With a unique focus on politics and class struggles, this contemporary text shows how the political process works to affect the allocation of resources and relative prosperity of groups. The strength of this new American state and local government text is the continual, cumulative integration of both state and local politics throughout. Includes more actual examples of the electoral bases of state parties and choices made by those parties. Discusses the role of politics in many facets of American life and government. Features: * Organized around the class conflict theme of HAVES VERSUS HAVE NOTS to establish continuity in questions and assessment of conditions. * Provides SUGGESTIONS FOR ANALYSIS IN YOUR OWN STATE/LOCAL AREA section at the end of each chapter, which gives students experience in conducting political analysis and instructors flexibility in making material relevant to individual states/cities. * Promotes critical thinking about the cumulative effects and combinations of politics. * Previews introduce each chapter. * Uses numerous original examples to illustrate concepts. * Moves beyond abstract discussions to illustrated real-life. * Offers suggestions for further readings.