10th Anniversary Edition of ‘The Basics of American Government’ Addresses 2020 Election and COVID-19

For immediate release
Elizabeth Odom

  • The fourth edition of The Basics of American Government marks the tenth anniversary of the no- and low-cost textbook.
  • Revisions address the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on public policy and opinion and the presidential election of 2020, among others.
  • New supplemental material includes a response from Georgia Governor Nathan Deal about his policies and decisions in office.
The Basics of American Government (4th ed.)
Edited by Carl D. Cavalli

Dahlonega, GA—March 9, 2022—In September 2021, The University of North Georgia (UNG) Press published the fourth edition of The Basics of American Government, edited by Carl D. Cavalli. The release of this revised edition marked the tenth anniversary of the textbook’s initial launch, which was spurred by the alarming rise in textbook costs and the lack of college-level scholarship found in most American Government texts. The price of the low-cost textbook hasn’t changed in ten years: paperback copies are available for $27.99, well below market standards. To provide more sustainable and equitable educational opportunities, the PDF is free to download from the UNG Press website.

Newly revised, The Basics of American Government offers a no-frills, low-cost, yet comprehensive overview of the American political system for students taking introductory courses in American national government and combines the best aspects of both a traditional textbook and a reader. Most chapters offer a piece of original scholarship as a case study bolstering the material in the chapter. Additionally, most chapters present a civic engagement-type exercise and discussion questions that are challenging and engaging, and help foster student participation in the political system.

Students across Georgia use The Basics of American Government, which was adopted by the University System of Georgia’s eCore for their American Government sections. Given recent events, most notably the 2020 presidential election and COVID-19 crisis, the textbook was due for an update. “Like most political and social science textbooks, we are looking to stay relevant,” Dr. Cavalli said. The fourth edition will examine noteworthy trends and changes in federal and state politics over the past four years:

  • The presidential election in November 2020 and resulting new administration
  • The pandemic’s polarizing impact on public opinion of the government
  • The rise of partisanship
  • Federal- and state-level policy changes
  • The entry and exit of significant political figures
  • New supplemental material regarding the 2018 gubernatorial election in Georgia and changes in the state’s public policy
  • Insights from Georgia Governor Nathan Deal on his public policies while in office, including his unexpected veto of Campus Carry in 2016

This book is a collaborative effort among five current and four former faculty members in the Department of Political Science & International Affairs and the Department of Criminal Justice, and a student contributor, at the University of North Georgia. Along with Dr. Cavalli, contributors to the 4th edition include Maria J. Albo, Ross C. Alexander, Barry D. Friedman, Craig B. Greathouse, Jonathan S. Miner, Brian M. Murphy, K. Michael Reese, Charles H. “Trey” Wilson III, and student contributor Mary Catherine Beutel.

The fourth edition of The Basics of American Government (978-1-940771-90-8) is a 6×9-inch perfect-bound paperback. Wholesalers can purchase copies from Ingram; individuals can order physical copies from their favorite bookstore or other major retailers. Free digital copies are available on the UNG Press website.

The UNG Press is a scholarly, peer-reviewed press that serves as an extension of our sponsoring university, the University of North Georgia. Our primary function is to promote education and research with a special emphasis on innovative scholarship and pedagogy. Through our partnership with Affordable Learning Georgia and eCore, the UNG Press is the leading press in Georgia for producing Open Educational Resources and Open Textbooks. ###

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