Nelson Higher Education

Higher Education

Texas Politics Today 2015-2016 Edition (Book Only), 17th Edition

  • William Earl Maxwell
  • Ernest Crain
  • Mark P. Jones
  • Morhea Lynn Davis
  • Christopher Wlezein
  • Elizabeth N. Flores
  • ISBN-10: 1285861914
  • ISBN-13: 9781285861913
  • 416 Pages | Paperback
  • Previous Editions: 2014, 2012, 2010
  • COPYRIGHT: 2016 Published
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About the Product

TEXAS POLITICS TODAY encourages critical thinking and civic participation with ideas, essays, and questions related to Texas politics, presented from different viewpoints.


  • The hallmark comparative approach of TEXAS POLITICS TODAY is highlighted in the “How Does Texas Compare?” sections that feature maps and figures in every chapter. This comparative feature focuses on how Texas's unique political culture shapes the state's policies and institutions differently from other states.

  • Each chapter opens with numbered learning objectives that are repeated throughout the chapter in major sections to help students focus their reading and track their progress. Bulleted summaries and review questions at the end of each chapter (both now organized by learning objective), as well as marginal key terms throughout the narrative, facilitate study and review.

  • “Get Active!” boxes with an annotated list of websites at the end of each chapter offer ways to increase students' own political involvement.

  • Carefully written photo, figure, and table captions convey the major takeaway messages to students. A critical analysis question follows each caption.


“This book continues to set a standard [that] other Texas Government texts try to emulate. It weaves together rich historical detail with current political trends and debate into a very comprehensive text.”
— Blayne Primozich, El Paso Community College

About the Author

William Earl Maxwell

William Earl Maxwell is a professor emeritus at San Antonio College, where he has taught courses in U.S. and Texas government since 1971. Throughout his career Maxwell has focused on innovative teaching techniques and improving the teaching and learning environments for students. As part of that effort, in 1975 Maxwell co-authored UNDERSTANDING TEXAS POLITICS, his first text on Texas government. He also co-authored such texts as POLITICS IN TEXAS and THE CHALLENGE OF TEXAS POLITICS: TEXT WITH READINGS. He completed his undergraduate and graduate work at Sam Houston State University.

Ernest Crain

Ernest Crain did his graduate work at the University of Texas at Austin, spent 35 years teaching Texas government at San Antonio College and now lives in Montgomery County, Texas. He has co-authored UNDERSTANDING TEXAS POLITICS, POLITICS IN TEXAS: AN INTRODUCTION TO TEXAS POLITICS, THE CHALLENGE OF TEXAS POLITICS: TEXT WITH READINGS and AMERICAN GOVERNMENT AND POLITICS TODAY: TEXAS EDITION. His special areas of interest include party competition, comparative state politics and Texas public policy.

Morhea Lynn Davis

M. Lynn Davis is professor of Government at El Paso Community College, where she has served as Blackboard Trainer and Mentor, Faculty Senator, Government Discipline Coordinator and has served on numerous faculty committees. Davis has a Master of Arts Degree from the University of Texas at El Paso majoring in both Organizational Behavior and Political Science. She is a very active community volunteer, grant writer, and has consulted for and participated in many political campaigns. Her published articles range in topics from the current political environment to the viability of primaries and caucuses in today’s election processes.

Christopher Wlezein

Christopher Wlezien is Hogg Professor of Government at the University of Texas at Austin. He previously taught at Oxford University, the University of Houston, and Temple University, after receiving his Ph.D. from the University of Iowa in 1989. Over the years, Wlezien has published widely on elections, public opinion, and public policy, and his books include DEGREES OF DEMOCRACY, WHO GETS REPRESENTED? AND THE TIMELINE OF PRESIDENTIAL ELECTIONS. He has founded a journal, served on numerous editorial boards, established different institutes, advised governments and other organizations, held visiting positions at many universities around the world, received various research grants, and won a number of awards for his research and teaching.

Elizabeth N. Flores

Elizabeth N. Flores is professor of political science at Del Mar College. She teaches courses on national government, Texas government and Mexican-American politics, and serves as program coordinator for the Mexican-American Studies Program. Flores earned a master of arts degree in political science at the University of Michigan and a bachelor of arts degree in political science (magna cum laude) at St. Mary’s University. Her awards include the 2014 League of United Latin American Citizens (LULAC) Council Educator of the Year Award, the 2013 Del Mar College Dr. Aileen Creighton Award for Teaching Excellence, and a 1998 Excellence Award from the National Institute for Staff and Organizational Development (NISOD).

Table of Contents

Prologue: Texas's Political Roots.
1. Texas Culture and Diversity.
2. Texas in the Federal System.
3. The Texas Constitution in Perspective.
4. Voting and Elections.
5. Political Parties.
6. Interest Groups.
7. The Legislature.
8. The Executive.
9. The Judiciary.
10. Law and Due Process.
11. Local Government.
12. Public Policy in Texas.

New to this edition

  • Two new co-authors join the team-Mark P. Jones of Rice University and M. Lynn Davis of El Paso Community College join the book as two new co-authors.
  • Learning objectives have been integrated into each chapter, providing a tight organizing structure to guide students through the material and assist in their mastery of chapter content. The objectives are linked to each major section of the chapter and to the bulleted recaps of each major section that comprise the chapter summary. For additional reinforcement, chapter review questions are organized by learning objective.
  • Texas GOVT2306 Core Objective questions are incorporated into figure and photo captions, boxed features, readings, and pedagogy. The clearly marked questions address each of the four required core objectives-critical thinking skills, communication skills, social responsibility, and personal responsibility.
  • A new final section in each chapter provides a fully developed application of the main thrust of the chapter through an original essay by a Texas educator, commissioned for the new edition. Many feature visuals. Essays include “Politicians, Vigilantes and the Quest for Civil Rights in Texas” by Denese McArthur (Ch. 1); “The Texas Constitution and Public School Funding” by Timothy Hoye (Ch. 3); “The Tea Party: Civic Activism and Grassroots Change” by Blayne Primozich (Ch. 6); and “Spending More to Improve Public Education? Texans Say Yes . . . and No” by James Henson (Ch. 12).
  • The book is now seamlessly integrated with MindTap, included with this edition. Marginal icons direct students to a variety of assignable, gradable activities that gets them up to speed on current events, promotes their interaction with one another through online discussion boards and polling questions, and engages them with interactive activities and quizzes that are correlated to clearly defined learning outcomes-all while keeping instructors deeply informed of student progress and time spent in the course.
  • Revised and streamlined pedagogy allows for a better flow of the narrative. For instance, updated and edited “How Does Texas Compare?” boxes are now contained to a single page. In addition, the “Get Active” section has been moved from the chapter opener to the chapter ender, made consistent across all chapters, and now concludes with personal responsibility questions.


All supplements have been updated in coordination with the Main title.
Please see Main title page for new to this edition information.

Instructor Supplements

Instructor's Companion Web Site  (ISBN-10: 130507887X | ISBN-13: 9781305078871)

This Instructor Companion Website is an all-in-one multimedia online resource for class preparation, presentation, and testing. Accessible through with your faculty account, it includes several resources for download: a Test Bank compatible with multiple learning management systems, an Instructor's Manual, and book-specific Microsoft® PowerPoint® presentations. The Test Bank, offered in Blackboard, Moodle, Desire2Learn, Canvas, and Angel formats, includes multiple-choice and essay questions for each chapter, all tied to the learning objectives. Import the test bank into your LMS to edit and manage questions, and to create tests. The Instructor's Manual contains chapter-specific learning objectives, an outline, key terms with definitions, and a chapter summary. It also features a critical thinking question, lecture launching suggestion, and an in-class activity for each learning objective. The Microsoft® PowerPoint® presentations are ready-to-use, visual outlines of each chapter that are easily customized for your lectures. They are accompanied by chapter-specific Microsoft® PowerPoint® Image Slides and JPEG Image Libraries. Access the Instructor Companion Website at

Cengage Testing, powered by Cognero® Instant Access  (ISBN-10: 130508134X | ISBN-13: 9781305081345)

Cengage Learning Testing Powered by Cognero® is a flexible, online system that allows you to author, edit, and manage test bank content from the text and multiple Cengage Learning solutions; create multiple test versions in an instant; and deliver tests from your LMS, your classroom, or wherever you want. The test bank for TEXAS POLITICS TODAY, 2015-2016 Edition, 17th Edition contains multiple-choice and essay questions for each chapter, tied to the learning objectives.

MindTap Political Science, 1 term (6 months) Instant Access for Maxwell/Crain/Jones/Davis/Wlezein/Flores' Texas Politics Today 2015-2016 Edition  (ISBN-10: 1305078691 | ISBN-13: 9781305078697)

MindTap for TEXAS POLITICS TODAY, 2015-2016 Edition, 17th Edition, is a fully online, personalized learning experience built upon Cengage Learning content and correlated to a core set of learning outcomes. MindTap combines student learning tools-readings, multimedia, activities, and assessments-into a singular Learning Path that guides students through their course. Through a variety of gradable activities, MindTap provides students with opportunities to check themselves and determine where they need extra help, and allows faculty to measure and assess student progress. Exercises include video introductions from Texas government students, paired with critical thinking questions to launch each lesson; a brief tutorial and mini-assessment for each chapter area; video activities; simulations; and chapter quizzes. Integration with programs like YouTube, Evernote, RSS feeds, and Google Drive allows you to add and remove content of your choosing with ease to keep your course current. The product can be used fully online with its interactive eBook for TEXAS POLITICS TODAY or in conjunction with the printed text.

LMS Integrated for MindTap Political Science, 1 term (6 months) Instant Access  (ISBN-10: 1305106458 | ISBN-13: 9781305106451)

Student Supplements

MindTap Political Science, 1 term (6 months) Instant Access for Maxwell/Crain/Jones/Davis/Wlezein/Flores' Texas Politics Today 2015-2016 Edition  (ISBN-10: 1305078691 | ISBN-13: 9781305078697)

MindTap Political Science for Maxwell/Crain/Jones/Davis/Wlezein/Flores' Texas Politics Today 2015–2016 Edition, 17th Edition provides you with the tools you need to better manage your limited time -- you can complete assignments whenever and wherever you are ready to learn with course material specially customized for you by your instructor and streamlined in one proven, easy-to-use interface. With an array of tools and apps -- from note taking to flashcards -- you'll get a true understanding of course concepts, helping you to achieve better grades and setting the groundwork for your future courses. Access to this product is valid for 6 months of usage.

LMS Integrated for MindTap Political Science, 1 term (6 months) Instant Access  (ISBN-10: 1305106458 | ISBN-13: 9781305106451)