Government and Politics

San Francisco Mayor Ed Lee at a news conference, 2013. Photo by Chris A. Smith

Welcome to SB215, a survey of American politics from the colonial era to the present day. We'll explore the long-running clash between the nation's founding ideals of liberty and equality, the evolution of today's Left and Right, the mechanics of change, and the impact of race, class, and economics on our politics. While we'll dip into both local and international politics, we'll focus on national political trends, with an eye toward this fall's presidential elections.

The course is taught by Chris A. Smith, an award-winning magazine journalist and photographer who's covered human rights and war in the Middle East, poverty and protest in southern Africa, and politics at the local, state, and national level.

Mondays 6-10 pm.

Class site:

Required eBook:
The Challenge of Democracy, by Kenneth Janda

The syllabus on this site links to all other reading assignments.

Questions? chrsmith [at]