Some brief overview of this book
No other book is as pervasively woven into the fabric of American public life and culture as Democracy in America. Tocquevilles study of nineteenth-century America is cited often and everywhere: from presidential addresses to high-school speeches, from the editorial pages of national newspapers to local radio broadcasts, from high-school and college classrooms to Sunday sermons. This Norton Critical Edition is based on the 1835 and 1840 English translations of Tocquevilles two volumes by his friend Henry Reeve. It allows todays readers to experience the book as Tocquevilles contemporaries did. It is accompanied by a full-scale introduction addressing Democracy in Americas canonical place in American life and by essential explanatory annotations.
Backgrounds includes related letters from Tocqueville to Ernest de Chabrol, Henry Reeve, and John Quincy Adams, among others, in which he shares impressions of his nine-and-a-half-month journey through the United States. A collection of nine European and American reviews-including those by Sainte-Beuve. Pellegrino Rossi, John C. Spencer, and John Stuart Mill-allows readers to assess Democracy in Americas contemporary reception. Recent interpretations by David Riesman, Max Lerner, Robert Nisbet, James T. Schleifer, Catherine Zuckert, Sheldon S. Wolin, Edward C. Banfield, Daniel T. Rodgers, Arthur Schlesinger Jr., Sean Wilentz, Henry Steele Commager, James T. Kloppenberg, and Tamara M. Teale explore Tocquevilles influence on American political thought and on democracys legacy. A Selected Bibliography is also included.
Out of Alexis de Toquevilles travels through the U.S. in the 1830s came an insightful study of a young democracy and its institutions.