Democracy in America

Alexis_de_tocqueville“America is a land of wonders, in which everything is in constant motion and every change seems an improvement . . . No natural boundary seems to be set to the efforts of man; and in his eyes what is not yet done is only what he has not yet attempted to do” writes the French political scientist, historian and politician, Alexis de Tocqueville, who was born in Paris on July 29, 1805 (see above picture).

Alexis de Tocqueville remains best known for his analysis of the political and social system of the United States in the early 19th century, Democracy in America, 4 volumes (1835–40).

Of all the books written about the United States and its institutions, perhaps none has been more significant. For more than 150 years it has helped Americans to understand their government, their character, and the course of their history. Nearly as remarkable as the book itself is the fact that its clear-sighted analysis and prophetic vision were the achievement of a French citizen.

Happy Fourth of July, America!


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