This is the most authoritative book on the market today about American government; its impeccable scholarship and distinguished author team enable readers to understand how the American political system works. Its accompanying CD-ROM ties multimedia-based simulations to most chapters, making political situations come alive. Crucial updated material in this edition includes discussion of challenges to American institutions post 9/11, providing readers with a context in understanding the impacts of these recent events. In-depth coverage of the following topics make for a most interesting read: constitutional principles, the political process, policy-making institutions, rights and liberties, and the politics of national policy (economic, social, foreign, and defense). An excellent reader for those interested in American government; the comprehensive appendices and glossary, as well as the wealth of information contained in the book, make this a necessary desk reference for anyone involved in government or governmental affairs, including those in the political arena.