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The study of politics is itself a political act, containing little that is neutral. True, we can all agree on certain neutral facts about the structure of government and the like. However, the book that does not venture much beyond these minimal descriptions will offend few readers but also will interest few. Any determined pursuit of how and why things happen draws us into highly controversial areas. Most textbooks pretend to a neutrality the do not really possess. While claiming to be objective, they are merely conventional. They depict the status quo in implicitly accepting terms, propagating fairly orthodox notions about American politics.