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Democracy in America (2 vols.)

Format: Digital
Publisher: ratings


In 1831, Alexis de Tocqueville and Gustave de Beaumont were commissioned by the French government to study America’s prison system. The two took a nine-month tour of the country studying prisons, but also the character of American religion, politics, and society. Tocqueville noted the lack of regard for social class, the high regard for labor, and the equality of economic opportunity. Two years later they’d published their official report on penitentiaries, but it was Tocqueville’s Democracy in America the stores could not keep in stock.

In Democracy in America, Tocqueville examines why democracy flourished in America, while having disastrous effects elsewhere. Tocqueville admires the American constitution, but gives most of the credit to American “habits of mind.” He credits America’s Puritan foundations for creating a climate of equality, with a dominant middle class and an emphasis on religious and political liberty. Throughout the massive work, Tocqueville becomes the first to identify the ideology of separate spheres for men and women, and he makes many accurate predictions about slavery and industry—anticipating both the Civil War between North and South, and the Cold War between Russia and the United States.

Marking a new era of social science, Tocqueville’s classic work is a necessity in the library of any student of politics, sociology, or history.

The digital edition of this valuable work is enhanced by amazing functionality. Study Tocqueville alongside a library of classic literature and philosophy. Important terms link to dictionaries, encyclopedias, and a wealth of other resources in your digital library. Powerful searches help you find exactly what you’re looking for. Tablet and mobile apps let you take your study with you. With Logos, the most efficient and comprehensive research tools are in one place, so you get the most out of your study.

Key Features

  • Examines the history of American politics, economics, civil society, and family structure
  • Keystone text in political science, sociology, and history
  • Classic 1835 translation by Henry Reeve

Praise for the Print Edition

At once the best book ever written on democracy and the best book ever written on America.

—Harvey Mansfield, William R. Kenan Jr., Professor of Government, Harvard

Individual Titles

Democracy in America, vol. 1

  • Author: Alexis de Tocqueville
  • Translator: Henry Reeve
  • Edition: Fourth
  • Publisher: Sever and Francis
  • Publication Date: 1864
  • Pages: 563

Sample Pages: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7

Volume 1 of Democracy in America primarily examines the governmental structure and social conditions of America. It is divided into eight chapters:

  • Exterior Form of North America
  • Origin of the Anglo-Americans and Its Importance in Relation to Their Future Condition
  • Social Conditions of the Anglo-Americans
  • The Principle of the Sovereignty of the People in America
  • Necessity of Examining the Condition of the States before That of the Union at Large
  • Judicial Power in the United States and Its Influence on Political Society
  • Political Jurisdiction in the United States
  • The Federal Constitution

Democracy in America, vol. 2

  • Author: Alexis de Tocqueville
  • Translator: Henry Reeve
  • Edition: Fourth
  • Publisher: Sever and Francis
  • Publication Date: 1864
  • Pages: 531

Sample Pages: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7

Volume 2 of Democracy in America focuses on the sweeping influence of democratic thought on American society. It is divided into four books:

  • Influence of Democracy upon the Action of Intellect in the United States
  • Influence of Democracy on the Feelings of the Americans
  • Influence of Democracy on Manners Properly So Called
  • Influence of Democratic Ideas and Feelings on Political Society

Product Details

  • Title: Democracy in America
  • Author: Alexis de Tocqueville
  • Translator: Henry Reeve
  • Edition: Fourth
  • Publisher: Sever and Francis
  • Volumes: 2
  • Pages: 1,094

About Alexis de Tocqueville

Alexis de Tocqueville (1805–1859) was a French political philosopher and historian, best known for his works Democracy in America and The Old Regime and Revolution. He was a pioneer in modern political science and sociology, famously analyzing the societal changes provoked by democratic society. Actively engaged in French politics most of his life, he retired after Napoleon’s 1851 coup and focused on his writing. He died of tuberculosis in the spring of 1859.