J. POLITICS AND GOVERNMENT
Nations of the World
J1. Infoplease.com. (www.infoplease.com/countries.html)
Information is provided for use at three levels—little kids, kids, and teens. For each country there is a profile giving basic data such as official name, head of state, area, population, capitol, largest cities, monetary unit, languages, ethnicity/race, and religion. There also is a discussion of the geography, government and history.
J2. Library of Congress Country Studies. (http://memory.loc.gov/frd/cs/cshome.html)
This site contains online versions of books previously published in hard copy by the Federal Research Division of the Library of Congress under the Country Studies/Area Handbook Program sponsored by the U.S. Department of the Army. It currently includes 101 countries and regions with a number of notable omissions: Canada, France, the United Kingdom and other western nations, and a number of African countries. For each country covered there is a description and analysis of the historical setting and the social, economic, political, and national security system. Although the basic information is useful, it should be noted that some accounts are not current. Since dates are provided for each section, the user is able to determine the usefulness of the information. Hardcopies are available from the U.S. Government Printing Office.
J3. The World Factbook. (www.odci.gov/cia/publications/factbook)
This database, produced by the Central Intelligence Agency, provides basic information on each of the countries of the world—typography, resources, water, people, government, economy, communications, and defense forces. Small locations maps for each country refer to twelve large maps of various parts of the world. Updating is sometimes slow. This is a very popular and useful series. The print edition is available from the U.S. Government Printing Office for $85/yr.
J4. The American Presidency. (http://gi.grolier.com/presidents/ea/ea_toc.html)
Articles about each president’s life and term, taken from Grolier encyclopedia entries, appear on three levels: grades 3-8 from New Book of Knowledge, grades 5 through adult from Grolier Multimedia Encyclopedia, and grade 6 through adult from Encyclopedia Americana. The latter entry is quite lengthy. Other features include the Presidential Gallery containing sound clips for all presidents from Grover Cleveland to date, Historical Election Results, and Presidential Links to campaign sites, presidential libraries, parks, and museums. This is an excellent site.
Note: Facts About the Presidents, 7th edition (H.W. Wilson, 2001) contains extensive information about the Presidents and is a worthwhile addition to the reference collection, but the cost ($105) places it out of the range of most small libraries. It would make an excellent suggestion as a memorial book.
J5. FIRSTGOV.gov, The U.S. Government Official Web Portal. (www.firstgov.gov)
This search engine is a rich treasury of online information on government services and resources covering all branches and agencies of the federal government plus state and local government and tribal agencies.
J6. Thomas: Legislative Information on the Internet. (http://thomas.loc.gov)
Prepared by the Library of Congress and online since 1995, this site provides extensive information on the legislative branch of government and links to the Executive and Judicial Branches. Databases include: House Floor This Week, House Floor New, Quick Search of Text of Bills, Bill Summaries, Public Laws by Law Number, Votes-House Roll Call Votes and Senate Roll Call Votes; Congressional Record, Days-in-Session Calendar, Committee Information, and more.
J7. U.S. Government Manual. Annual. U.S. Government Printing Office, 1935 to date. (4pa)
The official guide to U.S. government structure, this annual lists and describes each of the three branches of government and all of the departments and bureaus within, as well as the commissions, and other official and quasi-official agencies of the federal system. Descriptions include history, organization, purpose, and activities of each unit, and names and directory data for key officials. Defunct agencies are listed in the appendix. The U.S. Government Manual is available on the Internet at www.gpoaccess.gov/gmanual.
J8. The White House. (www.whitehouse.gov)
This site contains a vast amount of information on the current presidential administration—news, appointments, copies of major speeches, the president’s cabinet, policies in force, major issues, etc.—and on the White House, Camp David, Air Force One, Presidential libraries, and much more. There also are biographies of past presidents.
J9. Guide to Texas State Agencies. 11th ed. Lyndon B. Johnson School of Public Affairs (P.O. Box Y, Austin, TX 78713-8925), 2001. (6)
The official guide to state agencies, this guide provided a description of some 200 of the major executive, legislative, and judicial agencies in state government, along with requirements for boards and commissions, names of current board and commission members, and agency-related changes made in the 76th Legislature.
Note: A number of Internet sites concern Texas politics and government. They include the Govnernor’s site at www.governor.state.tx.us/ Texas Online at www.texasonline.state.tx.us/, and sites for the legislature and Secretary of State noted below (K6 and K7).
Price Guide: (1) Under $15 (2) $16-$25 (3) $26-$35 (4) $36-$45 (5) $46-$55 (6) $56-$65 (7) $66-$75 (8) $76-$85 (9) $86-$95 (10) Over $96