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Understanding the US Government

By: Jennifer Nicoll Victor, The Great Courses
Narrated by: Professor Jennifer Nicoll Victor
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Publisher's summary

Whether we participate or not, government plays a deeply fundamental role in how we live. By gaining a clear grasp of political institutions, we’re better equipped to engage with government and politics; to be discerning consumers of news, media, and public opinion; and to grasp the deeper content and meaning of the legislation and policies we live with.

In these 24 refreshingly balanced lectures, Professor Victor presents a comprehensive examination of American politics in which she demystifies its many puzzles and offers a nonpartisan look at the outcomes it produces. You’ll delve into essential topics such as:

  • How the federal bureaucracy is organized. Learn how our bureaucracy breaks down into the 15 cabinet departments, the many independent governmental agencies, and the government corporations;
  • Intricacies of Congress and the legislature. Across three lectures, study how the House and Senate function and interact, how congressional bills are passed, and how congressional elections operate;
  • The politics of the Supreme Court. Investigate outside influences on the Court’s rulings, take account of judicial ideology within the Court, and witness the political and policy effects of the Court’s actions;
  • The challenge of campaign finance. Observe how organized interests maneuver around campaign finance laws, ensuring that a small group of people finance most of what happens during our elections;
  • Politics and the media. Track the phenomenon of political media as both information and entertainment, and grasp how our media environment is ripe for misinformation and conspiracy theories;
  • America’s deep political polarization. Take a rigorous look at how the United States has become more politically polarized than at any time in the past 140 years.

In Understanding the US Government, you’ll gain valuable insights for assessing the policies coming out of Washington, the news, the media, and the ongoing political dialogue that moves our democracy and shapes the actions of the United States on the world stage.

PLEASE NOTE: When you purchase this title, the accompanying PDF will be available in your Audible Library along with the audio.

©2020 The Great Courses (P)2020 The Teaching Company, LLC

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