From campus protests to the Congress floor, the central feature of contemporary American politics is ideological polarization. In this concise, readable, but comprehensive text, Steven E. Schier and Todd E. Eberly introduce students to this contentious subject through an in-depth look at the ideological foundations of the contemporary American political machine of parties, politicians, the media, and the public.
Steven E. Schier is Dorothy H. and Edward C. Congdon Professor of Political Science at Carleton College, where he has taught the last thirty years. He also directs the Carleton in Washington program, an off-campus term of study he founded in 1983. Schier is the author or co-author of seven books, including Panorama of a Presidency: How George W. Bush Acquired and Spent His Political Capital (2008) which won an outstanding academic book award from Choice magazine. He has edited six books, including The Postmodern President: Bill Clinton's Legacy in U.S. Politics (2000) and High Risk and Big Ambition: The Presidency of George W. Bush (2004). Schier has written about Obama's election in his recent book The American Elections of 2008 (2008), coedited with Janet Box-Steffensmeier. His most recent works are the edited volumes Ambition and Division: Legacies of the George W. Bush Presidency (2009),Transforming America: Barack Obama in the White House (2011) and the thirteenth edition of Presidential Elections: Strategies and Structures of American Politics, coauthored with Nelson W. Polsby, Aaron Wildavsky and David A. Hopkins (2011). Todd Eberly is Chair of the Political Science at St. Mary's College of Maryland. He specializes in social welfare policy as well as partisanship and polarization in American politics. Professor Eberly's first book, American Government and Popular Discontent was released in June, 2013. His second book, The Rise of Ideology in America, is expected from Rowman and Littlefield in early 2016. He is an advisor to Project Vote Smart and his analysis and commentary have been featured in the Washington Post, the Baltimore Sun, Public Radio/Television, ABC and Fox News as well as Al Jazeera America and CTV. He has served as an expert witness in Voting Rights Act challenges to gerrymandered Congressional districts and has consulted with the centrist organization Third Way. He was named one of the most influential voices in Maryland politics by Campaigns and Elections magazine. In 2010, the St. Mary's College Student Government Association honored him with the Faculty Student Life Award. He lives in Southern MD with his wife and two daughters.