Politics are important to us, both as an area of study and in a practical sense. We were drawn to teaching for both reasons. We have been teaching American Government, and Political Science courses for about three decades. What we have noticed in our years of teaching is that too often American Government textbooks are too focused on the details of how government works and not engaged enough with the details of why a robust, deliberative democracy such as ours is a social force worthy of study and reflection. While we are very interested in making sure students understand the mechanics and the theories of politics in America, we also want to engage our students with the history, public policies and mass movements which we believe are at the heart of a potent democratic society. We believe an educated, engaged, curious, activist public is the lifeblood of any democratic society. This text was not solely written to inform students on the workings of American government. We put this book together in an effort to advance both our passion for teaching government and our commitment to the continued advancement of America’s democratic experiment.
This textbook is an attempt to critically, and with hope and optimism, engage students who are taking an Introduction to American Government course, as either a “free elective” or a core course in their political or social science degree program. We have worked hard to make this textbook interesting. We would like to think we have been somewhat successful.
We would like to thank the hundreds, maybe thousands of students who have helped us figure how to best engage, and make interesting the study of American government. We would also like to thank those who have been instrumental in shaping this text including Isa Vasquez, Hisseine Faradj, Jawied Nawabi, Markese Wider, and Robin Miller.
In closing, this is a work in progress. It has been copyrighted and made available through Manifold because we wish to share our view on how we might make Introduction to American Government dynamic and engaging. If you find this text interesting, confounding, or not quite what you would have liked please find a way to share your reflections with us. The work is ours but it is also yours, much like the nation we strive to make better every day.
The authors can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org
The Political Imagination: An Introduction to American Government©
Cover Images: Amy Novotney. “Nursing Home Firms Snag High-Powered Lobbyists.” McKnight's Senior Living, 18 Aug. 2020, www.mcknightsseniorliving.com/home/news/business-daily-news/nursing-home-firms-snag-high-powered-lobbyists/; “Tattered American Flag Metal Wall Art,” Pin-ups for Vets Store, https://pinupsforvets.mybigcommerce.com/tattered-american-flag-metal-wall-art/