Alexis de Tocqueville, a young aristocratic French lawyer, came to the United States in 1831 to study its penitentiary systems. His nine-month visit and subsequent reading and reflection resulted in Democracy in America (1835a40), a landmark masterpiece of political observation and analysis. Tocqueville vividly describes the unprecedented social equality he found in America and explores its implications for European society in the emerging modern era. His book provides enduring insight into the political consequences of widespread property ownership, the potential dangers to liberty inherent in majority rule, the importance of civil institutions in an individualistic culture dominated by the pursuit of material self-interest, and the vital role of religion in American life, while prophetically probing the deep differences between the free and slave states. The clear, fluid, and vigorous translation by Arthur Goldhammer is the first to fully capture Tocquevilleas achievements both as an accomplished literary stylist and as a profound political thinker.In any case, there is no point in asking what Americans might do in this regard, since there can be no doubt that to ... the social expenditures of the Americans fruitfully with ours as it is to compare the wealth of the Union with that of France. ... As for the county budgets, there is nothing in our system of Wnances that resembles them. Shall we include items from these budgets in state budgets or town budgets? Towns in both countries spend money, but not always in comparable ways.
|Title||:||Tocqueville: Democracy in America|
|Author||:||Alexis de Tocqueville|
|Publisher||:||Library of America - 2004-02-09|