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In 1831 French aristocrat Alexis de Tocqueville came to the United States to investigate its prison system. America was then a nation of 13 million people populating 24 states, with a largely unsettled territorial claim stretching westward to the Pacific. Seriously distracted from his original mission, the 25-year-old Tocqueville ended up writing about America's people, culture, history, geography, politics, legal system, and economy in ways so insightful and prophetic that today historians, professors, and politicians still consider his work Democracy in America a classic.
"For [Tocqueville] America was both the enticing object and the universal symbol of a New World in the making," writes historian and author Daniel J. Boorstin in his introduction to Volume I. "He was a master at seeing and describing the symbolism. Even more important, he wrote with an uncanny feeling for the grand currents of history and with a wholesome sense of how much and how little we can deflect those currents." This edition, the first in a two-volume set, is the Henry Reeve text, revised by Francis Bowen, and further edited by Phillips Bradley. (Click here for information about Volume II of Democracy in America.) If you've never read Democracy in America, take this opportunity to discover Tocqueville's startlingly astute observations on a democracy in its infancy. --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.
"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." --Booklist
"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."
"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."
"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
From the Paperback edition. --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.
I own two copies of this book coincidentally and if you can get past the difficulty of reading the writing style, it's beautiful. Read morePublished 1 month ago by J. A. Kluth
Phenomenal book. Sheds refreshing light on the American experience and their identity as a country.Published 1 month ago by Jack Collingsworth
This book clearly shows from an outside, 19th century perspective, that our country has completely lost sight of what its founders not only intended for it, but what made America... Read morePublished 1 month ago by Jeff Cottingham
A must read for anyone interested in America, its founding and history.Published 1 month ago by S. Mitchell
Democracy from the point of view of French writer traveling in America at the time of founding the countryPublished 2 months ago by Warmbreath
The reader was too high browed English for me and difficult to understand. I would have preferred an American voice or better yet an with a French accent would be good. Read morePublished 3 months ago by Jeff Iwasaki-Higbee