Considered one of the most influential works of the 19th century, Democracy in America offers insights into American politics that still ring true today
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 (1835-40), 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 vital role of religion in American life, and the importance of civil institutions in an individualistic culture dominated by the pursuit of material self-interest. He also probes the deep differences between the free and slave states, writing prophetically of racism, bigotry, and prejudice in the United States.
Brought to life by Arthur Goldhammer's clear, fluid, and vigorous translation, this volume of Democracy in America is the first to fully capture Tocqueville's achievements both as an accomplished literary stylist and as a profound political thinker.
LIBRARY OF AMERICA is an independent nonprofit cultural organization founded in 1979 to preserve our nation's literary heritage by publishing, and keeping permanently in print, America's best and most significant writing. The Library of America series includes more than 300 volumes to date, authoritative editions that average 1,000 pages in length, feature cloth covers, sewn bindings, and ribbon markers, and are printed on premium acid-free paper that will last for centuries.
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