Struggle for Democracy, The, 13th edition

Published by Pearson (April 13, 2021) © 2022

  • Edward S. Greenberg University of Colorado - Boulder
  • Benjamin I. Page Northwestern University


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For courses in American Government.

Examine how American democracy is developing

The Struggle for Democracy helps students decode the American political system and identify opportunities to make a difference. The authors present an accessible, evidence-based framework that shows how government, politics and the larger society are intertwined. Prompting students to make critical judgments, the authors pose the questions "How democratic are we?" and "Can government do anything well?"

The 2020 Presidential Election Edition offers coverage of recent major issues, including the 2020 presidential and congressional elections and the coronavirus pandemic.

Read a letter from the authors

Hallmark features of this title

  • The Applying the Framework model is a unique visual tool that maps out the many influences that shape the American political process. Building on the deep structures that underlie American government (the economy, society, political culture, and constitutional rules), this model fosters a holistic understanding of American politics.
  • A Using the Democracy Standard section presents a normative democracy "yardstick," and prompts students to assess the degree to which the US has become more or less democratic.
  • Chapter-opening stories show why the principal topic of the chapter matters to the citizens of our American democracy.
  • Timelines throughout the text clarify the chronology of a particular period and help students develop a sense of historical context.

New and updated features of this title

  • NEW: New and updated material covers important recent developments including the contentious 2020 national elections and the causes, and economic and political consequences, of the coronavirus pandemic within the US.
  • UPDATED: A substantially revised Chapter 6, The News Media, addresses emerging concerns about the role social media plays in the spread of information and misinformation.
  • UPDATED: A freshly revised Chapter 17, Domestic Policies, discusses the latest economic, social and environmental policy.
  • UPDATED: Fresh photos, with accompanying critical thinking questions, depict major events from the last few years and illustrate the relevance of politics in daily life.
  • UPDATED: Up-to-date data in all of the figures and tables helps students think critically about political decisions in retrospect and pending government action.
  • NEW: Final Thoughts on Recent Developments features provide brief descriptions and analysis of emerging consequential political stories that are tied to the topics discussed in each chapter, adding to the currency of the material in the text.

Highlights of the DIGITAL UPDATE for Revel (available for Spring 2023 classes)

Instructors, contact your sales rep to ensure you have the most recent version of the course.

  • UPDATED: The Digital Update has been thoroughly revised to incorporate political developments and scholarship since 2020, with new material on:
    • The contentious 2020 and 2022 national elections, with discussion of the consequences for Congress and the impact on the presidency
    • Important rulings by the Supreme Court on religious liberty, LGBTQ+ rights and gerrymandering
    • The changing relationships with America's traditional allies, and with North Korea, Iran, China and Russia
    • The growing partisan bitterness in Washington and across the nation
  • UPDATED: Pearson Originals for Political Science videos with new video quizzes illustrate complex concepts in a simplified, entertaining way.

Features of Revel for the 13th Edition; published 2021

  • UPDATED: Current Events Bulletins bring currency into your classroom with author-written articles that connect key concepts with current events. New or revised articles added regularly help students engage with the course.
  • Politics in Plain Sight videos show students how politics influences their daily activity.
  • So What? videos, Current Events videos, The Big Picture videos, Why It Matters videos and Common Ground videos illuminate key topics.


  1. Democracy and American Politics


  1. The Constitution
  2. Federalism. States and Nation
  3. The Structural Foundations of American Government and Politics


  1. Public Opinion
  2. The News Media
  3. Interest Groups and Business Power
  4. Social Movements
  5. Political Parties
  6. Voting, Campaigns, and Elections


  1. Congress
  2. The Presidency
  3. The Executive Branch
  4. The Courts


  1. Civil Liberties. The Struggle for Freedom
  2. Civil Rights. The Struggle for Political Equality
  3. Domestic Policies
  4. Foreign and National Defense Policies

About our authors

Edward S. Greenberg, senior author, is Professor Emeritus of Political Science and Research Professor of Behavioral Science at the University of Colorado, Boulder. Ed's research and teaching interests include American government and politics, domestic and global political economy, and democratic theory and practice, with a special emphasis on workplace issues. His multi-year longitudinal panel study, funded by the NIH, examining the impact of technological change and the globalization of production on Boeing managers and employees, is reported in more than a dozen journal articles and in his book Turbulence: Boeing and the State of American Workers and Managers (Yale University Press, 2010, co-authored with Leon Grunberg, Sarah Moore and Pat Sikora). He is currently doing research on the global competition between Boeing and Airbus and its impact on people who work in these firms.

David Doherty, co-author, is Associate Professor of Political Science at Loyola University Chicago. David's research and teaching interests focus on the role the public plays in the political process and how people want political processes to work. His research has appeared in top political science journals including the American Political Science Review, American Journal of Political Science, the Journal of Politics and other venues. He is currently completing work on a book that examines the role local party organizations play in the electoral process.

Scott L. Minkoff, co-author, is Associate Professor of Political Science at the State University of New York, New Paltz. Scott teaches courses on American government, public policy and research methods. His research interests focus on the geography of American politics and policy. His work has appeared in American Politics Research, Urban Affairs Review and Political Geography. Scott is also co-author of Politics on Display: Yard Signs and Politicization of Social Spaces, which was published by Oxford University Press in 2019.

Josh M. Ryan, co-author, is Associate Professor of Political Science at Utah State University. Josh's research focuses on American institutions, especially Congress, the president, state legislatures and executives, as well as electoral institutions. He teaches courses on American politics and research methods. His research has appeared in The Journal of Politics, Legislative Studies Quarterly and other venues. He is also the author of the book, The Congressional Endgame, published by the University of Chicago press in 2018.

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