Despite the consent of the governed, the Democratic and Republican parties have been in stalemate for the last thirty years. The leadership of the United States has swung like a pendulum, and apart from the Reagan presidency of 1981-89 neither party has been dominant for long, or has managed to impose its vision of government on the country. Introducing American Politics offers a clear and concise picture of how we got to this point, and anticipates the way forward. It includes a chronology of dates in American History important to an understanding of American Politics and full coverage of key issues such as: slavery and its legacy, isolationism, prohibition, McCarthy, civil rights, the rise and fall of Nixon, the Reagan revolution and the Clinton / Whitewater / Starr affair. It outlines the complex processes of government, and discusses the likely candidates for the election of 2000.