If you are looking for the best AP Government textbook, then be sure to review our listing below. First we review the top four textbooks used for AP U.S. Government and Politics, and below that you will find the top two readers. These are also perfect textbooks for introductory government classes at the college level.
Government in America: People, Politics, and Policy, 16th Edition. This college-level textbook by Edwards, Wattenberg, and Lineberry is the best-selling government and politics textbook. It is also the most popular choice for AP Government classes. It puts an extra emphasis on the government’s impact in our daily lives and is designed around the theme “politics matters.” This updated edition includes information on the most recent global recession, the Obama presidency, and the 2012 elections.
American Government: Institutions and Policies. Wilson, Dilulio, and Bose are the authors of this AP Government and Politics Textbook. Our analysis shows that this is the second most popular advanced placement text, and it is definitely a clear and comprehensive book that covers all the key topics with intellectual honesty. Throughout the book the focus is squarely on government institutions, the historical development of the U.S. government, and the people who actually govern.
Government by the People, 2012 Election Edition. The 25th edition of the textbook by Magleby, Light, and Nemachek is another excellent choice. The authors make a concerted effort to demonstrate the importance of politics, with an emphasis on the U.S. government’s achievements. The recurring theme of this book is a government that is “of the people, by the people, and for the people.”
American Government: Roots and Reform, 12th Edition. This AP Government textbook by O’Connor, Sabato, and Yanus puts American Government and Politics into the context of both history and current events. Covers the evolution of the U.S. Government and shows students how they can become more informed as citizens.
Many AP Government classes require a book of readings to go along with the textbook. These are the two most popular readers:
American Government: Readings and Cases: 19th Edition. Now in it’s 19th Edition, Peter Woll’s book has been the best selling government reader for 40 years. A total of 448 pages and 73 readings, it includes a variety of classic works along with many current readings and cases.
The Lanahan Readings in the American Polity. This reader, edited by Serow and Ladd, is another excellent option. This 5th edition is 721 pages with a total of 92 readings, a third of which are new to this edition. It contains a very diverse group of authors, sources and topics.