First published in 1840, Volume Two of Alexis de Tocqueville’s De la démocratie en Amérique—arguably the most perceptive and influential book ever written about American politics and society—extends the insights of the first volume in describing the general features of democratic societies. Introduced by historian Olivier Zunz, here is Tocqueville’s brilliant panoptic portrait of the American mentalité: its fierce individualism, its inventive language, its pragmatic materialism, and its pervasive religiosity. Goldhammer’s masterful text, awarded the 2004 French-American Foundation Translation Prize, renders Tocqueville’s classic with a fidelity to his style and meaning unparalleled in any previous version.
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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