It did not depend on the passions of disorder. The discharge of political duties appears to them to be a troublesome impediment which diverts them from their occupations and business. Matthiessen With an Introduction by Alan Ryan You may also be interested in. Matthiessen With an Introduction by Alan Ryan. Peoples are lulled to sleep by the temporary prosperity it engenders, and when they do wake up, they are wretched.
Although not a panegyric of America as it would seem, this book exposes the pros and cons of the democratic system and the threat of the tyranny of the majority and provides an exhaustive study of republicanism, federalism, governmental and administrative decentralization and presidency in the United States. If you can find the time and the quiet to read fifty pages of this book a day, you can accomplish it in under three weeks. Another reason I always found myself put off by the possibility of reading this book is because of what I perceived to be the inherent datedness of the subject. Product Description A contemporary study of the early American nation and its evolving democracy, from a French aristocrat and sociologist In 1831 Alexis de Tocqueville, a young French aristocrat and ambitious civil servant, set out from post-revolutionary France on a journey across America that would take him 9 months and cover 7,000 miles. One that belongs on the bookshelf of any person with a serious interest in civil society and politics in America.
Of course there is dating and irrelevancy threaded in among his other brilliant observations, but all things considered, I was amazed by how much has stood the test of time. It's long over 800 pages , but the length is fully justified by the breadth, depth, and richness of Tocqueville's observations and reflections on what he has seen. During this trip, they wrote Du système pénitentiaire aux Etats-Unis et de son application 1832. Sadly also, it looks as though more of the things he said may still prove to be true. If you can find the time and the quiet to read fifty pages of this book a day, you can accomplish it in under three weeks. The book gives little support to those who would and do quote it for partisan political purposes. It's notable that many in the academic community are far more enamored with the French Revolution than with the American.
I ended up with the abridged version, which is just as well. There is consequently less ties to the land and to the family. I've been disappointed as often as I've been impressed. While Democracy in America is not a founding document of the United States, it was highly influential from the time of its publication through Tocqueville's death in 1859. Democracy in America does not pretend, however, to be the penultimate description.
He is so prescient in this particular premoniton that it almost feels eerie. Aside from agreeing wholeheartedly with his theory on associations, the aspect of Tocqueville's writing that most impresses me is his ability to remain mostly impartial. Lawrence is more accurate than the old Henry Reeve translation even as revised by Phillips Bradley kept in print by Vintage, and livelier than the stodgy translation inflicted on us by Harvey C. Issac Kramnick is Professor of Government at Cornell and edited The Federalist Papers for Penguin. While history hasn't borne out all his predictions, there have been enough. He wrote two volumes some years apart, which are now usually combined into one. The American does battle with the obstacles that nature has placed before him; the Russian grapples with men.
In terms of chronology, 55 years after the signing of the Declaration of Independence and 30 years before the Civil War. The history, social complexion and geography of the country shape how the democracy will actually function in practise. He is justifiably pessimistic about both problems. Men appeal to force when they do not have right on their side. He also talks about the philosophies and laws and pros and cons of a government run by the people. I did, and I still have my copy of it.
Mill he doesn't imagine giving women the vote and thinks it normal that servants not just slaves don't have the vote either. Slavery … dishonors labor; it introduces idleness into society and therewith ignorance and pride, poverty and luxury. He retired from political life after Louis Napoléon Bonaparte's December 2, 1851 coup, and thereafter began work on The Old Regime and the Revolution, Volume I. The government is therefore not much concerned with continuity and order in its measures. Tocqueville's primary contribution from the trip, however, was the study that became Democracy in America, published in two volumes in 1835 and 1840.
Bevan: Bevan translated the 2003 Penguin edition of Democracy in America , which is quoted herein. Americans are self-reliant, but not daring; they are often decent, but never saintly. We are able to give less to Caesar when we give more to others. All, without a single exception, had received a good education, and many of them were known in Europe for their talents and their acquirements. You stick by family, you depend on family for your welfare, and when you're the head of the family, you have obligations.