General editor Haider-Markel (U. of Kansas) presents a two-volume encyclopedia intended to serve as a first-stop reference on state politics in the United States, which also includes some coverage of US overseas territories and Puerto Rico. The encyclopedia opens with four broad topical essays on the evolution and impact of state constitutions, the impact of direct democracy (voter initiatives and the like), cooperation between the states, and states as policy testing grounds. It then presents individual state profiles, about ten pages each, that are uniformly structured to allow comparison of state history, the political environment, elections and voting behavior, the legislative branch, the executive branch, the judicial branch, intergovernmental relations, state-tribal relations (where applicable), and long-term issues and policy trends. The state entries also include bibliographies; charts showing partisan distribution of presidential elections from 1988 to 2004; and data tables on political history, political environment, elections and voting behavior, the legislative branch, the executive branch, and the judicial branch. Also included are some 175 A-to-Z topical entries discussing general concepts related to governmental functions and procedures, government structures and bodies, political theory, and political behavior. Examples of specific topics would include gerrymandering, impeachment, public health, auditor, bicameralism, legislative leadership, common law, judicial review, and social welfare. Finally, statistical data on populations, economics, finance, the environment, government spending, voting, and campaign fundraising is presented for all 50 states, followed by a comprehensive index.