Selected American Politics Resources

Sampson-Livermore Library
The University of North Carolina at Pembroke
PO Box 1510
Pembroke, NC 28372-1510
Reference: 910.521.6656
Circulation: 910.521.6516
Fax: 910.521.6547

This guide is divided into the following sections: Reference Resources, General Collection Resources, Electronic Databases, and Web Resources. These resources represent just a small portion of materials associated with American politics. For further assistance, please feel free to contact the Reference Desk at 910-521-6656, utilize the Ask A Librarian feature from our homepage, or stop by the Reference Desk at your convenience.

Reference Resources
The following items are located in the Reference Collection and are not available for checkout.

Birth of the Bill of Rights: Encyclopedia of the Antifederalists / Jon L. Wakelyn
[Ref E302.5.W35 2004]

The term “antifederalist” refers to a group of politicians who opposed ratification of the federal Constitution during the period, 1787-88. In this two-volume work, Jon L. Wakelyn provides readers with biographies and writings of influential antidfederalists, including Samuel Adams, Patrick Henry, and James Monroe.

Congressional Quarterly Almanac
[Ref JK1.C66]

The Congressional Quarterly Almanac is a collection of government publications that will provide students with information concerning political committees or organizations like the 9-11 Commission and NASA. This publication also lists for each Congressional bill mentioned a “box score” that details when the particular bill was adopted by the Senate and House. There is also a specific section in the 2004 edition of the CQ Almanac devoted to elections and politics.

Elections A to Z / John L. Moore
[Ref JK1976.M57 2003]

This book is an encyclopedia of terms associated with elections. Specific items that can be found in John L. Moore’s work include “absentee voting” (defined as filling out a ballot when away from the precinct), “gerrymandering “(redrawing a voting district in order to guarantee a particular political party’s victory in an election), and “exit polls” (a poll that is taken after a ballot is cast to determine the reasons behind voting patterns).

Encyclopedia of American Political Reform / Richard A. Clucas
[Ref E839.5.C57 1996]

Richard A. Clucas introduces readers to several political reforms that have occurred in this country throughout history. Some examples of popular changes in political circles include the establishment of the absentee voting procedure to enable more people to vote or the passage of the Americans With Disabilities Act (1990) which protects disabled Americans against discrimination in all localities or facilities.

Famous First Facts About American Politics / Steven Anzovin & Janet Podell
[Ref E183.A64 2001]

Steven Anzovin & Janet Podell have compiled several facts concerning U.S. politics
into this work. Examples of some of the “first facts” presented in this book include the following: Frances Perkins as the first woman to be elected to a Cabinet post, Robert Kennedy as the first Attorney General to be appointed to his position and also be the brother of a sitting President, and July 4, 1777 as the first “Independence Day” celebration after the Declaration of Independence was adopted.

From Suffrage to the Senate: An Encyclopedia of American Women in Politics / Suzanne O’Dea Schenken ; foreword by Ann W. Richards
[Ref HQ1236.5.U6 S32 1999]

This two-volume work presents short biographical sketches of some of the more influential women who have made a contribution to American politics. For example, Suzanne O’Dea includes the following women: Jane Addams, Susan B. Anthony, Rosalynn Carter, Rachel Carson, and Elizabeth Dole. Each person mentioned in this book has a references section listed so that readers may obtain additional information on the subject.

Presidential Campaigns: From George Washington to George W. Bush / Paul F. Boller, Jr.
[Ref E176.1.B683 2004]

As the title suggests, readers will learn about the political campaigns waged by our nation’s presidents, George Washington to George W. Bush. Specific slogans like ‘ “keeping cool with Coolidge” (Calvin Coolidge’s campaign) or “Tippecanoe and Tyler, too” (William Henry Harrison’s campaign) are included.

A Statistical History of the American Electorate / Jerrold G. Rusk
Ref JK1967.R87 2001]

Jerrold G. Rusk’s book offers a detailed analysis concerning the American electorate. Some of the issues discussed are demographic characteristics of voters, voting age requirements, the accuracy of election results, and polling. The author provides readers with numerous tables of data on elections that have occurred throughout our nation’s history.

General Collection Resources
The following items are located in the General Collection and are available for checkout. Students will need to verify availability by using the Library’s online catalog, BraveCat.

American Government: Readings and Cases / Peter Woll
[JK21.A445 2002]

Specific cases are presented on a variety of topics, namely the responsibility of states to allow defendants a fair trial under the 14th Amendment (Gideon v. Wainwright 1963), or “separate but equal” educational facilities found to be unconstitutional (Brown v. Board of Education of Topeka 1954). Influential framers of government, including James Madison and Alexander Hamilton, are mentioned.

The American Presidency / edited by Alan Brinkley and Davis Dyer
[E176.1.A653 2004]

This book presents biographical sketches of the men who have occupied the Oval Office from George Washington to George W. Bush. Important events during their term (for example, Shay’s Rebellion, the Teapot Dome controversy, and the Watergate affair) are described.

Approaching Democracy / Larry Berman, Bruce Allen Murphy, with Oliver H. Woshinsky
[JK274.B524 1996]

The authors provide readers with an overall view of our nation’s political past. Some of the specific topics included in the book are the Constitutional Convention, the Federalist Papers, the powers of Congress, the President, or the courts. A copy of the Declaration of Independence as well as a listing of all the Supreme Court justices from 1789-1995 is included for easy reference.

A Citizen’s Guide To Politics in America: How the System Works & How To Work the System / Barry R. Rubin
[JK1726.R83 2000]

Political theorists and campaign organizers believe that “everyone’s vote matters.” Barry R. Rubin introduces his readers to the arena of American politics by detailing significant topics such as the influence or impact of interest groups like the National Rifle Association (NRA), or the evolution of political initiatives and referendums.

The Democratic Experiment: New Directions in American Political History / edited by Meg Jacobs, William J. Novak, and Julian E. Zelizer
[E183.D46 2003]

This compilation work presents significant issues in our nation’s political past such as the emergence of the Progressive era in American politics, the influence of interest groups, or “family values politics” (defined by the editors as the belief for several years that a lady’s place was in the home and not in the political or social circle).

Gender and American Politics: Women, Men, and the Political Process / edited by Sue Tolleson-Rinehart and Jyl J. Josephson
[HQ1075.5.U6 G454 2000]

This book discusses how gender differences might have a significant impact on decisions in the courts, the Cabinet, etc. Specific female members of Cabinets are discussed, including former Attorney General Janet Reno and Justice Sandra Day O’Connor. Another issue discussed here is the possible impact that gender could have on voting activity.

Hidden Power: Presidential Marriages That Shaped Our Recent History / Kati Marton
[E176.1.M368 2001]

Some of the influential marriages chosen by Kati Marton for this book include Edith and Woodrow Wilson, Eleanor and Franklin D. Roosevelt, Jacqueline and John F. Kennedy, and Rosalynn and Jimmy Carter. The author contends that U.S. Presidents have, under certain conditions (e.g., wartime or other times of national crisis), listened to the advice given by their wives. At other times, First Ladies have “stepped in” to make decisions
when their husbands have become too ill to serve. Edith Wilson performed this duty when Woodrow Wilson had become very sick.

Marching on Washington: The Forging of an American Political Tradition / Lucy G. Barber
[E743.B338 2002]

The author discusses significant political marches on Washington, D.C. and the factors which may have contributed to the marches occurring in the first place. Examples of marches included in this book are the women’s suffrage parade on March 4, 1913 demanding the vote or a constitutional amendment which would give women the right to vote. Another march included here was the Bonus March (1932) which aimed to secure World War I veterans a bonus payment for their military service.

The White House Staff: Inside the West Wing and Beyond / Bradley H. Patterson, Jr.
[JK552.P37 2002]

Bradley H. Patterson attempts to shed some light on some of the key White House staff positions in existence today and their significance. For instance, there is an entire group of lawyers within the White House ranks who advise the President on legal matters (known popularly as the “Counsel to the President). In addition, the Press Secretary and staff deal directly with journalists in order to help keep the American public informed on important issues such as global warming or the current instability in the Middle East.

Electronic Databases

At the library’s home page (, click on the Electronic Resources link, select Database Subject and choose Political Science from the listings. Users can also choose the Database Title link if they know which specific database on the topic of American politics for which they are searching.

Academic Search Premier

This electronic database might be useful since it provides access to full-text articles on political topics like checks and balances, voter turnout, separation of powers, and ballot initiatives or referendums. Users can limit their searches to full-text articles or scholarly (peer-reviewed) journals that discuss their particular topic.

LexisNexis Congressional Universe

Users can search on this site for specific bills that have come before Congress. One example is the No Child Left Behind bill. Students can also search for specific government regulations (for example, matters pertaining to airline safety), Congressional committee names, and other government resources.

Military & Government Collection

This database is similar to OmniFile since it also enables the user to access full-text articles on topics related to American politics. Sample topics of interest to students might include political parties and U.S. elections, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, the U.S. Cabinet, and the Secret Service.

OmniFile Full-Text, Mega Edition

OmniFile Full-Text, Mega Edition is a multidisciplinary database that will enable users to access full-text articles on a multitude of political topics, including the separation of powers, checks and balances, and the veto power of the U.S. President. Online searching can be limited to full-text articles only, peer-reviewed material, or scanned image (PDF) format articles.

Political Database of the Americas

Users will be able to access useful information on this site that will enable them to learn about Western hemisphere countries like Antigua, Argentina, and the Dominican Republic and their political structure. Students can examine political parties, voting laws, and government structure. The material is presented in English, Spanish, French, and Portuguese.

Web Resources

American Political Science Association (ASPA)

Users are given links to political associations around the world (for example, Africa, Austria, Finland, Canada, etc.). Clicking on the link for associations at on the ASPA web page will take students to a specific site for the particular association.


Users can access information on this site such as a government agency alphabetical list, a “frequently asked question” section on government programs or issues like program spending or immigration requirements. The status of the Lumbee Indian petition for federal recognition is included under the section “tribal governments” for reference purposes.


GovSpot offers users an opportunity to access federal, state, and local government information easily. For example, there are several statistics provided such as the fastest growing cities, and the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s “10 Most Wanted” list. In addition, there is a section available which will allow users to access federal agencies.

Project Vote Smart

This website provides biographical information on the selected Congressional representatives from each state. In addition, users can locate information about the Project Vote Smart organization or access the “Voter’s Research Hotline” (a resource that helps provide answers to specific voter queries).

The United States Supreme Court

The Supreme Court website enables users to gather vital information on a wide variety of topics, including Supreme Court history, specific procedures, information concerning possible visits to the court, and career possibilities.