Tocqueville: A Very Short Introduction

Harvey Mansfield Delba Winthrop

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Tocqueville: A Very Short Introduction

Tocqueville A Very Short Introduction No one has ever described American democracy with accurate insight or profoundly than Alexis de Tocqueville After meeting with Americans on extensive travels in the United States and intense study of

  • Title: Tocqueville: A Very Short Introduction
  • Author: Harvey Mansfield Delba Winthrop
  • ISBN: 9780195175394
  • Page: 448
  • Format: Paperback
  • No one has ever described American democracy with accurate insight or 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 sourNo one has ever described American democracy with accurate insight or 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.

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    One thought on “Tocqueville: A Very Short Introduction

    1. Sydney O (Сидней О) on said:

      This is just a primer on Alexis de Tocqueville I would definitely recommend it for my fellow Americans. :)

    2. Robin Friedman on said:

      Harvey Mansfield's 2010 study of Alexis de Tocqueville (1805 -- 1859) offers a provocative interpretation of this thinker and his continued importance rather than a mere summary. The book is part of Oxford University Press' "Very Short Introductions" series which aims to introduce readers to subjects and persons of importance in brief volumes. Mansfield is the William R. Kenan Jr. Professor of Government at Harvard University and Senior Fellow at the Hoover Institution, Stanford University. He h [...]

    3. Daniel Wright on said:

      Alexis de Tocqueville's contributions to either the development of political philosophy or to actual political events are minimal and yet his influence endures because he is so likeable - enchantingly moderate, a charming and generous aristocrat as well as a democrat. Harvey C. Mansfield is the author of an acclaimed and authoritative translation of Tocqueville's most enduring work, Democracy in America, and the pages of this book glitter with (highly quotable) insight into his thought, making i [...]

    4. M- S__ on said:

      Democracy in America is one of my absolute favorite reads, and I found Mansfield's introduction to its author a wonderful complement to it. You get so much more insight into the mind of Alexis de Tocqueville with an understanding of his own role in politics back home. And you get to see his unflagging optimism punctured a bit in the brief survey of his other works in this VSI.

    5. Jacob Lines on said:

      I couldn’t miss the chance to read about one of American history aficionados’ favorite Frenchmen. Not that he participated in American history, but because he wrote about us, and that is really flattering. This book is about half biography and half explanation of Tocqueville’s writings. Mansfield is perfectly suited for this, since he has spent years translating Tocqueville. This is a good introduction to Tocqueville. It explains how an aristocrat fell in love with democracy and survived t [...]

    6. Jordan on said:

      Mansfield is a genius. This short volume is a thoughtful introduction to Tocqueville and highlights his philosophical contributions which are frequently lost to the quotatability of his social science approach.

    7. Zuri on said:

      An illuminating tour of Tocqueville's three major works: Democracy in America, The Old Regime, and Recollections. A short, easy read. Recommended.

    8. Napalmlolita on said:

      Nothing really wrongly done in this, but I don't feel Tocqueville to be very important thinker

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