New Product Review: W. W. Norton American Politics Today

W. W. Norton’s American Politics Today, 5th AP Edition, is a comprehensive product that supports instruction in Advanced Placement (AP) U.S. Government and Politics courses. Content is available in print and digital formats. Instruction explores concepts and issues in government and politics through the lens of contemporary American events (e.g., the 2016 presidential campaign election). The discussion emphasizes the critical roles of conflict and compromise in American political life, and how individuals and choices shape political behavior and outcomes. Learning List recently reviewed digital resources.

American Politics Today is organized in four parts: (1) Foundations, (2) Politics, (3) Institutions, and (4) Policy. Across parts, three “key ideas” anchor the text’s discussions: politics is conflictual, political processes matter, and politics is everywhere. Chapters include a set of features designed to engage student interest, connect content to their lives, and facilitate understanding of sometimes complex concepts. Some features include: [Read more…]

  • “How It Works: In Theory” presents a graphic that illustrates and explains a political concept, such as the system of checks and balances. A corresponding “How It Works: In Practice” describes and illustrates a real-world application of the theory.
  • “What Do the Numbers Say?” presents real-world quantitative data for students to read, analyze, and interpret (e.g., longitudinal data on government spending and the federal debt).
  • “Why Should I Care?” provides short explanations of events and decisions that clarify how politics influences students’ own lives and experiences.
  • “Take a Stand” explores both sides of a political issue or policy question, such as whether the Constitution has a fixed meaning or whether it is a flexible document that should be interpreted in the context of the current time (i.e., the originalism vs. living document debate).

Chapters end with a conclusion and a “Study Guide” feature. Study Guides restate the chapter’s learning goals, present a summary of key content, a list of highlighted vocabulary and terms, a set of multiple-choice check for understanding questions, and free-response questions.

About W. W. Norton*

Now, in its 90th year and with an annual list of 400 titles, W. W. Norton is a global company, its familiar seagull logo appearing on books in the United States, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Taiwan, Hong Kong, Japan, Korea, and Latin America. Though the Norton of today is international in scope, there is much about the company that would remain recognizable to its founders: the editorial quality of the books, the rigorously anti-corporate style, and above all the shared sense of purpose that flourishes when all employees have a stake in the success of their firm.

*Information in this section is provided by or adapted from W.W. Norton.