American Government (textbook)

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
American Government: Institutions and Policies
American Government, Tenth Edition.jpg
American Government, Tenth Edition
Author James Q. Wilson
John J. DiIulio, Jr.
Meena Bose
Country United States
Language English
Subject American Government
Genre History
Publisher Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
Publication date
1 January 2012
Pages 688
ISBN 0-618-56244-3
OCLC 61717399

American Government is a textbook, now in its fourteenth edition, a by the noted public administration scholar James Q. Wilson and political scientist John J. DiIulio, Jr.. DiIulio is a Democrat who served as the director of the White House Office of Faith-Based and Community Initiatives under president George W. Bush in 2001. Wilson, a Republican, has chaired and participated in numerous White House task forces and commissions, and was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom by president George W. Bush in 2003. The book examines and analyzes the government of the United States, covering every aspect of government from elections to interest groups. It is currently published by Houghton Mifflin.

This book is currently used in both college and Advanced Placement high school courses across the United States. The book is roughly 780 pages and includes the U.S. Constitution, U.S. Bill of Rights, outcomes of various elections throughout American history, and famous court cases. It is accompanied by a companion website that features practice test questions and detailed explanations on each chapter.


The textbook became an item of national news coverage in April 2008. Matthew LaClair, a New Jersey high school senior expressed concerns to a think tank, the Center for Inquiry, regarding what he felt was conservative[1] bias in the textbook, specifically inaccuracies about its coverage of global warming.[2] He wrote an opinion piece in the Los Angeles Times.[3] The group issued a critical report on the textbook.[4] The group's criticism of the coverage on climate was buttressed by a few scientists and then additional criticism from legal scholars, who claimed the book presented a skewed view of separation of church and state. The publisher, Houghton Mifflin, announced that it would review the book,[5] as did the College Board, which oversees college-level Advanced Placement courses used in high schools.[2]

Wilson responded to the complaint in an editorial[1] by arguing both that the text is not unduly biased and that dispute with regard to global warming is considerable.


  1. ^ a b Wilson, James (2008-04-27). "Quit twisting my words: An American government textbook author defends his work against allegations of conservative bias.". Los Angeles Times. Archived from the original on 2011-08-11. Retrieved 2008-04-27. 
  2. ^ a b Zuckerbrod, Nancy (2008-03-08). "Student Sees Problems With H.S. Text". Associated Press. Archived from the original on 2008-04-16. Retrieved 2008-04-27. 
  3. ^ LaClair, Matthew (2008-03-27). "Give me the lesson without the spin". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 2008-04-27. 
  4. ^ "CFI Textbook Critique" (PDF). The Center for Inquiry. 2008-04-09. Retrieved 2008-05-04. 
  5. ^ Revkin, Andrew (2008-04-10). "A Textbook Case of Downplaying Global Warming?". The New York Times. The New York Times Company. Retrieved 2008-04-27. 

External links[edit]