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Approaching Democracy addresses the evolving nature of the American experiment in democratic government. It teaches students the theory and basics of American political science and the nation's political history. It provides the critical thinking skills needed to analyze these evolving relationships. Addressing a joint session of the U.S. Congress on February 1, 1990 Vaclav Havel, a former dissident Czech playwright once imprisoned by his country's Communist government and later elected president, said "As long as people are people, democracy, in the full sense of the word, will always be no more than an ideal. In this sense, you too are merely approaching democracy. But you have one great advantage: you have been approaching democracy uninterruptedly for more than two hundred years, and your journey toward the horizon has never been disrupted by a totalitarian system." Larry Berman and Bruce Allen Murphy are long-time teachers of the Introductory American Political Science course in both large and small public and private universities. Their goal was to write a book that offers a clear and relevant theme in an easily readable format. Both authors enjoy teaching students new methods to empower them to participate in political discourse. Teaching & Learning Experience Personalize Learning -MySearchLab with eText provides book-specific assessment, a full eText, and research and writing tools to help students improve their results. Explore Concepts and Current Events - The eighth edition includes coverage of the changes in the administration of Barack Obama since the 2010 congressional elections, the latest data, coverage of the effect of the Great Recession on American democracy and government, and much more. Improve Critical Thinking - A tiered system of short summaries and marginal questions appears throughout each chapter to help students master, apply, and analyze the material. Engage Students - An updated, cleaner design makes the book more accessible and user-friendly. "Test Yourself" quizzes at the end of each chapter provide students with opportunities to check their learning as they go. Emphasize Learning Outcomes - Each chapter is organized around learning objectives - posed as questions - to give students a precise understanding of the concepts they are meant to understand. Instructor Support - An Instructor's Resource Manual, MyTest Test Bank, PowerPoint slides, and Digital Transparency Masters are just some of the resources available for instructors. Learning Goals * Outline the foundations and evolution of the American democratic system. * Analyze current political events in the context of the American history.