Alan Macfarlane was born in Shillong, India, in 1941 and educated at the Dragon School, Sedbergh School, Oxford and London Universities. He is the author of over twenty books, including 'The Origins of English Individualism' (1978) and 'Letters to Lily: On How the World Works' (2005). He has worked in England, Nepal, Japan and China as both an historian and anthropologist. He was elected to the British Academy in 1986 and is now Emeritus Professor of Anthropology at the University of Cambridge and a Life Fellow of King's College, Cambridge.
Alexis de Toqueville and the Making of the Modern Worldby Prof Alan Macfarlane
Alexis de Tocqueville was one of the greatest political scientists of all times. His 'Democracy in America' and 'Ancien Regime' are classics. Yet his work is not always easy to understand, since it needs to be seen as a work which combines his essays, letters, travels and other materials. Through an examination of these we can see that Tocqueville, more than almost any other writer, understood the deep roots of individualism, equality and fraternity, and in doing so the origins of the modern world. His three way comparison of France, England and America is unique and suggestive.
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