Democracy in America

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Library of America, 2004 - Philosophy - 941 pages
14 Reviews
Alexis de Tocqueville, a young aristocratic French lawyer, came to the United States in 1831 to study its penitentiary systems. His nine-month visit and subsequent reading and reflection resulted in Democracy in America(1835–40), a landmark masterpiece of political observation and analysis. Tocqueville vividly describes the unprecedented social equality he found in America 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, and the vital role of religion in American life, while prophetically probing the deep differences between the free and slave states. The clear, fluid, and vigorous translation by Arthur Goldhammer is the first to fully capture Tocqueville’s achievements both as an accomplished literary stylist and as a profound political thinker.

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LibraryThing Review

User Review  - RussellBittner - LibraryThing

I don’t mind admitting that Alexis de Toqueville’s Democracy in America is quite possible the most demanding piece of exposition I’ve read since Hegel’s Phenomenology of Mind. I suspect it’s one of ... Read full review

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - JVioland - LibraryThing

If you have been recently taught American History - that is, the new, negative emphasis on America's wrongs, you need to discover what makes us unique. Tocqueville visited the United States in 1831 ... Read full review

Contents

Introduction
3
The Outward Conf1guration of North America
21
On the Point of Departure and Its Importance
31
Copyright

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About the author (2004)

Arthur Goldhammer is the award-winning translator of more than eighty French works in history, literature, art history, classical studies, philosophy, psychology, and social science. Olivier Zunz is Commonwealth Professor of History at the University of Virginia, and the author of numerous books including Why the American Century? He has also co-edited The Tocqueville Reader (Blackwell) and is president of the Tocqueville Society.

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