Most Americans are more aware of the workings of the federal government than of their own state governments. But these "laboratories of democracy" constitute perhaps the most creative & successful component of the American political experiment. Like each of the states, Tennessee has developed a state government with a history & political culture uniquely its own. This book places Tennessee's modern political institutions in the context of the history & personalities that formed them. It pays special attention to the period after 1978, when three governors left a lasting impression on the direction of the state government. Separate chapters examine the legislative, executive, & judicial branches, explaining how & why Tennessee's political culture differs from that of other states. The book also explores the ways in which education, health care, corrections, economic development, & other key factors define the government agenda. Additional chapters on the media, political campaigns, & local government provide a backdrop that elucidates more fully how the state government functions. The authors profile many of the personalities who have shaped Tennessee's political agenda. Among these are longtime Senate Democratic Speaker John Wilder; his close ally, Senate Republican Leader Ben Atchley; House Speaker Jimmy Naifeh, son of a Lebanese immigrant; & Bill Snodgrass, who served as state comptroller for forty-seven years. The book explains how these individuals related to three governors, Republicans Lamar Alexander & Don Sundquist & Democrat Ned McWherter, whose administrations presided over the state's greatest period of growth & prosperity. Illustrated with photographs & tables, & featuring anecdotal sidebars that illuminate key issues, this book will be the standard text on Tennessee state government & politics for years to come.William Lyons is the author of 'Government And Politics In Tennessee', published 2001 under ISBN 9781572331419 and ISBN 1572331410.