Volume One of De la démocratie en Amérique was published in Paris in January 1835, the first fruit of Alexis de Tocqueville’s extraordinary nine-month tour of the fledgling United States and, with its companion volume, arguably the most perceptive and influential book ever written about American politics and society. Introduced by historian Olivier Zunz and presented with a fidelity to the author’s style and meaning unequalled in any previous edition, here is Tocqueville’s vivid description of the “equality of conditions” he encountered in America and his brilliant assessment of its implications for government, civic association, property ownership, and race relations in the young nation.
Arthur Goldhammer has translated from the French more than 80 works in history, literature, art history, classical studies, philosophy, psychology, and social science.
Olivier Zunz is Commonwealth Professor of History at the University of Virginia. He is the author of Why the American Century?, Making America Corporate, 1870–1920, and The Changing Face of Inequality, and co-editor of The Tocqueville Reader: A Life in Letters and Politics.
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