American Government: Institutions and Policies

From RationalWiki
Jump to navigation Jump to search
Great and terrible
Icon books.svg
On our shelf:
Writer's block

American Government: Institutions and Policies (ISBN 0618556621) is a textbook, now in its eleventh edition, used to inform students on the workings of government and matters involved with it.

The only trouble is that it was written by John Q. Wilson (a public administration scholar) and John J. DiIulio (a political scientist), both of whom are staunch conservatives (DiIulio even served on the White House Office of Faith-Based and Community Initiatives under former President George W. Bush).

Though written from a seemingly neutral standpoint, biases and factual inaccuracies are seen in several places, on such topics as global warming and the separation of church and state. This was made clear to the general public in April 2008 when a New Jersey high school senior mentioned the book's slant to the Center for Inquiry. The Center's report,[1] backed by scientists and legal scholars, was heavily critical, causing the book's publisher Houghton Mifflin and the College Board (as this book was being used in Advanced Placement classes) to review it. Wilson made a statement in an editorial, protesting that it wasn't biased and falling back on the tired tactic that there wasn't enough evidence to support global warming's existence.