James Q. Wilson is one of America's preeminent public policy scholars. For decades, he has analyzed the changing political and cultural landscape with clarity and honesty, bringing his wisdom to bear on all facets of American government and society. This is a collection of fifteen of Wilson's most insightful essays-drawing on thirty years of his observations on religion, crime, the media, terrorism and extremism, and the old-fashioned notion of 'character.' Readers of every political persuasion will come away from this volume with a new understanding of how American politics and culture have evolved over the last half-century. These essays are not 'the grumpy words of a conservative who can't be reconciled to the realities of contemporary American life,' Wilson writes. Rather, they are straight talk from a painstaking empiricist and consummate social scientist who believes in American exceptionalism. American Politics, Then & Now is a compelling portrait of a beloved nation.