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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.From the Inside Flap:
Out of Alex de Tocqueville's travels through the U.S. in the 1830's came an insightful study of a young democracy and its institutions. This 2 volume edition presents Tocqueville's original text. Footnotes, bibliography.
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