Completely revised and updated to take full account of the most recent and dramatic changes in the nature of American government, the sixth edition provides a clear and concise introduction to US politics for all students of political science and American studies. Explains, analyses and interprets the processes of US government and, crucially, appraises them from a non-US perspective. Includes commentary on the 2004 presidential election. Fills in the social background to American political and economic life, preparing the ground for the central discussion of the book: the institutions of the federal government, Congress, the Supreme Court and the Constitution, the federal system, the Presidency, the party bandwagons and the electoral system. Reduced emphasis on limited government and greater emphasis on foreign and domestic policy linked into the War on Terror. Reworked throughout to reflect recent developments, with two completely new chapters on The Media and American Politics, and The Security State. Supported by a website, www.blackwellpublishing.com/mckay, including information on the book; its detailed contents; the author; controversies; sample chapters; selected tables; related titles; and links to other web resources. It will be regularly updated to ensure teachers and students have access to the most recent data.