Democracy in America has had the singular honor of being even to this day the work that polit?ical commentators of every stripe refer to when they seek to draw large conclusions about the soci?ety of the United States. Alexis de Tocqueville, a young French aristocrat, came to the young nation to investigate the functioning of American democracy and the social, political, and economic life of its citizens, publishing his observations in 1835 and 1840. Brilliantly written and vividly illustrated with vignettes and portraits, Democracy in America is far more than a trenchant analysis of one soci?ety at a particular point in time. What will most intrigue modern readers is how many of Tocqueville’s observations still hold true: on the mixed advantages of a free press, the strained relations among the races, and the threats posed to democracies by consumerism and corruption.
So uncanny is Tocqueville’s insight and so accurate are his predictions, that it seems as though he were not merely describing the American identity but actually helping to create it.
(Book Jacket Status: Jacketed)
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 (29 July 1805 - 16 April 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 analysed the rising living standards and social conditions of individuals and their relationship to the market and 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.
“No better study of a nation’s institutions and culture than Tocqueville’s Democracy in America has ever been written by a foreign observer.” –The New York Times
“The Bradley edition of Tocqueville’s classic is the best now available in English.” –Charles A. Beard
“Professor Bradley’s edition should remain the standard one for our time.” –F. O. Matthiessen
With an Introduction by Alan Ryan