File Size: 718 KB
Print Length: 320 pages
Publisher: Signet; Reprint edition (September 1, 2001)
Publication Date: September 1, 2001
Alexis de Tocqueville provides unique and informative prospectives from his travels through America within two generations of it's founding. Clearly a well-read, intelligent, and informed, he contrasts the adoption of the principles of individual liberty in America with the much different conditions in European countries. While his emphasis is on 'democracy', it is really a study how the strengths of democracy that secure individual Liberty were applied while avoiding the issues experienced by every other attempt to apply democracy that conclusion in tyranny of the majority.
Highly recommended for anyone enthusiastic about the America that created the most amazing example of self-rule: the Constitutional Republic that has produced the most productive, inclusive, innovative, charitable and powerful society in human history.
As America confronts assaults on our Constitutional Republic from within and without, it is inspiring to be reminded how exceptional is the American Experiment; and how essential it is that informed Sovereign Citizens restore the Constitutional governance that is American Exceptionalism., The copy I received (used) was in excellent condition. I really like the Everyman's Library series from Knopf. It has a solid introduction and the reprint quality is fantastic. How can one not be enthusiastic about Tocqueville's findings? He plainly focuses on the weakness in American democracy in the direction of mob rule. In the same time, even back in the period leading up to their version of Donal Overcome (Andrew Jackson) he sees the inherent decency of Americans. It is reassuring to read at a time when American governmental institutions will be examined., BEWARE THIS IS SIMPLY VOLUME 1. IT DOES NOT INCLUDE VOLUME 2., Timeless classic book that is totally worth reading. Keen observation of United states society that remains relevant today. I have read it over and over again, and will re read it again in the future. Fantastic for anyone, but especially teachers and students of history, social sciences, and law., I marveled at Alexis de Tocqueville's trenchant insights into those that have made (makes) American Democracy what it is. Indeed, I think Tocqueville knew more about us than we do (partly a benefit of being a foreigner). But it's not merely findings on American Democracy that we get in this indispensable book, but useful analysis between the democratic revolutions and societies in Tocqueville's native France and other countries, and the incessant contrasts the author makes between aristocratic and democratic societies. Tocqueville lived in a time where the old orders of society (mainly aristocratic) were dissipating and hence his careful examination of the promises and problems that democracies posed for this country and others for his day and for the future.
I can't possibly get started to touch on every issue Tocqueville discusses in this guide, but I'll try to mention a few. For Tocqueville, America offered a unique opportunity for democracy to grow and flourish. He discusses the advantages of geographic location, the Puritan settlers in New England, the townships that developed, the formation of the says and the eventual Marriage formally established by the U. S. Constitution written in 1787. In addition to the external factors that evinced a democratic society, he gave careful attention to the interests, beliefs, habits and mores that united Americans North and South, East and Western (though there were some obvious economical and sociable distinctions between these geographic segments).
America did not have got a ruling class, and Tocqueville discusses what he the equality of conditions he saw in this county. Americans believed they were corresponding to each other, especially in respect with their ability to obtain wealth and prosperity. Typically the people also viewed on their own as sovereign; that they had agent leaders, but in the end those leaders were and continue to be accountable to the people. Tocqueville is not reluctant to mention some bad sides to democracy, or at least potentially bad tendencies that could develop. Such subjects as the tyranny of the majority, individual impotence in the face of democracy's dependence on the pressure of the public as a single body, lack of greater intellectual pursuits and accomplishments (though he admits this is a result of our busy lives and our wish to find quick answers and solutions). He appears to be most disappointed with the mediocrity that he sees as resulting when all things seem to be equal. The hazards of tyranny and despotism also linger.
Tocqueville found signs of potential future conflict, especially considering the presence of slavery. He envisioned a war between the races as very possible. He also discussed the effects of white negotiation and their interaction with the Natives as well. His / her judgement seemed to be that the Natives were doomed once the white settlers arrived and started moving west. In addition to conflicts among people, he saw the growing concentration of power as almost inevitable. Our history has especially proven the growth of our nationwide government. And there are so many other findings Tocqueville discusses on the continuing future of democracy not only in this country, however for any democratic society. He previously his fears and hopes.
Presently there are so many things I'm leaving out, but I was truly impressed with this man's astute observations on our form of government and our society generally speaking and what some of the positive and negative sides to democracy were (and are). Presently there are subjects touched on that will cause you to immediately grasp how applicable they may be to life today. A must read., Excellent book. Difficult to read because it was written in the style of 19th century British. However, it is an important read for our current political situation. Typically the Introduction is especially good.
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