Tocqueville's Road Map: Methodology, Liberalism, Revolution, and Despotism

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One of the country's foremost Tocqueville scholars, Roger Boesche has gathered together his writings on Tocqueville from the last quarter century. These essays focus on specific aspects of Tocqueville's political thought: the methodology that Tocqueville brought to his historical and political writings allowing him to predict so well; his assumptions about what constitutes a revolution; his conviction that democracy and commerce at times work against each other; why Tocqueville's thought defies our modern political classifications; his fear of a qualitatively new kind of despotism; and Tocqueville's predictions for the future compared to those of Nietzsche, Arendt, and others. Tocqueville's Road Map is a long overdue addition to Tocqueville scholarship that will find an audience amongst scholars of political thought and history.

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Editorial Reviews

This balanced collection of articles by one of the leading Tocqueville scholars is most welcome. . . . The author provides a thoughtful, perhaps more ambiguous view of Tocqueville than other scholars. His view is both incisive and compelling. Highly recommended.
Aurelian Craiutu
The outcome of a three-decade intellectual dialogue with Tocqueville, Roger Boesche's new book offers a penetrating and engaging analysis of various aspects of the work and personality of Tocqueville. A pleasure to read, Tocqueville's Road Map offers an excellent opportunity to renew our own dialogue with the ideas of the Frenchman who has become the unsurpassable horizon of our times.
Joshua Mitchell
This compilation of essays is rich in detail without losing sight of the grandeur of Tocqueville's vision. Tocqueville, so easy to quote, yet so hard to fully understand, is treated here with subtlety and grace. The nuanced picture that emerges in Mr. Boesche's hands reminds us that Tocqueville remains for us the most sophisticated and important political theorist of the 19th century, whose capacity to shed light on 21st century problems is astounding.
This balanced collection of articles by one of the leading Tocqueville scholars is most welcome. . . . The author provides a thoughtful, perhaps more ambiguous view of Tocqueville than other scholars. His view is both incisive and compelling. Highly recommended.
Matthew Mancini
Through his wide-ranging work as an author, editor, and translator, Roger Boesche has achieved recognition as one of the finest Tocqueville scholars of his generation. This volume performs a signal service by bringing together more than two decades worth of outstanding Tocqueville studies by this clear-sighted, humane, and historically informed analyst.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780739116654
  • Publisher: Lexington Books
  • Publication date: 11/1/2006
  • Pages: 232
  • Product dimensions: 9.00 (w) x 6.00 (h) x 0.69 (d)

Meet the Author

Roger Boesche is professor of politics and Arthur G. Coons Distinguished Professor of the History of Ideas at Occidental College in Los Angeles. He is the editor of Alexis de Tocqueville: Selected Letters on Politics and Society and author of The Strange Liberalism of Alexis de Tocqueville.

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Table of Contents

Chapter 1 Why Could Tocqueville Predict So Well? Chapter 2 The Strange Liberalism of Alexis de Tocqueville Chapter 3 Tocqueville: The Tension Between Commerce and Citizenship Chapter 4 Why Did Tocqueville Think a Successful Revolution Was Impossible? Chapter 5 The Dark Side of Tocqueville: On War and Empire Chapter 6 Hedonism and Nihilism: The Predictions of Tocqueville and Nietzsche Chapter 7 The Prison: Tocqueville's Model of Despotism Chapter 8 Tocqueville and Arendt on the Novelty of Modern Tyranny Chapter 9 Le Commerce: A Newspaper Expressing Tocqueville's Unusual Liberalism

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