Tocqueville: A Very Short Introduction

Overview


No one has ever described American democracy with more accurate insight or more profoundly than Alexis de Tocqueville. After meeting with Americans on extensive travels in the United States, and intense study of documents and authorities, he authored the landmark Democracy in America, publishing its two volumes in 1835 and 1840. Ever since, this book has been the best source for every serious attempt to understand America and democracy itself. Yet Tocqueville himself remains a ...
See more details below
Paperback
$10.59
BN.com price
(Save 11%)$11.95 List Price

Pick Up In Store

Reserve and pick up in 60 minutes at your local store

Other sellers (Paperback)
  • All (13) from $4.41   
  • New (7) from $6.76   
  • Used (6) from $4.41   
Tocqueville: A Very Short Introduction

Available on NOOK devices and apps  
  • NOOK Devices
  • NOOK HD/HD+ Tablet
  • NOOK
  • NOOK Color
  • NOOK Tablet
  • Tablet/Phone
  • NOOK for Windows 8 Tablet
  • NOOK for iOS
  • NOOK for Android
  • NOOK Kids for iPad
  • PC/Mac
  • NOOK for Windows 8
  • NOOK for PC
  • NOOK for Mac
  • NOOK Study
  • NOOK for Web

Want a NOOK? Explore Now

NOOK Book (eBook)
$6.99
BN.com price
(Save 12%)$7.99 List Price

Overview


No one has ever described American democracy with more accurate insight or more profoundly than Alexis de Tocqueville. After meeting with Americans on extensive travels in the United States, and intense study of documents and authorities, he authored the landmark Democracy in America, publishing its two volumes in 1835 and 1840. Ever since, this book has been the best source for every serious attempt to understand America and democracy itself. Yet Tocqueville himself remains a mystery behind the elegance of his style.
Now one of our leading authorities on Tocqueville explains him in this splendid new entry in Oxford's acclaimed Very Short Introduction series. Harvey Mansfield addresses his subject as a thinker, clearly and incisively exploring Tocqueville's writings--not only his masterpiece, but also his secret Recollections, intended for posterity alone, and his unfinished work on his native France, The Old Regime and the Revolution. Tocqueville was a liberal, Mansfield writes, but not of the usual sort. The many elements of his life found expression in his thought: his aristocratic ancestry, his ventures in politics, his voyages abroad, his hopes and fears for America, and his disappointment with France. All his writings show a passion for political liberty and insistence on human greatness. Perhaps most important, he saw liberty not in theories, but in the practice of self-government in America. Ever an opponent of abstraction, he offered an analysis that forces us to consider what we actually do in our politics--suggesting that theory itself may be an enemy of freedom. And that, Mansfield writes, makes him a vitally important thinker for today.
Translator of an authoritative edition of Democracy in America, Harvey Mansfield here offers the fruit of decades of research and reflection in a clear, insightful, and marvelously compact introduction.
Read More Show Less

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

"An accessible synthesis of the author's work that serves both as an introduction and as a provocative summary in its own right." -- The Times Literary Supplement

"Moving smoothly through all of Tocqueville's major writings, this small but magisterial volume offers an impressive analysis. It treats not only the highlights but the muted themes through which Tocqueville struggled to make sense of the modern world. This book is as singular as its subject and its present author; each has a distinctive voice. It is precisely that singularity of perspective and purpose that makes them so valuable for a reading, thinking public."--Ralph Lerner, Benjamin Franklin Professor Emeritus, University of Chicago

"Drawing upon his immense knowledge of Alexis de Tocqueville's work, Mansfield provides a succinct and readable introduction to one of the most important political thinkers of the last two centuries. With great skill and unfailing clarity, he not only informs the reader about Tocqueville the man and his life but also sets out the content of Tocqueville's two great masterpieces: Democracy in America and The Ancien RĂ©gime and the French Revolution. In doing so, Professor Mansfield enables us to understand why we still read Tocqueville today."-Jeremy Jennings, Professor of Political Theory, Queen Mary, University of London; author, Tocqueville on America after 1840: Letters and Other Writings

Read More Show Less

Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780195175394
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press, USA
  • Publication date: 7/13/2010
  • Series: Very Short Introductions Series
  • Pages: 136
  • Sales rank: 703,989
  • Product dimensions: 4.40 (w) x 6.80 (h) x 0.50 (d)

Meet the Author

Harvey C. Mansfield is the William R. Kenan, Jr. Professor of Government at Harvard University and Senior Fellow at the Hoover Institution, Stanford University. He translated Tocqueville's Democracy in America into English and has written such books as Manliness and Machiavelli's Virtue. He was awarded the National Humanities Medal and delivered the 2007 Jefferson Lecture for the National Endowment for the Humanities.

Read More Show Less

Table of Contents

List of illustrations

Introduction: a new kind of liberal 1

1 Tocqueville's democratic providence 7

2 Tocqueville's praise of democracy 18

3 Informal democracy 37

4 Democratic despotism 57

5 Rational administration 84

5 Tocqueville's pride 102

References 115

Index 118

Read More Show Less

Customer Reviews

Be the first to write a review
( 0 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(0)

4 Star

(0)

3 Star

(0)

2 Star

(0)

1 Star

(0)

Your Rating:

Your Name: Create a Pen Name or

Barnes & Noble.com Review Rules

Our reader reviews allow you to share your comments on titles you liked, or didn't, with others. By submitting an online review, you are representing to Barnes & Noble.com that all information contained in your review is original and accurate in all respects, and that the submission of such content by you and the posting of such content by Barnes & Noble.com does not and will not violate the rights of any third party. Please follow the rules below to help ensure that your review can be posted.

Reviews by Our Customers Under the Age of 13

We highly value and respect everyone's opinion concerning the titles we offer. However, we cannot allow persons under the age of 13 to have accounts at BN.com or to post customer reviews. Please see our Terms of Use for more details.

What to exclude from your review:

Please do not write about reviews, commentary, or information posted on the product page. If you see any errors in the information on the product page, please send us an email.

Reviews should not contain any of the following:

  • - HTML tags, profanity, obscenities, vulgarities, or comments that defame anyone
  • - Time-sensitive information such as tour dates, signings, lectures, etc.
  • - Single-word reviews. Other people will read your review to discover why you liked or didn't like the title. Be descriptive.
  • - Comments focusing on the author or that may ruin the ending for others
  • - Phone numbers, addresses, URLs
  • - Pricing and availability information or alternative ordering information
  • - Advertisements or commercial solicitation

Reminder:

  • - By submitting a review, you grant to Barnes & Noble.com and its sublicensees the royalty-free, perpetual, irrevocable right and license to use the review in accordance with the Barnes & Noble.com Terms of Use.
  • - Barnes & Noble.com reserves the right not to post any review -- particularly those that do not follow the terms and conditions of these Rules. Barnes & Noble.com also reserves the right to remove any review at any time without notice.
  • - See Terms of Use for other conditions and disclaimers.
Search for Products You'd Like to Recommend

Recommend other products that relate to your review. Just search for them below and share!

Create a Pen Name

Your Pen Name is your unique identity on BN.com. It will appear on the reviews you write and other website activities. Your Pen Name cannot be edited, changed or deleted once submitted.

 
Your Pen Name can be any combination of alphanumeric characters (plus - and _), and must be at least two characters long.

Continue Anonymously

    If you find inappropriate content, please report it to Barnes & Noble
    Why is this product inappropriate?
    Comments (optional)