Democracy in America

ISBN-10: 0312463308

ISBN-13: 9780312463304

Edition: 2009 (Abridged)

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This new edition ofDemocracy in Americamakes Tocqueville's classic nineteenth-century study of American politics, society, and culture available finally! in a brief and accessible version. Designed for instructors who are eager to teach the work but reluctant to assign all 700 plus pages, Kammen's careful abridgment features the most well-known chapters that by scholarly consensus are most representative of Tocqueville's thinking on a wide variety of issues. A comprehensive introduction provides historical and intellectual background, traces the author's journey in America, helps students unpack the meaning behind key Tocquevillian concepts like "individualism," "equality," and "tyranny of the majority," and discusses the work's reception and legacy. Newly translated, this edition offers instructors a convenient and affordable option for exploring this essential work with their students. Useful pedagogic features include a chronology, questions for consideration, a selected bibliography, illustrations, and an index.
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Book details

List price: $20.99
Copyright year: 2009
Publisher: Bedford/Saint Martin's
Publication date: 8/8/2008
Binding: Paperback
Pages: 208
Size: 5.25" wide x 8.00" long x 0.50" tall
Weight: 0.682
Language: English

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.

Michael Gedaliah Kammen was born in Rochester, New York on October 25, 1936. He received a bachelor's degree in history from George Washington University and master's and doctoral degrees in history from Harvard University. He was a professor of American history and culture at Cornell University since 1965. He wrote numerous books including A Season of Youth, A Machine That Would Go of Itself, Mystic Chords of Memory: The Transformation of Tradition in American Culture, Visual Shock, and Digging Up the Dead: A History of Notable American Reburials. He received the 1973 Pulitzer Prize for history for People of Paradox: An Inquiry Concerning the Origins of American Civilization. He died on November 29, 2013 at the age of 77.

A Note about the Text and Translation
List of Illustrations
Introduction: Tocqueville and His Tour de Force
Tocqueville's Life and Character
The Journey in America
Content and Key Themes of the Work
How Democracy in America Was Received
The Relevance and Legacy of Democracy in America
Democracy in America
Author's Introduction
America's Founding and Its Importance for the Future of Anglo-Americans
Anglo-American Social Conditions
The Principle of the sovereignty of the People in America
The Need to Examine What Happens in Individual States Before Discussing the Government of the Whole
Why It Is Accurate To Say That In The United States, The People Govern
The Real Advantages Derived By American Society From Democratic Government
The Omnipotence of the Majority in the United States and Its Consequences
What tempers the Tyranny of the Majority
The Principal Causes Tending to Preserve a Democratic Republic in the United States
A Few Remarks on Present and Probable Future Conditions of the Three Races Living Within the United States
The Influence of Democracy Upon the Intellectual Development of the United States
The Principal Source of Beliefs Among Democratic Countries
The Spirit in which Americans Cultivate the Arts
Literary Production
Certain Characteristics of Historians in Democratic Centuries
Influence of Democracy on the Opinions of Americans
Individualism in Democratic Society
Individualism is Greater Following a Democratic Revolution Than In Any Other Period
Americans Minimize Individualism with Free Institutions
The Role of Voluntary Associations in America
The Relationship Between Associations and Newspapers
Connections Between Voluntary and Political Associations
Americans Overcome Individualism Through the Doctrine of Self-Interest Well Understood
The Taste for Material Comfort in America
Why Americans Appear So Restless Amidst Their Prosperity
How Americans' Love of Material Comfort Combines with the Love of Liberty and a Concern for Public Affairs
How Aristocracy May Result from Industry
Influence of Democracy on Customs as Such
Education of Girls in the United States
The Young Woman as Wife
How Social Equality Helps Maintain Moral Behavior in America
What Americans Mean by Equality of Men and Women
American Society Appears Both Restless and Monotonous
Why Great Revolutions Will Become Rare
The Influence Exercised by Democratic Ideas and Attitudes on Politics
Equality Naturally Leads to A Desire For Free Institutions
The Type of Despotism Democratic Nations Have to Fear
An Overview of the Subject
A Tocqueville Chronology (1805-1859)
Questions for Consideration
Selected Bibliography
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