Democracy in America and Two Essays on America

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Paperback, 935 pages
Penguin Books, 2003

In 1831 Alexis de Tocqueville, a young French aristocrat and ambitious civil servant, made a nine-month journey through eastern America.  The result was Democracy in America, a monumental study of the strengths and weaknesses of the nation's evolving politics.  Tocqueville looked to the flourishing democratic system in America as a possible model for post-revolutionary France, believing its egalitarian ideals reflected the spirit of the age - even that they were the will of God. His insightful work has become one of the most influential political texts ever written on America and an indispensable authority for anyone interested in the future of democracy.  This volume includes the rarely-translated Two Weeks in the Wilderness, an evocative account of Tocqueville's travels among the Iroquois and Chippeway, and Excursion to Lake Oneida.

This is the only edition that contains all Tocqueville's writings on America, and includes a chronology, further readings and notes.  Gerald Bevan's translation is accompanied by an introduction by Isaac Kramnick, which discusses Toqcqueville's life and times, and the enduring significance of Democracy in America.

Editorial Reviews

“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

 "[A] major new translation. . . . Tocqueville's insights confirm his brilliance and remind us that many features of national character are virtually indestructible." —Robert J. Samuelson, Newsweek

 About the Author

Alexis de Tocqueville (1805-1859) was a French political thinker, sociologist, aristocrat, and historian best known for his Democracy in America and The Old Regime and the Revolution.