Democracy in America (Paperback)

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A contemporary study of the early American nation and its evolving democracy, from a French aristocrat and sociologist
In 1831 Alexis de Tocqueville, a young French aristocrat and ambitious civil servant, set out from post-revolutionary France on a journey across America that would take him 9 months and cover 7,000 miles. The result was "Democracy in America," a subtle and prescient analysis of the life and institutions of 19th-century America. Tocqueville looked to the flourishing deomcratic system in America as a possible model for post-revolutionary France, believing that the egalitarian ideals it enshrined reflected the spirit of the age and even divine will. His study of the strengths and weaknesses of an evolving democratic society has been quoted by every American president since Eisenhower, and remains a key point of reference for any discussion of the American nation or the democratic system.
This new edition is the only one that contains all Tocqueville's writings on America, including the rarely-translated"Two Weeks in the Wilderness," an account of Tocqueville's travels in Michigan among the Iroquois, and"Excursion to Lake Oneida."
For more than seventy years, Penguin has been the leading publisher of classic literature in the English-speaking world. With more than 1,700titles, Penguin Classics represents a global bookshelf of the best works throughout history and across genres and disciplines. Readers trust theseries to provide authoritative texts enhanced by introductions and notes by distinguished scholars and contemporary authors, as well as up-to-datetranslations by award-winning translators.

About the Author

One of America's premier essayists, Joseph Epstein was the editor of "The American Scholar for 25 years and has taught--and continues to teach--advanced prose, the reading and writing of fiction, the sociology of literature, autobiography, literature and politics, Henry James, Joseph Conrad, and Willa Cather at Northwestern University. Epstein is the author of 13 books, most recently Life Sentences and Narcissus Leaves the Pool, and has published roughly four hundred essays, stories, reviews and articles in such journals as "The New Yorker, Harper's, Times Literary Supplement, The New Republic, Commentary, The New Criterion, The New York Review of Books, Encounter, The New York Times Magazine, and "Dissent.

"From the Paperback edition.

Alexis-Charles-Henri Clerel de Tocqueville (French: 29 July 1805 - 16 April 1859) was a French political thinker and historian best known for his works Democracy in America (appearing in two volumes: 1835 and 1840) and The Old Regime and the Revolution (1856). In both of these, he analyzed the improved living standards and social conditions of individuals, as well as their relationship to the market and state in Western societies. Democracy in America was published after Tocqueville's travels in the United States, and is today considered an early work of sociology and political science. Tocqueville was active in French politics, first under the July Monarchy (1830-1848) and then during the Second Republic (1849-1851) which succeeded the February 1848 Revolution. He retired from political life after Louis Napoleon Bonaparte's 2 December 1851 coup, and thereafter began work on The Old Regime and the Revolution. He argued that the importance of the French Revolution was to continue the process of modernizing and centralizing the French state which had begun under King Louis XIV. The failure of the Revolution came from the inexperience of the deputies who were too wedded to abstract Enlightenment ideals. Tocqueville was a classical liberal who advocated parliamentary government, but was skeptical of the extremes of democracy.

Alexis de Tocqueville (1805a1859) was a historian, social critic, and politician whose study of the early American republic, "Democracy in America," is a political text of enduring significance. Gerald Bevan is the translator of the Penguin Classics edition of de Tocquevilleas "Democracy in America,"
Product Details
ISBN: 9780140447606
ISBN-10: 0140447601
Publisher: Penguin Books
Publication Date: July 2003
Pages: 992
Language: English