In 1831 Alexis de Tocqueville and Gustave de Beaumont were sent by the French government to the United States to study its prison system. They spent nine months traveling the country, using the study as a pretext to make a broad survey of the economic, political, and religious character of the young nation.  In 1835 de Tocqueville published the first of two volumes of Democracy in America, in which he examined the democratic revolution. He begins by noting the movement towards equality brought about by the ability of all men to enter the clergy, the abolition of primogeniture, and economic opportunities brought about by the growth of commerce.  The first volume dwells at length on a political analysis of why a democratic republic has succeeded in America, citing separation of church and state, respect for women, and economic mobility as critical factors. The second volume treats civil laws and society in a similar manner. The book is often cited for its insights, such as a concern for the tyranny of the majority, the dangers of individualism, the acrimony over the abolition of slavery, the emergence of the United States and Russia as the dominant world powers, and the rise of an industrial elite. The book has become a classic work at the core of the disciplines of political science, sociology, and history.  Harvard professor Harvey C. Mansfield described it as “at once the best book ever written on democracy and the best book ever written on America.”

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Item Info
EAN 0683422134784
Media MP3 CD
Package DVD Case
Author Alexis de Tocqueville (1805-1859) Translated by Henry Reeve
Recording
Read by Multiple readers
Length 31 hours and 4 minutes
Type Collaborative reading

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Democracy in America

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