On Tocqueville: Democracy and America

On Tocqueville Democracy and America Alan Ryan brilliantly illuminates the observations of the French philosopher who first journeyed to the United States in and went on to catalog the unique features of the American social contract

Alan Ryan brilliantly illuminates the observations of the French philosopher who first journeyed to the United States in 1831 and went on to catalog the unique features of the American social contract Often thought of as the father of American Exceptionalism, Tocqueville sought to analyze the social conditions of emerging political equality, a river that may be channelAlan Ryan brilliantly illuminates the observations of the French philosopher who first journeyed to the United States in 1831 and went on to catalog the unique features of the American social contract Often thought of as the father of American Exceptionalism, Tocqueville sought to analyze the social conditions of emerging political equality, a river that may be channeled but cannot be stopped in its course Struck by the fact that even then all Americans believed they belonged to the middle class, Tocqueville made prescient observations about American life that remain as relevant today as when they were first written In Ryan s hands, On Tocqueville becomes the perfect introduction to Tocqueville s two volume masterpiece, Democracy in America.Excerpted here are Democracy in America, The Old Regime Revolution, and selections from Tocqueville s memoir of the 1848 revolution.

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On Tocqueville: Democracy and America

876 Reply to “On Tocqueville: Democracy and America”

  1. Ryan presents a series of representative snippets from most of the chapters of the two volumes However, the introduction is the interesting part of the book and any reader who intends to read the original can skip the snippets if required The introductory essay is pretty good and is a good primer for reading Tocqueville Ryan discusses the major influences on Tocqueville s thought and throws interesting light on the motivations that colored his observations Overall, well worth the short read.


  2. Ryan s analysis in this book has all the eloquence of a foreign language text processed through google translate by a server that doesn t recognize punctuation It is not any such thing of course Ryan is a distinguished academic at Oxford, who writes in English, which makes his succumbing to such obscure philosophical writing all the frustrating In contrast, the part of the book dedicated to un analyzed key passages from Democracy in America are quite good Tocquevilles writing nearly 200 year ol [...]


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