Tocqueville Democracy in America

ISBN-10: 1931082545
ISBN-13: 9781931082549
Edition: 2004
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Description: Alexis de Tocqueville, a young aristocratic French lawyer, came to the United States in 1831 to study its penitentiary systems. His nine-month visit and subsequent reading and reflection resulted in Democracy in America (183540), a landmark  More...

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Book details

List price: $37.50
Copyright year: 2004
Publisher: Library of America, The
Publication date: 2/9/2004
Binding: Hardcover
Pages: 928
Size: 5.25" wide x 8.00" long x 1.25" tall
Weight: 1.342
Language: English

Alexis de Tocqueville, a young aristocratic French lawyer, came to the United States in 1831 to study its penitentiary systems. His nine-month visit and subsequent reading and reflection resulted in Democracy in America (183540), a landmark masterpiece of political observation and analysis. Tocqueville vividly describes the unprecedented social equality he found in America and explores its implications for European society in the emerging modern era. His book provides enduring insight into the political consequences of widespread property ownership, the potential dangers to liberty inherent in majority rule, the importance of civil institutions in an individualistic culture dominated by the pursuit of material self-interest, and the vital role of religion in American life, while prophetically probing the deep differences between the free and slave states. The clear, fluid, and vigorous translation by Arthur Goldhammer is the first to fully capture Tocquevilles achievements both as an accomplished literary stylist and as a profound political thinker.

French writer and politician Alexis de Tocqueville was born in Verneuil to an aristocratic Norman family. He entered the bar in 1825 and became an assistant magistrate at Versailles. In 1831, he was sent to the United States to report on the prison system. This journey produced a book called On the Penitentiary System in the United States (1833), as well as a much more significant work called Democracy in America (1835--40), a treatise on American society and its political system. Active in French politics, Tocqueville also wrote Old Regime and the Revolution (1856), in which he argued that the Revolution of 1848 did not constitute a break with the past but merely accelerated a trend toward greater centralization of government. Tocqueville was an observant Catholic, and this has been cited as a reason why many of his insights, rather than being confined to a particular time and place, reach beyond to see a universality in all people everywhere.

Arthur Goldhammer is the translator for numerous books including Neoconservatism: The Biography of a Movement, Algerian Chronicles, The Society of Equals, and Capital in the Twenty-First Century. He received the French-American Translation Prize in 1990 for his translation of A Critical Dictionary of the French Revolution.

Olivier Zunz is the Commonwealth Professor of History at the University of Virginia. He is the author of "Why the American Century?", "Making America Corporate", and "The Changing Face of Inequality".

Introduction
The Outward Configuration of North America
On the Point of Departure and Its Importance for the Future of the Anglo-Americans
Social State of the Anglo-Americans
On the Principle of Popular Sovereignty in America
Necessity of Studying What Happens in Particular States Before Speaking of the Government of the Union
On Judicial Power in the United States and Its Effect on Political Society
On Political Judgment in the United States
On the Federal Constitution
Why It Is Strictly Accurate to Say That in the United States It Is the People Who Govern
Parties in the United States
On Freedom of the Press in the United States
On Political Association in the United States
On the Government of Democracy in America
What Are the Real Advantages to American Society of Democratic Government?
On the Omnipotence of the Majority in the United States and Its Effects
On That Which Tempers the Tyranny of the Majority in the United States
On the Principal Causes That Tend to Maintain the Democratic Republic in the United States
Some Considerations Concerning the Present State and Probable Future of the Three Races That Inhabit the Territory of the United States
Preface
Influence of Democracy on the Evolution of the American Intellect
On the Philosophical Method of the Americans
On the Principal Source of Beliefs Among Democratic Peoples
Why the Americans Show More Aptitude and Taste for General Ideas Than Their English Forefathers
Why the Americans Have Never Been as Passionate as the French About General Ideas in Politics
How Religion Uses Democratic Instincts in the United States
On the Progress of Catholicism in the United States
What Makes the Mind of Democratic Peoples Receptive to Pantheism
How Democracy Suggests to the Americans the Idea of Man's Infinite Perfectibility
How the Example of the Americans Does Not Prove That a Democratic People Can Have No Aptitude for Science, Literature, or the Arts
Why Americans Devote Themselves More to the Practical Applications of Science Than to the Theory
In What Spirit Americans Cultivate the Arts
Why Americans Build Such Insignificant and Such Great Monuments at the Same Time
The Literary Aspect of Democratic Centuries
On the Literary Industry
Why the Study of Greek and Latin Is Particularly Useful in Democratic Societies
How American Democracy Has Changed the English Language
On Some Sources of Poetry in Democratic Nations
Why American Writers and Orators Are Often Bombastic
Some Observations on the Theater of Democratic Peoples
On Certain Tendencies Peculiar to Historians in Democratic Centuries
On Parliamentary Eloquence in the United States
Influence of Democracy on the Sentiments of the Americans
Why Democratic Peoples Show a More Ardent and Enduring Love of Equality Than of Liberty
On Individualism in Democratic Countries
How Individualism Is More Pronounced at the End of a Democratic Revolution Than at Any Other Time
How Americans Combat Individualism with Free Institutions
On the Use That Americans Make of Association in Civil Life
On the Relation Between Associations and Newspapers
Relations Between Civil Associations and Political Associations
How Americans Combat Individualism with the Doctrine of Self-Interest Properly Understood
How Americans Apply the Doctrine of Self-Interest Properly Understood in the Matter of Religion
On the Taste for Material Well-Being in America
On the Particular Effects of the Love of Material Gratifications in Democratic Centuries
Why Certain Americans Exhibit Such Impassioned Spiritualism
Why Americans Seem So Restless in the Midst of Their Well-Being
How the Taste for Material Gratifications Is Combined in America with Love of Liberty and Concern About Public Affairs
How Religious Beliefs Sometimes Divert the American Soul Toward Immaterial Gratifications
How Excessive Love of Well-Being Can Impair It
How, in Times of Equality and Doubt, It Is Important to Set Distant Goals for Human Actions
Why All Respectable Occupations Are Reputed Honorable Among Americans
Why Nearly All Americans Are Inclined to Enter Industrial Occupations
How Industry Could Give Rise to an Aristocracy
Influence of Democracy on Mores Properly So-Called
How Mores Become Milder as Conditions Become More Equal
How Democracy Simplifies and Eases Habitual Relations Among Americans
Why Americans Are So Slow to Take Offense in Their Country and So Quick to Take Offense in Ours
Consequences of the Three Previous Chapters
How Democracy Modifies Relations Between Servant and Master
How Democratic Institutions and Mores Tend to Raise Prices and Shorten the Terms of Leases
Influence of Democracy on Wages
Influence of Democracy on the Family
Raising Girls in the United States
How the Traits of the Girl Can Be Divined in the Wife
How Equality of Conditions Helps to Maintain Good Morals in America
How the Americans Understand the Equality of Man and Woman
How Equality Naturally Divides the Americans into a Multitude of Small Private Societies
Some Reflections on American Manners
On the Gravity of Americans and Why It Does Not Prevent Them from Acting Rashly
Why the National Vanity of the Americans Is More Restless and Argumentative Than That of the English
How Society in the United States Seems Both Agitated and Monotonous
On Honor in the United States and in Democratic Societies
Why There Are So Many Ambitious Men and So Few Great Ambitions in the United States
On Place-Hunting in Certain Democratic Nations
Why Great Revolutions Will Become Rare
Why Democratic Peoples Naturally Desire Peace and Democratic Armies Naturally Desire War
Which Class in Democratic Armies Is the Most Warlike and Revolutionary
What Makes Democratic Armies Weaker Than Other Armies at the Start of a Campaign but More Formidable in Protracted Warfare
On Discipline in Democratic Armies
Some Remarks on War in Democratic Societies
On the Influence that Democratic Ideas and Sentiments Exert on Political Society
Equality Naturally Gives Men a Taste for Free Institutions
Why the Ideas of Democratic Peoples About Government Naturally Favor the Concentration of Power
How the Sentiments of Democratic Peoples Accord with Their Ideas to Bring About a Concentration of Power
Concerning Certain Particular and Accidental Causes That Either Lead a Democratic People to Centralize Power or Divert Them From It
How Sovereign Power in Today's European Nations Is Increasing, Although Sovereigns Are Less Stable
What Kind of Despotism Democratic Nations Have to Fear
Continuation of the Preceding Chapters
General View of the Subject
Tocqueville's Notes
Translator's Note
Chronology
Note on the Texts
Notes
Index

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