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Keeping the Republic

Keeping the Republic
Power and Citizenship in American Politics

Eleventh Edition

January 2023 | 890 pages | CQ Press
Keeping the Republic, Eleventh Edition gives students the power to examine the narrative of what's going on in American politics, distinguish fact from fiction and balance from bias, and influence the message through informed citizenship. Christine Barbour and Gerald C. Wright draw students into the study of American politics, showing them how to think critically about “who gets what, and how” while exploring the twin themes of power and citizenship.

With students living through one of the most challenging periods in American life, this text is a much-needed resource to help them make sense of politics in America today and become savvy consumers of political information.
To the Student
About the Authors
Chapter 1: Politics: Who Gets What, and How?
Chapter 2: American Citizens and Political Culture
Chapter 3: Politics of the American Founding
Chapter 4: Federalism and the U.S. Constitution
Chapter 5: Fundamental American Liberties
Chapter 6: The Struggle for Equal Rights
Chapter 7: Congress
Chapter 8: The Presidency
Chapter 9: The Bureaucracy
Chapter 10: The American Legal System and the Courts
Chapter 11: Public Opinion
Chapter 12: Political Parties
Chapter 13: Interest Groups
Chapter 14: Voting, Campaigns, and Elections
Chapter 15: Media, Power, and Political Communication
Chapter 16: Social and Environmental Policy
Chapter 17: Economic Policy
Chapter 18: Foreign Policy
Appendix Material
Appendix 1: Articles of Confederation
Appendix 2: Declaration of Independence
Appendix 3: Constitution of the United States


Instructor Resources
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LMS cartridge included with this title for use in Blackboard, Canvas, Brightspace by Desire2Learn (D2L), and Moodle

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  • Test banks
  • Editable chapter-specific PowerPoint® slides
  • Sample course syllabi
  • Lecture notes
  • All tables and figures from the textbook
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You can still access the online resources for this title via the password-protected Instructor Resource Site.

"I have been using Barbour and Wright’s Keeping the Republic in my Introduction to American Politics classes for over a decade, and I will continue to do so for the foreseeable future. Keeping the Republic is engaging and approachable, and manages to cover a broad array of complex subjects without watering down the content.

I’ve assigned Barbour and Wright’s book in Intro to American Politics courses taught both at a research-oriented university, as well as at a teaching oriented regional university. Even with very different student bodies, it is a fantastic book for introducing students to the fundamentals of American politics, and then opening the door for in-depth class discussions on topics such as the role of mass media in shaping—and driving—public opinion in the United States. As a former attorney, I also appreciate the realistic overview of the day-to-day functioning of the American legal system!"

Salvatore J. Russo
California State University Dominguez Hills

"Responding to Benjamin Franklin’s answer to “what have you wrought”, Barbour and Wright expertly provide an outstanding guide for future citizens learning about governance and most importantly citizenship. A readable, logically developed text on American Government, the authors maintain the central theme of “We the People” – citizenship as the guardians of the great experiment. 

Interspersed with present-day examples, guided primary source analysis, and variant perspectives, Keeping the Republic is the go-to text for challenging students to think critically about every aspect of their government. Overall, an excellent balance of narrative and analytical materials for the emerging and engaged citizen." 

Gary Donato
Massachusetts Bay Community College

“In Keeping the Republic, Barbour and Wright present an extremely clear and accessible text for any introductory course on American politics. For the many students who come into the classroom with little preexisting knowledge about how the American political process works or what their place in it is, the text provides them with the core information they need as students and as citizens.

The What’s at Stake? features in each chapter help students understand why they should care about what they are reading; and how things like Congress, the courts, and political parties affect their lives and how they just may be able to affect politics themselves.”

Joel Kersting
Washington & Jefferson College

“With a focus on critical thinking, analysis, and evaluation, Keeping the Republic covers the essential topics for an American Politics course by effectively linking history and current events. The What’s at Stake? feature at the beginning and end of each chapter tells a story that brings abstract concepts to life so that students can appreciate how many ways our political system directly connects to their lives. Students also learn how to critically evaluate and analyze issues and political processes, as well as assess the actions taken by those in power.

There are many texts that explain the fundamental theories and concepts associated with American politics. Keeping the Republic not only helps students understand the complexity of the American political system, but it also provides the necessary tools for learning how to be active and engaged members of society.”

Alison Howard
Dominican University of California

Keeping the Republic is ideal for my political science courses at my university. Its graphics, charts, and infographics are useful for visual learners, the highlighted key expressions and “definition boxes” allow students to learn the terms lexically and to understand them in context, the supplementary lecture slides help students follow lectures and the tests are the best test teaching aid that saves time.”

Zaman Stanizai
California State University Dominguez Hills

“I had the pleasure of using Keeping the Republic in the American Government courses I taught at the College of Charleston from the fall of 2017 to the spring of 2019. Within a year of the 2016 presidential election, I was able to present students with a textbook containing detailed election content and weaving election results and data analysis together seamlessly with news reports, interviews, photographs, key political concepts, and historical content. Compelling infographics added legibility to the election data presented and kept students engaged by adding real-world context to traditional coverage of government and politics.”

Roneka Matheny

“Barbour and Wright’s long-standing textbook continually tells the story of American politics in a captivating, fun, and accessible way. I appreciate the detail given to special sections found within each chapter. These include the colorful and descriptive Big Picture inserts that focus students’ attention by displaying foundational concepts including the development of the Constitution, how a bill becomes a law, and the evolution of political parties in an attractive and visual format. The Don’t Be Fooled By features help students to consider important ideas prevalent in today’s digitized political world like big data, clickbait, and public opinion polls. 

Keeping the Republic gets top marks in my class for striking a balance between an approachable narrative and supplemental features that allow for reviewing central themes and ideas. It should be considered by all instructors looking to engage students more fully in their classroom.”

Austin Trantham
Saint Leo University