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New CQ Press text uses real-life stories to engage students in the study of American politics

April 5, 2017

A new American Government textbook harnesses the power of narrative for teaching students American politics and processes – from the nation’s founding to the current political environment. With inspiring stories about a mix of historical and lesser-known individuals such as Martin Luther King Jr., Edward Snowden, and the individuals involved in Occupy Wall Street, American Government: Stories of a Nation, by Scott Abernathy, is available today from CQ Press (a SAGE Publishing imprint).

American Government: Stories of a Nation begins and ends with one central premise: all of our stories matter,” commented Professor Abernathy. “They matter to our teaching and learning; not only by encouraging students to read and read deeply, but also by bringing the diversity of students’ lived experiences into the exploration of American government and politics. I wrote this book to bring all of my students’ voices into conversations that we need to have.”

Each chapter includes a section that links the stories in the text to core political science concepts they illustrate. Designed to make political science concepts relevant and memorable for students, the stories focus on individuals who have influenced American government or hold beliefs that challenge conventional wisdom.

“Scott’s approach to teaching American government is both unique and incredibly effective because of his expertise as a political scientist, his dynamic personal experiences, and his captivating storytelling ability as an author and instructor,” commented Michel Sordi, Senior Vice President and Head of U.S. College at SAGE Publishing. “Our editors noted from the first draft that he could craft a great story with drama and pace while simultaneously showing students how political science ideas and concepts are applied in the real world of politics and impact a range of different political actors. SAGE is thrilled to be publishing Abernathy’s impactful work, which includes a full suite of digital and multi-media resources to enhance the text.”

Scott Abernathy is an associate professor of Political Science and a University Distinguished Teaching Professor at the University of Minnesota. As an undergraduate, he volunteered for three months with Mother Theresa's Missionaries of Charity in Calcutta, India and after graduation, he worked as an on-street counselor with homeless adolescents in Boston with a non-profit youth agency. Scott earned a Master of Curriculum and Instruction as well as an M.P.A in domestic policy to learn more about the underlying systems that drove the educational outcomes he was trying to change. He holds a Ph.D. in Politics from Princeton University.

The text covers the fundamentals of American politics, social movements, political institutions, and policy. It includes review sections and quizzes to help students master chapter goals and learning objectives, extract meaning from the stories, and develop critical thinking and data literacy skills. Additionally, a SAGE Coursepack for instructors integrates student and instructor resources into university learning management systems and includes robust assessment tools for review, practice, critical thinking, and measurement as well as chapter-specific discussion questions for classroom engagement.

View American Government: Stories of a Nation's contents, coursepackfeatures, and read sample chapters.

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American Government: Stories of a Nation

January 2017                              800 pages

ISBN: 978-14522-6798-2            Print Price: $115.00

eISBN: 978-15063-7845-9           

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 From now until May 1, 2017, college students who are currently taking a political science course can participate in a related essay contest for the chance to win cash prizes from $500 to $1,000. Winning essays will be published in the next edition of American Government: Stories of a Nation. Read the contest website and official rules for more information.

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Sara Miller McCune founded SAGE Publishing in 1965 to support the dissemination of usable knowledge and educate a global community. SAGE is a leading international provider of innovative, high-quality content publishing more than 1,000 journals and over 800 new books each year, spanning a wide range of subject areas. Our growing selection of library products includes archives, data, case studies and video. SAGE remains majority owned by our founder and after her lifetime will become owned by a charitable trust that secures the company’s continued independence. Principal offices are located in Los Angeles, London, New Delhi, Singapore, Washington DC and Melbourne. 

CQ Press, an imprint of SAGE, is a leading publisher of books, reference content, periodicals, and digital products on American government, public policy, and international affairs. Known for its objectivity and breadth and depth of coverage, CQ Press consistently ranks among the top academic and professional publishers for its high-quality content and scholarship. CQ Press was founded with the mission of promoting democracy through education and joined the SAGE family in 2008.


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