Political Science Education and the Profession

The American Government Textbook: Looking Beyond Pluralism

Adam Hoffman Salisbury University
In this study, I look at 15 introductory American government textbooks to assess the degree to which they move beyond traditional models of pluralism and toward a more critical approach of one that reflects recent scholarship. I find that the great majority of texts, perhaps fearing that a more critical approach would lead to political and civic disengagement by undergraduates, present an overly idealized version of American government and politics.