Democracy in America

Democracy in America Alexis de Tocqueville came to America in to see what a great republic was like What struck him most was the country s equality of conditions its democracy The book he wrote on his return

Alexis de Tocqueville 1805 59 came to America in 1831 to see what a great republic was like What struck him most was the country s equality of conditions, its democracy The book he wrote on his return to France, Democracy in America, is both the best ever written on democracy and the best ever written on America It remains the most often quoted book about the United SAlexis de Tocqueville 1805 59 came to America in 1831 to see what a great republic was like What struck him most was the country s equality of conditions, its democracy The book he wrote on his return to France, Democracy in America, is both the best ever written on democracy and the best ever written on America It remains the most often quoted book about the United States, not only because it has something to interest and please everyone, but also because it has something to teach everyone When it was published in 2000, Harvey Mansfield and Delba Winthrop s new translation of Democracy in America only the third since the original two volume work was published in 1835 and 1840 was lauded in all quarters as the finest and most definitive edition of Tocqueville s classic thus far Mansfield and Winthrop have restored the nuances of Tocqueville s language, with the expressed goal to convey Tocqueville s thought as he held it rather than to restate it in comparable terms of today The result is a translation with minimal interpretation, but with impeccable annotations of unfamiliar references and a masterful introduction placing the work and its author in the broader contexts of political philosophy and statesmanship.

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  1. Alexis de Tocqueville Harvey Mansfield Delba Winthrop says:
    Alexis Charles Henri Cl rel de Tocqueville July 29, 1805 April 16, 1859 was a French political thinker and historian best known for his Democracy in America appearing in two volumes 1835 and 1840 and The Old Regime and the Revolution 1856 In both of these works, he explored the effects of the rising equality of social conditions on the individual and the state in western societies.Democracy in America 1835 , his major work, published after his travels in the United States, is today considered an early work of sociology and political science An eminent representative of the classical liberal political tradition, Tocqueville was an active participant in French politics, first under the July Monarchy 1830 1848 and then during the Second Republic 1849 1851 which succeeded to the February 1848 Revolution He retired from political life after Louis Napol on Bonaparte s December 2, 1851 coup, and thereafter began work on The Old Regime and the Revolution, Volume I After obtaining a law degree, Alexis de Tocqueville was named auditor magistrate at the court of Versailles There, he met Gustave de Beaumont, a prosecutor substitute, who collaborated with him on various literary works Both were sent to the United States to study the penitentiary system During this trip, they wrote Du syst me p nitentiaire aux Etats Unis et de son application 1832 Back in France, Tocqueville became a lawyer He met the English economist Nassau William Senior in 1833, and they became good friends and corresponded for many years 1 He published his master work, De la d mocratie en Am rique, in 1835 The success of this work, an early model for the science that would become known as sociology, led him to be named chevalier de la L gion d honneur Knight of the Legion of Honour in 1837, and to be elected the next year to the Acad mie des sciences morales et politiques In 1841 he was elected to the Acad mie fran aise.Tocqueville, who despised the July Monarchy 1830 1848 , began his political career in the same period Thus, he became deputy of the Manche department Valognes , a position which he maintained until 1851 In parliament, he defended abolitionist views and upheld free trade, while supporting the colonization of Algeria carried on by Louis Philippe s regime Tocqueville was also elected general counsellor of the Manche in 1842, and became the president of the department s conseil g n ral between 1849 and 1851.Apart from Canada, Tocqueville also made an observational tour of England, producing Memoir on Pauperism In 1841 and 1846, he traveled to Algeria His first travel inspired his Travail sur l Alg rie, in which he criticized the French model of colonization, based on an assimilationist view, preferring instead the British model of indirect rule, which did not mix different populations together He went as far as openly advocating racial segregation between the European colonists and the Arabs through the implementation of two different legislative systems a half century before its effective implementation with the 1881 Indigenous code.After the fall of the July Monarchy during the February 1848 Revolution, Tocqueville was elected a member of the Constituent Assembly of 1848, where he became a member of the Commission charged with the drafting of the new Constitution of the Second Republic 1848 1851 He defended bicameralism two parliamentary chambers and the election of the President of the Republic by universal suffrage As the countryside was thought to be conservative than the laboring population of Paris, universal suffrage was conceived as a means to block the revolutionary spirit of Paris.During the Second Republic, Tocqueville sided with the parti de l Ordre against the socialists and workers A few days after the February insurrection, he believed a violent clash between the workers population agitating in favor of a Democratic and Social Republic and

563 Reply to “Democracy in America”

  1. I struggle to penetrate God s point of view, from which vantage point I try to observe and judge human affairs.A few months ago, bored at work and with no other obligations to tie me to New York, I decided that I would look into employment in Europe and now, several months and an irksome visa process later, I am on the verge of setting off to Madrid Unsurprisingly, I m very excited to go but of course leaving one s home is always bittersweet This is partly why I picked up Tocqueville s Democracy [...]

  2. ChronologyIntroduction NotesFurther ReadingTranslator s Note Democracy in AmericaNotesTwo Essays on America Two Weeks in the Wilderness Excursion to Lake Oneida

  3. 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 those books analogous, if you will, to Cervantes Don Quixote, Melville s Moby Dick, Proust s In Search of Lost Time or Musil s Man Without Qualities that avid readers want to have read, but never have.I finally did.If you can find the time and the quiet to read fifty pages of this book a day, you can a [...]

  4. I m going with 4 stars here, it isn t always the easiest book to read, but worth it There is a lot of wisdom in this book, a lot of insight While history hasn t borne out all his predictions, there have been enough Sadly also, it looks as though of the things he said may still prove to be true In today s atmosphere, the thoughts here compared to the reality we live in and that may be coming to pass.well, it s worth some thought When America broke away from the branch so to speak it was a new th [...]

  5. Update My brother just told me that Kurt Vonnegut says that anyone who hasn t read Democracy in America is a wimp So I guess that makes me almost not a wimp Well Post from a few weeks ago I ve been wanting to read de Toqueville s, Democracy in America for some time, and I ve finally bit the bullet The translation is beautifully done De Toqueville s sentiments are eloquent and thought provoking Wonderful How s that for summer reading Part of me wishes we still talked like pilgrims.

  6. One of the most pivotal books in my college education It got me to start rethinking the concept of prisons and mass incarceration in America.

  7. De la democratie en Amerique Democracy in America, Alexis de Tocqueville 1346 815 1380 743 9641319505 19 1347 815 1383 574 1393 9789644455285 19 1394

  8. Creio que , devido ao dia, todos dever amos ler esta extraordin ria obra , para perceber melhor o caldo de culturas que o pa s Estados Unidos da Am rica.

  9. My husband and I have listened to the audio version of Alexis de Tocqueville s Democracy in America for the past few months We have paused many times to discuss interesting passages and have thoroughly enjoyed this courteous visitor s de Tocqueville was French perspective on the early years of our nation The first Volume was written in 1835 and the second in 1840.To fully appreciate this monumental socio economic classic of colonial and antebellum political life, one would need to devote many ho [...]

  10. In the 1830s, the period during which this book was written, Europe was still straining under the social structures of The Old Regime the Helvetian Confederation excluded while a new democratic state had emerged, ever since its Declaration of Independence on July 4 1776, the United States of America, led by George Washington who seemed to be the modern American version of Solon or Pericles.Alexis de Tocqueville, a French aristocrat and politician, fascinated by the democracy so easily establishe [...]

  11. Have to eventually read this, of course.Just a note, for now I was reading about some essay on The Economist, and one of the comments quoted from de Tocqueville The comment, below, reminded me of one of the reasons I m somewhat pessimistic about America s future as Aquinas city on a hill.The foundation of New England was a novel spectacle, and all the circumstances attending it were singular and original The settlers who established themselves on the shores of New England all belonged to the in [...]

  12. This is not a review by any means, just a placeholder to indicate that after two months of enthusiasm, two months of stalling, and a final two months of hard reading, I have finally finished Democracy in America I am no longer a wimp nor am I a twerp , in the words of Vonnegut Thanks Dion In my altered state the euphoria of having finished such an amazing book , I cannot with sound mind expound upon how awesome this book is It will take many years of study and careful re reading to fully compreh [...]

  13. tourist instructs his hosts that their preferred legal mechanisms may develop into ochlocracy if they don t cool it.

  14. I read this in response to my frustration with what I saw as our inability to bring democracy to other places in the world Chapters 1 42 and 55 57 are the most insightful Others tend to drag In 1830s de Tocqueville comes to America to figure our why a democratic revolution in France lead to anarchy and despotism, while a democratic revolution in America lead to freedom What he finds is still relevant to our trying to bring or give democracy to others Two things emerge first there were many natur [...]

  15. Caveat I read the 320 page abridged version, so some of my complaints may be simple misunderstandings due to ignorance.I ll start by saying that I m not sure what gives a 25 year old rich French kid on a pleasure cruise through the New World the credibility to make completely unsupported assertions on the political and social climate of early America and have them accepted as gospel After slogging through 300 or so pages, I m exceedingly grateful that this abridged version exists, because I can [...]

  16. Witticisms likethe lower classes of society what they always lack, or less, is the art of judging the means, even while sincerely wishing the endand its related One must not conceal from oneself that democratic institutions develop the sentiment of envy in the human heart to a very high degree It is not so much because they offer to each the means of becoming equal to others, but because this means constantly fail those who employ them Every day this complete equality eludes the hands of the pe [...]

  17. I read selections this time around, as I did years ago Tocqueville toured and studied America not long after the French Revolution He was hoping to glean ideas for his own country I think what he found couldn t necessarily apply He says we had no democratic revolution, because we began democratically This makes sense, as our Revolution was simply an effort to keep that independent flavor, rather than lose it to our parent country.Among the many things he observes and analyzes, I was interested i [...]

  18. De Tocqueville s opus was the first sociological account of the fledgling American culture, and was aimed in part at creating a road map for a Democratic government in France The sheer impact it has had on the way the world views American society and how we view ourselves makes this a must read.Democracy in America leaves no stone unturned It systematically describes the governmental structure, from local to national It weighs the effects of public education, freedom of the press, and extensive [...]

  19. Growing up I was thankful that nowhere in my liberal arts education was I assigned to read Tocqueville s On Democracy in America The idea that it was written by a Frenchman always worried me, not for any particular political reasons but so because I was afraid the connection would not be made between the author s intentions and the translation produced Of course, there is no way to determine if the author s thoughts are properly conveyed but the translation comes across clear and revealing Anot [...]

  20. Did you have to read this book for Political Science 101 I did, and I still have my copy of it In this election year, it would be worth taking a look at this book again It seems to me that, particularly in the past eight years, we have strayed off the path of the ideals that this book represents Anyone interested in democracy, equality, and the role of the military in government should own a copy of this book Make sure it is the unabridged one.

  21. This is an interesting book that I don t understand completely, but I think it s a good and timely read to be studying about our republic and the unique freedom and democracy we enjoy in America Alexis de Tocqueville describes and teaches about each branch and level of American democracy and government He begins with local government and talks about state and federal government including details of the establishment and importance of the executive, judicial and legislative branches He also talks [...]

  22. Worth reading the whole two volumes Lots of us have read snippets of De Tocqueville, but these two volumes are classics for a reason He wrote in 1830, the age of Jackson well worth revisiting today.

  23. Americans boast in democracy, but we are unaware of the ways it has biased and prejudiced our thinking in negative ways Enter de Tocqueville, the Frenchmen who visited the United States in the 1830s His reflections contained in Democracy in America give Americans a fresh, piercing perspective about our way of life The benefits of democracy are obvious, but the dangers are subtle and often work themselves out over many years De Tocqueville was something of a seer By looking at the seed of equalit [...]

  24. Tocqueville s style in Democracy in America can best be described as verbose and exhausting the young aristocrat perpetually found a way to turn an idea easily described in a paragraph into a multi page discourse, followed often by virtual restatements pages later However, Tocqueville s writing style is worth slogging through, as his discourses on political and civil society are both astute and startlingly clairvoyant As political scientist William Ebenstein noted of Tocqueville s work, nothing [...]

  25. I love doing that time travel thing, when you find an author who can bring you to his or her time, and you are like Samantha in Bewitched talking to Benjamin Franklin in her 60s housewife clothes I take this from my shelf every few years and stick it in my backpack and read my little copy of this book for a few minutes every other day or so, much like the religious read the bible I assume, although I always remember that mine was written by a youngish white European of no particular esteem who w [...]

  26. Considered a must read classic about US history and US political culture In fact, the most over rated book in all of history Complete waste of your time I d give it zero stars if I could Alexis spent all his time hanging with his plantation owner buddies in the South who ran the US gov t at the time, then wrote a book about how great Democracy in the US was Except for a couple of pages, he ignores all the main issues of US political and economic history slavery, racism, exploitation, genocide, m [...]

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