Mr. Isaac Lung
    t: Social Studies

     Class Website [2016-2017]:

    2017-2018: AP US Government and Politics Summer Assignment:

    AP Government Summer Reading

    Your task is to read one of the listed books and to write a book review. The assignment is due on September 15, 2017. Excluding the cover page, your paper must be 4-5 pages (double space). Send an electronic copy to Isaalung@paps.net and submit a hard copy in class. This assignment counts as a test grade (100 points) for the First Marking Period. No exceptions. Printer issues will not grant you an extension. Late work points will be deducted if turned in late (11 points the first day, 10 points every day thereafter plus any other points I deduct for content).


    AP Government Summer Reading Assignment As a part of the AP U.S. Government and Politics course you are required to read a politically related book and do a summary and reflection. You are to take rough outline notes as you read the book and attached them to your reports. You may do a second book for an extra assignment – No extra credit is available during the regular year.


    1. Choose any book from the list below.

    2. Check to see if the book listed below is available in a library before buying them.

    3. Refer to the instructions for directions. 


    1.       Plato's Republic

    2.       Discourse on the Origin of Inequality Jean-Jacques Rousseau

    3.       The Prince (Bantam Classics) - Niccolo Machiavelli

    4.       On Tocqueville Democracy and America - Alan Ryan

    5.       Drift: The Unmooring of American Military Power - Rachel Maddow

    6.       The Limits of Power: The End of American Exceptionalism (American Empire Project) - Andrew J. Bacevich

    7.       The New American Militarism: How Americans Are Seduced by War - Andrew J. Bacevich

    8.       Winner-Take-All Politics: How Washington Made the Rich Richer--and Turned Its Back on the Middle Class  - Jacob S. Hacker and Paul Pierson

    9.       Lies My Teacher Told Me - James W. Loewen

    10.   The Steps to the Supreme Court: A Guided Tour of the American Legal System – Peter Irons

    11.   A People's History of the Supreme Court: The Men and Women Whose Cases and Decisions Have Shaped Our Constitution: Revised Edition - Peter Irons

    12.   The Presidents Club: Inside the World's Most Exclusive Fraternity - Nancy Gibbs

    13.   Conscience of a Conservative - Barry Goldwater

    14.   The Conscience of a Liberal - Paul Krugman

    15.   The Future of Freedom - Fareed Sakaria

    16.   Crisis and Command: A History of Executive Power from George Washington to George W. Bush – John Yoo

    17.   The Nine – Jeffrey Tooban

    18.   Party Polarization in Congress - Sean M. Theriault

    19.   Freakonomics - Steven D Levitt

    20.   Managing the President's Program: Presidential Leadership and Legislative Policy Formulation - Andrew Rudalevige

    You may also choose to read any political book published since 2000 or a biography of any recent (since 1990) president or "prominent" American politician.  Please contact me at Isaalung@paps.net for approval.


    Book Report Instructions Your book summary should be approximately 750-1000 words in length, word processed, and should include the following:


    1. A basic bibliographical citation --- author, title, place and date of publication at the top of the first (title) page. 


    2. A brief identification of the AUTHOR(S), which might include answers to the following:

    When/where born? 

    Where/how educated? 

    Special expertise or qualifications to write about this subject?

    Present position?


    3. A SUMMARY of the book's contents and a description of its general scope and nature; also a brief identification of the book's major themes, content and conclusion.

    Points covered might include:

    a) Subject matter covered

    b) Author's purpose: what is he/she trying to do?

    c) Period of time covered?

    d) Topics/issues emphasized?

    e) Supporting evidence presented

    f) Organization?

    g) Is the book historical/political/social/economic/biographical?

    h) What did the book teach you about how the "game" of politics is played?


    4. A CRITICAL EVALUATION / reflection, which might include:

    a) Strengths or weaknesses of the book?

    b) Were the sources presented by the author primary or secondary?

    c) Was the author balanced, objective or biased?

    d) Charts/illustrations used?

    e) Literary style


    Please include the following features on your cover page:

    AP US Government and Politics

    The title of the book

    Your name



    Please attach a rubric as the final page of your book report (see below).  Many thanks.


    Name:___________________                                                                                                                       Period: ________

    Book Report Rubric


    20-Highly Competent


    10-Minimally Competent

    5-Not Competent



    Clearly identifies and critically evaluates the author’s central argument, purpose, and approach to the subject


    Identifies but not does not critically evaluate the author’s central argument, purpose, and approach to the subject


    Identified a few main ideas but not the thesis


    Is unaware of the author’s thesis or the purpose of the book. The review is descriptive but not analytical



    The review is exceptionally well organized with an introduction, body, and conclusion and follows the thesis throughout


    The review is reasonably well organized


    The view has a semblance of structure but its coherence is minimized by poor organization


    The review is disorganized and incoherent



    A general analysis of the salient features of the book, as opposed to a general summary, and identifies the development of the author’s thesis throughout the book


    Demonstrates knowledge of the topic and provides supporting evidence and adequate detail


    Minimal analysis, is repetitious, or and lacks development of salient features of the book being reviewed


    No analysis, but merely a description of summary of the book’s content



    Sophisticated sentence structure and paragraph development


    Effective Use of Language


    Simplistic sentence structure and imprecise use of language


    Incorrect sentence structure and use of slang, jargon, or inappropriate language



    The mechanics of the paper are correct. It is well written with no

    grammar or punctuation errors, and little or no use of the passive voice


    Few errors


    Errors are present that interfere with the presentation of ideas and arguments


    Excessive errors in grammar and punctuation.



    Total Score:______________/100




    Hello, I am Mr. Lung and I will be teaching AP US Government, Intro to American Government, and World History

    My perspective on the Social Sciences:

    I am deeply passionate in the social sciences which include disciplines like history, political science, philosophy, economics, psychology, and sociology.  I believe the study of the social sciences is the study of life.  While there are many other important subjects, it is the social sciences that give the other disciplines context and meaning.  The discussion of global warming is not only a discussion on science but also normative values like the role, responsibility, and purpose of government.  In addition, it also includes discussion on issues like economics, values, and the cost of living.  All in all, the social sciences allow a juicy platform for discussion.

    My Education:

    I attended Rutgers University New Brunswick and majored in history and political science. I also minored in Philosophy. I also obtained a master degree in political science at Rutgers Newark. I obtained my second master degree in the subject of Secondary Social Studies Education at Rutgers Graduate School of Education.

    My Education Philosophy:

    I believe good education is a guided journey where the student will self formulate their [Weltanschauung] comprehensive world view which includes both the physical and other worldly realities.  In order to obtain this goal, we will focus both on content and skills.  In my courses, we will focus on many writing skills as per the Literacy Common Core Standards for Social Studies.  These skills include skills like developing a logical position/ argument and properly argue and defend your position.  Therefore,  we will focus on evaluating an author's premises, claims, and evidence by corroborating or challenging them in order to integrate and evaluate multiple sources of information presented in diverse formats and media in to the development of our arguments and positions.

    I am looking forward to this coming school year.