DEMOCRACY UNDER PRESSURE has provided over a million students with a comprehensive look at the fundamentals of American government. Cummings and Wise pair lively narrative with exemplary scholarship to convey a balanced, realistic sense of political history and to describe the institutions of American government. Throughout, the authors examine the theme of democracy under pressure, discussing the way democracy responds to the needs and demands of various groups over time. The text is developed around a systems approach - a framework of analysis that discusses various elements of the political process in terms of inputs and outputs - and focuses on the gap that exists between theory and reality in government today. This new edition has been updated to include the results of the 2002 congressional elections and other recent events of importance to the American political scene.