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Democracy In America

by Alexis De Tocqueville

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Book Description
Tocqueville, Alexis de. Democracy in America. Translated by Henry Reeve, Esq. With an Original Preface and Notes by John C. Spencer. New York: Adlard and Saunders, 1838. xxx, 464 pp. Reprint available 2003 by The Lawbook Exchange, Ltd. LCCN 2002025957. ISBN 1-58477-249-2. Cloth. $85. Reprint of the first English-language edition. In 1831, Alexis de Tocqueville [1805-1859] and Gustave de Beaumont [fl.1835] were sent to the United States by the French government to study American prisons, which were renowned for their progressive and humane methods. They were pleased to accept this assignment because they were intrigued by the idea of American democracy. Tocqueville and Beaumont spent nine months in the country, traveling as far west as Michigan and as far south as New Orleans. Throughout the tour, Tocqueville used his social connections to arrange meetings with several prominent and influential thinkers of the day. He recorded his thoughts on the structure of the government and the judicial system, and commented on everyday people and the nation's political culture and social institutions. His observations on slavery, in particular, are impassioned and critical. These notes formed the basis of Democracy in America. This landmark work initiated a dialogue about the nature of democracy and the United States and its people that continues to this day.

Language Notes
Text: English (translation)
Original Language: French

Inside Flap Copy
Volume 2 of the classic commentary on the influence of democracy on the intellect, feelings, and actions of Americans. With an introduction by Phillips Bradley.

From the Trade Paperback edition.

From the Back Cover
"No better study of a nation's institutions and culture than Tocqueville's Democracy in America has ever been written by a foreign observer; none perhaps as good."
--The New York Times

Praise for the work of Joseph Epstein:

"Epstein is one of the premier contemporary American essayists...What is so remarkable about Epstein as an essay writer is that he'll begin a discussion at some personal place...and end up in another place relevant to us all. He enjoys making language work, not making it jump through hoops for show."


"Joseph Epstein is an essayist in the brilliant tradition of Charles Lamb. He moves so effortlessly from the amusingly personal to the broadly philosophical that it takes a moment before you realize how far out into the intellectual cosmos you've been taken."
--Tom Wolfe

"Joseph Epstein's essays no more need his identifying byline than Van Gogh's paintings need his signature. Epstein's style--call it learned whimsy--is unmistakable; for Epstein addicts, indispensable."
--George Will

"Joseph Epstein is the liveliest, most erudite and engaging essayist we have."

--James Atlas

"If Epstein's ultimate ancestor is Montaigne, his more immediate master is Mencken. Like Mencken, he has fashioned a style that successfully combines elegance and even bookishness with street-smart colloquial directness. And there is nothing remote or aloof about him."
--John Gross, Chicago Tribune

About the Author
One of America's premier essayists, Joseph Epstein was the editor of The American Scholar for 25 years and has taught--and continues to teach--advanced prose, the reading and writing of fiction, the sociology of literature, autobiography, literature and politics, Henry James, Joseph Conrad, and Willa Cather at Northwestern University. Epstein is the author of 13 books, most recently Life Sentences and Narcissus Leaves the Pool, and has published roughly four hundred essays, stories, reviews and articles in such journals as The New Yorker, Harper's, Times Literary Supplement, The New Republic, Commentary, The New Criterion, The New York Review of Books, Encounter, The New York Times Magazine, and Dissent.



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