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The Christmas Truce
The Triumph of Improvisation
Twentieth Century-Fox
The Beatles
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The Rise and Decline of the American Century
Hitler's Generals in America
Democracy Incorporated
Our House Divided

The Growth of American GovernmentThe Growth of American Government

Governance from the Cleveland Era to the Present

Ballard C. Campbell

Narrated by Scott P. Delaney

Available from Audible

Book published by Indiana University Press

American government evolved over the generations since the mid-nineteenth century. The changing character of these institutions is a critical part of the history of the United States. This engaging survey focuses on the evolution of public policy and its relationship to the constitutional and political structure of government at the federal, state, and local levels. A new chapter in this revised and updated edition examines the debate about "big government" over the last 20 years.

Ballard C. Campbell is Professor of History at Northeastern University, author of Representative Democracy: Public Policy and Midwestern Legislatures in the Late Nineteenth Century, and Associate Editor of the American National Biography.


“This ambitious, well-written book will be a useful resource for scholars ... an excellent overview ... a fine, readable introduction that presents its analysis in a straightforward manner free from ideological baggage.”

Congress & The Presidency

“A refreshingly unorthodox narrative. Campbell [explains] in plain language how government grew. His stance is neither liberal nor conservative, but simply well-informed and reasonable.”

—Walter Nugent, University of Notre Dame

“The canvas is large, but one comes away from the book with an understanding of what has happened, the factors contributing to these developments, and their consequences. Strongly recommended.”

—Samuel McSeveney, Vanderbilt University

“Ballard Campbell has synthesized an amazing range of material: federal, state and even local studies, from history, political science, economics, and assorted other specialized studies. The product is a strikingly comprehensive and readable history of the rise of government in the USA. Even better, it provides a coherent explanation of why the state grew so large.”

—Richard Jensen, University of Illinois-Chicago

“His overview should be a compulsory assignment for any seminar on modern political culture.”

The Journal of American History

“Campbell’s book is a marvelous multidisciplinary synthesis that builds on the findings of historians of national, state, and local government, along with those of economists and political scientists, to provide a coherent account of the rise of modern American governing structures.”

Journal of Interdisciplinary History

“The book should be useful in the classroom, even for freshmen classes in U.S. history and government.”

American Historical Review

“Readable, and refreshingly unorthodox, Campbell provides a coherent explanation of how and why government has become so large.”

Political Studies Association

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University Press Audiobooks