Political Power in America: Class Conflict and the Subversion of Democracy

SUNY Press
Free sample

Introduction to American politics that provides a critical examination of both political institutions and political behavior.


Analyzing major political institutions such as Congress, the courts, the presidency, and the media, this book chronicles how the interests of affluent Americans—particularly business, professional, and corporate interests—dominate over those of “average” citizens. Anthony R. DiMaggio examines American political behavior, as it relates to lobbying, citizen activism, media consumption, and voting, to demonstrate how the public is often misinformed and manipulated regarding major political and economic matters. However, record public distrust of the government and the increasing popularity of mass protests suggest that most Americans are deeply unhappy with the political status quo, and many are willing to fight for change. Political Power in America details this interplay between a political system dominated by the affluent few and the rise of mass political distrust and protest. It offers information and tools needed to better understand the democratic deficit in American politics, while providing opportunities for discussing what we might do to address the mounting crisis of declining democracy.


“An original and refreshing introductory text on the United States political system. The originality, coupled with an accessibility of critical concepts, makes this book truly one of a kind.” — Mark Major, author of The Unilateral Presidency and the News Media: The Politics of Framing Executive Power

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About the author

Anthony R. DiMaggio is Assistant Professor of Political Science at Lehigh University. He is the author of The Politics of Persuasion: Economic Policy and Media Bias in the Modern Era and Selling War, Selling Hope: Presidential Rhetoric, the News Media, and U.S. Foreign Policy since 9/11, both published by SUNY Press.

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Additional Information

Publisher
SUNY Press
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Published on
Dec 1, 2019
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Pages
512
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ISBN
9781438476957
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Language
English
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Genres
History / United States / General
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Content Protection
This content is DRM protected.
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Read Aloud
Available on Android devices
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Eligible for Family Library

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 Details how presidents utilize mass media to justify foreign policy objectives in the aftermath of 9/11.
Modern presidents have considerable power in selling U.S. foreign policy objectives to the public. In Selling War, Selling Hope, Anthony R. DiMaggio documents how presidents often make use of the media to create a positive informational environment that, at least in the short term, successfully builds public support for policy proposals. Using timely case studies with a focus on the Arab Spring and the U.S. “War on Terror” in the Middle East and surrounding regions, DiMaggio explains how official spin is employed to construct narratives that are sympathetic to U.S. officialdom. The mass media, rather than exhibiting independence when it comes to reporting foreign policy issues, is regularly utilized as a political tool for selling official proposals. The marginalization of alternative, critical viewpoints poses a significant obstacle to informed public deliberations on foreign policy issues. In the long run, however, the packaging of official narrative and its delivery by the media begins to unravel as citizens are able to make use of alternative sources of information and assert their independence from official viewpoints.

“Selling War, Selling Hope is an innovative project that pushes the fields of political science, political communication, public opinion, and presidential rhetoric into new and exciting directions. This book is essential reading.” — Mark Major, author of The Unilateral Presidency and the News Media: The Politics of Framing Executive Power

“This eye-opening exposition offers a radical new conclusion to the debate over why Americans oppose wars: Americans oppose particular wars for moral reasons. By capturing the wide range of presidential rhetoric from fear to hope, DiMaggio documents the depths plumbed by political and other elites to manipulate the American public to support the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq. In order to counteract American citizens’ moral opposition to war, political elites manipulate citizens’ fears into support for war by giving them hope, but the policies they choose, more often than not, lead to more war and reason for fear which creates a vicious cycle: fear—hope—war. The challenge we face is to break through the noise and the manipulation of political, economic, and military elites. DiMaggio offers us a way to see clearly.” — Amentahru Wahlrab, University of Texas at Tyler
The #1 New York Times bestseller from David McCullough, two-time winner of the Pulitzer Prize—the dramatic story-behind-the-story about the courageous brothers who taught the world how to fly—Wilbur and Orville Wright.

On a winter day in 1903, in the Outer Banks of North Carolina, two brothers—bicycle mechanics from Dayton, Ohio—changed history. But it would take the world some time to believe that the age of flight had begun, with the first powered machine carrying a pilot.

Orville and Wilbur Wright were men of exceptional courage and determination, and of far-ranging intellectual interests and ceaseless curiosity. When they worked together, no problem seemed to be insurmountable. Wilbur was unquestionably a genius. Orville had such mechanical ingenuity as few had ever seen. That they had no more than a public high school education and little money never stopped them in their mission to take to the air. Nothing did, not even the self-evident reality that every time they took off, they risked being killed.

In this “enjoyable, fast-paced tale” (The Economist), master historian David McCullough “shows as never before how two Ohio boys from a remarkable family taught the world to fly” (The Washington Post) and “captures the marvel of what the Wrights accomplished” (The Wall Street Journal). He draws on the extensive Wright family papers to profile not only the brothers but their sister, Katharine, without whom things might well have gone differently for them. Essential reading, this is “a story of timeless importance, told with uncommon empathy and fluency…about what might be the most astonishing feat mankind has ever accomplished…The Wright Brothers soars” (The New York Times Book Review).
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