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Memoir on Pauperism: Does Public Charity Produce an Idle and Dependent Class of Society? Paperback – February 1, 2006

ISBN-13: 978-1596053632 ISBN-10: 1596053631

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 48 pages
  • Publisher: Cosimo Classics (February 1, 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1596053631
  • ISBN-13: 978-1596053632
  • Product Dimensions: 5 x 0.1 x 8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.1 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,848,130 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

About the Author

French writer ALEXIS DE TOCQUEVILLE (1805-1859) was born in Paris and practiced law before embarking on travels in America to study the young nation's political experiment. The result, the two-volume Democracy in America (1835, 1840), is considered a classic discourse on 19th-century America.

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11 of 13 people found the following review helpful By DKC on December 21, 2006
Format: Paperback
Most people who are familiar with Democracy in America are aware of just how well de Toqueville's analysis of the early 19th century United States has held up to the test of time. On Pauperism is brief (miniscule in comparison) but THE BEST analysis of why the welfare state doesn't work; why private charity can work (no guarantees); and a not-cheerful, but frighteningly accurate, discussion of the apparently "wider"spread poverty of affluent nations than poor nations.

A brilliant, valuable, percipacious work which should be much more widely read. Thanks to Cosimo Pres for re-publishing it.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Buenoslibros.es on October 11, 2008
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
How Socialism crept into Western Europe

The great French man takes a look at the paradox offered by modern societies (in this case England, early 19th Century): The countries appearing to be more impoverished (are the ones with) the fewest indigents", and "among the peoples most admired for their opulence, one patr of the population is obliged to rely on the gifts of the other in order to live."

The key? Well-fare, public charity. Today it may not seem a paradox anymore, so ingrained in our righteous leftist minds it is. But Tocqueville saw it as it surreptitiously came forth, along with the Industrial Revolution. His analysis is clear-minded, cool, not coldly detached from the anguish of the miseries of the poor, but -on the contrary- interested enough to inquire into the roots of this modern paradox, which has since provided the daily fuel for the Left's demagoguery, and is the real opium of the self-blinded masses.

Tocqueville is not the Manichean the Left would like to think. His solution to the vicious cycle of wellfare-poverty-more-wellfare is not to cut through and banish it all. It is to get away with what went wrong in an originally fine idea: To cut loose from there, and return to the healthy idea of improving society, not contributing to its impoverishment.

A real diamond this book is, for its value and for its tiny size. You'll find where exactly the waters we're drinking from now got muddled up.
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3 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Cathy A. Amberson on September 11, 2012
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Honestly..this was written 150+ years ago and still we go off the cliff toward socialism. Amazing. His basic premise is once the relationship a person receiving 'aid' has from the person providing the aid is removed, there is no motivation become productive. We have had 50 years of the War on Poverty where our government takes from producers to give to non-producers and consequently many if not all of those who've been on aid for generations think the money is free...that the government is some building that just shits money. And what is the end result? We do have an idle and dependent class who will continue to vote for whichever politician promises them the most goodies. How sad is that?
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