force after a lifetime on welfare from achieving economic stability. This America is populated by people of all races and ethnicities, whose lives, Shipler effectively shows, are Sisyphean, and that includes the teachers and other professionals who deal with the realities facing the working poor. Dr. Barry Zuckerman, a Boston pediatrician, discovers that landlords do nothing when he calls to tell them that unsafe housing is a factor in his young patients' illnesses; he adds lawyers to his staff, and they get a better response. In seeking out those who employ subsistence wage earners, such as garment-industry shop owners and farmers, Shipler identifies the holes in the social safety net. "The system needs to be straightened out," says one worker who, in 1999, was making $6.80 an hour-80 cents more than when she started factory work in 1970. "They need more resources to be able to help these people who are trying to help themselves." Attention needs to be paid, because Shipler's subjects are too busy working for substandard wages to call attention to themselves. They do not, he writes, "have the luxury of rage." 40,000 first printing. (Feb. 6) Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information.

Edna Boardman - KLIATT

When customers are served by associates in a store or restaurant, enter a freshly cleaned hotel room, or choose freshly picked foods at the grocery store, they benefit from the labor of the working poor. Shipler has interviewed persons of many colors and ethnicities to put together a picture of what their lives are like. He notes the effect on their lives of kinship groups, corporations, social attitudes, emergencies, job training programs, family dysfunction, foreign competition, and other impacts. He is chary of theories and ideologies that would put them in neat categories and of judgments that assign blame for their poverty. He looks at the decisions individuals have made (or not made), and the policies and blocks, public and private, that bar access to better living standards. The book is well written, the anecdotes revealing; Shipler does better than most at putting a human face on the statistics that list those who live on the lowest wages in the US. KLIATT Codes: SA—Recommended for senior high school students, advanced students, and adults. 2004, Random House, Vintage, 329p. notes. index., Ages 15 to adult.

Library Journal

A book by a Pulitzer Prize winner (Arab and Jew), with an announced first printing of 40,000 copies by a prestigious trade publisher and prepub kudos by Bill Bradley and Robert Reich, is sure to capture a certain amount of media attention. If this happens, it will be well deserved. Shipler is informed and impassioned about the plight of the surprisingly diverse and numerous Americans who work but still walk the official poverty line. This conundrum is complex and rife with interlocking problems, including dead-end jobs that offer little or no healthcare benefits and depressing home and workplace environments. Not the least of these burdens is the widely held belief that poverty is related to indolence. Shipler takes a many-faceted view of this Sisyphean bind, and in his final chapter, "Skill and Will," he offers some thoughts on solutions. His writing style is highly effective and often moving, such as when he notes that our forgotten wage earners engage in "a daily struggle to keep themselves from falling over the cliff." Recommended for all collections. [Previewed in Prepub Alert, LJ 10/1/03.]-Ellen D. Gilbert, Princeton, NJ Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information.

Kirkus Reviews

A damning report on poverty in America. In The Mystery of Capital (2000), economist Hernando de Soto wondered why the Third World's poor lack the fungible assets that their American counterparts hold-assets that keep them from being, well, so poor. Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Shipler (A Country of Strangers, 1997) reveals that this may be illusory: for many of the men and women he portrays here, any property of worth has been mortgaged and remortgaged, and when it is sold, often in a hurry and for less than it's worth, any proceeds go to paying down the mountains of debt that the poor accumulate. These American poor-natives and immigrants alike-"suffer in good times and bad," writes Shipler. They are sometimes the victims of addiction, ignorance, and bad choices; in most instances, however, the working poor are single mothers and single wage-earners with several children and few options. The larger culture misunderstands the causes of poverty, Shipler argues, "and is therefore uncertain about the solutions," though the solutions are there: in a surprising moment, a Wal-Mart manager in rural New England reveals that the store could easily afford to pay its employees two dollars an hour more. (One of his interview subjects made $6 an hour in a Vermont factory in the mid-1970s; 25 years later, now a Wal-Mart clerk, she was up to $6.80.) Traveling from big box stores to Los Angeles sweatshops to farms to public-housing projects, Shipler offers memorable portraits of the women and men who figure as afterthoughts in just about every politician's vision of the American future-even though, Shipler notes, had the poor voted, Al Gore would have been swept into office in 2000: "an upsurge inlow-income numbers would have overcome even Florida's biased registration and balloting system." A sobering work of investigation, as incisive-and necessary-as kindred reports by Michael Harrington, Jacob Riis, and Barbara Ehrenreich. First printing of 40,000. Agency: ICM

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