Democracy in America (1835--1840) is arguably the most perceptive and influential book ever written about American politics and society. This Library of America volume presents Alexis de Tocqueville's masterpiece in an entirely new translation, the first to capture fully the precision and grace of his style while providing a rigorous and faithful rendering of his profound ideas and observations. A young aristocratic lawyer, Tocqueville came to the United States in 1831 with his friend and fellow magistrate Gustave de Beaumont to study American penitentiary systems. During their nine-month visit they conducted interviews with more than 200 people on American politics, law, and social practices. After returning to France, Tocqueville read hundreds of books and documents while reflecting on what his trip had revealed about the "great democratic revolution" that was transforming the Western world. In Democracy in America he vividly describes the unprecedented "equality of conditions" found in the United States and explores its implications for European society in the emerging modern era. His book provides enduring insight into the political consequences of widespread property ownership, the potential dangers to liberty inherent in majority rule, the importance of civil institutions in an individualistic culture dominated by the pursuit of material self-interest, the influence of the press and the judiciary in American politics, and the vital role of religion in American life, while prophetically examining the widening differences between the northern and southern states.
In 1831, the then twenty-seven year old Alexis de Tocqueville, was sent with Gustave de Beaumont to America by the French Government to study and make a report on the American prison system. Over a period of nine months the two traveled all over America making notes not only on the prison systems but on all aspects of American society and government. From these notes Tocqueville wrote "Democracy in America," an exhaustive analysis of the successes and failures of the American form of government, a republican representative democracy. Tocqueville believed that over the past seven hundred years the social and economic conditions of humanity were progressively becoming more equal. The future was, in his opinion, inevitably drawing humanity towards the democratic ideal thus diminishing the power of the aristocracy. Tocqueville's predictions of the changing nature of human civilization seem almost clairvoyant in retrospect. First published in two volumes in 1835 and 1840, "Democracy in America" remains one of the most important historical documents of America and political analysis of its form of government. This edition is printed on premium acid-free paper, includes both unabridged volumes as translated by Henry Reeve, and an introduction by John Bigelow.
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In 1831, the then twenty-seven year old Alexis de Tocqueville, was sent with Gustave de Beaumont to America by the French Government to study and make a report on the American prison system. Over a period of nine months the two traveled all over America making notes not only on the prison systems but on all aspects of American society and government. From these notes Tocqueville wrote "Democracy in America", an exhaustive analysis of the successes and failures of the American form of government, a republican representative democracy. Contained here are both of the unabridged volumes of that classic exposition as translated by Henry Reeve.
This new abridged translation of Democracy in America reflects the rich Tocqueville scholarship of the past forty years, and restores chapters central to Tocqueville's analysis absent from previous abridgments -- including his discussions of enlightened self-interest and the public's influence on ethical standards. Judicious notes and a thoughtful introduction offer aids to the understanding of a masterpiece of nineteenth-century social thought that continues in our own day to illuminate debates about the roles of liberty and equality in American life.
Alexis de Tocqueville (1805-1859) was a French political thinker and historian, and wrote the famous work "Democracy in America" in two volumes. This work is renowned for characterising the American Institutions and adding to the understanding of the United States like no other. He analysed the social standards of people and the relationship between raising social standards and the free market. He thereby became one of the founding fathers of sociology and political science. This book is a seminal text in economic sociology. Tocqueville has the capacity to stand back from the object of his study and to reflect deeply and at times with wit, whilst offering the reader his incisive clarity. This collection includes both volumes of Democracy in America, in addition it includes the "Recollections of Alexis de Tocqueville" - his thoughts and observations on the French Revolution, another work demonstrating his shrewd objective perspective. He identified the hazards of the course that his country was taking and also the difficulties of ensuring that there was both equality and freedom. It is a first-hand account of the upheavals that the country suffered over the months of the revolution - consequently it is exhilarating, honest and thrilling to read. Tocqueville's analysis is relevant for any democracy and consequently this work is relevant far beyond the borders of France.
With his monumental work The Old Regime and the Revolution, Alexis de Tocqueville (1805-1859)-best known for his classic Democracy in America— envisioned a multivolume philosophic study of the origins of modern France that would examine the implications of French history on the nature and development of democratic society. Volume 1, which covered the eighteenth-century background to the Revolution, was published to great acclaim in 1856. On the continuation of this project, he wrote: "When this Revolution has finished its work, [this volume] will show what that work really was, and what the new society which has come from that violent labor is, what the Revolution has taken away and what it has preserved from that old regime against which it was directed." Tocqueville died in the midst of this work. Here in volume 2—in clear, up-to-date English—is all that he had completed, including the chapters he started for a work on Napoleon, notes and analyses he made in the course of researching and writing the first volume, and his notes on his preparation for his continuation. Based on the new French edition of The Old Regime, most of the translated texts have never before appeared in English, and many of those that have appeared have been considerable altered. More than ever before, readers will be able to see how Tocqueville's account of the Revolution would have come out, had he lived to finish it. This handsomely produced volume completes the set and is essential reading for anyone interested in the French Revolution or in Tocqueville's thought.
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