Political Science


  • Dr. Brandle’s Introduction to American Government (Manifold @CUNY)
    This textbook was created by Shawna Mary Brandle of Kingsborough Community College. It is a condensed version of American Government 3e from OpenStax (see below).
  • The Political Imagination: Introduction to American Government (Manifold @CUNY)
    This textbook was created by Peter Kolozi of Bronx Community College and James E. Freeman of Essex County College. The book “provides realistic, critical analysis as well as a hopeful, engagement-oriented narrative that encourages students to understand the important role they can play in the political system and in crafting a society in which they want to live.”

Core Texts from Manifold @CUNY

Open Books

  • American Government 3e (OpenStax)
    The third edition of this open textbook “includes more examples and details regarding the lived experiences of diverse groups and communities within the United States.”
  • American Government and Politics in the Information Age
    “In covering American government and politics, our text introduces the intricacies of the Constitution, the complexities of federalism, the meanings of civil liberties, and the conflicts over civil rights, and shows how policies are made and affect people’s lives.”
  • Attenuated Democracy: A Critical Introduction to U.S. Government and Politics
    “The U.S. political system suffers from endemic design flaws and is notable for the way that a small subset of Americans—whose interests often don’t align with those of the vast majority of the population—wields disproportionate power. Absent organized and persistent action on the part of ordinary Americans, the system tends to serve the already powerful. […] Since this is likely to be your only college-level course on the American political system, it is important to point out the structural weaknesses of our system and the thin nature of our democracy. Whenever you get the chance—in the voting booth, in your job, perhaps if you hold elected office—I encourage you to do something about America’s attenuated democracy.”
  • Political Ideologies and Worldviews: An Introduction
    “This open educational resource (OER) brings together Canadian and international scholars in a contemporary, pluralistic volume introducing undergraduates in a variety of relevant disciplines to political ideologies and worldviews. […] This volume is the first of its kind, a fully open textbook on political worldviews that deals with the historical development of classical ideologies, while expanding and updating the subject using contemporary political examples and non-Eurocentric examinations of ideology. The volume includes chapters on Indigenous worldviews, Confucianism, and the future of ideology in the emerging global order.”
  • Radical Social Theory: An Appraisal, A Critique, and an Overcoming
    “Our focus is the history of social thought in the West, studied through a decolonial critique. Most of the readings assigned are primary sources, texts written by people who were living and writing at the time of the events addressed. The ideas expressed in these readings are the result of thinkers analyzing complex social processes, allowing for people to contemplate and create new ways of living that pushed the world into unchartered territories.”
  • State and Local Government and Politics: Prospects for Sustainability – 2nd Edition
    “[This] book represents a unique opportunity for three generations of scholars to reflect upon and collectively consider their decades’ long research, and the meaning of that research to both the broader society and to students of contemporary politics.”

Open Courses

Core Texts in Open Editions and the Public Domain

Open and Zero-Cost Resources

  • The Avalon Project – Major Document Collections
    Maintained by the Lillian Goldman Law Library at the Yale Law School, the Avalon Project posts “digital documents relevant to the fields of Law, History, Economics, Politics, Diplomacy and Government.”
  • Democracy in America by Alexis de Tocqueville
    This four-volume edition “is the fullest historical-critical edition of the Democracy, and the notes offer an extensive selection of early outlines, drafts, manuscript variants, marginalia, unpublished fragments, and other materials.” Only the English translation of the text is available online, and it is freely available but not openly licensed.
  • Civil Rights History Project
    This collection at the Library of Congress includes video recordings of interviews with Civil Rights activists.
  • DocsTeach (National Archives)
    This resource from the National Archives includes primary sources, document-based activities, and online tools for creating activities.