SENIOR SEMINAR AMERICAN POLITICS
Political Science 407 Tuesdays 9:00-11:50
Prof. Klonoski Room 905 PLC
Office hours: Tuesday, Room 920 PLC 12-2:30
1. The course is designed to challenge students to read and argue about American government and politics. We do this each week by critically discussing a new book selected by the instructor. This year there are 11 such books. There are other and undoubtedly better new books than some of those we will be reading. If you know of any, please let us know. Your book reading only begins with this class--it continues on the rest of your life. Accumulate a bibliography that starts here and never stops growing. Technology is changing our habitual way of doing things, but donít let the Internet or "disks" deter you from seeking out and reading on your own books like those we will be reading this fall. Please.
2. Letís admit at the outset that American government and politics does not excite many of your contemporaries or even mine--these days. Peopleís interests lie elsewhere. In fact, even though Aristotle said, "Politics is the master science," itís economies that seems to drive the world and values at the international, national, state, local, and personal levels. So, as a matter of fact, this class would be considered by many--or most--as "not where itís at." That bothers me. But, like Aristotle, I know that political decisions are ultimately--and in the long run-- responsible for the shape of things. That was easily understood during the Cold War years, but now people sense their fate is being shaped more by technological change and the availability or unavailability at all levels of existence of material goods. My response, "so be it," but Iím convinced politics and governments still matter most. At bottom, thatís simply a matter of faith with me.
3. Which is to say, to todayís average student in her/his senior year, wishing to realize the most from his/her education, the seminar to take would be "The American Economy," "How to Succeed in Business," or "Profiting From Your Own Webiste" courses offered in the Economics Department, the Business School, or Computer Science. But those courses lack "fun" appeal. Courses like this one for people like us simply are a joy to take because politics properly understood excites us because of its lasting impact on the lives of people, nations and the world. So, let them make their millions. We will be a far richer in ideas, thoroughly enjoying ourselves as we share insights and toss them around and across the table at one another.
4. Whatís expected in a procedural way:
5. Grades: No tests or exams, but students will grade one another at the end of class on written evaluation sheets supplied by the instructor.
6. In NO fixed or week-by-week chronological order we will read:
1. Woodward, Bob, Shadows (Simon & Schuster)
2. Morris, Dick, The New Prince (Renaissance)
3. Jacoby, Russell, The End of Utopia (Basic Books)
4. Stephanopoulos, George, All Too Human (Little Brown)
5. Uris, Leon, A God in Ruins (Harper Collins)
6. Barber, Ben, A Place for Us (Hill & Wang)
7. Kovach, B., &Rosensteil, American in an Age of Mixed Media (Century Foundation Press)
8. Ellis, Richard, The Dark Side of the Left (Kansas)
9. Lind, Michael, Up From Conservatism (Free Press)
10. Edwards, Lee, Conservative Revelation (Free Press)
11. Wolfe, Alan, One Nation After All (Viking)