Big news! LibraryThing is now free to all! Read the blog post and discuss the change on Talk.
This site uses cookies to deliver our services, improve performance, for analytics, and (if not signed in) for advertising. By using LibraryThing you acknowledge that you have read and understand our Terms of Service and Privacy Policy. Your use of the site and services is subject to these policies and terms.
Hide this

Results from Google Books

Click on a thumbnail to go to Google Books.


Democracy in America (1836)

by Alexis de Tocqueville

Other authors: See the other authors section.

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
4,395241,815 (4.21)75
Alexis de Tocqueville (1805-59) came to America in 1831 to see what a great republic was like. What struck him most was the country's equality of conditions, its democracy. The book he wrote on his return to France, Democracy in America, is both the best ever written on democracy and the best ever written on America. It remains the most often quoted book about the United States, not only because it has something to interest and please everyone, but also because it has something to teach everyone.   When it was published in 2000, Harvey Mansfield and Delba Winthrop's new translation of Democracy in America--only the third since the original two-volume work was published in 1835 and 1840--was lauded in all quarters as the finest and most definitive edition of Tocqueville's classic thus far. Mansfield and Winthrop have restored the nuances of Tocqueville's language, with the expressed goal "to convey Tocqueville's thought as he held it rather than to restate it in comparable terms of today." The result is a translation with minimal interpretation, but with impeccable annotations of unfamiliar references and a masterful introduction placing the work and its author in the broader contexts of political philosophy and statesmanship.  … (more)

Sign up for LibraryThing to find out whether you'll like this book.

No current Talk conversations about this book.

» See also 75 mentions

Showing 1-5 of 20 (next | show all)
2 v. ( )
  ME_Dictionary | Mar 19, 2020 |
There are so many ways to consider this book, I almost don't know where to start. First, one can think of it as a rich portrait of the United States in the 1830s, with a focus on political life but with social, cultural, and economic life examined as well. One can also appreciate this book as a view of the US from the perspective of a foreigner. Tocqueville flatters Americans quite often in this book, but he also makes numerous comparisons to European nations and points out what he sees as the fundamental differences in systems of government. One can also judge how well this work has stood the test of time and to what extent it still describes America today. I would argue that while many would like to say the country Tocqueville depicts is still in existence, he would also find the US much changed. The observances made about wealth, shared power with the people, and vast ambitions are starting to show their age - to the extent that Tocqueville might recognize different forces at work than those he focused on in this work. ( )
  wagner.sarah35 | Nov 25, 2017 |
In a course I took the professor took about this book and it sounded very interesting. But when I finally read the book, it was hard to follow and I realized I liked the professor's explanation of the book better. ( )
  KamGeb | Oct 7, 2017 |
  Brightman | Sep 14, 2017 |
First listened on Hoopla (LPL) 3-7/17 Narrator John Pruden published by Tantor Audio 34 hr 30 min ( )
  keithhamblen | Aug 14, 2017 |
Showing 1-5 of 20 (next | show all)
no reviews | add a review

» Add other authors (47 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Tocqueville, Alexis deAuthorprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Adler, Mortimer J.Editorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Bevan, GeraldTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Blanco Vila, Luissecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Boorstin, Daniel J.Introductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Bowen, FrancisEditorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Bradley, PhillipsEditorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Commager, Henry SteeleEditorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Epstein, JosephIntroductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Goldhammer, ArthurTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Grant, Stephen D.Translatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Heffner, RichardEditorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Laski, Harold J.Introductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Lawrence, GeorgeTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Lerner, MaxEditorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Mansfield, Harvey C.Translatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Mansfield, Harvey C.Editorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Mayer, J. P.Editorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Mill, John StuartIntroductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Nolla, EduardoTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Raico, RalphContributorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Reeve, HenryTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Ryan, AlanIntroductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Spencer, John C.Prefacesecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Winthrop, DelbaEditorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Winthrop, DelbaTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
You must log in to edit Common Knowledge data.
For more help see the Common Knowledge help page.
Series (with order)
Canonical title
Original title
Alternative titles
Original publication date
Important places
Important events
Related movies
Awards and honors
First words
Among the new things that attracted my attention during my stay in the United States, none struck me more forcefully than the equality of conditions.
The human mind invents things more easily than words; that is why many improper terms and inadequate expressions gain currency.
The Constitution of the United States is like one of those beautiful creations of human diligence which give their inventors glory and riches but remains sterile in other hands.
How wonderful is the position of the New World, where man has as yet no enemies but himself.
[The oppression] would be akin to parental authority if only it had the same goal of preparing children for adulthood; but instead its sole objective is to consign them to everlasting kindergarten; it wants the populace to enjoy themselves, as long as they never have any dreams beyond their own entertainment.
Having seized each individual in turn in its firm grip and molded him into its pattern, the regime extends its embrace to encompass the entire society, blanketing its surface with an intricate web of trivial regulations, comprehensive and regimented, from which the most creative minds and resolute souls cannot manage to extricate themselves away from the collective; rather than breaking the willpower, it softens, bends, and channels it; instead of compelling action, it endlessly restricts it; instead of destroying, it impedes formation; instead of tyrannizing, it prods, manipulates, conditions, discourages, restrains, and brainwashes the whole nation into nothing more than a herd of tractable, hard-working livestock of which the regime is the herdsman.
Last words
(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
Disambiguation notice
The ISBN 0679728252 is used in LT's records both for the complete version of de Tocqueville's work and for the first volume of it.
Publisher's editors
Publisher series
Original language
Canonical DDC/MDS

References to this work on external resources.

Wikipedia in English (1)

No library descriptions found.

Book description
Haiku summary

Quick Links

Popular covers


Average: (4.21)
1 1
2 7
2.5 2
3 36
3.5 9
4 104
4.5 14
5 114

Library of America Paperback Classics

2 editions of this book were published by Library of America Paperback Classics.

Editions: 1598531514, 1598531522

Liberty Fund, Inc

2 editions of this book were published by Liberty Fund, Inc.

Editions: 0865977194, 0865977240

Tantor Media

An edition of this book was published by Tantor Media.

» Publisher information page

Recorded Books

An edition of this book was published by Recorded Books.

» Publisher information page

Is this you?

Become a LibraryThing Author.


About | Contact | Privacy/Terms | Help/FAQs | Blog | Store | APIs | TinyCat | Legacy Libraries | Early Reviewers | Common Knowledge | 148,937,645 books! | Top bar: Always visible