The Contours of American Politics: An Introduction
August 2002, Polity
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The Contours of American Politics takes a fresh look at the political culture of the United States. In its complexity and diversity, America fascinates. Its politics are brash and exciting, and its political impact upon the wider world is profound. This book examines not simply the mechanics of America's political system but also the ideas and principles that shape its values.
Drawing on a diverse range of interdisciplinary material, the book maps the landscape of contemporary American political culture and identity. It surveys the nation's past as a critical and formative influence upon its present. It argues that religious beliefs, together with patterns of immigration and migration westwards across the continent, create the landscape of America's contemporary political culture. Roper examines the "politics of nostalgia" the roots of American democracy, and the framework of the federal government. Other topics covered include the nature of political power, the influence of the media, the stratification of American society in terms of race, class and gender, and the cultural sensibilities that underpin foreign policy.
The Contours of American Politics is an excellent guide to the nation's political thinking, its attitudes and its political processes at the end of the "American Century" and at the beginning of the new millennium. It will be essential reading for undergraduates studying American Politics, American Culture, and International Relations.