Kathleen's Reviews > The Democratic Debate: An Introduction to American Politics

The Democratic Debate by Bruce Miroff
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May 20, 13

bookshelves: academic, american-politics
Read in January, 2010

If I were looking for an American Politics textbook that I most agreed with, this would probably be it. The authors argue for more popular democracy and critique a number of institutions (political, social, and economic) that result in decreased democracy and control for everyday people and increased, unchecked rule by elites. And so, on a personal level, I think this is a fantastic book.

As a teacher, I am not sure that I would want to use this book. Because it is so critical, and because students have been so thoroughly socialized to expect "fair and balanced" information (even when one side's arguments are often not supported by evidence and rest on dubious assumptions), I would imagine that this book would turn many students off--making it more difficult to get them to engage in the critical thinking about the AP system.

It seems to me that a more middle-left textbook is a better solution, as it would frame issues in terms of justice, fairness, and citizen empowerment with out the potential for defensive reactions this book seems to pose.

However, the companion book, Debating Democracy, seems very useful in conjunction with a center-left book for providing opportunities for critique.
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